Michael Thomas "Mickey" Finn was born on February 12, 1894 in Vale Summit, Maryland. He enlisted in the Marine Corps on November 8, 1915, but had to leave the Marine Corps in 1916 due to family hardships. At the time, it was possible to purchase your way out of the Marine Corps. He worked for the Ford Motor Company to provide for his family.
Michael Finn reenlisted in the Marine Corps on April 25, 1917, when the US declared war on Germany. In Europe, Michael Finn rapidly achieved the rank of Sergeant. He fought at the battles of Belleau Wood, Soissons, St. Mihiel, Blanc Mont, and the Meuse-Argonne.After the war, Gunnery Sergeant Finn served with the occupation forces until July 4, 1919. He was discharged on August 13 1919, and reenlisted October 20, 1920. He would serve continually in the Marine Corps until his retirement on April 30, 1948.
During Michael Finn's long career, he served three tours in Nicaragua, a tour with the Marine detachment on board the battleship New York, as a prison warden in Hampton Roads, and as head instructor at the Sea School at the Norfolk Navy Yard. He also represented the Marine Corps in rifle and pistol competitions, as a baseball player,and as a boxer. In 1936, Gunnery Sergeant Finn was promoted to the new rank of Master Gunnery Sergeant. He was the first of six promotions to the new rank. He held the rank until 1946, when the rank was abolished. (The rank was re-established in 1959.) As a result, he retired with the rank of Master Sergeant.
Over his career, Michael Finn earned the following awards: Silver Star, Croix la Guerre, Fourragere, Medal of Merit (Nicaragua), and eight Good Conduct Medals. He also received the Gold Distinguished Marksman and Distinguished Pistol in 1926. Michael Finn was rated expert with the pistol, the BAR (Browning Automatic Rifle), and rifle. After leaving the Marine Corps, Michael Finn worked for the Civil Service for a number of years. Mickey Finn died July 23, 1983, at the age of 89.