- Associated Press - Saturday, September 2, 2017

PIERRE, S.D. (AP) - The South Dakota Community Foundation has donated a $10,000 grant to help make and premiere a short documentary film about World War II veteran.

The grant was presented to the Ellsworth Heritage foundation and filmmaker John Mollison last month, the Capital Journal reported.

Mollison said the grant has been crucial in making the film.

The film “Dakota Warrior” will focus on Lt. Cmdr. John Waldron, an aerial hero of the Battle of Midway that swung World War II against the Japanese. He led the squadron of 15 torpedo bombers in a mission on June 4, 1942.

“Waldron’s story is captivating on many levels,” Mollison said. “It describes the complexities of leadership, the challenges of command and the power of fate.”

One of the 30 men who survived says Waldron’s plane crash into the sea, guns blazing. Waldron was awarded the Navy Cross for his bravery in the fatal mission.

“John Waldron’s story is one that forces us to ask hard questions about what it means to lead and serve,” Mollison said.

Mollison said the film will include aerial footage of a WWII Curtis SB2c Helldiver to simulate the Torpedo 8 fighter bombers that Waldron and his squadron flew.

Mollison expects to finish the film next month. He plans to hold premieres across the state.

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Information from: Rapid City Journal, https://www.rapidcityjournal.com

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