Skip to comments.The 15 men who earned the Medal of Honor during the Pearl Harbor attacks
Posted on 12/07/2017 5:24:53 PM PST by fugazi
On Sunday, Dec. 7, 1941, Vice Adm. Chuichi Nagumos 1st Air Fleet begins their surprise attack on Pearl Harbor. Two waves of aircraft strike the U.S. Pacific Fleet at anchor, as well as bases across Hawaii. Five of the eight battleships, three destroyers, and seven other ships are either sunk or severely damaged. By days end, 2,718 American sailors, 582 soldiers (including Army Air Forces personnel), 178 Marines, and 103 civilians are dead, dying or wounded.
In a day full of countless acts of American bravery and sacrifice, 15 men and officers of the U.S. Navy earned the Medal of Honor 11 posthumously during the battle. Here are the accounts of their actions.
The President of the United States in the name of The Congress takes pleasure in presenting the Medal of Honor to John William Finn for service as set forth in the following CITATION:
For extraordinary heroism distinguished service, and devotion above and beyond the call of duty. 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, which was under heavy enemy machinegun strafing fire. Although painfully wounded many times,
(Excerpt) Read more at victoryinstitute.net ...
Admiral Kidd was standing on the bridge of the ship when it unexpectedly blew up (as did the ship’s captain). I never have seen where that merited the Medal. How was he any different than any other officer or man that did his duty that day? Compare their actions to some of the others on the list.
But the Navy needed heroes as well as goats that day. The post attack actions of the navy don’t reflect well upon the senior officers of that service.
Finn lived to be a hundred years old and passed a few years ago. RIP.
He was the most unassuming man you would ever hope to meet and was always gracious. He passed a few years ago and the world is a poorer place without him.
Theirs was the greatest generation.
One of my uncles was on a ship docked in Pearl Harbor. His ship was hit by a bomb and he pulled injured people off on many times going back searching the ship while bombing was still happening. He and others stashed injured under upside down life boats on shore. He got a medal, but I don’t know which one.
There were other great generations I’m sure-——world history didn’t start in 1941.
I met John Finn in a casino in Laughlin NV in 1999 and had a beer with him. It was an honor.
That’s the frustrating thing about medals. Some who received them didn’t deserve them. And many never received decorations they rightfully earned, either due to ethnicity, lack of witnesses, poor writing, military politics, operating in places we technically aren’t supposed to be, lost paperwork, or in several cases on a day like Pearl Harbor, too much going on to recognize every deserving action.
Despite the flaws in the system, it doesn’t take away from the valor displayed by so many of our military men and women.
I could not agree more!
I wasn’t referring to world history, the greatest generation in US history.
“——the greatest generation in US history.”
I don’t even know if I agree with that.
The term was never used until Tom Brokaw wrote his book.
U.S. history has some pretty impressive generations.
After reading the citations, It makes you proud,humble, and thankful that American citizens/sailors care so much for their fellow men. Prayers for all. Amen.
Granted, leftist Tom Brokaw is not a good recommend, his book aside, believe what you want but I see it as the greatest. The fact that both my parents, and just about every body I knew of that generation in the little southern town I am from served in WW2, which has little bit to do with what I said.
My dad was in the 2nd Armored Division under Patton early on in the war, then was sent to the Pacific theater. Originally a tanker, he was retrained in amphibious assault craft. He was a wave leader of Amtracks in the invasion of the Philippines. He was in the famous “Wildcat Division,” the 81st, which fought at Anguar (Pelilu).
15? That sounds more then Iwo Jima!
You must be very proud of your Dad——and your Mom too.
27 total, 5 Navy.
As a young lad, I well remember waiting on the dock in San Francisco with my mother, for my Dad to come off the ship after the war. No, she didn’t serve in uniform, but believe me she, too, was of that greatest generation. I know what she went through. You bet I am proud of her.
Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.