Francis “Frank” Thomas Finn

1921 - 1945

Marine Corps.

Their Story

Francis[1] “Frank” Thomas Finn was born on May 22, 1921, in Temple Hill, Jones County, Iowa, to Francis John Finn and Hannah Marie Foulks Finn.[2] In 1930, his father was a sheet metal worker in a furnace factory. He had four brothers and a sister.[3] Frank married Betyan Waychoff in Benton County, Iowa, in 1941. He entered the Marine Corps June 22,1944, living at Watkins, Iowa, at that time. Before entering the service, he had been employed as a draftsman at Collins Radio Company, Cedar Rapids, Iowa.

“YOU HAVE A JOB TO DO, DO THAT JOB AS AN AMERICAN.” That was the admonition of Col. Ralph A. Lancaster, Des Moines, assistant director of Iowa selective service, to more than 130 Linn County inductees in a mass sendoff. The inductees left Cedar Rapids for Camp Dodge and service at 1:40 a.m. Thursday. Each of them received from the United Service aides a utility kit, sewing kit, shoe polish and cloth, soap, two packages of cigarettes, New Testament, playing cards, candy, a YMCA membership card, a courtesy card entitling them to attend the meetings and use the facilities of any American Legion post, and from the Veterans of Foreign Wars and auxiliary a match case and box of matches. Those headed for the Navy/Marines also received a notebook, writing paper and pencil from the Navy Mothers club.

Private Finn completed recruit training (Basic Training) in the 3rd Recruit Training Battalion, MCB (Marine Corps Base), San Diego, California. During August 1944, Private Finn was assigned to 7th Training Battalion, 2nd Infantry Training Regiment, MCB Camp Pendleton, California. He trained as and was designated an Antitank Gun Crewman (MOS 610) and assigned to the 26th Replacement Draft at MCB Camp Pendleton, California.

In December 1944, Private Finn embarked on the S.S. Sea Bass from San Diego for movement overseas. On January 11, 1945, the S.S. Sea Bass arrived at Guadalcanal. Private Finn was assigned to the Regimental Weapons Company, 4th Marines, 6th Marine Division at Tassafaronga Point on Guadalcanal.

On March 15, 1945, Private Finn embarked on the U.S.S. Marvin H McIntyre (APA-129). This was the first mission for the U.S.S. McIntyre, during which she transported members of the 6th Marine Division to Okinawa.  The U.S.S. McIntyre anchored off Ulithi Atoll on March 24, 1945. The Marines landed on Red Beach One, Okinawa D-Day on April 1. 

Private Finn participated in combat operations on Okinawa until he was killed in action May 19, 1945.[4] He was taking part in the assaults on Sugar Loaf Hill. He left behind a wife, Betyan, and 2 ½ year old son, Dennis.

Private Frank Thomas Finn was originally buried in the 6th Marine Division Cemetery on Okinawa.  On April 2, 1949, Private Finn was laid to rest in a permanent burial site at Rock Island National Cemetery, Rock Island, Illinois,[5] Plot E – 182. At that time his mother was living in Bettendorf, Iowa.

PVT Frank T Finn (1921-1945) – Find a Grave Memorial

Sugar Loaf Hill

[1] – 1930 United States Federal Census

[2] PVT Frank T Finn (1921-1945) – Find a Grave Memorial

[3] – 1940 United States Federal Census

[4] Fold3 – Frank Thomas Finn in US Marine Corps Casualty Indexes

[5] 31 Mar 1949, 17 – Quad-City Times at