John William Finn, the last survivor of the 15 Navy veterans who received the Medal of Honor for heroism during the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941, died on May 27 at the Veterans Home of California in Chula Vista. Finn, who retired from the Navy in 1956 with the rank of Lieutenant, was 100 years old.
Finn was a Chief Petty Officer and chief aviation ordnanceman, in command of a 20-man unit whose primary responsibility was to maintain the weapons of a PBY Catalina “flying boat” aircraft squadron at the Kaneohe Bay Naval Air Station, Hawaii.
A flotilla of a four cargo and four passenger ships carrying 10,000 tons of supplies was bound for Gaza on May 27, determined to break an Israeli blockade of the breakaway Palestinian territory.
The Hamas terrorist organization took control of Gaza in the January 2006 parliamentary elections and subsequently triumphed over its less radical Palestinian opponent, Fatah, in the June 2007 Palestinian Civil War.
The May 18 Republican primary win of ophthalmologist Rand Paul for the Kentucky U.S. senate seat being vacated by Sen. Jim Bunning was viewed by many political commentators as a sign of a rising anti-incumbent wave across America. Dr. Paul, who has never held political office, defeated Kentucky Secretary of State Trey Grayson by about a 59 percent-35 percent margin.
Grayson had the backing of the Republican Party establishment behind him, having been endorsed by Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, also of Kentucky, and former Vice President Dick Cheney. Dr. Paul, in contrast, is regarded as a favorite of activists in the grassroots Tea Party movement. That movement, which takes it name from the historic 1773 tax protest in Boston Harbor, is considered closely related to citizen activists who supported Dr. Paul’s father, U.S. Rep Ron Paul (R-Texas), in his 2008 bid for the Republican presidential nomination. A writer for CNN noted: