John William Finn is our nation’s oldest living recipient of its highest award for valor, the Medal of Honor (MoH). He is also the last surviving MoH recipient who earned his medal on Dec. 7, 1941, the last living recipient of the Navy’s MoH from World War II, and the only MoH recipient having his Navy rating, that of an Aviation Ordinanceman, to ever be awarded the MoH in the history of the United States Navy.
...when the attack came on that first Sunday morning in December, Chief Finn single-handedly mounted a 50-caliber machine gun on a stand on the base’s aircraft parking ramp and began firing on any attacking enemy aircraft that he could bear on.
John’s position was totally exposed to enemy strafing and bombing attacks, but he kept it up for more than two hours while under attack, despite being wounded five times and in severe pain. Fellow sailors implored him to seek medical care for his wounds, but John steadfastly refused to vacate his firing position until he received a direct order to do so from a superior officer.
Twenty pieces of shrapnel were removed from John’s body by the base’s medical staff
Finn was honored by local civic organizations last month. He is spending his birthday as a guest of George W. Bush and his wife in Crawford, Texas. Link -via Fark