Faithful Under Fire: John Waldron and Torpedo 8 at Midway, A Parable of Gospel Courage



Book: Faithful Under Fire: John Waldron and Torpedo 8 at Midway, A Parable of Gospel Courage

Author: Jim A. Woychuk

Publisher: Scripture Memory Fellowship, 2016

ISBN-13: 978-1684181544

ISBN-10: 1684181542

Related website: (publisher)

Language level: 1

(1=nothing objectionable; 2=common euphemisms and/or childish slang terms; 3=some cursing and/or profanity; 4=a lot of cursing and/or profanity; 5=obscenity and/or vulgarity)

Recommended reading level: Suitable for all ages

Rating: ***** 5 stars (EXCELLENT)

Reviewed by Wayne S. Walker

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Woychuk, Jim A.  Faithful Under Fire: John Waldron and Torpedo 8 at Midway, A Parable of Gospel Courage (published in 2016 by Scripture Memory Fellowship, P.O. Box 550232 Dallas, TX 75355).  This gripping true story recounts the patriotic heroism of John Waldron and the members of Torpedo Squadron 8 at the Battle of Midway in World War II.  Following their attack on Pearl Harbor on Dec. 7, 1941, the Japanese Imperial Navy enjoyed a seven month winning streak.  They planned to lure the American fleet into a decisive confrontation at Midway Island, a vital American base, from which they could then go on to attack Hawaii and even the West Coast.  Fortunately, American cryptologists broke the Japanese naval code, allowing the American navy to prepare.  Part of their strategy involved the use of the Torpedo 8 Squadron led by 41 year old Lt. Commander John Waldron.

Unfortunately, the Squadron’s Douglas Devastator bombers were obsolete and had only one third the speed of the Japanese Zero fighters which would oppose them.  While they were well trained, Waldron’s men, fourteen other pilots and fifteen gunners, were mostly young and inexperienced college boys.  Waldron believed that the Japanese fleet would alter its course, but his advice was ignored.  Therefore, as the battle began on July 4, the escort of Wildcat fighters and Dauntless dive bombers veered off in an incorrect direction, leaving the slow torpedo planes alone and defenseless.  What happened to Waldron and his crew?  Who won the battle of Midway?  How did the Torpedo 8 Squadron contribute to the outcome?  And what lessons can we learn from Waldron’s actions?

The author is simply identified as “J. A. W.”  Amazon gives the author as John Waldron.  I at first thought that his name might have been John A. Waldron.  But the text is clear that Waldron’s middle name was Charles.  Besides, anyone who reads the book will see why he couldn’t have written the book.  I think that the author is the Executive Director of Scripture Memory Fellowship, my good friend Jim A. Woychuk.  There are indeed some important lessons that can be learned from Waldron and his brave men who, when faced with certain death as they opposed Japanese fighter pilots during the Battle of Midway, refused to turn back, believing that their mission was more important than anything else – even their lives.

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