TAYLOR, SELVWYN RISHER
TAYLOR, SELVWYN RISHER
Rank / Branch:
WO1, U.S. ARMY
FIRST AVIATION BRIGA
Date of Birth:
Awards & Decorations:
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SELVWYN RISHER TAYLOR, WARRANT OFFICER ONE, U.S. ARMY, MIDLAND, MIDLAND COUNTY, TEXAS
AWARDS AND DECORATIONS
Aviator Wings, Disguished Flying Cross, Bronze Star, Purple Heart, Air Medal with 17 oak leaf clusters, Good Conduct Medal, three awards, National Defense Service Medal, Vietnam Service Medal, Vietnam Campaign Medal
Selvwyn R. Taylor was born in McCamey, Texas and grew up in Wink, Odessa, Midland and Eldorado, Texas. He joined the Texas National Guard in December 1955 while still in high school, completed basic training at Fort Hood, Texas and was assigned as a light truck driver to the National Guard in Sonora, Texas. He graduated from Eldorado High School with the Class of 1957.
He entered active duty with the U.S. Army from Sonora, Texas, June 6, 1957 and completed Advanced Individual Training as a Clerk Typist at Fort Carson, Colorado. After training, he was assigned as a personnel clerk with an Air Defense Artillery Battery in Hanford, Washington. He then completed a tour in Japan with the Operation's Detachment, United States Transportation Group 7. He returned to CONUS and then served at as a personnel administrative clerk with an Air Defense Artillery Battery in Augusta, Georgia.
He married Alice Sosa of Sonora on February 2, 1959 while home on leave. They were to have three children, two daughters and a son.
He re-enlisted in the Army on January 29, 1960 and completed training as a helcopter mechanic at Fort Rucker, Alabama and served as a mechanic with an Aviation Company at Fort Rucker. Following that assignment, he was transferred to the United States Army Aviation Group at White Sand's Missile Range, New Mexico. He completed a tour in Germany as a helicopter mechanic, April 1, 1963 and was reassigned to Fort Rucker, Alabama where he completed advanced training in helicopter mechanics. Following the advance course, he was assigned to Troop D, 4th Cavalry Regiment at Fort Riley, Kansas. The unit mobilized to Vietnam, April 3, 1965. While in Vietnam, he attained the rank of Staff Sergeant. He was wounded while serving as a crew chief/door gunner on September 17, 1965 and was medevaced to Fort Sam Houston, Texas where he was hospitalized until April 8, 1966.
Leaving the hospital, he returned to Fort Rucker and served as a helicopter mechanic instructor at the United States Army Helicopter Training facility and remained there until August 17, 1967. He was selected to attend Rotary Wing Flight Training as a Warrant Officer Candidate at Fort Wolters, Texas. After attending pre-flight training, he was selected for Fixed Wing Pilot Training and was reassigned to Fort Stewart, Georgia for his primary training. After completion, he then returned to Fort Rucker, Alabama for advanced pilot training. He spent a year in flight school and trained to pilot a Cessna type aircraft. Following graduation, he was commissioned as a Warrant Officer One on June 1968 and was assigned to return to Vietnam. He began his tour in Vietnam on August 19, 1968.
Resthaven Memorial Cemetery, Midland, Texas
In Vietnam, he was assigned as a fixed wing pilot with the 184th Aviation Company, 210th Aviation Battalion, 12th Aviation Group, 1st Aviation Brigade. His primary duties was to fly reconnaissance and spotter missions.
On March 16, 1968, he was flying TDY in a O-1 "Birddog" with the 9th Division in the Delta area south of Saigon. His passenger and spotter was Captain Douglas D. Gaylord, an artillery officer with Headquarters and Headquarters Battery, 9th Division Artillery. They were flying an artillery spotting mission near Dong Tam in the Mekong Delta when the aircraft went down and crashed, killing WO Taylor and Captain Gaylord. There is a discrepancy as to whether the incident was hostile or non-hostile. On Cpt. Gaylord’s casualty report, the incident is classified as “hostile” and according to Mr. Taylor’s casualty report it is classified as “non-hostile.”
WO Taylor was buried with full military honors at the Resthaven Memorial Cemetery in Midland, Texas. He was survived by his wife and three children of Enterprise, Alabama and his parents of Midland. His wife remarried, had an additional child, divorced and took back the Taylor name. She passed away on November 30, 2007 after teaching and retiring from the San Antonio School System. She had taught in Midland, Alpine, Marfa, Rocksprings, Sonora as well as San Antonio. She now rests next to the love of her life.