Yesterday was John Finn’s 100th birthday. Who is he, you ask? The Nation’s oldest living Medal of Honor recipient, that’s who.
For action at Pearl Harbor. You know, just doing what Chiefs do. Which is make shit happen.
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, Kanoehe Bay, on 7 December 1941, Lieutenant Finn promptly secured and manned a 50-caliber machine gun mounted on an instruction stand in a completely exposed section of the parking ramp, which was under heavy enemy machine-gun 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 United States Naval Service.
I had the honor of meeting John Finn at the commissioning of USS GREEN BAY. He’s still sharp for a 100-years on this earth. And like all MOH winners I’ve met, incredibly humble about his experiences and appreciative of what today’s military is doing.
*** UPDATE ***: The crew of STENNIS gives a shout out to the man!