Voice of OC: Series on Veterans Memorial Plaques at Heroes Hall

Voice of OC has published a series in our opinion section of some of Orange County’s most notable veterans who received the highest honors the U.S. military bestows on soldiers for their heroic actions in combat. Plaques honoring these individuals are showcased at Heroes Hall at the Orange County Fairgrounds.

In Memory: Worst Air Disaster in OC History

This Veterans Day Voice of OC is publishing the most recent plaques on display at Heroes Hall honoring some of Orange County’s most decorated veterans. The most recent plaque was erected to honor the 84 men who were killed when the plane transporting them to Viet Nam crashed into Loma Ridge after take off from El Toro Marine Air Station on June 25, 1965.

Hogan: U.S. Marine Corps, Navy Cross, Afghanistan

The President of the United States of America presented the Navy Cross (Posthumously) to Lance Corporal Donald J. Hogan, United States Marine Corps, for extraordinary heroism in action during Operation Enduring Freedom-Afghanistan.

Masuda: U.S. Army, Distinguished Service Cross, WWII

Kazuo Masuda was an Orange County resident who received posthumously the Distinguished Service Cross in 1945. Masuda was a member of the 442nd Regimental Combat Team and died while defending his men during an escape while fighting the enemy alone. His family was taken from Orange County and placed in a Japanese Interment Camp during the war. But this horrible injustice did not deter him from fighting for his country so heroically.

Veterans Cemetery Location in Irvine Still Unclear

The location of Orange County’s first veterans cemetery remains unclear after the Irvine City Council directed staff to identify a site in or around the Great Park and put the project through the planning process. Councilman Jeff Lalloway brought a motion Tuesday night to reinstate original cemetery site near the heart of the former El Toro Marine Corps Air Station, adjacent to the Great Park. But, before it could go to a vote, Mayor Don Wagner introduced a substitute motion that directs different commissions and city staff to start studying the original site and explore other city-owned land. “Give me a site,” Wagner told Voice of OC after the meeting. “You tell me where it can be … is it a golf course (that’s slated to be built in the Great Park)?