John W. Finn, the last survivor of the 15 Navy men who received the Medal of Honor for heroism during the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, died Thursday May 27th, 2010 at a nursing home in Chula Vista, Calif. He was 100 and had been the oldest living recipient of the medal, the nation’s highest award for valor.
US Navy Lieutenant at the Naval Air Station, Kaneohe Bay, Territory of Hawaii, 7 December 1941.
Mr. Finn was born 23 July 1909, Los Angeles, Calif. His 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.