Lawrence Coburn Taylor
Lawrence Coburn Taylor
|Born||May 12, 1920|
Santa Ana, California
|Died||August 24, 1942 (aged 22)|
|Allegiance||United States of America|
|Service/||United States Marine Corps Reserve|
|Years of service||1941–1942|
|Unit||Marine Fighter Squadron 24|
|Battles/wars||World War II|
*Solomon Islands campaign
|Awards||Silver Star (posthumous)|
Lawrence Coburn Taylor was a United States Marine Corps aviator who was posthumously awarded the Silver Star for actions during World War II.
Marine Corps career
Taylor was born on 12 May 1920 at Santa Ana, California. He enlisted in the Marine Corps Reserve on 14 January 1941. He was commissioned 2d lieutenant on 24 March 1941, and after flight training served in the Pacific.
Awarded the Silver Star
Lieutenant Taylor was killed in combat during the Solomon Islands campaign in the summer of 1942. He was awarded the Silver Star for conspicuous gallantry while serving with Marine Fighting Squadron 212 (VMF-212) on 24 August 1942. Taylor manned a Grumman F4F-4 Wildcat (Bureau Number 02084) and took off from Henderson Field on Guadalcanal at 1415 hrs to intercept six Nakajima B5N torpedo bombers that had been launched from the Japanese aircraft carrier Ryūjō. These were escorted by nine Mitsubishi A6M2 Zeros. When this aircraft failed to return, Taylor was officially listed as Missing In Action (MIA).
"Prevented by a faulty engine from taking off with his flight to attack a hostile force of greatly superior strength, 2d Lieutenant Taylor skillfully effected hasty repairs and took off alone...his superb airmanship and dauntless courage under adverse conditions enabled him to destroy one heavy bomber...Taylor's exemplary conduct and unswerving devotion to duty were an inspiration to the members of his squadron and in keeping with the highest traditions of the U.S. Naval Service."
The John C. Butler-class destroyer escort USS Lawrence C. Taylor (DE-415) was named in his honor. She was launched on 29 January 1944, sponsored by Mrs. Lawrence H. Taylor, mother of Lt. Taylor. The ship was commissioned on 13 May 1944 and served until 1946. After spending decades in reserve, she was scrapped in 1973.
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