Chief Petty Office John W. Finn was awarded the Medal of Honor for his actions during the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, December 7th, 1941.
Both CDR Salamander and the NY Times profiled him Most memorable...
When Chief Finn arrived at the hangars, many of the planes had already been hit. He recalled that he grabbed a .30-caliber machine gun on a makeshift tripod, carried it to an exposed area near a runway and began firing. For the next two and a half hours, he blazed away, although peppered by shrapnel as the Japanese planes strafed the runways with cannon fire.
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.”
After attending to the premier of the Hollywood movie Pearl Harbor in 1999, he said, “I liked it especially because I got to kiss all those pretty little movie actresses.”
Once a Chief always a Chief. God Speed LT Finn.