Oldest Medal of Honor Recipient From WWII Dies

Discussion in 'VMBB General Discussion' started by Popeye, May 27, 2010.

  1. Popeye

    Popeye New Member

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    http://www.newsmax.com/US/US-Obit-War-Hero/2010/05/27/id/360377

    Thursday, 27 May 2010 07:25 PM


    Retired Navy Lt. John Finn, the oldest Medal of Honor recipient from World War II, died Thursday at a nursing home for veterans in Southern California. He was 100.

    Finn enlisted in the Navy just before his 17th birthday and went on to become the first man to receive the nation's highest military award for heroism during the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor on Dec. 7, 1941, according to a Navy statement.

    He was oldest of 97 Medal of Honor recipients still living.

    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 in 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."

    Finn received the Medal of Honor on Sept. 15, 1942, from then-President Franklin D. Roosevelt.

    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.

    He 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's been a real inspiration to a number of our aviation ordnance men and an example for the entire Navy," he said.

    Born July 23, 1909, in Los Angeles, Finn lived for 50 years on his ranch near Live Oak Springs, outside San Diego.

    Finn died at the Veterans Home of California in Chula Vista, the Navy said. Officials initially said he had died at his ranch.

    He will be buried with full military honors. Kakiel said the Navy was still working with his family members on the details.
  2. Popeye

    Popeye New Member

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  3. 199er

    199er New Member

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    Hand salute to you sir. May you rest in peace.
  4. rooter

    rooter *VMBB Senior Chief Of Staff*

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    Seems that only in recent years was the expression to a veteran coined:

    THANK YOU SIR FOR THE SERVICE TO OUR/YOUR COUNTRY.......That was a story I'd never heard before and I'm glad it was shared here and now...On the heros passing and almost being Memorial Day.
    I have often referred to the only Medal of Honor recep'nt. I ever knew as I've told my stories and such....the only Navy Seabee ever to be so honored, and that was in 1965 during the Vietnam era....In that tiny, armpit of the world, Construction Mechanic 3rd Class Marvin Shields was to stand above others in battle and be recoginzed for that duty described as 'conspicous gallantry, above and beyond'....Marvin had been in a class I had taught earlier in the year....a class about nuclear, biological, and chemical warfare.. Marvin was later remembered by the instructor staff as being 'that little blond headed clown who put salt in the coffee urn that time making believe something other than water was used in the brew'....isn't that something to recall and laugh about? Marvin was to have a warship named in his honor...When computers come to pass years later, I contacted Marvin's daughter and sent a John's Angel to her in her dads memory... GOD REST YE MERRY GENTLEMEN, WHO LAID YOUR GOOD LIVES DOWN....... Chief
  5. red14

    red14 Active Member

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    RIP. Lt. Finn.
  6. 199er

    199er New Member

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    We are fortunate to have two Medal of Honor recipients living here in Columbia SC; US Army retired Colonel Charles P. Murray Jr. (WW II recipient) and US Army retired Master Sergeant John F. Baker Jr. (Vietnam War). They (and I) are members of our local Military Order of the Purple Heart (Chapter 402) and I’m proud to say that I know both of these heroes personally and am both honored and humbled whenever I’m in there presence. What I find most striking about these two heroes is just how down to earth and genuinely modest they are about there combat service.

    In the Army (not sure about the other services) it’s a long established tradition that whenever you encounter a Medal of Honor recipient you render a hand salute to the recipient as a public display of respect for his receiving this extraordinary award. I as others in our Purple Heart chapter continue to salute theses two heroes whenever we first encounter them in our chapter or in public. I’m amazed how many perplexed looks we receive from people in public when they see us saluting these heroes.

    Heroes such as these continue to serve our country’s servicemen and women. As part of a government program these two MOH recipients visit hospitals both here and in Germany to provide support and encouragement to our wounded. Knowing they do this on an annual recurring basis and that they visit even our most seriously wounded makes me respect these heroes more than ever because they’re continuing to voluntarily serve and contribute to this nation.

    I did not know this Medal of Honor recipient, retired Navy Lt. John Finn, but I am aware of this, he is a special member of the “Greatest Generation” and our country has lost a special piece of living history………………..’hand salute’ to you sir!!!

    Here is a link to this heroes MOH citation and a photograph
    http://www.cmohs.org/recipient-detail/2735/finn-john-william.php
    Last edited: May 28, 2010
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