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|18k||Lawrence Coburn Taylor was born 12 May 1920, the son of Lawrence Henry Taylor and Lew Ella (Coburn) Taylor of Santa Ana, Cal. Growing up in California, he attended UC Berkeley
where he was a fraternity member of Zeta Psi and starred on the football team. He enlisted in the Marine Corps Reserve on 14 January 1941 and was commissioned 2d lieutenant on 24 March 1941.
After flight training at Corpus Christi, Texas he was transferred to the Second Marine Airwing at San Diego and was further assigned to VMF-212 at Ewa Field in Hawaii.
In August of 1942, VMF-223 was heading to Guadalcanal and was short five pilots. "Red" Taylor and four other VMF-212 pilots volunteered to fill out the pilot roster of VMF-223, arriving at Guadalcanal on 21 August. On 24 August Henderson Field was attacked by Japanese bombers accompanied by a strong escort force of Zero fighters. Five Marine fighters hurriedly took off, but the sixth, piloted by 2nd Lt. Taylor wouldn't start. After repairing the engine himself, he took off and caught up with the fight. After attacking and driving off a Japanese "Betty" bomber, Taylor turned to find another target when a Zero got on his tail. Another Marine pilot saw Taylor's Wildcat spinning out of control, on fire, until it crashed into the sea. No parachute was seen and no trace of either the plane or Taylor was ever found. He is memorialized at the Manila American Cemetery and Memorial in the Philippines.
Lawrence C. Taylor was awarded the Silver Star for conspicuous gallantry while serving with a Marine Fighter Squadron on 23 August 1942. "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."
USS Lawrence C. Taylor (DE 415) (1944-1946) was the first ship to be named in his honor.
(Photo from the Find A Grave)
|108k||Undated Wartime Image||G. Allen Carlson|
|Lawrence C. Taylor History|
|View the USS Lawrence C. Taylor (DE 415) DANFS history entry located on the Naval History and Heritage Command web site.|
|View the official War History of USS Lawrence C. Taylor as submitted by the ship at war's end.|
|Lawrence C. Taylor's Commanding Officers
Thanks to Wolfgang Hechler
|Dates of Command||Commanding Officers|
|1.) 13 May 1944 - .. Jan. 1945||Lcdr. Ralph Cullinan Jr., USN (Ridgewood, N.J.)|
|2.) .. Jan. 1945 – 23 Apr. 1946||Lcdr. James Robert Grey, USN (Comm. CO) (USNA ‘37) (Army Jr. / Belleville, N.J.)|
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Page Last Updated: 12 December 2020