San Marcos Baptist Academy recently honored the memory of a distinguished alumnus and veteran of both World War II and the Korean War whose remains were returned to the United States nearly seven decades after he was killed in action.
At homecoming, the academy recognized the family of Maj. Harvey H. Storms, a 1934 graduate and namesake of the academy’s Alumni Association Foundation, who was killed during the Battle of Chosin during the Korean War.
Leading an attack up a frozen hill in early December 1950, Storms was shot multiple times. He was declared missing in action and presumed dead.
Remains repatriated to U.S.
In July 2018, the Storms family received word his remains were being repatriated to the United States, along with the remains of 54 other American servicemen killed in Korea.
“I was filled with disbelief and joy. There was a sense of closure that filled me,” said Sam Storms of Pflugerville, his eldest son. “We never gave up hope, but we also never expected it to happen. This was really special.”
Once the remains were returned to U.S. soil, forensic scientists began the arduous process of testing and identifying them through DNA matching. Families, including the Storms, were notified about a year later, after positive identifications had been made.
Protocol dictates that the U.S. Army keep his remains until 48 hours before interment at Arlington National Cemetery next summer.
Decorated war hero
Storms first served his country during World War II with Gen. George Patton in both North Africa (Operation Torch) and in the European theatre.
Between his service in World War II and in Korea, Storms received numerous citations, including the Silver Star, the Purple Heart, the Combat Infantryman’s Badge, the Korean Service Medal, the United Nations Service Medal, the National Defense Service Medal, the World War II Victory Medal and, most recently, the Ambassador for Peace Medal from the Patriots and Veterans Affairs, Republic of Korea.
Several of the medals, along with certificates and photos, are displayed at San Marcos Baptist Academy.
Deep roots at San Marcos Baptist Academy
Harvey H. Storms’ parents met as students at San Marcos Baptist Academy, and the couple later enrolled their son and his two sisters—Clarice Storms Ratliff and Fayrene Storms King—in the academy.
After Storms graduated from the academy, he attended Texas A&M University, earning a degree in agriculture in 1939.
He returned to San Marcos Baptist Academy in 1940 with his wife, Helen, to serve as a dormitory assistant for junior boys and as a geometry teacher. The following year, his wife also joined the academy faculty, and during that time, the couple’s first son, Sam, was born.
Storms left the academy in 1942 to report for military service. The school’s 1942 yearbook was dedicated to Lt. Harvey H. Storms as a representative of all the young men of the academy faculty entering the armed forces at that time.
“All along the line, you have exhibited the attributes of clean living, high scholarship, tireless efforts and trustworthiness of character which will furnish a large measure of officer-leadership in the present world struggle,” the dedication read. “Your friends salute you, and all others like you.”
Storms was discharged from the U.S. Army in 1946, but he re-enlisted three years later and was sent to Korea. He was 34 at the time of his death.
Harvey and Helen Storms’ son Robert Harvey Storms arrived at San Marcos Academy in 1966 and graduated in 1969.
Robert Storms, who now lives in Brenham, has returned to the academy multiple times since then—most recently for the 2019 homecoming when his father was honored and his family recognized.
Lt. Col. Cal Downey, co-president of the academy’s alumni association, presented Robert Storms and his brothers a flag that flew over the campus in their father’s honor.
“The greatest thing about this time for me and my brothers has been seeing the honor that so many people have shown for my father, including everyone at the Academy and the Ex-Student Association at Texas A&M,” Robert Storms said. “We believe it’s an honor that was due him.”
Based on information provided by Shelly Henry, director of communications at San Marcos Baptist Academy.