Michael Paul Finley

Lance Corporal
United States Marine Corps
08 October 1946 - 08 May 1967
Big Rock, Illinois
Panel 19E Line 058


Navy Cross

Purple Heart, National Defense, Vietnam Service, Vietnam Campaign

The database page for Michael Paul Finley

30 May 2005

I'm writing this after hearing about Michael from my Grandparents. My Great Grandfather was a friend of the family. They all lived in a very small town in northern Illinois. According to my grandmother, Michael was a great person, and loved by everyone who crossed his path. It's Memorial Day and I was just thinking about him, and was wishing his family peace and wanted them to know how very proud they should be!

A Note from The Virtual Wall

The 1st Battalion, 4th Marines, was among the Allied forces engaged in bitter fighting around Con Thien on 08 May 1967. The 1/4 Marines lost 38 men on that day, 13 of them from Alpha Company. LCpl Michael Finley was one of those men, but an exceptional one. On a day when unusual courage was common, LCpl Finley's actions warranted award of the nation's second highest decoration for valor in combat - the Navy Cross:

The President of the United States
takes pride in presenting the


posthumously to

Lance Corporal
United States Marine Corps

for service as set forth in the following


For extraordinary heroism while serving as a Grenadier with First Platoon, Company A, First Battalion, Fourth Marines, Third Marine Division (Reinforced) at Con Thien, Quang Tri Province, Republic of Vietnam, on 8 May 1967. Two squads from the First Platoon were maneuvering across an open strip to stop the enemy penetration of the perimeter at Con Thien when they were pinned down by intense fire from a numerically superior North Vietnamese Army force in a revetment behind two burning amphibious tractors. Realizing that the squad was taking heavy casualties, Lance Corporal Finley, with complete disregard for his own personal safety, leaped from his covered position and accurately fired two M-79 grenades at the enemy position. Although he was wounded, he scored two direct hits on an enemy machine gun, destroying it and killing its crew. Once again, with complete disregard for his own safety, he lunged forward through a hail of enemy fire to give aid to a wounded Marine lying in the open. After giving first aid to the wounded Marine, he noticed that his squad leader was also seriously wounded. Again he fearlessly exposed himself to give assistance to his squad leader, but was mortally wounded. By his daring initiative, valiant fighting spirit and selfless devotion to duty in the face of insurmountable odds, Lance Corporal Finley was responsible in a great measure for saving many of his comrades and thereby upheld the highest traditions of the United States Marine Corps and the United States Naval Service. He gallantly gave his life for his country.

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21 Jun 2005

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With all respect
Jim Schueckler, former CW2, US Army
Ken Davis, Commander, United States Navy (Ret)
Last updated 06/21/2005