Last Monday, the Congressional Medal of Honor Society announced that the latest recipient of the Medal of Honor had passed away. The news of his passing comes a couple of months after he was decorated with the highest military decoration of the United States Armed Forces.
According to a press release, Captain Larry L. Taylor (Retired) died at his home in Signal Mountain, Tennessee. He was aged 81. The cause of his death is yet to be disclosed
President Biden honored Taylor with the Medal of Honor for his bravery near the village of Ap Go Cong, Binh Du’ong Providence, Vietnam, during a ceremony at the White House on Sept. 5, 2023. Taylor is one of the twelve recent recipients of the medal. During the decoration ceremony, he was visibly emotional as he expressed how much the honor meant to him.
“Well, I just dreamed one night. Today, that dream became true,” Taylor said as he fought back tears. “People ask me about that night. You know? What possessed you to do that? Well, it needed doing,” he added.
In June 1968, Taylor, serving as a 1st Lieutenant commander, led a team of two Cobra helicopter gunships to assist a four-person patrol team in urgent need. Despite facing heavy enemy fire, Taylor and his wingman circled the patrol team and made multiple low-level passes to intimidate the enemy.
“As the gunships’ ammunition ran low, Taylor continued to make fake gun runs at low altitude to distract the enemy from the men on the ground. He observed that the patrol team’s planned evacuation route was unviable, given the heavy fire they were still encountering,” the Congressional Medal of Honor Society’s release states. “Taylor then landed his helicopter 100 yards away, still under intense enemy fire, to meet the patrol team on the ground. With the team climbing onboard wherever they could, including seated on rocket-pods and skids, Taylor was able to evacuate the entire patrol team, thereby saving their lives.”
During his time in Vietnam, Taylor flew numerous combat missions in UH-1 “Huey” helicopters and Cobra helicopters over the course of a year. “We never lost a man,” he said proudly, speaking to the press.
“I finally just flew up behind them and sat down on the ground,” he explained during the AP interview. “They turned around and jumped on the aircraft. A couple were sitting on the skids. One was sitting on the rocket pods, and I don’t know where the other one was, but they beat on the side of the ship twice, which meant haul a–. And we did!”
Taylor retired from service with the rank of captain. He is survived by his wife, Toni, and other family members. Details regarding his funeral arrangements are yet to be finalized. Taylor dreamed of being a hero, to put the lives of others before his, and he courageously did that during the Vietnam War.
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