George Burnice Thornton

Published 5:00 am Friday, October 6, 2000

Memorial services for George Burnice Thornton of Petal wereWednesday, Oct. 4, at Moore Funeral Home in Hattiesburg. Burialwill be in Arlington National Cemetery in Virginia on Oct. 12 withfull military honors.

Mr. Thornton, 82, died Sept. 30, 2000, at the Mississippi StateVeterans Home in Collins.

A retired master sergeant, Mr. Thornton enlisted in the MarineCorps in Feb. 1939. In 1940 he toured Shanghai, China, and in June1941 went to the Philippines, where he was taken prisoner by theJapanese in May 1942. After 40 months in captivity, he was releasedwhen the war ended. He was discharged from the Marine Corps in 1946and enlisted in the Army in 1948 and became an instructor in combatvehicle maintenance at Fort Knox, Ken. He was discharged from theArmy in 1952. In 1954 he began working for the Mississippi NationalGuard at Camp Shelby. He retired there as an inspector in Dec.1977.

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He was the recipient of the Purple Heart, Bronze Star, AmericanDefense Service Medal, American Campaign Medal, Asiatic-PacificCampaign Medal, WWII Victory Medal with one bronze oak leafcluster, Army Reserve Component Achievement Medal, Armed ForcesReserve Medal with 10 year device, Mississippi Medal of Efficiency,Mississippi War Medal with one bronze oak leaf cluster, MississippiEmergency Service Medal with three bronze oak leaf clusters, andthe Mississippi Longevity Medal with four bronze oak leafclusters.

Survivors are his daughter, Wanda Thornton Brock of Hattiesburg;his brothers, Thomas Belton Thornton of Brookhaven; Daniel MeltonThornton of Corpus Christi, Texas, and Kenneth R. Thornton ofOrange Grove, Texas; his sister, Myrtis Thornton Kemp of ColoradoSprings, Colo.; and two grandchildren and sevengreat-grandchildren.