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World War II Veteran Honored by AUSN for His U.S. Navy Service

Finn shakes hands with retired U.S. Navy Capt. Roger N. Blomquist after a ceremony in Finn’s honor. His family, friends and Smith Village residents gathered to thank Finn for his service. (Photo credit: Beverly Review)

World War II Veteran Honored by AUSN for His U.S. Navy Service

By Jim Lynch, The Beverly Review (Reprinted with permission)

Originally Published May 7, 2024

On April 28, Beverly resident and World War II veteran James J. Finn was honored with a special ceremony at Smith Village conducted by the Association of the United States Navy.

Finn, 100, served from 1942 to 1946 during World War II as a U.S. Navy combat air crewman. He earned the rank of petty officer first class.

Finn saw combat in the South Pacific against enemy submarines and kamikaze pilots. He even survived a typhoon.

“He contributed a lot to all of these operations and eventually to the victory,” said Roger Blomquist, a retired U.S. Navy Captain. “He’s a very special guy.”

Blomquist said there were millions of special guys who fought in WWII, but “a bunch of them didn’t come back.”

“Mr. Finn would be the first one to say that,” said Blomquist. “That seems to be a common thread amongst all the World War II veterans who I’ve talked with.”

Blomquist also shared some information about the various medals Finn earned throughout his service in the U.S. Navy.

“He earned the Air Crew 3 Insignia, the World War II Victory Medal, and, of course, an honorable service pin,” said Blomquist. “Sitting right here is an enormous amount of history that those of us who have never been in actual combat cannot imagine. And, it wasn’t just once; it wasn’t just a few times; it was over and over and over again.”

Finn was also awarded the Air Medal, the Combat Action Medal and a Presidential Unit Citation.

Blomquist presented Finn with a medallion from the Association of the United States Navy as well as a certificate of appreciation.

“Your commitment to the excellence of tireless efforts have greatly contributed to the national security for the United States of America,” said Blomquist while presenting Finn the certificate. “Your passion, professionalism and positive attitude have inspired those around you, and your contributions have not gone unnoticed.”

After the presentation, Finn expressed his gratitude for Blomquist and all who came out to support him at the ceremony.

“I’m totally surprised, and I’m utterly amazed at the turnout today with such great friends,” said Finn. “I’m just astounded by this tribute. Thank you.”

James J. Finn, a 100-year-old World War II veteran, was honored during a ceremony on April 28 at Smith Village (Photo credit: Beverly Review)

AUSN thanks U.S. Navy Captain Roger Blomquist and Navy Commander T.S. Shankar who assisted us in coordinating the effort to recognize and thank James Finn for his service at his home in the Chicago area.



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