John C. Waldron : biography
John Charles Waldron (August 24, 1900 – June 4, 1942) 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.
Birth and early life
Waldron was born on August 24, 1900 accessed 30 July 2011 at Fort Pierre, South Dakota, son of rancher Charles Westbrook Waldron and Jane Van MetreDoane Robinson, "Charles Westbrook Waldron Biography", , vol. 2, pp.1472-1473 as found at Maurice Krueger (ed.), files.usgwarchives.net accessed 30 July 2011 grandson of lawyer and probate Judge George Prentiss Waldron,Doane Robinson, "George P. Waldron Biography", , vol. 2, pp.1440-1441 as found at Maurice Krueger (ed.), files.usgwarchives.net accessed 30 July 2011 and a sixth great nephew of Richard Waldron.Rev. Alonzo H. Quint, John Scales, ed., "Walderne - Waldron Family" , p.234, describes the descent of John C. Waldron's great grandfather Jeremiah Waldron of Farmington, New Hampshire, through Col. John, Richard, John, and then William, brother of Major Richard Waldron. He was of colonial New Hampshire families on his father's side,In 1905 John was a five-year-old living with a 62-year-old Massachusetts-born father and a 43-year-old South Dakota–born mother and siblings. "C.W." Waldron (the father) in turn had parents born in "N. Hampshire". South Dakota State Census, 1905 for John Waldron, C.W. Waldron (father), and Jane E. Waldron (mother) in Familysearch.org, accessed 30 July 2011. familysearch.org, submitter George Larson II, MA, accessed 20 February 2010 and of Oglala Lakota on his mother's side. In the midst of his armed forces career he married Adelaide Wentworth and had two daughters. He studied law and was admitted to the bar, but never practiced.Robert J. Mrazek, A Dawn Like Thunder, http://www.adawnlikethunder.com/men/waldron.html, accessed 20 Feb 2010.
Naval aviation training and shore duty
He received an appointment as midshipman from his home state on June 16, 1920 and graduated with the United States Naval Academy Class of 1924. Following his initial sea duty in Seattle (CA-11), Waldron went to Naval Air Station Pensacola, Fla., where he received his wings in the summer of 1927. Over the ensuing months, Waldron flew with torpedo squadrons (VT-1S and VT-9S and received his promotion to Lieutenant (j.g.) on February 16, 1928. He served at the Naval Academy from May 24 to September 13, 1929, where he instructed midshipmen in the field of aviation. Then, after duty as an instructor at the NAS Pensacola, between October 1929 and June 1931, Waldron went to sea again, this time with Scouting Squadron 3B (VS-3B), based on board Lexington (CV-2), reporting for duty on July 1, 1931.
Waldron flew observation aircraft off Colorado (BB-45), before he joined Patrol Squadron 1B (VP-1B), Battle Force, for a brief period in late 1936. Subsequently flying from Saratoga (CV-3) with Fighter Squadron 3 (VF-3) until the early summer of 1939, he reported back to NAS, Pensacola, for further instructor's duty on June 27, 1939. Waldron then served three successive tours of shore duty, all involving flying, at the Naval Proving Ground, Dahlgren, Va.; the Bureau of Ordnance, Washington, D.C.; and finally in the 3rd Naval District, where he was appointed naval inspector of ordnance at the plant of Carl L. Norden, Inc., in New York—makers of the famed Norden bombsight. Detached from that duty in the summer of 1941, Lt. Comdr. Waldron took command of the newly formed Torpedo Squadron 8 (VT-8), part of the embryonic air group being assembled for the new fleet carrier Hornet (CV-8) at Newport News, Virginia. The Pearl Harbor attack, though, meant that his training of his men had to be intensive.
The USS Waldron (DD-699), an Allen M. Sumner-class destroyer, was named in his honor.
Waldron Field, an outlying training landing strip, at Corpus Christi NAS, was named in his honor.
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