Wed, Jun 02, 2010
Was Cited For Heroism During Attack On Pearl Harbor
15 Navy men were awarded the Medal of Honor following the
Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. The last of those heroes passed
away last Thursday at the age of 100, the oldest living recipient
of the nation's highest award for valor.
Navy Photo Of Lt. John Finn (Ret) Taken In 2007 At A
Ceremony In Pearl Harbor
John W. Finn was a Navy Chief Petty Officer at Kaneohe Bay Naval
Air Station on December 7th, 1941. He was in charge of munitions at
the station, about 12 miles from Battleship Row. The 15-year
navy veteran heard the airplanes on that Sunday morning, and then
saw them streak one-by-one past the window of his apartment where
he lived with his wife.
On arriving at the air station, he found the battle fully
engaged, and several aircraft had already been destroyed. Finn
grabbed a .30 caliber machine gun, put together a makeshift tripod,
and fought back for two and a half hours despite being wounded
several times by the strafing and bombing Japanese aircraft.
The New York Times reports that he received the Medal of Honor
from Admiral Chester Nimitz on September 15, 1942. At the time,
Nimitz recognized Finn's “magnificent courage in the
face of almost certain death.”
Finn passed away last week at a nursing home in Chula Vista, CA.
This death was announced by the Department of Veterans Affairs.
Finns wife preceded him in death in 1998. He is survived by a son,
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