John C. Waldron was born on August 24, 1900, at Fort Pierre. He graduated with the United States Naval Academy Class of 1924, and later went to Naval Air Station in Pensacola, Florida. He led Torpedo Squadron 8 (VT-8) in World War II, launching from the USS Hornet in the Battle of Midway. Lieutenant Commander Waldron was among the twenty-nine men in his squadron who perished in the Battle of Midway. He received the Navy Cross posthumously. <br> <br>
The USS Hornet (CV-8), the seventh U.S. Navy vessel of that name, was a Yorktown-class aircraft carrier of the United States Navy. During World War II she served in the Pacific Theater, including launching the Doolittle Raid on Tokyo and the Battle of Midway, and in the Solomon Islands campaign where she was involved in the capture and defense of Guadalcanal and the Battle of the Santa Cruz Islands. Hornet was in service for one year and six days and was the last US fleet carrier ever sunk by enemy fire. <br> <br>
The Chicago artist creating this scale-model piece is donating it to the Fort Pierre Historic Sculptures Committee. The City of Fort Pierre will be responsible for providing a weatherproof display for the model, which will include an audio record of Waldron’s last flight off the deck of the Hornet.