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First Name: James

Last Name: Taylor

Birthplace: Arcata, CA, USA

Gender: Male

Branch: Army (1784 - present)

Home of Record: San Francisco, CA
Middle Name: Allen

Date of Birth: 31 December 1937

Rank: Major

Years Served: 1956 - 1980
James Allen Taylor

•  Vietnam War (1960 - 1973)


James Allen Taylor
Major, U.S. Army
Medal of Honor Recipient
Vietnam War

Major James Allen Taylor is a retired U.S. Army officer and a recipient of the U.S. military's highest award for valor, the Medal of Honor, for his actions during the Vietnam War.

James Allen Taylor was born on 31 December 1937 in Arcata, CA. He joined the Army from San Francisco, CA in 1956. On 8 November 1967, Taylor was serving as a First Lieutenant in Troop B of the 1st Cavalry Regiment, Americal Division. When his commanding officer was wounded in action, Taylor was ordered into the combat zone to take command and prepare a search-and-destroy mission. During a battle the next day, west of Que Son in the Republic of Vietnam, Taylor repeatedly exposed himself to enemy fire to rescue crewmen from damaged assault vehicles and personnel carriers. He was subsequently promoted to Captain and awarded the Medal of Honor on 19 November 1968.

Medal of Honor

Rank and organization: Captain (then 1st Lt.), U.S. Army, Troop B, 1st Cavalry, Americal Division.

Place and date: West of Que Son, Republic of Vietnam, 9 November 1967.

Entered service at: San Francisco, CA. Born: 31 December 1937, Arcata, CA.

Citation: Capt. Taylor, Armor, was serving as executive officer of Troop B, 1st Squadron. His troop was engaged in an attack on a fortified position west of Que Son when it came under intense enemy recoilless rifle, mortar, and automatic weapons fire from an enemy strong point located immediately to its front. One armored cavalry assault vehicle was hit immediately by recoilless rifle fire and all 5 crewmembers were wounded. Aware that the stricken vehicle was in grave danger of exploding, Capt. Taylor rushed forward and personally extracted the wounded to safety despite the hail of enemy fire and exploding ammunition. Within minutes a second armored cavalry assault vehicle was hit by multiple recoilless rifle rounds. Despite the continuing intense enemy fire, Capt. Taylor moved forward on foot to rescue the wounded men from the burning vehicle and personally removed all the crewmen to the safety of a nearby dike. Moments later the vehicle exploded. As he was returning to his vehicle, a bursting mortar round painfully wounded Capt. Taylor, yet he valiantly returned to his vehicle to relocate the medical evacuation landing zone to an area closer to the front lines. As he was moving his vehicle, it came under machinegun fire from an enemy position not 50 yards away. Capt. Taylor engaged the position with his machinegun, killing the 3-man crew. Upon arrival at the new evacuation site, still another vehicle was struck. Once again Capt. Taylor rushed forward and pulled the wounded from the vehicle, loaded them aboard his vehicle, and returned them safely to the evacuation site. His actions of unsurpassed valor were a source of inspiration to his entire troop, contributed significantly to the success of the overall assault on the enemy position, and were directly responsible for saving the lives of a number of his fellow soldiers. His actions were in keeping with the highest traditions of the military profession and reflect great credit upon himself, his unit, and the U.S. Army.

In a White House ceremony on 19 November 1968, President Lyndon B. Johnson presented the Medal of Honor to Captain James A. Taylor and fellow Medal of Honor recipients Captain Angelo Liteky; Specialist Four Gary Wetzel; Specialist Five Dwight H. Johnson; and Sergeant Sammy L. Davis.

Taylor reached the rank of Major before retiring from the Army in 1980.

Honoree ID: 1096   Created by: MHOH




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