RIP Lt John Finn…

A little over a year ago I met some very amazing men. The all had received the Medal Of Honor and wore it with pride for all those who served with them. None of them claimed it as their own.  I was told before going to this gathering I had to take Guinness and drink one with Lt John Finn.  And so I did.

On Dec 7th 1941 many Heroes were made. John Finn is one of those men who received the Medal of Honor for his bravery on that day.  He said he didn’t deserve it and simply held it for all the others who fought and died that December day.  I disagree. On that Dec. Morning John held his position firing on the enemy for over two hours even though he himself had been hit 21 times. Several of his wounds serious.  Once the skies were quiet he sought medical help after being ordered to and then returned to help rearm the remaining airplanes at Kanoehe Bay.  Because Kanoehe was hit 5 minutes before Pearl Harbor many believe that John Finn is the first one to earn the Medal of Honor during WW2.  But when you sit and listened to his stories he told you of his men not of himself.  Even at 99 years old his mind was sharp and he loved to share his stories with those who would listen.

Today we lost his hero.. He was 100, nearly 101. I knew he had been ill. My heart breaks that we lost this hero. Words he spoke to me changed my life. I will never forget him overhearing a conversation I was having stopping his conversation and pointing at me saying “I like you”. Very seldom have words made me so proud as being told I was liked by John Finn. After that  he and I sat for nearly 2 hours and just talked. I listened to his stories about his wife and his men and he listened to mine about my son and his brothers.

I’m sad I will never get to sit with Mr. Finn again but in a odd way I am happy for him. He has peace now. He is with his beloved wife Alice. And I have to believe he got one hell of a welcome to Heaven. I can see them lining up to have a Guinness with Mr. Finn.  I had the honor and now I need to believe it is my son’s turn.

Thank you John.. for your service and for being so kind to me. Thank you for defining my mission. I was honored to know you sir.


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13 Responses to RIP Lt John Finn…

  1. ChrisIsRIGHT May 27, 2010 at 6:16 pm #

    And so another brave hero passes. I wish I’d gotten the chance to know him, but by reading your post, I feel like – in a small way – I did.

    Rest In Peace, John

  2. Julie Weathers May 27, 2010 at 6:20 pm #

    Thank you for sharing this. I have been misting up all day, thinking about what Memorial Day really means.

    God bless you and RIP Lt Finn

  3. Bigfoot May 27, 2010 at 8:02 pm #

    With those 100 years under his belt, Lt. Finn will be leading his new heavenly friends in a chorus of 100 Bottles Of Beer On The Wall. Bottles of Guinness, of course.

  4. Leigh Ann Erdman May 28, 2010 at 7:03 am #

    Another American hero leaves us. Make he enjoy dancing in heaven with his beloved wife. Thanks for sharing his story.

  5. TetVet68 May 28, 2010 at 7:22 am #

    Remember Pearl Harbor — Keep America Alert!

    (Now deceased) America’s oldest living Medal of Honor recipient, living his 101st year is former enlisted Chief Petty Officer, Aviation Chief Ordnanceman (ACOM), later wartime commissioned Lieutenant John W. Finn, U. S. Navy (Ret.). He is also the last surviving Medal of Honor, “The Day of Infamy”, Japanese Attack on the Hawaiian Islands, Naval Air Station, Kaneohe Bay, Oahu, Territory of Hawaii, 7 December 1941.

    Visit my photo album tribute:

    San Diego, California

  6. Will S May 28, 2010 at 10:11 am #

    Thanks… for remembering, and for your own sacrifices. I’d like to also make a extra salute to the late, great Robert Howard, another of SOG’s (and America’s)finest, who served gallantly in, and around, Vietnam… God bless you all…

  7. Louis F. Spagna May 28, 2010 at 10:37 am #

    There’s no telling how many Americans lived through that Day of Infamy because John and the others he talked about were there at their posts. He will be remembered and missed.

  8. Fozzy May 28, 2010 at 11:08 am #

    I got the honor to talk with Mt Finn at the same event. I saw Mr Finn sitting there and walked up and told him that it was an honor to meet him and thanked him for being there in Ganesville that day. I reached out to shake his hand and he gripped my hand and pulled me close to him so I could hear him. We spoke of Micheal and what the Medal of Honor to him was all about and what he thought American’s responsibility was to those who come home. We as a nation owe them everything that they will ever need. I will never forget the short time I got to spend with this fine man. I got to talk to a real slice of American history and I will cherish this forever.

  9. Bob Dobb May 28, 2010 at 7:22 pm #

    Good on you, Knottie, Gold Star Mom.

    Take the time to converse with a WWII Veteran, people.

    You will never forget it.

  10. Dana Williams May 28, 2010 at 8:07 pm #

    Far too many heroes of our previous generations are leaving us, but we can take consolation that a new generation of American heroes proudly wear the uniform of their country today … and tomorrow. God bless them all. DLW

  11. Greg May 30, 2010 at 7:09 am #

    Our greatest generation continues it’s quiet exit and leaves to us the responsibility of protecting our freedoms secured by their sacrifice. “Lord,…in wrath remember mercy” Habakkuk 3:2

  12. Charles Epperson May 30, 2010 at 9:26 am #

    Godspeed Sir.

    Day is done, gone the sun
    From the lakes, from the hills, from the skies
    All is well, safely rest;
    God is nigh.

  13. Maggie May 30, 2010 at 4:11 pm #

    There is an online petition requesting that the US Navy name a ship in LT Finn’s honor

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