The regional premiere of the award-winning documentary, “South Dakota Warrior,” the newest episode of the popular web show, “Old Guys and Their Airplanes” (OGTA) is set for 6 p.m. Friday, June 15, in the Nimitz Museum Ballroom of the National Museum of the Pacific War.
This event is free and open to the public. Producer and director, John Mollison will be on hand to introduce the film and answer questions after the showing.
The film is approximately 20 minutes long.
“South Dakota Warrior” explores the character behind World War II’s Battle of Midway hero, Lt. Cmdr. John C. Waldron. Waldron established himself in history by leading his torpedo bomber squadron (VT-8) in what appeared to be a futile attack against the Japanese carrier fleet during the opening moments of the crucial battle on June 4, 1942.
Mollison says the power of the story is that it causes the viewer to examine the qualities and responsibilities of leadership.
“This is a challenging story because it inspires the viewer to think deeply about what’s important in leading others and leading themselves,” Mollison said.
Waldron, along with 28 other men of his squadron, were killed during the battle. But, Waldron’s audacious act sparked what many have considered to be a “miraculous” chain of events that assured American victory in the battle as well as shortening the entire war in the Pacific.
The film concludes by attempting to recreate the last moments of Waldron’s attack with contemporary footage filmed from WWII era aircraft (flown by members of the Commemorative Air Force).
The National Museum of the Pacific War is a Texas Historical Commission property supported, operated and managed by the Admiral Nimitz Foundation.