Senior Chief Terrell Horne, III

October 26, 1978 - December 2, 2012


Senior Chief Petty Officer Terrell Horne was killed when the rigid hull inflatable boat he was commanding was intentionally rammed by a boat being used to smuggle drugs off Santa Cruz Island, California.

Shortly after midnight, a U.S. Coast Guard aerial patrol had observed a suspicious boat in the area believed to be involved in narcotics trafficking. A boarding team was deployed from the USCGC Halibut to interdict and board the vessel.

The boarding team made contact with the boat, which then accelerated toward them without changing course. The smuggler's boat struck the boarding team's boat, knocking SCPO Horne and a shipmate into the water. Both crewman were immediately recovered. SCPO Horne was transported to a hospital in Port Hueneme, California, where he succumbed to his severe head injuries.

Two illegal aliens on board the smuggler's boat were taken into custody and the boat seized.

SCPO Horne was a U.S. Army veteran and had served in the United States Coast Guard for 14 years and was posthumously promoted to Senior Chief Petty Officer. He is survived by his expectant wife and two sons.


Written by Petty Officer 1st Class Henry Dunphy.

More than 1,000 people gathered at U.S. Coast Guard Base Los Angeles – Long Beach in San Pedro today to attend a memorial ceremony honoring Senior Chief Petty Officer Terrell Horne III, a Coast Guardsman who was killed in the line of duty Dec. 2, 2012, while carrying out law enforcement operations near Santa Cruz Island.

  Memorabilia showcased at a memorial service for Senior Chief Petty Officer Terrell Horne III. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 1st Class Timothy Tamargo.

Memorabilia showcased at a memorial service for Senior Chief Petty Officer Terrell Horne III. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 1st Class Timothy Tamargo.

At 1 p.m., all in attendance stood as the Coast Guard Ceremonial Honor Guard began the ceremony by presenting the colors as the Coast Guard Band played the national anthem.

Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano, Coast Guard Commandant Adm. Bob Papp, Master Chief Petty Officer of the Coast Guard Michael Leavitt and Coast Guard Cutter Halibut’s commanding officer Lt. Stewart Sibert addressed Horne’s family and the other attendees near the water’s edge on the southwest corner of Terminal Island.

Among the rows of dark blue Coast Guard dress uniforms were the blacks, greens and tans of other federal, state and local law enforcement officials, punctuated by the bright red of Royal Canadian Mounted Police.

Napolitano spoke on the importance of the missions that Horne carried out during his life.

“The pain of Senior Chief Horne’s loss will be felt far and wide, across this base, the Coast Guard, the Department of Homeland Security, and our larger law enforcement and military family,” said Napolitano. “But in our time of grief, let us also take comfort in knowing that Senior Chief Horne devoted his life serving the most noble of causes: the protection of our nation; the defense of our freedoms and the rescue of those in distress.”

  The Coast Guard Honor Guard retires the colors at the memorial of Senior Chief Petty Officer Terrell Horne III. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Prentice Danner.

The Coast Guard Honor Guard retires the colors at the memorial of Senior Chief Petty Officer Terrell Horne III. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Prentice Danner.

Coast Guard cutters Blacktip and Narwhal, the same type of cutter Horne was stationed aboard when he was killed, lingered nearby in the channel for the duration of the ceremony.

The Commandant spoke on what it means to be a shipmate and the legacy of Horne’s life.

“Senior Chief Horne lived the Coast Guard ethos and was an example to all. We will forever remember him for his selfless leadership and his courage,” the Commandant said. “He made the ultimate sacrifice in service to his shipmates and the nation, just as he served others throughout his 14 year career. Senior Chief Horne’s legacy as a shipmate, leader, and Coast Guardsman is now indelibly stamped in our service history. This nation is more secure because of him.”

Horne, who was the Halibut’s executive petty officer, was killed when the small boat he was aboard was struck by a panga-style vessel suspected of illicit activities.

Sibert said Horne made a profound impact on the crew of the Halibut during his year-and-a-half stationed aboard. He was not only a shipmate and big brother to the crew but was like a guardian angel. Indeed, one of Horne’s final actions was to pull a fellow crewmember out of the way before the smuggling vessel collided with the Coast Guard small boat.

The playing of taps and a three-round volley fired by the honor guard concluded the ceremony while Jayhawk, Dolphin and Hercules aircrews performed a flyover.

Horne was posthumously advanced to the rank of senior chief petty officer and his family was presented the Coast Guard Medal. He is survived by his wife, Rachel, and sons, Kade and Miller.