Lt. Col. Lloyd F. Childers USMC (ret.), Ph.D.
1921 - 2015
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Lloyd Childers
June 4, 1921
Lt. Col. Lloyd F. Childers, USMC (ret.) Ph.D.
Moraga- Lt. Col. Lloyd F. Childers, 94, passed away on July 15, 2015 at the Moraga Royale retirement facility in Moraga California. Lloyd was born on June 4, 1921 in Norman, Oklahoma to parents Fred and Marie Childers.
Lloyd joined the US Navy in 1939 at age 19 after graduation from high school. He attended basic training in San Diego, CA. at N T C. While assigned to the USS Cassin in Hawaii as a radioman, he survived the attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941. He was later assigned to a carrier group in the Pacific where he was a tail gunner in a VT-3 torpedo plane on the USS Yorktown (CV-5). His flight squadron, Torpedo Squadron 3, was engaged in the historic Battle of Midway on June 4, 1942 (coincidentally his 21st birthday). Lloyd's plane was severely damaged by enemy fire and he was gravely wounded. When his machine gun jammed he used his service pistol to continue to fire on the Japanese Zero's. Of 12 torpedo planes, his was one of two planes from his squadron to survive the attack on the Japanese and make its way back to the American fleet. His plane was so damaged it could not land on a carrier and ditched next to the USS Monaghan (DD-354). He was later transferred to another ship for his emergency medical treatment where he witnessed the sinking of the USS Yorktown from sickbay.
For his heroism at the Battle of Midway he was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross and the Purple Heart.
Lloyd met and married Mary Lorraine Sprouls in 1944. They had three sons. Mary died in 2009 and he married Junetta Dawson in 2010, she preceded him in death in 2013.
After flight school in 1945 he was commissioned as a Marine officer and assigned to fly combat missions in Korea in 1950 & 1951. He was retrained as a helicopter pilot and was later deployed to the Belgian Congo for "humanitarian assistance" in 1959.
Lloyd completed is BA degree in 1963 from the University of Omaha but he wasn't quite done with his military career. He commanded Marine helicopter squadron HMM 361 in 1965 and 1966 in De Nang Vietnam. It was there he led the first successful night troop landing in a "Hot LZ". It was in Vietnam that Lloyd received the Legion of Merit as well as his second Distinguished Flying Cross. In total he received 14 Air Metals in his military career.
Before Lloyd finally retired from the military in 1968 after 28 years and he earned a Masters Degree in Education. After a brief time as a flight instructor at American Airlines, in 1973 he earned a PhD in Higher Education Administration at North Texas State University in Denton, Texas.
He served as an Associate Dean at Chapman College in Orange California retiring in 1988 to spend more time on golf and family.
Lloyd Childers is survived by his three sons Michael, Kenneth (Jacquie), and Bruce (Kitty) Childers, five grandchildren and four great grandchildren. Donations would be appreciated for the Wounded Warrior Project P.O. Box 758517, Topeka, Kansas 66675.

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Published in Contra Costa Times on Jul. 18, 2015.
Memories & Condolences
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13 entries
April 8, 2019
Asso Dean Dr. Childers was truly from the Greatest Generation. I saw daily his professionalism, kindness, as I was his Admin Asst, Chapman College, Orange, CA (hired 1977). Col. Childers was pleased I also had served an enlistment: SSgt, Air Force, Amarillo, TX. He encouraged a career for me at the University after receiving my Degree at CSU Fullerton. He would be pleased of my 35 years employment as I supported Chapman University's branch campuses on military bases through the Residence Education Centers.
Judith Deen
February 27, 2019
Captain L.E. Massey
Does his family ever read these messages? If so tell them the son of his commanding officer from VT-3 in the Battle of Midway, Lcdr. LEM Massey has sent his condolences. It would have been wonderful to have spoken to him. I do not really remember my father as I was 5 when he was killed. I became a Naval aviator and my son Captain L.E. Massey retired recently from the navy. He is named for his grandfather.
Lance Massey
February 26, 2019
Condolences to the family of a great American Hero and Patriot. I have watched Battle 360 on the History Channel and listened to Lloyd's interviews several times. What a great guy! We need to appreciate all the WWII Veterans all the more as they are almost all gone. Thanks for your service Lloyd!!!
Robert Saiz
May 27, 2018
I didn't know Lloyd. I only knew "of him" from watching him on the documentary Battle 360 about the Battle of Midway and other interviews he's done online. He's from the same generation of my Father (born 1924). He seems like a great fellow and a dedicared military manage scholar. Both qualities I appreciate. Rest In Peace, Mr. Childers,I didn't know Lloyd. I only knew "of him" from watching him on the documentary Battle 360 about the Battle of Midway and other interviews he's done online. He's from the same generation of my Father (born 1924). He seems like a great fellow and a dedicated military man and scholar. Both qualities I appreciate. Rest In Peace, Mr. Childers
John Klink
June 23, 2017
He was my flight instructor at NAS Whiting Field, Milton, Fla. (in 1954 I think) in SNJs. He was encouraging and pleasant to work with. I remember going to his house when we finished Primary/Basic training for steaks. I had heard through other sources of is Midway and other war experiences, but he never would talk about them with his students. I have my Flight log book with his name in it. I had forgotten his first name but I recognized it while watching a You Tube account of the Midway battle when he was shot as a tail gunner (in an SBD, Ithink).
Robert A. Rives
February 18, 2016
He was in my husband's father's (LEM Massey's) squadron at the Battle of Midway. One of very few who survived. Would have liked to have met him.
Lance Massey
February 18, 2016
Destroyer stern plate from USS Massey
Lance Massey
July 25, 2015
'THE FINEST' Commanding Officer I have ever served with. As a former member of HMM-361 at MCAF Santa Ana CA. He mentored and assisted me when my wife became seriously ill and insisted that I give her the time and attention she needed. A true Marines Marine. Thank You ' Boss' and Rest in Peace.
Col Marty Hoesch USMC ( Ret )
July 25, 2015
Lt.Col.Childers will be missed by all.
July 25, 2015
As a former member of HMM-164, also at Da Nang I wish Lt Col Childers fair winds and following seas on his eternal journey. May he rest in peace.
David Gillis former Lt, MC, USN HMM-164
July 22, 2015
When I met him back in '65, I was the 'stewardess girlfriend' of one of his wild lieutenants at HMM 361. When I saw him again at our 361 Reunion in NH and reminded him of who I was, he smiled and said."I remember." A wonderful man. I think his squadron worshiped the ground he walked on! And he never forgot his people--at the reunion, no one had to tell him what they had achieved in life: he knew it all! A legend! We share your pain, children. Rest easy, sir.
Dick and Bette Hooton
July 21, 2015
July 18, 2015
It is quite remarkable that he lived to be of old age - Semper Fi - former Sgt Salter
Bill Salter
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