JOINT BASE PEARL HARBOR-HICKAM, Hawaii — Just over 75 years ago, John Finn manned a machine gun for two hours firing at Japanese planes strafing him and attacking Naval Air Station Kaneohe Bay on Oahu.
On the other side of the island, Japanese bombers and torpedo planes laid waste to Battleship Row at Pearl Harbor during the Dec. 7, 1941, surprise attack. On the windward side the island, enemy aircraft ravaged Finn’s body with almost two dozen wounds.
A Navy chief aviation ordnanceman, Finn was awarded the first Medal of Honor of World War II. He survived the attack and his wounds, living to the ripe age of 100 when he died in 2010.
On July 8th the Navy commissioned the USS John Finn, its latest Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer.