World War II Sailor Honored With Medals After Waiting 70 Years
NASHVILLE – Tennessee Department of Veterans Affairs Commissioner Many-Bears Grinder presented several medals linked to First Class Petty Officer James L. Horton’s World War II service during a ceremony today. The event was hosted by Morningside of Gallatin to honor Horton who waited 70 years to receive the medals and recognition for his service onboard the USS Denver in 1943 and 1944.
Horton was 23-years old when he served on the USS Denver with 300 other shipmates during World War II. The Gallatin native was aboard the ship when it was on a mission to regain control of Bougainville Island from Japan. During the mission, the ship sustained an air attack that killed 20 crew members. Horton’s mission after World War II was to help recover prisoners of war.
Grinder presented Horton with the Asiatic Pacific Campaign Medal (1 silver service star, 3 bronze service stars), America Campaign Medal, World War II Victory Medal and Combat Action Medal.
“It is a privilege to recognize the World War II service of James Horton,” Grinder said. “He is an American patriot and Volunteer State hero who has waited way too long to receive the recognition he deserved 70 years ago.”
The 93-year old Sumner County native is the only surviving Tennessean to serve on the USS Denver during combat in World War II and is one of only six surviving shipmates nationwide.
Rep. Terri Lynn Weaver (R-Lancaster) performed the “Star Spangled Banner” for the event and the American Legion Post 17 Color Guard in Gallatin posted Colors for the ceremony.