Rank and organization:   Corporal, U.S. Army, Troop D, 89th Cavalry Reconnaissance
Squadron, 9th Armored Division.
Place and date:   Near Grufflingen, Belgium,
21 December 1944.
Entered service at:   Keyport, N.J.
G.O. No.: 80, 19 September 1945. Citation. He was the leader of a combat
patrol on 21 December 1944 near Grufflingen, Belgium, with the mission
of driving German forces from dug-in positions in a heavily wooded area.
As he advanced his light machinegun, a German Mark Ill tank emerged from
the enemy position and was quickly immobilized by fire from American light
tanks supporting the patrol. Two of the enemy tankmen attempted to abandon
their vehicle but were killed by Cpl. Thorne's shots before they could
jump to the ground. To complete the destruction of the tank and its crew,
Cpl. Thorne left his covered position and crept forward alone through intense
machinegun fire until close enough to toss 2 grenades into the tank's open
turret, killing 2 more Germans. He returned across the same fire-beaten
zone as heavy mortar fire began falling in the area, seized his machinegun
and, without help, dragged it to the knocked-out tank and set it up on
the vehicle's rear deck. He fired short rapid bursts into the enemy positions
from his advantageous but exposed location, killing or wounding 8. Two
enemy machinegun crews abandoned their positions and retreated in confusion.
His gun Jammed; but rather than leave his self-chosen post he attempted
to clear the stoppage; enemy small-arms fire, concentrated on the tank,
killed him instantly. Cpl. Thorne, displaying heroic initiative and intrepid
fighting qualities, inflicted costly casualties on the enemy and insured
the success of his patrol's mission by the sacrifice of his life.
This data was extracted from the Committee on Veterans' Affairs, U.S. Senate, Medal of Honor Recipients: 1863-1973 (Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office, 1973)