Marine from San Clemente selected for posthumous Navy Cross for heroism in Afghanistan
Donald Hogan, 20, assigned to the Camp Pendleton-based 1st Battalion, 5th Marine Regiment, was part of a foot patrol in Helmand province on Aug. 26, 2009, when he spotted a kite string from the road to an adjacent cornfield. The string was being pulled taut to detonate a buried bomb.
"Familiar with this common enemy tactic, he immediately recognized that the attack was imminent and that he had only moments to react," according to the Navy Cross citation.
Hogan knocked a Marine out of the way and then turned to yell a warning to others.
"Mortally wounded by the explosion, Lance Cpl. Hogan's extreme act of selflessness saved a Marine's life and allowed the rest of the squad to avoid the full brunt" of the explosion, the citation said.
Hogan graduated from Tesoro High School in Rancho Santa Margarita where he ran cross-country and track. He attended Saddleback College in Mission Viejo before enlisting in the Marine Corps.
For a Marine or sailor, the Navy Cross is second only to the Medal of Honor for combat bravery.
-- Tony Perry in San Diego
Photo: Lance Cpl. Donald Hogan. Credit: Los Angeles Times / file
Readers are invited to share memories about NAME on the California's War Dead database which chronicles the lives of more than 600 Californians who have died while supporting the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.