SD Vietnam War Memorial Dedication Please Support the Memorial Soldiers, Heroes, and teachers information

 

 



In Memory of  U.S. Army Specialist Fourth Class (SP/4)

Mark Roland Horner

Watertown, South Dakota, Codington County

July 1, 1949 – February 15, 1970

Killed in Action in the Fish Hook Region of Vietnam

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 widow, Connie.

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 reported missing
in action in Vietnam since 15 February, 1970. He was last seen while
on a combat operation when a hostile force was encountered. Search
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 Defense Medal.

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.

 


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