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William Horne


Coast Guard Medal

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The President of the United States of America takes pleasure in presenting the Coast Guard Medal to Electrician's Mate First Class William Horne, United States Coast Guard, for heroism for rescuing five people from a pickup truck involved in an accident in Guam on 8 February 2009. While off duty with his family, Petty Officer Horne witnessed a major automobile accident along Route 3 in Dededo, Guam. After stopping his vehicle, he saw a pickup truck on its side near an adjacent burning car. Seizing the initiative and bringing order to the chaos unfolding around him, he directed an onlooker to retrieve a fire extinguisher from a local restaurant and then he approached the flaming vehicle to gauge the likelihood of survivors. Assessing the catastrophic damage to the car and the unrelenting flames enveloping it, he made the decision to disengage from the car and direct his efforts toward rescuing the people trapped inside the pickup truck. Operating within mere feet of the car which was now burning uncontrollably and in danger of exploding, Petty Officer Horne found the pickup's doors inoperable due to the contorted metal. At great peril to his safety, he used the fire extinguisher to shatter the windshield and gain entry. Hearing a voice within the pickup cry out for him to save the children first, Petty Officer Horne removed the youngest child and handed her to a bystander. He then extricated a 9-year old boy and placed him at a safe distance from the crash. Another bystander assisted the third child, and Petty Officer Horne returned again to assist the parents form the pickup truck. He continued to protect those at the scene by controlling the growing crowd of onlookers and directing traffic until the arrival of the Guam Police Department and Guam Fire and Rescue. Petty Officer Horne demonstrated remarkable initiative, exceptional fortitude, and daring in spite of imminent personal danger. His courage and devotion to duty are in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Coast Guard.

General Orders: U.S. Coast Guard Historian's Office

Action Date: 8-Feb-09

Service: Coast Guard

Rank: Technical Sergeant