PEARL HARBOR (NNS) -- The nation's oldest living Medal of Honor (MOH) recipient arrived on historic Ford Island Dec. 6 to view a 2009 USS Arizona Memorial biodiesel white boat named in his honor.
After being greeted by Rear Adm. Dixon Smith, commander, Navy Region Hawaii and Naval Surface Group Middle Pacific, and Capt. Richard Kitchens, commanding officer of Naval Station (NAVSTA) Pearl Harbor, MOH recipient retired Navy Lt. John Finn stepped aboard his boat and was hosted for a tour of the harbor.
"This is the best thing that's ever happened to me," said Finn, as he took a look at the boat, one of five vessels that shuttle thousands of visitors a day to the USS Arizona Memorial and the first to use new energy-efficient clean fuel technology.
Finn received his Medal of Honor from Fleet Adm. Chester W. Nimitz for heroism and distinguished service during the Japanese attack on Oahu. Finn is now the sole survivor of 15 Sailors who received the Medal of Honor for their actions Dec. 7, 1941.
Smith and Kitchens helped Finn step aboard his boat before Finn was taken for a ride past the USS Arizona Memorial.
"Thank you for everything that you have given to our country. It is a privilege and an honor to present this boat to you," said Smith. "Welcome to your boat sir."
Chief Boatswain's Mate Jeff Iovine and Boatswain's Mate Seaman Evan King, both assigned to NAVSTA Pearl Harbor's Arizona detachment, had the opportunity to talk with Finn during the visit.
"It was really exciting and an honor just to hear him talk about his career and all the things that he's seen and done," said Iovine.
"He was really great and very spirited," King said. "He is a 100-year-old war hero and is still kicking it with fire."
Upon returning to the pier, Finn thanked the Sailors for his memorable day before departing historic Ford Island.
On Dec. 7 Finn attended the Klipper Monument Flag Raising ceremony at Marine Corps Base Hawaii Kaneohe, where he visited his namesake building. The John W. Finn Building houses the headquarters for Commander, Patrol and Reconnaissance Force, U.S. Pacific Fleet.
For more news from Commander, Navy Region Hawaii, visit www.navy.mil/local/cnrh/.