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A Memorial Day Good Deed

By Wyatt Earp | May 31, 2010

Code Monkey sent me this and I thought it deserved its own post. There is a petition up to name a U.S. Navy ship in honor of the recently-deceased Lt. John William Finn. Who is Lt. John William Finn? He was the last living recipient from the Pearl Harbor attack to earn the Medal of Honor . . .

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 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 U.S. Naval Service.

Naming a ship after this hero is the least the Navy can do, in my opinion.

You can sign the petition by clicking here.

Topics: The Troops | 15 Comments »

15 Responses to “A Memorial Day Good Deed”

  1. Mrs. Crankipants Says:
    May 31st, 2010 at 8:07 pm

    I read his obituary in The NY Times the other morning:

    As he remembered it: “I got shot in the left arm and shot in the left foot, broke the bone. I had shrapnel blows in my chest and belly and right elbow and right thumb. Some were just scratches. My scalp got cut, and everybody thought I was dying: Oh, Christ, the old chief had the top of his head knocked off! I had 28, 29 holes in me that were bleeding. I was walking around on one heel. I was barefooted on that coral dust. My left arm didn’t work. It was just a big ball hanging down.”

    Chief Finn thought he had hit at least one plane, but he did not know whether he had brought it down. When the attack ended, he received first aid, then returned to await a possible second attack. He was hospitalized the following afternoon.

    I had to go over the last two sentences twice to make sure I had read it right. I didn’t know about the ship, personally I think they should rename Oahu after him.

  2. Fenway_Nation Says:
    May 31st, 2010 at 8:08 pm

    I heard they were considering name a class of amphibious craft after John ‘They’re Guilty As Hell’ Murtha. I wish I was joking, but I’m not……

    If the opportunistic, traitorous Murtha is even seriously being considered for such an honor, why is this even a question for Lt. Finn? It should be a matter of what Naval Vessel is going to be named after Finn… a guided missile cruiser or something.

  3. Glenn Mark Cassel AMH1(AW) USN Ret. Says:
    May 31st, 2010 at 8:28 pm

    I hope it is a Fighting Vessel, like a Zumwalt Class Destroyer.

  4. Smite A. Hippie Says:
    May 31st, 2010 at 8:42 pm


    They gotta do it… I mean if they can name a ship after Murtha, or a sub after Carter, the least they can do is name one after a REAL hero.

  5. Smite A. Hippie Says:
    May 31st, 2010 at 8:44 pm

    Fenway – yep, that’s the plan. Just imagine how sickening it’s going to be, for a Marine to be aboard a vessel named after Murtha.

  6. Ingineer66 Says:
    May 31st, 2010 at 8:52 pm

    My first question is, why isn’t there a ship already named for Lt. Finn? On the Murtha issue they better wait until all the people that remember Haditha are dead to name a ship after him. Then they can re-write history to talk about what a great guy he was when they name a ship after him.

  7. RogerDee Says:
    May 31st, 2010 at 8:56 pm

    Done & done. The next Aircraft Carrier that comes out of the Norfolk Naval Shipyard should bear his name.

  8. Wyatt Earp Says:
    May 31st, 2010 at 9:00 pm

    Mrs. Crankipants – First aid after the attack ended. Then went back for more. Damn.

    Fenway_Nation – It’s a shame we don’t have battleships anymore.

    Glenn – A carrier maybe? Can never have enough of those.

    Smite – The Carter. Must suck to serve on that boat.

    Ingineer66 – Murtha and Finn should never be mentioned on the same page.

    Roger – Agreed.

  9. Ingineer66 Says:
    May 31st, 2010 at 10:13 pm

    Good point. My bad.

  10. tjbbpgobIII Says:
    May 31st, 2010 at 11:55 pm

    I would ask for transfers repeatedly if I were unlucky to wind up on the Carter or the Murphy.

  11. proof Says:
    June 1st, 2010 at 12:21 am

    A genuine American hero. RIP, Lt. Finn!
    And by all means, sign the petition!

  12. Wyatt Earp Says:
    June 1st, 2010 at 8:07 am

    Ingineer66 – No worries. I did the same thing earlier.

    tjbbpgobIII – A garbage scowl would be a step up.

    Proof – I think I was #1,769. Should be a lot more than that on the site.

  13. proof Says:
    June 1st, 2010 at 12:56 pm

    2200 plus when I signed

  14. Rick Says:
    June 1st, 2010 at 1:55 pm

    I added my name

  15. Wyatt Earp Says:
    June 1st, 2010 at 9:43 pm

    Proof – A very good start.

    Rick – Thanks. The more, the merrier.