Ronald David Horn

Staff Sergeant
Army of the United States
24 November 1938 - 03 October 1968
Eunice, NM
Panel 42W Line 069

Silver Star


Bronze Star, Purple Heart, Good Conduct, National Defense, Vietnam Service, Vietnam Campaign

Ronald D Horn

The database page for Ronald David Horn

19 Apr 2004

Ronny Horn was born in Luling, Texas. His father worked in the oilfield and his family moved to Andrews County, Texas in the 40's. He lived outside of Andrews, Texas at the Florey Camp. These were company supplied housing in those days. Ronny graduated from Andrews High School, Class of 1957. Ronny attended Texas Tech where he was the sports writer for the school paper. He won first place in the Tech Poetry Contest "Harbinger 59". After his second year at Tech, he transferred to Mexico City College, now the University of the Americas. He received his BA degree in English Literature in 1962. He was an avid reader and traveled extensively in Mexico. He enjoyed fly fishing, tennis, swimming, hunting and had a great love of poetry.

After college, on December 12, 1962, Ronny enlisted in the U.S. Army. He was an extreme patriot and loved his country and felt all citizens needed to do their duty. He was proud of his accomplishments. After basic and artillery training, he completed airborne training and was assigned to the 101st Airborne Division at Fort Campbell, Kentucky. He married his wife Barbara in May 1965 and they had two daughters, Angela and Catherine. Ronny separated from active duty in June 1966 after 3 1/2 years active duty.

Ronny had an overwelming desire to serve his country in Vietnam and at the end of his enlistment that desire had not been fulfilled. He took his separation and moved his family to Eunice, New Mexico, where he took a job with Shell Oil Company. As time passed, he could not repress his desire and when he found that his old division, the 101st, had deployed to Vietnam, he felt he needed to serve in Vietnam. As Ronny was still in the in active Army Reserve until December 1968, he volunteered to return to active duty in order to volunteer for Vietnam and the chance to return to his unit.

On October 3rd, 1968, Ronny's unit was awakened by the sound of enemy fire and were soon being attacked by a superior NVA regiment. As a helicopter came in to bring in ammunition and supplies, the helicopter was shot down. In the wreckage of this helicopter was much needed ammunition. Ronny exposed himself to enemy fire and ran to the wreckage and retrieved much of the ammunition. After he had gathered ammo belts from the wreckage and returned to his men, as he was attempting to distribute them, he was mortally wounded by small arms fire. For these actions, Ronny was awarded a posthumous Silver Star.

Ronny is remembered by Andrews, the City of Eunice, New Mexico and on the Permian Basin Vietnam Memorial, located at Midland International Airport, Midland, Texas. May Ronny's sacrifice never be forgotten.

A Note from The Virtual Wall

Staff Sergeant Horn died in Tay Ninh Province. The only other US casualties in Tay Ninh that day were aboard UH-1H tail number 67-17595 of the 117th Assault Helicopter Company at Tay Ninh City. According to the Annual Supplemental History of the 117th AHC, the Huey was on an emergency ammunition resupply flight in support of a heavily engaged Special Forces unit located near the Cambodian border about 20 miles west of Tay Ninh City.

As the UH-1H came to a hover for the ammo drop it was hit by enemy fire, losing its hydraulic systems and tail rotor. The aircraft crashed in a contested area. The copilot and gunner were able to exit the wrecked aircraft and were able to pull the injured pilot, Captain Arthur Frame, from the wreckage before they had to turn their attention to defending themselves from NVA troops. Both men were killed by gunfire before friendly forces arrived. When they did, they were able to recover Captain Frame and three bodies and confirm that the crew chief was dead, but the crew chief's body was pinned beneath the wreckage and could not be extracted. Due to continued enemy presence it was not practical to return to the wreckage to recover the crew chief's remains.

The four men lost with UH-1H 67-17595 were

  • WO Martin E. Bixler, copilot, Glen Rock, PA, 117th AHC (Silver Star)
  • SP5 Michael L. McCafferty, gunner, Lynn, MA, 117th AHC (Silver Star)
  • SP4 Roger L. Smith, crew chief, South Point, OH, 117th AHC
  • CPT James E. Mann, passenger, New Britain, CT, A Co, 5th SF Group
Warrant Officer Bixler and SP5 McCafferty were awarded posthumous Silver Star medals for their refusal to abandon the other three men. As noted, SP4 Smith's remains could not be recovered at the time, but he eventually did come home. On 30 Nov 1994 human remains recovered from the crash site were repatriated, and on 01 Jun 1999 the Defense Department announced that those remains had been positively identified as SP4 Roger L. Smith.

The point-of-contact for this memorial is
a Permian Basin Vietnam Memorial Representative,
Billy M. Brown 
19 Apr 2004

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With all respect
Jim Schueckler, former CW2, US Army
Ken Davis, Commander, United States Navy (Ret)
Channing Prothro, former CAP Marine
Last updated 04/19/2004