Representatives of the Delaware State Council, Vietnam Veterans of America, presented an original state organizational patch to former World War II prisoner of war and Purple Heart recipient Pvt. Bayard Horn during A Hero’s Welcome held in his honor Feb. 3 at Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 7447, Rehoboth Beach.
Horn was drafted in 1943 at age 18 and later assigned to the Army’s 36th Infantry Division. After liberating Rome in June 1944, his unit was involved in the invasion of southern France. In August 1944, his company was surrounded and captured by the Germans and sent in unmarked boxcars to a POW camp. He was hit in the leg by shrapnel during an air raid and operated on by German doctors in unsterile conditions and without anesthesia or medicine.
This and the lack of proper nutrition caused infections that nearly cost him his lower leg.
Horn was among 80,000 to 100,000 allied prisoners liberated in April 1945 by the Army’s 14th Armored Division near Moosburg, Germany. He was admitted to an Orangeburg, New York, hospital for a month to help in recovery from his injuries.