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Fort Pierre in Stanley County, South Dakota — The American Midwest (Upper Plains)
 

John C. Waldron

United States Navy Lieutenant Commander

 
 
John C. Waldron Marker image. Click for full size.
By Cosmos Mariner, July 13, 2018
1. John C. Waldron Marker
Inscription. John Charles Waldron was born in Ft. Pierre, SD, on August 21, 1900 and was the youngest of five children born to Charles W. and Jan E. (Van Metre) Waldron, she a member of the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe. Waldron attended grade school in Fort Pierre and in 1919 finished high school in Rapid City, SD. He graduated from the US Naval Academy, Annapolis, MD in 1924 and completed Naval flight training in Pensacola, FL in 1926.

In August 1941, Lt. Cmdr. Waldron assumed command of Torpedo Squadron 8, a flight of 15 Douglas TBD Devastator torpedo bombers, based in the Pacific Ocean on the aircraft carrier USS Hornet. Waldron was known for tireless training and meticulous attention to detail in preparing his men for battle.

On June 4, 1942, at the Battle of Midway, Torpedo Squadron 8 under his command was ordered to locate and attack a huge Japanese fleet of destroyers, battleships, and aircraft carriers near Midway Island. Without fighter cover and knowing that his squadron would not have sufficient fuel to return to the USS Hornet, L. Cmdr. Waldron led the 30 men and 15 airplanes of Torpedo Squadron 8 in a ferocious attach against an overwhelming Japanese Force. Twenty-nine Americans, including Lt. Cmdr. Waldron, were killed, and all of the squadron’s airplanes were lost in this valiant attack, which is said to have been the
John C. Waldron Marker (<i>tall view</i>) image. Click for full size.
By Cosmos Mariner, July 13, 2018
2. John C. Waldron Marker (tall view)
turning point of World War II in the Pacific Theater.

Lieutenant Commander John C. Waldron and the men of Torpedo Squadron 8 knew that they would probably not survive this attack against the Japanese and they made a conscious decision to give their lives for their country so that others might live and fight on.

Lieutenant Commander John C. Waldron was posthumously awarded the Navy Cross, Purple Heart, and Presidential Unit Citation for “bravery and dedication to country and duty.”
December 31, 2002

 
Erected 2002.
 
Location. 44° 22.193′ N, 100° 22.365′ W. Marker is in Fort Pierre, South Dakota, in Stanley County. Marker is on Hustan Avenue 0.2 miles east of Island Drive, on the left when traveling east. Touch for map. Marker is located near the east end of Hustan Avenue, beside the bridge which carries US Highway 14/83 across the Missouri River. Marker is at or near this postal address: 325 Hustan Avenue, Fort Pierre SD 57532, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Old Deadwood Trail (a few steps from this marker); American Indians and the Fur Trade (approx. 0.2 miles away); Pierre's First School (approx. 0.4
John C. Waldron Marker (<i>wide view; John C. Waldron Bridge in background</i>) image. Click for full size.
By Cosmos Mariner, July 13, 2018
3. John C. Waldron Marker (wide view; John C. Waldron Bridge in background)
miles away); Lewis and Clark (approx. 0.4 miles away); Pierre (approx. 0.4 miles away); Walter H. Burke (approx. 0.9 miles away); Alexander McDonald Putello (approx. 0.9 miles away); Pierre Was A Cowtown / Reading Brands (approx. 0.9 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Fort Pierre.
 
More about this marker. Marker is a large, rectangular metal plaque, mounted at ground-level on a large boulder.
 
Also see . . .
1. John Charles Waldron. John Charles Waldron was a United States Navy aviator who led a squadron of torpedo bombers in World War II. He and most of his squadron perished in the Battle of Midway. Waldron's role at Midway was portrayed by actor Glenn Corbett in the 1976 film Midway. The USS Waldron (DD-699), an Allen M. Sumner-class destroyer, was named in his honor. Naval Auxiliary Air Station Waldron Field, part of the NAS Corpus Christi, Texas complex, was named in his honor. Camp Waldron of the Farragut Naval Training Station on Lake Pend Oreille in northern Idaho was named in honor of LtCdr Waldron. The camp, designed to house and train 5,000 naval recruits
Lt. Cmdr. John C. Waldron Memorial Bridge across Missouri River (<i>wide view from near marker</i>) image. Click for full size.
By Cosmos Mariner, July 13, 2018
4. Lt. Cmdr. John C. Waldron Memorial Bridge across Missouri River (wide view from near marker)
John C. Waldron Bridge (renamed in his honor in 2002) carries US Highway 14/83 across Missouri River between Fort Pierre and Pierre.
at a time, opened on 8 November 1942. (Submitted on September 28, 2018, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.) 

2. WWII warbirds come to Pierre in honor of John C. Waldron. All of 15 of Torpedo 8’s planes were shot down during the attack. Only one man survived. Still, the squadron’s actions pinpointed the Japanese fleet for the rest of the U.S. fleet’s aircraft and forced the Japanese fighter out of position. That allowed the U.S. dive bombers to attack more successfully. Eventually, all four of Japan’s large aircraft carriers were destroyed and hundreds of highly trained Japanese pilots and sailors were killed. The U.S. fleet lost one carrier and far fewer men. Japan was put on the defensive after Midway and would never recover from its losses during the battle. (Submitted on September 28, 2018, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.) 
 
Categories. HeroesWar, World II
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on September 29, 2018. This page originally submitted on September 27, 2018, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida. This page has been viewed 45 times since then. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on September 28, 2018, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida. • Andrew Ruppenstein was the editor who published this page.
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