In one of those wonderfully honorable gestures we don’t hear about very much, these days, a group of Navy and Marine Corps aviation ordnancemen held a ceremony at the U. S. naval base in Bahrain, June 21, honoring a Pearl Harbor veteran who is the oldest living recipient of the Medal of Honor, the nation’s highest award for military valor.
John Finn, 99, was a chief ordnanceman stationed at Kaneohe Bay Naval Air Station on Dec. 7, 1941, when Japanese aircraft bombed the base during their surprise attack on U.S. military installations in Hawaii. He set up a machine-gun post near a hangar and fired repeatedly at waves of attacking aircraft, despite suffering injuries.
Admiral Chester Nimitz awarded the Medal of Honor to Finn nine months later. Finn is the only aviation ordnanceman ever to receive the award.
During the ceremony in Bahrain, the sailors and Marines hoisted a flag that it to be flown aboard several aircraft carriers before being presented to Finn in July, during festivities at San Diego for his 100th birthday.