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Camp Pendleton Marine receives Silver Star for Afghanistan firefight

July 16, 2010 |  9:20 am

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A Marine from Camp Pendleton has received the Silver Star for bravery and leadership during a firefight in Afghanistan that began with an insurgent ambush and ended with Marines counterattacking and killing 13 insurgents.

Warrant Officer John W. Hermann, 32, of Tucson, Ariz., received the medal Thursday at a Marine base in Helmand province in Afghanistan where he is serving his second tour. The firefight occurred in 2008 during his first tour; he has also served in Iraq.

Hermann, then a staff sergeant, was on a reconnaissance patrol near the village of Dahaneh when his squad was attacked with mortars, rocket-propelled grenades, small-arms fire and machine-gun fire. Hermann left his vehicle and with another Marine charged toward the enemy position, according to the Silver Star citation.

Hermann "single-handedly" killed insurgents in a trench line, then moved across open terrain and under machine-gun fire to help a wounded Marine. He applied a tourniquet to the Marine's bleeding leg and despite  shrapnel wounds in his own legs returned to assault an insurgent machine-gun position.

"His quick decision-making, technical competence and bravery saved the wounded Marine from enemy fire and enable the platoon to continue clearing the village, resulting in the destruction of 13 enemy fighters," according to the citation, signed by Commandant Gen. James Conway.

At the time, Hermann was an explosive ordnance disposal technician with the 1st Marine Special Operations Battalion.

He is now a platoon commander with the 1st Explosive Ordnance Company, 7th Engineer Support Battalion, 1st Marine Logistics Group.

-- Tony Perry in San Diego

Photo: Warrant Officer John W. Hermann receives the Silver Star from Brig. Gen. Charles Hudson at a ceremony Thursday at Forward Operating Base Delaram II in Afghanistan. Credit: Marine Corps

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