On thy grave the rain shall fall from the eyes of a mighty nation! ~Thomas W Parsons
John William Finn: First Medal of Honor Recipient of World War II
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 machinegun mounted on an instruction stand in a completely exposed section of the parking ramp, under heavy enemy machinegun strafing fire from the attacking planes.
Although suffering multiple wounds, Lt. Finn continued to operate the gun and to return the enemy’s fire vigorously and with telling effect, throughout the enemy strafing and bombing attacks, 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.