James Edward Hornsby
Pfc. James Edward (Ed) Hornsby, a graduate of De Leon High School and the son of Joseph G. and Nora Altum Hornsby was killed in action in Luxembourg on December 24, 1944. Born on January 12, 1924, he was less than a month shy of his 21st birthday. His family lived in the Downing area.
He entered the Army May 17, 1944 at Camp Wolters near Mineral Wells, Texas, first training at Camp Fannin at Tyler, Texas and subsequently at Fort Meade, Md. before going to Europe.
He was one of many new troops thrown into action against the German counter- offensive broadly referred to as the Battle of the Bulge. Hornsby was killed on his first day in combat. December 24th effectively marked the turning point of the battle.
Just before he left for Europe, his cousin Truman Hornsby who was on leave from Italy, gave him a military Bible with a metal cover and and a bullet hole. Truman told him to carry it with him as it had already saved one man’s life and maybe it would save his.
He was awarded the Purple Heart and was buried in the De Leon Cemetery following the war.