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Thursday, Apr. 24, 2014

Remembrance: Veteran recalls service, fallen comrades

Sunday, May 30, 2010

(Photo)
John Horner of rural Bertrand looks over a map which shows the route the U.S. Army's 80th "Blue Ridge" Infantry Division took across Europe during World War II. "I went all the way from Omaha Beach to Pilsen, Czechoslovakia," Horner said. "It shows every town, every battle."
(Scott Welton, Staff)
BERTRAND -- With Memorial Day being the unofficial start of summer, John Horner of rural Bertrand celebrates like most people.

"I like to be with my family, I look forward to them coming -- I have one daughter and one son," Horner said.

But the holiday also has a deeper significance.

"I think about all of them I was with that got killed," Horner said. "I knew some of them."

Horner, 93, was drafted into the U.S. Army during World War II on March 13, 1942, and was discharged on Oct. 13, 1945.

"I went over on the Queen Mary and came back on the USS LeJeune," he recalled.

Horner served as an automobile mechanic in the U.S. Army's 80th "Blue Ridge" Infantry Division, a unit Horner said was used to punch holes in enemy strong points.

"All we did was spearhead," Horner said. "We never failed to take an objective, and when we took it we never failed to hold it."

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