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John Finn dies at 100; he was the oldest living Medal of Honor recipient

May 27, 2010 |  1:20 pm


Retired Navy Lt. John Finn, the oldest living Medal of Honor recipient from World War II, died early Thursday on his ranch near Live Oak Springs in San Diego County, where he lived for more than 50 years. He was 100.

Navy Lt. Aaron Kakiel confirmed the death.

Finn earned the nation's highest military valor award for his heroism during the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. He received the Medal of Honor on Sept. 15, 1942, from then-President Franklin D. Roosevelt.

Born July 23, 1909, in Los Angeles, Finn was the oldest of the 97 Medal of Honor recipients still living.

During the Dec. 7, 1941, attack, Finn manned a machine gun and began firing from an exposed location on Japanese aircraft, suffering serious wounds in the process.

A full obituary will follow at

-- Associated Press

Photo: John Finn in 2006. Credit: Associated Press