Lt. Cmdr. John C. Waldron, CO of Torpedo Squadron 8, went directly into harms way by leading his unit of 15 planes toward a Japanese carrier group without fighter escort. His bravery and leadership changed the course of the Battle of Midway.
John C. Waldron was born at Fort Pierre, South Dakota, on 24 August 1900. Graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy in 1924, he became a Naval Aviator in 1927. During the years prior to World War II, he served in several air units, was an instructor at the Naval Academy and at Pensacola, Florida, and performed other duties connected with aviation. In 1941, LCdr. Waldron became Commanding Officer of Torpedo Squadron Eight (VT-8), which was to serve on the new aircraft carrier Hornet (CV-8). He led that unit during the Battle of Midway, when all fifteen of its planes were lost to overwhelming enemy fighter opposition while making an unsupported attack on the Japanese aircraft carrier force. Lieutenant Commander John C. Waldron was killed during that action.
USS Waldron (DD-699) was named in honor of John Charles Waldron.
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