Ash scattering ceremony honors Dec. 7 survivor

(U.S. Navy photo by MC2 Laurie Dexter)


By MC2 Laurie Dexter, Navy Public Affairs Support Element Detachment Hawaii

Ashes of the late Pearl Harbor survivor Navy Chief Petty Officer Daryl L. Finch were scattered into the waters at the USS Utah Memorial on Ford Island, Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam during a ceremony Sept. 9.

Finch was born Sept. 9, 1920 in Fairbanks, Iowa, making the day of the ceremony his 95th birthday.

He joined the U.S. Navy in 1938 and upon completion at Recruit Training Command, he received orders to the battleship USS Oklahoma (BB 37) in Pearl Harbor.

After spending time as a mess cook aboard the Oklahoma, he was sent to metal smith school and later was reassigned to the naval aviation supply center on Ford Island.

“He was very fortunate to have been at the supply center on Dec. 7,” said Jim Taylor, Pearl Harbor survivor liaison. “The USS Oklahoma had over 400 casualties that day.”

During the morning of the 1941 Japanese attacks, Finch was in the medical clinic on Ford Island helping injured personnel.

According to Finch’s daughter, Sandie Holstein, he didn’t talk about the attack on Pearl Harbor. “We, the daughters, knew almost nothing about that time,” said Holstein. “As far as his military service, he loved flying and he loved the Navy.”

According to Holstein, her father was a sportsman. He loved hunting, fishing and playing golf.

Geri Erickson, Finch’s daughter, said she was grateful for the ceremony.

“It’s just amazing to me,” said Erickson. “I’m so happy they were able to take care of and do what my dad wanted. So I just thank God, and I thank the Navy for being able to do this for us.”


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