Finneran, George C.

George C. Finneran U.S. Army WWII
George C. Finneran U.S. Army WWII

Alternative Views:

Date of Birth: 2/25/1920
Died On: 7/28/2004
Street Address: Manursing Lodge
Service Number: 32899847
Branch of Service: U.S. Army - British American Ambulance Corps

Veteran Code: USARMY-211

George C. Finneran

George Conway Finneran was born on February 25, 1920, in Rye, New York, his father, John, was 49 and his mother, Agnes, was 36. In Rye his family lived at Manursing Lodge and consisted of his father John, his mother Agnes, and his younger brother John. George’s father had a high school education, and worked as a successful broker. George’s mother also had a high school education, and was a homemaker.

George was a proud member of the Rye High School class of 1938. In high school he participated in Track, band, the stage craft club, and the drivers club.

Following high school, George volunteered in the British American Ambulance Corps. Early in 1941. He was aboard the S. S. Zamzam which was sunk by the Germans on April 17, 1941. He was taken prisoner by the Germans and brought to German occupied France. Since the United States was not yet at war with Germany the German government released George and the other Americans, including Robert L Redgate also from Rye.
Merrills Marauders
Soon after returning home George enlisted in the U.S. Army and would serve in Burma and India during World War II in the Galahad Brigade or more popularly known as Merrill's Marauders. Merrill’s Marauders (named after Frank Merrill) or Unit Galahad, officially named the 5307th Composite Unit (Provisional), was a United States Army long range penetration special operations jungle warfare unit, which fought in the South-East Asian theatre of World War II, or China-Burma-India Theater (CBI). The unit became famous for its deep-penetration missions behind Japanese lines, often engaging Japanese forces superior in number. George received, an honorable discharge in September of 1945. (Read More)

Shortly after the War, George received a degree in journalism from the University of California in Berkeley, where he met and married Carol Fischer. They moved to Santa Monica, where his son Brian was born in 1953. Carol and George divorced in 1957. George worked as a story editor for MGM studios, was the editor of Motor Trend car magazine, and was also editor of the Pacific Palisades newspaper. Other work included the Rand Corporation and Hughes Aircraft. He moved to the San Francisco Bay Area in the early '60s, selling Columbia sailboats and working as a consultant for the Bechtel Corporation. He moved to San Diego in 1970 and briefly ran a classic car garage in Del Mar. From San Diego he moved to Solana Beach and then to Morro Bay in 1980, where he retired and lived until his death. George's interests were classic and exotic cars, wooden boats and jazz music. He was a dog lover and had many dog companions in his life. He played the piano and trumpet earlier in life. Although the exact count is unknown, George may have owned nearly 200 cars in his life. He was close friends with the late Fletcher Peck, local jazz pianist, and was also a member of the San Luis Obispo Jazz Society.

George Finneran, noted writer, editor, car collector, and boat and music enthusiast, passed away July 28, 2004, at a local hospital. George was survived by his brother, Bert Finneran of Morro Bay; son, Brian Finneran; daughter-in-law, Becky; and granddaughter, Kelly, all of Portland, Ore.

Austin Harvey
RHS 2021

The sinking of the Zamzam as reported in 1941

Rye Men Aboard Sunken Steamer Safe in France

Zam Zam Survivors Relate Experiences to Lions Club

Links to this Veterans History

  0 of 0 people found the following review helpful:
5 of 5 George, November 7, 2022
Reviewer: Michael Orenich from [email protected]  
We met George while living in Crown Point, San Diego and became fast friends till has passing. My wife and children considered George as family. George and I shared the same interests in cars opening up the Del Mar Classic Car Garage together and buying/restoring cars. We stayed with George in Morro Bay with our girls several times a year for many years. They saw him as their grandfather sharing music and stories. When visiting he would tell my girls "no TV" read, play the piano the vibes for my daughter Renee (who still has his baby grand piano) and Alex my youngest would draw and is an artist (who has two of his favorite oil paintings), and full time VET loving animals from George always having a dog.
George, a most wonderful man. My wife and I continue to visit Morro Bay every year, stop by and pay George (and his brother) a visit, clean up his marker and chat. We just returned from Morro Bay, November 3-5 2022 saying "hi George". Great guy!

Was this review helpful to you?

  0 of 0 people found the following review helpful:
5 of 5 George Finneran January 4, 2022
Reviewer: Frank Harrigan from [email protected]  
Again I heard the name ‘Finneran’ mentioned at our house and am sure my Dad knew. George’s parents….My sister was in the Class of ‘39 at RHS a year behind
George’s class…he certainly had some expediences in his lifetime CBI and
Soon…what a background - very well written..

Was this review helpful to you?