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First Name: Horace

Last Name: Thorne

Birthplace: Keansburg, NJ, USA

Gender: Male

Branch: Army (1784 - present)

Home of Record: Keyport, NJ
Middle Name: Marvin

Date of Birth: 29 September 1918

Date of Death: 21 December 1944

Rank: Corporal

Years Served:
Horace Marvin Thorne

•  World War II (1941 - 1945)


Horace Marvin Thorne

Corporal, U.S. Army

Medal of Honor Recipient

World War II

Corporal Horace Marvin 'Buddy' Thorne (29 September 1918 - 21 December 1944) was a U.S. Army soldier who was posthumously awarded the U.S. military's highest award for valor, the Medal of Honor, for his heroic actions during World War II.

Horace Marvin Thorne was born on 29 September 1918in Keansburg, NJ. Thorne grew up on a 53-acre farm in nearby North Middletown. He and his eight siblings attended Port Monmouth Elementary School and Leonardo High School.

Thorne joined the Army from Keyport, NJ. On 21 December 1944, he was serving as a Corporal in Troop D, 89th Cavalry Reconnaissance Squadron, 9th Armored Division. Near Grufflingen in Belgium that day, he voluntarily took up an exposed position on top of a destroyed tank in order to better fire on the German forces. He killed several Germans and scattered the crews of two enemy machine gun nests before being killed himself. He was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor for his actions.

Medal of Honor

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.

Citation: 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.


Thorne Middle School in Middletown was named in his honor in the 1960s; the school is home to a display which includes photographs of Thorne, his Medal of Honor, and the original award citation.

Death and Burial

Corporal Horace Marvin 'Buddy' Thorne was killed in action on 21 December 1944. Thorne was originally buried in a Belgian forest. His remains were later returned to the U.S. and re-interred at Fair View Cemetery in Middletown, NJ.

Honoree ID: 1671   Created by: MHOH




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