*THORNE, HORACE M.
Rank and Organization: Corporal, U.S. Army, Troop D,
89th Cavalry Reconnaissance Squadron, 9th Armored Division. Place and Date Near
Grufflingen, Belgium, 21 December 1944. Entered Service at: Keyport, N.J. Birth:
Keansburg, N.J. G.O. No.: 80, 19 September 1945.
He was the leader of a combat patrol on 21 December 1944 near Grufflingen, Belgium, with
the mission of driving German forces from dug-in positions in a heavily wooded area. As he
advanced his light machinegun, a German Mark Ill tank emerged from the enemy position and
was quickly immobilized by fire from American light tanks supporting the patrol. Two of
the enemy tankmen attempted to abandon their vehicle but were killed by Cpl. Thorne's
shots before they could jump to the ground. To complete the destruction of the tank and
its crew, Cpl. Thorne left his covered position and crept forward alone through intense
machinegun fire until close enough to toss 2 grenades into the tank's open turret, killing
2 more Germans. He returned across the same fire-beaten zone as heavy mortar fire began
falling in the area, seized his machinegun and, without help, dragged it to the
knocked-out tank and set it up on the vehicle's rear deck. He fired short rapid bursts
into the enemy positions from his advantageous but exposed location, killing or wounding
8. Two enemy machinegun crews abandoned their positions and retreated in confusion. His
gun Jammed; but rather than leave his self-chosen post he attempted to clear the stoppage;
enemy small-arms fire, concentrated on the tank, killed him instantly. Cpl. Thorne,
displaying heroic initiative and intrepid fighting qualities, inflicted costly casualties
on the enemy and insured the success of his patrol's mission by the sacrifice of his life.