Memory of U.S. Army Specialist Fourth Class (SP/4)
Mark Roland Horner was born on July 1, 1949, in
Watertown, South Dakota, to Roland “Whiz” and Rosalie
Horner. His siblings were Robin, Julie, Craig, Lynn,
Therese, Jean, Mary Beth, and Scott. Mark Horner was raised
and educated in Watertown. The schools he attended were Holy
Name Catholic School, Watertown Junior High, and Watertown
High School, from where he graduated in 1967. On August 2,
1969, in Watertown, Mark Horner married Connie M. Deutsch.
Before Mark Horner went in the army, he worked at Bichler
Motor Co. in Watertown.
Some interests and activities that Mark Horner liked to
do were playing pool, hunting, and fishing. Also, he liked
to cruise in his “55 Chevy”; he liked motorcycles and cars.
Mark had a lot of friends. He enjoyed spending time with
them and his family. He made everyone feel welcome and had a
great sense of humor. He was a very caring person.
Mark Roland Horner entered active service on March 17,
1969. He completed basic training at South Fort Polk,
Louisiana, and his advanced infantry training (AIT) at North
Fort Polk (Tigerland). On August 20, 1969, Mark was sent
overseas from Ft. Lewis, Washington, as part of Company B,
2nd Battalion, 8th Cavalry, 1st Cavalry Division (AMBL) and
was stationed in Tay Ninh, Vietnam, where SP/4 Horner was
“on point a lot”; his Platoon (Blackfoot) “patrolled the LZ
IKE, LZ Becky, and LZ Caroline” and often “were on patrols
and fire fights defending these areas,” according to his
SP/4 Mark Roland Horner was reported missing in action in
Vietnam on February 15, 1970. The first telegram delivered
to the family on February 19, 1970, reported:
The Secretary of the Army has asked me
to inform you that your
husband, Specialist Four Mark R. Horner has been
in action in Vietnam since 15 February, 1970. He was
last seen while
on a combat operation when a hostile force was
is in progress.
When the second telegram arrived on February 27, 1970,
the Adjutant General of the Army stated that SP/4 Horner had
been killed in action and that his remains were recovered
and had been positively identified. Later telegrams detailed
how and when the body would be returned to the United
States. The region Mark was killed in was called Fish Hook
Region, which was near the Cambodian Border.
The following is from an article by Duane Bobby, who was
with Mark when he died:
February 15, 1970, was a hot day in
Vietnam when I last saw you. Blackfoot
Platoon was leading point as we got off the choppers.
One hundred yards into the bush a call had confirmed
fresh signs of NVA moving ahead of you on the trotter
(path). Cheyenne Platoon and my platoon broke off the
trotter and flanked out along side Blackfoot. It was
stone cold quiet and a second later the brush erupted. A
N.V.A. R.P.G. round exploded with a direct hit. A few
feet from me the breath of life was taken from one of
the closest friends I had in Nam. …
The body of SP/4 Horner was returned to the United States
and was buried with military honors at the St. Mary’s
Cemetery in Watertown, on March 9, 1970.
Specialist Mark Horner earned a lot of awards when he was
in Vietnam, including the Purple Heart, Bronze Star, Bronze
Star with 1st Oak Leaf Cluster and “V” for Valor, Air Medal,
Vietnam Service Medal, Good Conduct Medal, Infantryman
Badge, Vietnam Campaign Medal, Marksmanship, and National
Current survivors are Mark’s widow, Connie Miller, his
mother, Rosalie Horner, his five sisters: Julie Vahldieck,
Lynn Ferrie, Therese Horner, Jean Case, and Mary Beth Ward;
and a brother, Scott Horner.
I think that the people who knew Mark were really lucky
because he seemed like a very nice man. I really am glad I
was able to do this profile for him.
This entry was respectfully submitted by Blake Klinkel,
8th grade student, Spearfish Middle School, Spearfish, South
Dakota, September 28, 2005. Information for this entry was
provided by Connie (Horner) Miller. Profile approval by
Connie (Horner) Miller.