Saturday, December 8, 2012

One of the Americans who defended Pearl Harbor

Chief Aviation Ordnanceman John William Finn, USN

Who was awarded the Medal of Honor for extraordinary heroism and distinguished service during the 7 December 1941 Japanese air attack on Naval Air Station Kanoehe Bay, Oahu, T.H. He is wearing the medal in this photograph.

Medal of Honor citation of Lieutenant John William Finn (as printed in the official publication "Medal of Honor, 1861-1949, The Navy", page 183):

"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."

Photo and text courtesy: Naval History and Heritage Command

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