Finrow, John Henry, LT

Fallen
 
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Last Rank
Lieutenant
Last Primary NEC
131X-Unrestricted Line Officer - Pilot
Last Rating/NEC Group
Line Officer
Primary Unit
1943-1944, 131X, VB-13
Service Years
1941 - 1944
Lieutenant
Lieutenant

 Last Photo   Personal Details 


Home State
Washington
Washington
Year of Birth
1920
 
This Military Service Page was created/owned by Ruth Linnemeier-Family to remember Finrow, John Henry, LT.

If you knew or served with this Sailor and have additional information or photos to support this Page, please leave a message for the Page Administrator(s) HERE.
 
Casualty Info
Home Town
Spokane, WA
Last Address
Spokane, WA

Casualty Date
Oct 25, 1944
 
Cause
Hostile-Body Not Recovered
Reason
Air Loss, Crash - Sea
Location
Pacific Ocean
Conflict
World War II
Location of Interment
Manila American Cemetery and Memorial - Manila, Philippines
Wall/Plot Coordinates
(cenotaph)

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 Additional Information
Last Known Activity

John Finrow enlisted in the Navy on March 13, 1941 and was first stationed at the Naval Reserve Aviation Base in Seattle, WA. At that time he was a S2c. He was then sent to NAS Jacksonville, FL for flight training after which he received his aviator wings and was commissioned as an Ensign.

LT Finrow was a member of Bombing Squadron 13 (VB-13) stationed aboard the USS Franklin (CV-13). On October 25, 1944 his plane was shot down during combat. His body was not recovered. He was listed as missing in action and later declared dead.
   
Comments/Citation

Service numbers: Enlisted - 5100558   Officer - 112310

Navy Cross
Awarded for Actions During World War II
Service: Navy
Battalion: Bombing Squadron 13 (VB-13)
Division: U.S.S. Franklin (CV-13)
Citation: The President of the United States of America takes pride in presenting the Navy Cross (Posthumously) to Lieutenant John Henry Finrow (NSN: 0-112310), United States Navy, for extraordinary heroism in operations against the enemy while serving as Pilot of a carrier-based Navy Scout Dive Bomber in Bombing Squadron THIRTEEN (VB-13), attached to the U.S.S. FRANKLIN (CV-13), in action against enemy Japanese forces in the Sibuyan Sea during the Air Battle of Leyte Gulf on 24 October 1944. Lieutenant Finrow fought his plane boldly and with relentless determination despite accurate and intense anti-aircraft fire during a brilliantly executed attack on the Japanese battleship MUSASHI, making a direct hit which caused serious damage. By his superb flying ability, indomitable fighting spirit and cool courage, maintained at great personal risk, Lieutenant Finrow contributed immeasurably to the extensive and costly damage inflicted on the Japanese fleet in this vital war area. His conduct throughout this action reflects great credit upon himself, and was in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service.
   
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Mariana and Palau Islands Campaign (1944)/Battle of Guam
Start Year
1944
End Year
1944

Description
Guam, ringed by reefs, cliffs, and heavy surf, presents a formidable challenge for an attacker. But despite the obstacles, on 21 July, the Americans landed on both sides of the Orote peninsula on the western side of Guam, planning to cut off the airfield. The 3rd Marine Division landed near Agana to the north of Orote at 08:28, and the 1st Provisional Marine Brigade landed near Agat to the south. Japanese artillery sank 20 LVTs, and inflicted heavy casualties on the Americans, especially on the 1st Provisional Marine Brigade, but by 09:00 men and tanks were ashore at both beaches. The 77th Infantry Division had a more difficult landing. Lacking amphibious vehicles, they had to wade ashore from the edge of the reef where they were dropped by their landing craft. The men stationed in the two beachheads were pinned down by heavy Japanese fire, making initial progress inland quite slow.



US Marines move inland.
By nightfall, the Americans had established beachheads about 6,600 feet (2,000 m) deep. Japanese counterattacks were made throughout the first few days of the battle, mostly at night, using infiltration tactics. Several times, they penetrated the American defenses and were driven back with heavy loss of men and equipment. Lieutenant General Takeshi Takashina was killed on 28 July, and Lieutenant General Hideyoshi Obata took over the command of the defenders.

Supply was very difficult for the Americans in the first days of the battle. Landing ships could not come closer than the reef, several hundred yards from the beach, and amphibious vehicles were scarce. However, the two beachheads were joined up on 25 July, and the Orote airfield and Apra harbor were captured by 30 July.

The counterattacks against the American beachheads, as well as the fierce fighting, had exhausted the Japanese. At the start of August, they were running out of food and ammunition and had only a handful of tanks left. Obata withdrew his troops from the south of Guam, planning to make a stand in the mountainous central and northern part of the island. But with resupply and reinforcement impossible because of American control of the sea and air around Guam, he could hope to do no more than delay the inevitable defeat for a few days.

Rain and thick jungle made conditions difficult for the Americans, but after an engagement at Mount Barrigada from 2-4 August, the Japanese line collapsed; the rest of the battle was a pursuit to the north. As in other battles of the Pacific War, the Japanese refused to surrender, and almost all were killed. On 10 August, after three weeks of combat, organized Japanese resistance ended, and Guam was declared secure. The next day, Obata committed ritual suicide.
   
My Participation in This Battle or Operation
From Year
1944
To Year
1944
 
Last Updated:
Mar 16, 2020
   
Personal Memories
   
My Photos From This Battle or Operation
No Available Photos

  250 Also There at This Battle:
  • Barr, John Andrew, PO3, (1943-1946)
  • Beckwith, John Edward, S1c, (1942-1945)
  • Besson, John Henry, RADM, (1931-1959)
  • Chavez, Natalio, S1c, (1944-1946)
  • Coggins, Royal Joseph, S1c, (1942-1946)
  • Crookshank, Irvin, PO2, (1942-1946)
  • Dawson, William L., PO2, (1942-1945)
  • Dikel, Samuel, PO2, (1942-1946)
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