Bill Horn, United States Marine
(Portions of this account are excerpts from official Marine Corps Records)
Bill graduated from San Diego State in 1966. America was at war and Bill enlisted in the Marine Corps. He was commissioned as a 2nd Lieutenant and was sent to the jungles of South Vietnam. There, he led his men as an Executive Officer and Commanding Officer and was recognized for his leadership skills and extraordinary heroism.
His battlefield experiences included command of Battery “L” where he and his Marines delivered timely and accurate artillery. For three weeks in February 1969, Bill and the battery he commanded were under near-constant siege by the North Vietnamese Army in a remote area just south of the demilitarized zone known as the Rockpile. His personal courage and devotion to duty were evidenced by his actions on February 19, 1969, when a convoy was ambushed on Route 9. When the attack commenced he was several miles away, but immediately ordered his radio vehicle forward to the sight of the ambush where he maneuvered to a position to observe the enemy mortar position. While receiving small arms fire from enemy riflemen, he adjusted Battery "L" onto the enemy position and silenced it.
Although removed from close maintenance support, Lieutenant Horn, through his resourcefulness and initiative, maintained the entire firing battery in an exceptional state of combat readiness. Shrapnel wounds earned him the Purple Heart, and his leadership under fire earned him the Bronze Star. For this action he was also awarded the Vietnamese Cross of Gallantry with Silver Star.
From May 25 until June 28, 1969, Lieutenant Horn was assigned as the Battalion S-2 Officer. June 21 and 22, Dong Ha Combat Base received incoming rockets. Lieutenant Horn immediately conducted crater analysis and analyzed the rocket firing position so that effective counter mortar fire could be delivered. Lieutenant Horn's professionalism, strong devotion to duty and outstanding application throughout reflects great credit upon himself, the Marine Corps and United States Naval Service.
Captain Horn’s military career saw him receive the following decorations: the Bronze Star Medal with Combat V, the Purple Heart, the Combat Action Ribbon, the Presidential Unit Citation, the Naval Unit Citation, the Meritorious Unit Citation, the National Defense Medal, the Vietnamese Campaign Medal with four stars, the Republic of Vietnam Cross of Gallantry with Gold and Silver Star, the Cross of Gallantry Unit Citation, and the Vietnam Service Medal.
Returning from Vietnam, Bill went on to sponsor more than twenty Vietnamese refugee families. He provided housing, counseling, and job and education incentives for them to become successful in their chosen professions. Two have become medical doctors and all are successful professionals.
In the mid-1980’s, Bill spent time in Israel serving as an agricultural and finance advisor to a kibbutz. He returned home and served as a Board member of the San Diego County Farm Bureau, a member of the 76th Assembly District Education Committee, President of the Valley Center Rotary Club, a Paul Harris Rotary Fellow, and youth soccer coach.
Bill serves on more than a dozen committees in San Diego County, providing leadership in areas that include housing, health, land use, water conservation and quality, public safety, disaster preparedness, economic development, education, and transportation.
Bill is a resident of Valley Center where he lives with his wife, Kathy. Their three grown children remember fondly sharing their father’s love of skiing, model trains, and restoring antique automobiles.