A Cenotaph Memorial at the Rhone American Cemetery and Memorial
Draguignan, Departement du Var, Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur, France
Son of John Taylor Horne and Roxie Jane Fullmer
Biography - Kent was born in Almo, Idaho. He was the last and 8th child of John T and Roxie Jane Horne. He was a young man with hopes and dreams which just lasted 23 short years.
In 1939 Kent attended classes at Idaho State University in Pocatello where he enrolled in a special aviation class and gained his pilots license. Kent went to Los Angeles with two older brothers, Theo and Merlin where they all worked at Lockheed Aircraft Corporation. He was able to enlist in the Army Air Corps as an officer in February 1943 and received his basic training at Merced Army Air Base.
He received his Primary flight training at Helmet, California and went on to his Secondary flight training in the AT6 airplane at Williams AFB in Chandler, Arizona. Kent graduated from that training in December of 1943 at which time he was commissioned 2nd Lieutenant and received his pilot wings. He was assigned to Oxnard, CA for 5 months.
In May, 1944 his group was ordered to ship overseas. His family didn't know his destination until they received a letter from him in London, and knew he was in the European area. June 19, 1944 was Kent's final mission.
He was on a combat mission over France and collided with another plane. His body was never recovered. June 20, 1945 he was declared dead. He received a Purple Heart for Military Merit. Kent's name is engraved on a wall in the Rhone American Cemetery, Draguignan, Var, France.
REPORT BY THE FLIGHT LEADER - Today we went south. There was a big show—all of it in France—and our part in it was to meet a box of B-17's near LaRochelle and see that they got back safely over the UK after having bombed their target. They [P 38 Wing] were aiming for the Cognac/Chateaubernard air drome but we never found it and it is doubtful whether they did either. Once again we ran into impossible weather—10/10th's overcast from 2,000 to 29,000 feet—and when we got rendezvous there was no sign of bombers. Although they were contacted on the radio, they never did put in an appearance, and the group finally turned for home. This was a tough-luck mission. Lts. D.D. McClure and L.K. Horne, 435th, collided in a turn at 28,000 feet over the Rendezvous point, and only one chute was reported. The 434th got it too---Lt. Ward Kuentzel was last seen in a spiral dive at 28,000 feet with Lt. Frank Grdenich on his wing. At the end of the mission, the group had seven pilots listed as NYR (not yet returned) but later in the day three of them reported that they had been able to land at Goxhill, some miles north of home base, where the weather was a good deal better. Lieutenant Leland Kent Horne, February 28, 1921 at Almo, Idaho – June 19, 1944 over France
Biscay Bay, June 19, 1944
Lt, United States Air Force, World War II
Entered the service from Idaho.
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