Veteran Horne dies at 86
Lifelong Lisbon resident Stanley J. Horne died at his hillside home Jan. 31, 2010, at age 86. He was a part of the disappearing "Greatest Generation," that fought in World War II. Visitation was Feb. 3 and burial with full military honors was held Feb. 4 at the Lisbon Central Cemetery.
Horne was born Oct. 14, 1923, the fourth of 10 siblings fathered by Melvin Horne and a member of the Lisbon pioneer family, Agnes Butler. It was during the Depression and Horne's parents initially went from one tenant farm to the next, with Stanley assigned to butting up hay, cutting thistles, feeding the animals, repairing fences and doing the milking.
He attended Plainview School in Lisbon and then transferred to Hartland High School. When Japan bombed Pearl Harbor, Stanley's father, Melvin, cried because he knew his boys would become involved in the war. Four of the Horne boys served in World War II: Ralph, Emory, Nathan and Stanley. Later, his brother, Homer, would serve in the German occupation Army and another brother, Wayne, in the Korean War. Emory was killed in a B17 bomber that crashed in Germany and his body was never recovered. He is the "Horne" in the designation of the Sussex Horne-Mudlitz VFW Post.
While Stanley was in his senior year at Hartland High School, he hit is 19th birthday and in March 1943, he left school and was inducted into the U.S. Army. Incidentally, his father was at his graduation in June 1943, and walked down to received the high school graduation certification for his departed son.
Meanwhile, Stanley was set to be a member of the ill-fated 106th Infantry Division. He got a slight reprieve as instead of infantry, he was put into the 592nd Field Artillery, attached to the 106th. He was picked to attend an intensive radio school and because he excelled, he was held back when the 106th and 592nd shipped out to Europe.
The 106th ended up in the Battle of the Bulge during Christmastime 1944 at the spearhead position, St. Vith, Belgium, and 80 percent of the division was killed.
Stanley went on to more radio, telephone and even flag communications and was assigned to the Pacific War shipping out of San Francisco with the Signal Corp. aboard the U.S.S. Lurline. Initially, set for Brisbane, Australia, the Lurline ended up in Oro Bay, New Guinea on Oct. 31, 1944.
Stanley's favorite radio was listening to Tokyo Rose, which announced the Lurline had been torpedoed while it was crossing the Pacific (supposedly with Horne on board). It was false information and Horne would shortly be on Biak, a small island above New Guinea located just above the equator. He ended up in Manila where he listed in and decoded top secret radio communications. He rose from private to PFC and then Corporal with a "T" under his two chevrons, thus, a "T Cpl."
When the first atomic bomb hit, Horne and his cohorts thought the war was over and falsely celebrated only to find out that the Japanese had not surrendered.
He went back to work for the MacArthur Cinc AF SWPAC command when he was on official duty and didn't get to celebrate the soon-coming surrender after the second atomic bomb.
He stayed in the Philippines for four more months until he shipped state side in the U.S.S. Admiral Hughes.
On Jan. 20, 1946, he was discharged at Wisconsin Camp McCoy receiving $10 travel money plus $100 discharge payment, $35.92 back pay and an additional $200 so he could blend back into civilian life. His final rank was T5 Corporal.
He returned to Lisbon and the Horne farm which is the now decaying farm set of buildings on the north side of the intersection of Mary Hill Road and Silver Spring Drive. It was the old George Butler farm and in the end, the Lillian Butler farm.
Stanley had a job at Merton Lumber besides helping on the farm. He later became a longtime semi-truck driver in the Midwest. He met a Genesee girl, Clara Tritz, and they were married Aug. 12, 1950. They had three sons and a daughter.
Stanley and his brother, Nathan, were charter members of the Sussex Horne-Mudlitz VFW Post 6377 and both eventually became lifetime members.
In time he and Clara had a home on Hillside Road, adjacent to their church, Lisbon Presbyterian.
Stanley became a longtime working member of the Hillside Road-located Menomonee Falls Run Club.
In 1995, he was being interviewed for his WWII story and he mentioned that he won a chest full of medals and ribbons such as the American Theater Service Medal, Philippine Liberation Ribbon with one bronze star, two overseas service bars and the all-inclusive service medal called the "Ruptured Duck" discharge honor. In an after thought, he mentioned that he also got the "good conduct medal."
Clara immediately interrupted as she asked just how he earned the good conduct medal and his quick answer was, "They didn't catch me."
She quickly mused, "You wouldn't get a good conduct medal from me."
Horne is survived by Clara, his wife of 59 years, and children, Tom (late Karen), Linda (Glenn), Luczak and the late Frank (Barb) and Tim Horne. He is further survived by 11 grandchildren and six great-grandchildren, one sister and five brothers and many friends and relatives.
The family asks that memorials be given to the Lisbon Presbyterian Church Building Fund.