HORN, RONALD DAVID
Rank / Branch:
SSG E-5, U.S. Army
Date of Birth:
HOSTILE, SMALL ARMS
Awards & Decorations:
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RONALD DAVID HORN, STAFF SERGEANT, U.S. ARMY, ANDREWS, ANDREWS COUNTY, TEXAS
AWARDS AND DECORATIONS
Silver Star, Bronze Star, Purple Heart, National Defense Service Medal, Vietnam Service Medal, Vietnam Campaign Medal, RVN Cross of Gallantry with Palm, Vietnam Military Merit Medal.
Ronald "Ronny" Horn, was born November 24, 1938, in Luling, Texas. He was the son of Millie Alice Roberts Horn and Andy Alex Horn. He moved with his family to Florey Camp in Andrews when he was young. After graduating from Andrews High School in May 1957, Ronny enrolled at Texas Tech University where he was a sports writer for the Texas Tech paper and won first place in the Tech Poetry Contest "Harbinger'59". Two years after beginning at Tech, Ronny transferred to Mexico City College, now the University of the Americas, and received a Bachelor of Arts Degree in English Literature in 1963. Ronny was an avid reader and collected pre Columbian Art and lived and traveled extensively in Mexico. He enjoyed fly fishing, tennis, swimming, hunting, and had a great love for poetry, not to mention life in general.
After college, on December 12, 1963, Ronny enlisted in the U.S. Army. He was a true patriot and had an intense pride in America and felt strongly about all citizens doing all they could for their country. He was so proud of his accomplishments. When he graduated from Airborne School, he served in the 101st Airborne Division at Fort Campbell, Kentucky, until June, 1966. During this time he married Barbara Ann on May, 1965. Ronny and Barbara Ann had two daughters, Angela and Catherine.
During the two and a half years Ronny served in the military, he had an overwhelming desire to serve a tour in Vietnam. But at the end of his enlistment, this desire had not been fulfilled. Ronny took his discharge with that one regret, and moved his family to New Mexico where he went to work for Shell Oil Company. As time passed, Ronny still regretted that he had not had the opportunity to serve his country in the still on-going conflict in Southeast Asia. Learning that his old unit, the 101st, had shipped out to Vietnam, he reenlisted for a short term and hoped to rejoin his old unit. Regardless of personal sacrifices, he felt privileged to be able to serve his country and shipped out shortly after he re-enlisted on August 5, 1968. Ronnie was not able to rejoin the 101st Airborne, but took an assignment as a Fire Directional NCO for the Headquarters and Headquarters Battery, 2nd Battalion, 13th Artillery Regiment under the operational control of the II Field Force.
Ronny in Vietnam
On the morning of October 3rd, 1968 in the Tay Ninh province, Ronny's unit was awakened to the sound of enemy fire and very soon they were attacked by hostile Viet Cong troops who had surrounded them during the night. A bitter battle ensued for a number of hours and the American and their allies were faced with the possibility of running out of ammunition. Word was sent by radio that reinforcements were needed and ammo was dwindling rapidly. A helicopter was dispatched with ammunition directed for their unit. While the ammo was being unloaded from the air, the helicopter was shot down. There on the ground near the wreckage was the much needed ammo. Someone was going to have to go after it if the troops were to have a chance at survival. Ronny was the first soldier to attempt this task. He ran to the site of the wreckage and collected a number of ammo belts and managed to get back to his position with them. He was in the process of distributing them when he was mortally wounded. He retrieved enough ammunition for the rest of his unit to gain enough time until they were airlifted out.
The other casualities that day occurred on the helicopter, tail number 67-17595 that had crashed from ground fire. Of the five personnel on the helicopter, three of the crewman perished, one from being pinned in the crash and the other two from ground fire. The fourth casualty was a passenger and was an advisor from the 5th Special Forces and he also perished from ground fire immediately after extracting himself from the helicopter. The pilot was injured seriously but was able to be rescued. The co-pilot and a door gunner were also awarded the Silver Star for refusal to abandon those injured personnel on the ground from the crash and it resulted in the loss of their lives.
Ronny was the only "Killed in Action" of the troops on the ground. Ronny was promoted to SSG posthumously and was awarded a posthumous Silver Star for his actions which resulted in the loss of his life. He was also awarded the Bronze Star for meritorious service and the Purple Heart.
Ronny was buried with full buried honors in the Andrews City Cemetery in the old cemetery. He was survived by his wife, his wife and two children and also survived by his parents of Andrews.
Andrews City Cemetery-Old Sectin
Award of the Silver Star
The President of the United States of American, authorized by Act of Congress, July 9, 1918 (amended by an Act of July 25, 1963), takes pride in presenting the Silver Star (Posthoumously) to Staff Sergeant (then Sergeant) Ronald David Horn (ASN 18659907), United States Army, for gallantry in action while engaged in military operations involving confict with a hostle force while serving with Headquarters and Headquarters Battery, 2nd Battalion, 13th Artillery Regiment in the Republic of South Vietnam. Sergeant Horn distinguished himself by exceptional valorous actions on 3 October 1968 when a large combined North Vietnamese /Viet Cong force launched a surprise assault on his battalion's defensive night position in Tay Ninh Province. Sergeant Horn unhestitantingly moved to a vantage point for which he could better observe the action and call in artillery fire. Disregarding his own safety, he stood exposed to the enemy fussilade as he calmly directed counterfire to thiryt meters of his own position. Seeing that the aggressors' anti-aircraft guns were denying re-supply helicopters access to the battalion's position,he quickly silenced them with devastitating artillery fire. Resupply ammunition was then dropped from the helicopter, but it fell outside the perimeter. Sergeant Horn immediately proceeded to retrieve part of the badly needed material. While he was personally redistributing the ammunition to forward positions he was mortally wounded. His efforts to secure ammunition was instrumental in repulsing the attackers. Sergeant Horn's gallantry in action, at the cost of his life, was in keeping with the highest traditions of military service and reflects great credit on himself, his unit and the United States Army.
General Orders: Headquarters, United States Army Vietnam, General Orders Number 4892 (October 21, 1968).
Action Date: October 3, 1968