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Hosted by Frank Amato
John Finn Oldest WWII MOH Holder Dies at 100
GSPatton
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California, United States
Joined: September 04, 2002
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Posted: Friday, May 28, 2010 - 03:01 AM UTC
SAN DIEGO -- Retired Navy Lt. John Finn -- the first American to receive America's highest military award for defending Sailors under a torrent of gunfire during the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor -- died Thursday. He was 100.

Finn was the oldest of 97 Medal of Honor recipients from World War II still living. He died at a nursing home for veterans in Chula Vista, outside San Diego, according to a Navy statement.

Despite head wounds and other injuries, Finn, the chief of ordnance for an air squadron, continuously fired a .50-caliber machine gun from an exposed position as bullets and bombs pounded the Naval Air Station at Kaneohe Bay on Oahu. He then supervised the rearming of returning American planes.

"Here they're paying you for doing your duty, and that's what I did," Finn told The Associated Press before his 100th birthday. "I never intended to be a hero. But on Dec. 7, by God, we're in a war."



President Obama said "his modesty does not diminish his extraordinary conduct or the incredible example he has set for our men and women in uniform and for all Americans."

"I had the privilege of meeting Lt. Finn last year, and I was struck by his warmth and humility," Obama said in a statement from the White House.

Finn, who enlisted in the Navy just before his 17th birthday, received the Medal of Honor on Sept. 15, 1942.

He later served as a limited-duty officer specializing in anti-aircraft guns in San Diego, Hawaii, Washington, Panama and aboard aircraft carriers, the Navy said.

Finn retired in 1956 after three decades of service, but he continued to help young Sailors and stayed active in Navy organizations, Lt. Aaron Kakiel said.

He will be buried with full military honors.

God's Speed John - Rest in Peace
md72
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Washington, United States
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Posted: Friday, May 28, 2010 - 03:43 AM UTC
Frank, Thanks for sharing this.

LT. Finn, RIP
majjanelson
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South Carolina, United States
Joined: December 14, 2006
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Posted: Friday, May 28, 2010 - 08:02 AM UTC
An appropriate example of what Memorial Day is all about.

"Lt. Finn, Departing."
Grumpyoldman
Staff Member_ADVISOR
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Florida, United States
Joined: October 17, 2003
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Posted: Friday, May 28, 2010 - 12:23 PM UTC
Rest In Peace Lt Finn.
Bigrip74
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Texas, United States
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Posted: Friday, May 28, 2010 - 01:47 PM UTC
God Speed and thank you Lt. Finn. See you later.

Bob
Treadhead12
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Kentucky, United States
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Posted: Thursday, July 22, 2010 - 03:15 AM UTC
I may have read this earlier, but I have forgotten about LT Finn's passing. Thank you for sharing.

If any one has seen some documentaries about the Pearl Harbor attack may have seen LT Finn talking about the events that day and what he did on that December day. Also, in the movie Tora, Tora, Tora, he was shown engaging Japanese aircraft. He was the sailor manning the machine gun with a PBY close by that exploded, showed him wounded (some blood and his uniform torn) and he did shot down one plane that crashed into an aircraft hanger.

RIP and thank you for your service, LT Finn.