First Lieutenant Leonard L. Finz
First Lieutenant Leonard L. Finz was commissioned as an Artillery Officer upon graduation 5 May 1945 from Officer Candidate School class 133-45 at Fort Sill, Oklahoma. His first assignment was to the Field Artillery Officers Replacement Pool, Field Artillery Replacement Training Center Fort Sill, Oklahoma.
He was subsequently assigned to Fort Ord, California, where he trained for the planned assault on Japan. He shipped out for Okinawa for assignment to the 27th Infantry Division in July 1945. While enroute, the war ended on V-J Day and he was diverted to the Philippines and subsequently assigned to the 668th Medium Port Company, Base K in Tacloban, Leyte, as a Troop Movement Officer.
On 13 November 1945, he was appointed Assistant Defense Counsel for a Base K Special Courts Martial and one month later he was appointed Defense Counsel. He was not a lawyer and had no previous legal experience. He successfully defended 50 G.I.s in Court Martials during the period. He returned to the states and was released from active duty on 15 August 1946.
On 5 October 2004, 1LT Finz finally received the Army Commendation Medal for his Distinguished Meritorious Service during the period 13 November 1945 to 18 April 1946 in a ceremony held at the World War II Memorial.
His military education includes the Field Artillery Officer Candidate School.
His military awards include the Army Commendation Medal, the Good Conduct Medal, the American Campaign Medal, the Asiatic Pacific Campaign Medal, and the World War II Victory Medal.
Prior to receiving his commission, Finz served as an enlisted man from 23 February 1943 to 4 May 1945 and was the Camp Entertainment Director at Camp Pendleton, Virginia, and served in the 272nd U.S. Army Band.