Remembering Lloyd F. Childers

Updated 23 August 2020

On My Forgotten Hobby III, one story leads to another and then to another. 

© John Greaves Art (with the permission of Janet Greaves)

All the images of John Leonard Greaves’ paintings were uploaded from his Website where the background stories were written. His Website does not exist anymore. The only clue I have for his background stories are the image filenames.

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This is a link to Lloyd F. Childers’ story:


Lloyd F. Childers is a dignified and stoic man who unnecessarily apologized for not standing to greet me. I visited to his home in Walnut Creek, California, to discuss the important part he played at Midway. Childers was an Aviation Radioman Third Class in the Yorktown’s Torpedo Squadron Three (VT-3). He flew in the rear cockpit of a TBD Devastator, a dangerously slow, thoroughly obsolete aircraft that was already in the process of being retired from the Fleet in favor of its successor, the TBF Avenger. The U.S. torpedo squadrons were decimated at Midway; Childers was the sole radioman-gunner in his squadron to survive the 4 June attack on the Japanese carriers.

More about T-3 here :

The U.S. Navy Douglas TBD-1 Devastator (BuNo 0303, “T-3”) from Torpedo Squadron VT-3 sinking after a water landing alongside the destroyer USS Monaghan (DD-354), ca. at 1305 hrs on 4 June 1942 during the Battle of Midway. Pilot Machinist Harry Lee Corl and his gunner Lloyd Fred Childers, ARM3c, were launched from the aircraft carrier USS Yorktown (CV-5) and had attacked the Japanese carrier Hiryu. “T-3” was heavily damaged by fighters and Corl had to jettison his torpedo but managed to reach Task Force 16. Only two of 12 VT-3 planes were not shot down, but the other two had to ditch. Corl himself was lost during the Battle of Eastern Solomons on 24 August 1942.

More about Pilot Machinist Harry Lee Corl…

More about Pilot Machinist Harry Lee Corl’s radio-operator…


The story of how Delmar Wiley, a Glenwood, IA native, who had been missing since August 24, 1942 and was thought to be lost was actually adrift on a rubber boat actually reached safety and care on an island in the Pacific. His experience seemed almost like a fairy tale to friends here in Iowa who had almost given up hope of his being alive. So remote seemed the chances! In August 1942, Ensign Harry Lee Corl, flying with Torpedo Squadron Three (VT-3) from USS Enterprise (CV-6), was the pilot of a TBF-1 Avenger torpedo bomber during the Battle of the Eastern Solomons. On 24 August 1942, he was flying a search mission near the Solomon Islands when he and another pilot spotted the Japanese heavy cruiser Tone. The position of the Tone was apparently reported to US Navy officials, but the report was not received due to technical problems. Following the transmission of their position report, Ensign Corl and his wingman began an attack on Tone. Soon after two Japanese Zero fighters attacked the American planes, and were quickly joined by a third Zero. Under attack by two of the Japanese fighters, Corl’s Avenger was shot down. Corl and one of his two gunners, AOM2 Thomas R Townsend (NSN:2387067) were killed in action. His radioman/turret gunner, Radioman Third Class Delmar D. Wiley, survived and, after 15 days in a life raft and months spent on islands behind Japanese lines, was rescued on 11 April 1943 by a PBY Catalina piloted by Robert B. Hays from VP-44. Corl, Townsend and Wiley were declared missing in action on 24 Aug 1942. Corl and Townsend were presumed dead on 25 August 1943.


I found the missing caption.

With his .30-caliber machine gun jammed, Aviation Radioman Third Class Lloyd Childers resorts to firing his pistol at Zero fighters swarming after his lumbering TBD Devastator torpedo bomber during the Battle of Midway.


Remembering Second Lieutenant William V. Brooks

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© John Greaves Art (with the permission of Janet Greaves)

All the images of John Leonard Greaves’ paintings were uploaded from his Website where the background stories were written. His Website does not exist anymore. The only clue I have for his background stories are the image filenames.

Brooks lg 01022014

Brooks lg 01022014

This is a link to William V. Brooks’ story:

The Forgotten Story of Midway’s Marine Defenders


At 0555 hours on June 4, 1942, the heart-pounding wail of Midway atoll’s air raid siren sent the pilots of Marine Fighting Squadron 221 (VMF-221) scrambling to their aircraft. The island’s air defense radar had detected a swarm of Japanese aircraft—“Many planes, 93 miles, 310 degrees, altitude 11,000 feet”—heading their way, and no pilot wanted to be caught on the ground when they arrived.

Second Lieutenant John C. Musselman Jr., the squadron duty officer, jumped in the command post pickup truck and raced along the line of aircraft revetments, gesturing wildly. “Get airborne!” he yelled excitedly. Within minutes, the taxiway was crowded with Brewster F2A-3 Buffalo and Grumman F4F-3 Wildcat fighters urgently scrambling to get into the air.

Major Floyd B. “Red” Parks, the squadron commander, took off first with his five-plane division of Buffalos. He was followed closely by three other F2A-3 divisions (one with a Wildcat attached) and a three-plane division of F4F-3s led by Captain John F. Carey (two additional Wildcats, already flying a patrol, joined Carey’s division after refueling). The five divisions were divided into two equal groups, one vectored out on an azimuth of 310 degrees and the other on 320 degrees. Altogether, VMF-221 put 26 fighters into the air, although one had to turn back. Second Lieutenant Charles S. Hughes’ engine was vibrating badly and losing power. “The engine was [running] so rough it would have been suicide to try and fight the plane,” he reported.

Captain Carey’s fifth division was the first to make contact. As Carey peered intently through his Wildcat’s windshield, scattered cumulous clouds cut visibility, making it difficult to see the reported “many bogies heading Midway.” He was at 14,000 feet, with 2nd Lt. Clayton M. Canfield echeloned right and slightly to the rear, and Captain Marion E. Carl several hundred yards behind. Canfield slid behind his leader as Carey “made a wide 270 degree turn, then a 90 degree diving turn.” Canfield’s radio suddenly came alive with the electrifying “Tally-ho! Hawks at angels 12,” and, after a slight pause, “accompanied by fighters.”

Arrayed in five “V” formations 2,000 feet below, 36 Nakajima B5N2 “Kate” level bombers and 36 Aichi D3A1 “Val” dive bombers roared toward the island. An escort of 36 Mitsubishi A6M2 Zeros flew out of position just below and behind them, expecting to catch the Americans climbing to attack. The Marines’ altitude advantage gave them a free pass at the exposed Japanese bombers.

William V Brooks

Seated, from left: 2nd Lt. William V. Brooks, 2nd Lt. John C. Musselman Jr., Captain Philip R. White, Captain William C. Humberd, Captain Kirk Armistead, Captain Herbert T. Merrill, Captain Marion E. Carl and 2nd Lt. Clayton M. Canfield; standing, from left: unidentified, and 2nd Lts. Darrell D. Irwin, Hyde Phillips, Roy A. Corry Jr. and Charles M. Kunz. (National Archives)

More here:


US Marine pilots stationed on the tiny Midway islands were required to defend this most westerly American outpost in the Pacific Ocean against a massive Japanese air attack on 4 June 1942. This image by artist John Greaves captures the moment when Marine pilot 2nd Lieutenant William V. Brooks, flying an obsolescent Brewster Buffalo F2A-3 hampered by defective landing gear, has engaged two agile Japanese Zeros and damaged one of them with his fire.

Remembering John Leonard Greaves and Tom Cheek

This was written in 2017 on My Forgotten Hobby when I was writing less and less about my forgotten hobby and procrastinating more and more.



I’ve been writing less about My Forgotten Hobby. I am much more active on my other blogs. In my research on the American squadron VF(N)-101 I had found a website earlier this week. It was a website about the Battle of Midway. Here is the link….

An image had struck me, that of a painting and the story behind it. I thought I should read it.

“The Other Sole Survivors”Torpedo 8 TBF Avenger at Midway – June 4, 1942


All paintings © John Greaves Art (used by permission)

This is the story. (broken link)

The only survivor of a flight of six TBF Avenger torpedo planes struggles to return home to Midway Atoll after attacking the Japanese fleet. Flown by ENS Albert Earnest with radioman Harry Ferrier RM3c and turret gunner Jay Manning Sea1c, the badly damaged TBF has hydraulics shot out causing the tail wheel to drop and the bomb bay doors to open. Without a working compass, Earnest flew east towards the sun and climbed above the cloud deck where he could see the column of smoke rising from Midway in the far distance. Earnest managed to bring back the TBF using only the elevator trim tab for altitude control and successfully landed. Manning died in his turret and Earnest and Ferrier were wounded.

earnest ferrier

Earnest in cockpit and Ferrier on Guadalcanal part of the Cactus Air Force

Jay Manning

There is another story to this story.

Yesterday I wrote to John Greaves to get permission to use the images from his paintings in one of my blogs that pays tribute to American pilots of the VF(N)-101 squadron.

But I didn’t expect this at all when his wife wrote to me instead of her husband…

GREAVES, John Leonard

John Greaves died unexpectedly and peacefully at home on Monday, January 9, 2017 in Airdrie, AB at the age of 52 years. John is lovingly remembered by his wife Janet, and their 2 daughters; Emma and Katy of Airdrie, his parents; Len and Eleanor, brother; Stewart of Abbotsford, B.C., Janet’s sister; Sandra (Sam) Hamilton and family of Saskatoon, SK. John was born in Calgary, AB on September 1, 1964. John and his family moved to B.C. prior to John and his brother starting school, eventually settling in Abbotsford where John attended Abby Jr and Sr High School. John attended Fraser Valley College where he pursued his passion in Art, then went on to further study in graphic arts and business at BCIT. A Memorial Service will be held at Aridrie Alliance church, 1604 Summerfield Blvd, Airdrie, AB., on Saturday, January 14, 2017 at 1:30, with a reception to follow. Sandy Isfeld and Nathan Kliewer will be officiating, please join us in Celebrating John’s Life In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in John’s memory to the Canadian Diabetes Association, 240, 2323 – 32 Ave. NE, Calgary, AB, T2E 6Z3.

The source is here…


John Greaves’ works are reproduced here on this blog with the special permission of his wife Janet….

I give you permission to use his paintings in the two blogs you mentioned, with credit given to my beloved John, who had a passion for history and art.
Janet Greaves

In Memoriam John Leonard Greaves (1964-2017)

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Tom Cheek at Midway x

© John Greaves Art (with the permission of Janet Greaves)


All the images of John Leonard Greaves’ paintings were uploaded from his Website where the background stories were written. His Website does not exist anymore. The only clue I have for his background stories are the image filenames.

Tom Cheek at Midway x

Tom Cheek at Midway

This is a link to Tom Cheek’ story:


On 4 June 1942, Tom Cheek was part of a six-plane escort for Yorktown’s Torpedo Three (VT-3), along with Lieutenant Commander “Jimmy” Thach, Ensigns Robert A.M. “Ram” Dibb, Edgar “Red Dog” Bassett and Daniel Sheedy and Lieutenant (JG) Brainard T. Macomber. As the lumbering, obsolescent Devastator TBD bombers of Torpedo Three approached the powerful Japanese First Carrier Striking Force, they and their six escort F4Fs were attacked by forty-one Zero fighters defending the Japanese carriers. The heavily outnumbered F4Fs were forced to defend themselves while the TBDs pressed home their gallant but hopeless attack.

In the fierce air battle over the Japanese fleet, Tom Cheek shot down three Zeros. Bassett was lost in combat. The remaining five F4Fs returned to Yorktown. Cheek’s damaged plane crashed into the barrier on landing, and flipped onto its back. He experienced two Japanese air attacks on Yorktown on the afternoon of June 4, and abandoned the severely crippled carrier with other crew members. Following the Battle of Midway, Tom Cheek was awarded the Navy Cross and appointed to the rank of Ensign.

Tom Cheek now tells his story of the Battle of Midway to which he has given the title:

Dragon 1:48 Horten Ho.229A-1 — ModelArt

Digging deep into his stash of shame…

Beautifully rendered.

Built by: Wayne Hui. Build Date: Start July 28 2020, Finished August 16, 2020. Horten Ho229 Background Hatred is the the spark that ignites warfare and warfare is the fuel for rapid innovations and technological advancement. When the Luftwaffe’s loses was mounting in Operation Sea Lion in the Summer of 1940, they realized they needed […]

via Dragon 1:48 Horten Ho.229A-1 — ModelArt

Where was I the last time when I finished my last build?

Where an addiction can lead to…

My Forgotten Hobby

Updated 8 August 2020

Where was I the last time when I finished my last build?

Building Monogram 1/48 scale SBD Dauntless.

Where was I?

I had found all about Gérard Pelletier, a French-Canadian air gunner, who is still missing since September 3rd, 1942.

Then I bought some model kits…

And I created a blog about RAF 264 Squadron, and along the way finding a new addictive hobby…

Colorising photos!

Avro Anson

A mail carrier B-17 with the RCAF

Learning more about Buzz Beurling

More on these 425 Alouette Squadron airmen

About a postwar Mosquito in Canada

More 425 Alouette Squadron airmen

Ground crew posing with a RCAF 410 Squadron Defiant based at RAF Drem

A French-Canadian fighter pilot Joseph Desloges who took part in the Battle of Britain.

A modified painting of a BCATP Fairey Battle

Two well-known RAF 264 Squadron pilot and air gunner

Pilots with RCAF…

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Interview with Bert Earnest

About VT-8 and the crew of a TBF Avenger

My Forgotten Hobby


This is from World War II Database.

Jim Bresnahan interviewed Bert Earnest on 4 June 1992.

Interviewer: Jim Bresnahan

Interviewee: Albert “Bert” Earnest, Avenger torpedo bomber pilot, US Navy Squadron VT-8; lone surviving pilot of the squadron during the Battle of Midway

Edited Transcript of the Interview

Earnest: I was called in for flight training in February of 1941, and finished in November of 41, and then down to Miami, at a place called Opa-laka, which is just northwest of Miami. I was ordered to talk to Squadron 8 – not my choice, it was just what I was ordered to. At any rate, I went home to Richmond and was there when, on December the 7th, when the war started. So I reported to Norfolk, Virginia to the air station and the squadron was getting ready to go on a shakedown cruise on the Hornet. We stayed just…

View original post 2,955 more words