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May 27, 2010

Lt. John Finn, USN (Ret.), Medal of Honor, Passes at 100

Just a couple of months before his 101st birthday. DrewM mentioned him to me last year, when he attended the Pearl Harbor commemoration ceremony in December. Mary Katharine Ham wrote a great piece about him back then too, which included this from his Medal of Honor Citation:

For extraordinary heroism distinguished service, and devotion above and beyond the call of duty. During the first attack by Japanese airplanes on the Naval Air Station, Kaneohe Bay, on 7 December 1941, Lt. Finn promptly secured and manned a .50-caliber machinegun mounted on an instruction stand in a completely exposed section of the parking ramp, which was under heavy enemy machinegun strafing fire.

Although painfully wounded many times, he continued to man this gun and to return the enemy's fire vigorously and with telling effect throughout the enemy strafing and bombing attacks and with complete disregard for his own personal safety. It was only by specific orders that he was persuaded to leave his post to seek medical attention.

Following first aid treatment, although obviously suffering much pain and moving with great difficulty, he returned to the squadron area and actively supervised the rearming of returning planes. His extraordinary heroism and conduct in this action were in keeping with the highest traditions of the U.S. Naval Service.

2_Obit_Finn_War_Hero_sff_300.jpg

Chief Ordnanceman John Finn being congratulated by his wife Alice after being awarded the Medal of Honor

He was the oldest surviving Medal of Honor recipient from World War II. He served in the Navy until 1947.


RIP Lt. Finn.



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posted by Dave In Texas at 07:54 PM

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