Coast Guard Heroes: Terrell Horne III

The Coast Guard Compass was proud to unveil the first 25 heroes the service’s new fast response cutters would be named for and we are even prouder to share the next 10 names with you in a continuation of our Coast Guard Heroes series. Over the next two weeks we’ll be sharing profiles of the namesakes of the Coast Guard’s fast response cutters, from legends of the U.S. Life Saving Service to courageous men who served during the Vietnam War. Today, we share with you the story of Terrell Horne III.

Written by Christopher Havern

Senior Chief Petty Officer Terrell Horne III climbs onto the ship after conducting water survival training. U.S. Coast Guard photograph by Lt. Stewart Sibert.

Senior Chief Petty Officer Terrell Horne III climbs onto the ship after conducting water survival training. U.S. Coast Guard photograph by Lt. Stewart Sibert.

Terrell Edwin Horne III was born in Mountain View, California, on Oct. 26, 1978. He attended Patterson High School in Patterson, California, and enlisted in the U.S. Coast Guard on Feb. 2, 1999.

Through his career, Horne, a boatswain’s mate, served at Coast Guard Stations Emerald Isle, Humboldt Bay and Charleston, and also sailed aboard Coast Guard Cutter Dallas. He earned two Coast Guard Achievement Medals, qualified for the boat forces operational insignia and the cutterman’s insignia and rose to the rank of Chief Petty Officer.

On Dec. 2, 2012, Horne was serving as the Executive Petty Officer aboard Coast Guard Cutter Halibut, operating out of Marina Del Rey, California. He died from injuries sustained while conducting maritime law enforcement operations off the California coast.

BMCS Terrell HorneCutter Halibut was investigating a panga-type vessel suspected of narcotics smuggling after it was detected by a Coast Guard maritime patrol aircraft. When Halibut’s small boat approached, the suspect panga-type vessel maneuvered at a high rate of speed directly towards the small boat and struck it before fleeing the scene.

At the last minute, in an attempt to safeguard his fellow crewman, Horne pushed him away from the collision. Despite this effort, Horne and the other crewmember went overboard. Injured, both were immediately recovered.

While the other crew member had minor injuries, it was quite apparent that Horne had sustained a traumatic head injury. Cutter Halibut’s crew quickly recovered the small boat and boarding team and immediately administered first aid. Halibut returned to port where emergency medical service units pronounced Horne deceased.

Coast Guard assets later successfully interdicted the fleeing panga-type vessel, boarded it and detained two suspects.

Terrell Horne III stood the watch on the front lines of Coast Guard operations throughout his nearly 14 years of active duty. Throughout his Coast Guard service, his professionalism and commitment, like those before him, ensured that the Coast Guard was always ready to answer the nation’s call.

For his heroic actions Terrell Horne III was posthumously promoted to senior chief petty officer.

Coast Guard Cutter Halibut

Coast Guard Cutter Halibut underway. U.S. Coast Guard photo.

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