Voice of OC to Publish Series on Veterans Memorial Plaques

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Each day from now until Veterans Day, Voice of OC will publish a series in our opinion section that showcases Orange County veterans who received the highest honors the U.S. military bestows on soldiers for their heroic actions in combat.

These soldiers have been memorialized on plaques that until this year were featured along the “Walk of Honor” at the county Civic Center in downtown Santa Ana.

In recent years, the area around the Walk of Honor turned into a makeshift homeless encampment and the plaques became seriously damaged.

Last year, Orange County’s fair board voted to take the plaques from the Civic Center, renovate them and install them in front of the county’s new veterans museum. The plaques will be unveiled at the fairgrounds on Veterans Day, Nov. 11.

Voice of OC is publishing the text of the plaques in part to find out more about these heroes and their lives in Orange County. We encourage readers to use the comment field under each story to help round out the biographies of these remarkable local residents.

The plaques present a gripping narrative of individual efforts to defend our nation.

Two men awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor – Navy Petty Officer Michael A. Monsoor (Iraq) and Marine Lance Corporal Kenneth L. Worley (Vietnam) sacrificed their lives.

In total, there are 28 plaques recognizing sacrifice from World War I through today’s war against terrorism. There are 11 recognized with the Congressional Medal of Honor, four honored with the Distinguished Service Cross, another 12 recognized with a Navy Cross and one with an Air Force Cross.

AWARD FOR VALOR MILITARY BRANCH WAR
Captain Nelson M. Holderman Medal of Honor Army WWI
1st Lieutenant Kenneth A. Walsh Medal of Honor Marine Corp WWII
Staff Sergeant Walter D. Ehlers Medal of Honor Army WWII
Sergeant Chris Carr Medal of Honor Army WWII
Lieutenant (J. G.) Donald A. Gary Medal of Honor Navy WWII
Private First Class Clarence B. Craft Medal of Honor Army WWII
Corporal Tibor Rubin Medal of Honor Army Korean
Captain William E. Barber Medal of Honor Marine Corp Korean
Lance Corporal Kenneth L. Worley Medal of Honor Marine Corp Vietnam
SP4 John P. Baca Medal of Honor Army Vietnam
Petty Officer Michael A. Monsoor Medal of Honor Navy Iraqi War
Sgt. Scott C. Montoya Navy Cross Marine Corp War on Terrorism
Colonel Michael M. Kurth Navy Cross Marine Corp Persian Gulf
LTC. Richard D. Wandke Distinguished Service Cross Army Vietnam
Col. Eugene R. Brady Navy Cross Marine Corp Vietnam
CPL Ernesto Gomez Navy Cross Marine Corp Vietnam
Col. Jacksel M. Broughton Air Force Cross Air Force Vietnam
Colonel William W Eldridge, Jr. Navy Cross Marine Corp WWII
2LT Louis A. Staff Distinguished Service Cross Army WWII
CMDR. Willis E. (Bill) Hardy Navy Cross Navy WWII
LTC Paul F. McLellan Navy Cross Marine Corp WWII
Captain Vernon C. Jordan Distinguished Service Cross Army WWII
Major Sidney Goldstein Distinguished Service Cross Army WWII
LTJG. Fred Leroy Dungan Navy Cross Navy WWII
Lieutenant Donald Lewis Navy Cross Navy WWII
CMDR. Roger C. Crow Navy Cross Navy WWII
Captain Leon M. Williamson Navy Cross Marine Corp WWII
Captain Robert E. Thomas, Jr Navy Cross Navy WWII
  • Michael Fox

    Please add LCPL Donald J. Hogan, USMC, Navy Cross. Donald J. Hogan was born in San Clemente, California, on November 25, 1988, and was killed in action in Helmand Province, Afghanistan, on August 26, 2008. For details and his Navy Cross citation, see http://valor.militarytimes.com/recipient.php?recipientid=35020.