Augustus Francis Horn

(Nyack, New York, January 20, 1897 [1895?] – Boston [?], September 9, 1959).1

Horn was born, apparently an only child, in Nyack, a village on the Hudson about twenty miles north of Manhattan; by 1900 he and his parents were living in Manhattan.2 His father, Augustus E. Horn, worked as a barber on the American Line’s S.S. St. Louis, which had regular routes between New York and Liverpool and Southampton.3

Horn’s birth year appears on the 1900 and 1910 censuses as 1897, and I find no draft registration for him, suggesting he was too young to be required to register on June 5, 1917.4 However, in the New York, Abstracts of World War I Military Service, 1917-1919  his age is given as twenty-two in February of 1917, indicating a birth date of 1895.5

A printed card with typewritten information about Horn.
One of two cards for Horn among the New York, Abstracts of World War I Military Service.

This could be an error, but it probably means that Horn pushed his birth date back when he enlisted.  I have found no record of college attendance. He went to ground school at Kelly Field at the University of Texas and graduated August 25, 1917.6

There were about thirty-six men in Horn’s ground school class; ten, including Horn, chose or were chosen for training in Italy, and these ten were among the 150 men of the “Italian” or “second Oxford detachment” who sailed to England on the Carmania.

From p. 9 of the Poughkeepsie Eagle-News of November 9, 1917.

They left New York September 18, 1917, and arrived at Liverpool October 2, 1917. There they learned that they were not bound for Italy but instead were ordered to Oxford, where they attended ground school (again).

The War Birds entry for November 18, 1917, includes the remark that “I saw Horn, Knox, Taber, Roth, Neely, Watts and a couple of others,” implicitly while the writer was at Stamford. Coupled with the fact that Horn’s name does not appear on fellow detachment member Fremont Cutler Foss’s lists of men assigned to squadrons from Grantham, this suggests that Horn was among the twenty men selected by Elliott White Springs to go directly from Oxford to Stamford for flight training in early November and that he was thus not among the men who went from Oxford to Grantham.7 I have found no other information about Horn’s training in Great Britain. He was one of many cadets whose appointments as first lieutenants Pershing recommended in a cable dated April 8, 1918; the appointments were confirmed in a cable dated May 13, 1918.8   A brief mention by Joseph Kirkbride Milnor in his diary on June 12, 1918, suggests that Horn was in Lincoln:  they had dinner at the Albion there.  Horn appears not to have been assigned to an operational squadron, but to have been assigned to the A.E.F.’s Services of Supply, probably in early August 1918.9

A printed card with information about Horns military service typed in.
The second of two cards for Horn from New York, Abstracts of World War I Military Service.

On December 21, 1918, Horn boarded the S.S. Antigone at St. Nazaire for the trip back to the U.S., arriving at Newport News, Virginia, January 3, 1919.10 His World War II draft registration shows him the owner of Grafmar Kennels near Boston, and he and his second wife became well known as breeders of Weimaraners.11

mrsmcq April 25, 2018


(For complete bibliographic entries, please consult the list of works and web pages cited.)

1  For Horn’s place and probable date of birth (1897), see, U.S., World War II Draft Registration Cards, 1942, record for Augustus Francis Horn.  See the discussion in text regarding his year of birth. For his date of death, see, U.S., Social Security Applications and Claims Index, 1936–2007, record for Augustus F Horn. His place of death is surmise.  I have not been able to find a photo of him.

2, 1900 United States Federal Census, record for Augustus Horn.

3, Applications for Seaman’s Protection Certificates, 1916-1940, record for Augustus E. Horn.

4, 1910 United States Federal Census, record for Augustus F Horn; see above for 1900 census.

5, New York, Abstracts of World War I Military Service, 1917–1919, record for Augustus F Horn.

6  “Ground School Graduations [for August 25, 1917].”

7  See Foss, diary entry for November 15, 1917; and Foss, “Cadets of Italian Detachment Posted Dec 3rd” (in Foss, Papers).  Note:  The Captain Horn mentioned in War Birds is Spencer Bertram Horn who flew with No. 85 Squadron R.A.F.

8  Cablegrams 874-S and 1303-R.

9  See, New York, Abstracts of World War I Military Service, 1917–1919, record for Augustus F Horn.

10  War Department, Office of the Quartermaster General, Army Transport Service, Lists of Incoming Passengers, 1917 – 1938, Passenger list, S. S. Antigone.

11  See Arkansas Weimaraner Rescue.