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Jesse Junior Taylor

Date of birth: 16-Jan-25
Date of death: MIA: November 17, 1965
Place of Birth: Kansas, Wichita
Home of record: Los Alamitos California
Status: MIA

Jesse Taylor was listed as Missing in Action after the incident that earned him the Navy Cross. His remains were identified and returned to the United States in 1975.


Navy Cross

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Awarded for actions during the Vietnam War

The President of the United States of America takes pride in presenting the Navy Cross (Posthumously) to Lieutenant Commander Jesse Junior Taylor (NSN: 0-553662), United States Navy, for extraordinary heroism in aerial flight as a Pilot in Attack Carrier Air Wing SIXTEEN (CVW-16), embarked in U.S.S. ORISKANY (CVA-34), during a rescue combat air patrol over hostile territory in North Vietnam on 17 November 1965. Although his aircraft was severely damaged by heavy enemy ground fire while he was attempting to locate a downed pilot, Lieutenant Commander Taylor persisted in his efforts until he had definitely ascertained the location of his fellow airman. He then proceeded to attack enemy gun sites which threatened the approach of the rescue helicopter. Only after his aircraft caught fire and a crash was imminent did Lieutenant Commander Taylor cease his efforts. With his aircraft burning and heavily damaged, he succeeded in reaching the coast of the Gulf of Tonkin in an attempt to ditch but did not survive the crash of his crippled aircraft. In sacrificing his life in an effort to save the life of a fellow airman, Lieutenant Commander Taylor displayed the highest degree of courage and self-sacrifice. His actions were in keeping with the finest traditions of the United States Naval Service.

General Orders: Authority: Navy Department Board of Decorations and Medals

Action Date: 17-Nov-65

Service: Navy

Rank: Lieutenant Commander

Regiment: Attack Carrier Air Wing 16 (CVW-16)

Division: U.S.S. Oriskany (CVA-34)