DAVID W. TAYLOR, JR., LCDR, USNR

From USNA Virtual Memorial Hall

David Taylor, Jr. '35

Date of birth: January 2, 1912

Date of death: May 16, 1944

Age: 32

Lucky Bag

From the 1935 Lucky Bag:

Loss

From New England Aviation History:

On May 16, 1944, Lt. Cmdr. David Wooster Taylor, 32, took off from Quonset Point Naval Air Station in a F6F-3 Hellcat (Bu. No. 41944) for a routine training mission. He was killed when his aircraft crashed and burned at the Sunset Valley Reservation in East Greenwich. The cause of the crash was not stated in newspapers.

Taylor was survived by his wife Virginia, and two young children, Jean, 4, and David, 3.

A housing development now stands on the site where this accident took place.

Lt. Cmdr. Taylor was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross while assigned to the aircraft carrier USS Ranger (CV-4) for his part in an attack against enemy shipping off Bodo, Norway, on October 4, 1943.

Sources:
Woonsocket Call, “Lt. Cmdr. D. W. Taylor Killed In Plane Crash”, May 17, 1944, Pg. 1
North Kingstown, Rhode Island, death records

Other

In the April 1, 1941 Navy Directory he is listed as a LTjg with Cruiser Scouting Squadron (VCS) 5 aboard USS Chester (CA 27)

Distinguished Flying Cross

From Hall of Valor:

The President of the United States of America takes pleasure in presenting the Distinguished Flying Cross to Lieutenant Commander David W. Taylor, Jr., United States Naval Reserve, for extraordinary achievement while participating in aerial flight while leading his squadron from the U.S.S. RANGER (CV-4) against a well-defended merchant vessel during the attack on enemy shipping off Bodo, Norway, 4 October 1943. Lieutenant Commander Taylor scored three direct hits amidships and left the hostile vessel in flames. He pressed home this vigorous attack in the face of heavy anti-aircraft fire.

General Orders: Bureau of Naval Personnel Information Bulletin No. 326 (May 1944)
Action Date: October 4, 1943
Service: Navy
Rank: Lieutenant Commander
Division: U.S.S. Ranger (CV-4)

Memorial Hall Error

David's Distinguished Flying Cross states he was in the Naval Reserve. He is listed in Memorial Hall as USN.

Navy Directories & Officer Registers

The "Register of Commissioned and Warrant Officers of the United States Navy and Marine Corps" was published annually from 1815 through at least the 1970s; it provided rank, command or station, and occasionally billet until the beginning of World War II when command/station was no longer included. Scanned copies were reviewed and data entered from the mid-1840s through 1922, when more-frequent Navy Directories were available.

The Navy Directory was a publication that provided information on the command, billet, and rank of every active and retired naval officer. Single editions have been found online from January 1915 and March 1918, and then from three to six editions per year from 1923 through 1940; the final edition is from April 1941.

The entries in both series of documents are sometimes cryptic and confusing. They are often inconsistent, even within an edition, with the name of commands; this is especially true for aviation squadrons in the 1920s and early 1930s.

Alumni listed at the same command may or may not have had significant interactions; they could have shared a stateroom or workspace, stood many hours of watch together… or, especially at the larger commands, they might not have known each other at all. The information provides the opportunity to draw connections that are otherwise invisible, though, and gives a fuller view of the professional experiences of these alumni in Memorial Hall.

October 1935

Ensign, USS California

Others at this command: LT Norman Ives '20, ENS John McMahon '34, ENS Robert Brinker '34, ENS Royal Ingersoll, II '34, ENS Thomas Hine '34, ENS Dewitt Harrell '35, ENS Henry Gearing, III '35, ENS John Ennis '35, ENS Mark Eslick, Jr. '35, and ENS Ralph Beacham '35.

Others at or embarked at this command: LCDR Francis Maile, Jr. '15 (Battle Force) and LTjg Eugene Davis '27 (Observation Plane Squadron (VO) 4B).

January 1936

Ensign, USS California

Others at this command: LT Norman Ives '20, ENS John McMahon '34, ENS Robert Brinker '34, ENS Royal Ingersoll, II '34, ENS Thomas Hine '34, ENS Dewitt Harrell '35, ENS Henry Gearing, III '35, ENS John Ennis '35, ENS Mark Eslick, Jr. '35, and ENS Ralph Beacham '35.

Others at or embarked at this command: LCDR Francis Maile, Jr. '15 (Battle Force), LTjg Eugene Davis '27 (Observation Plane Squadron (VO) 4B), and ENS Frederick Purdy '33 (Battle Force).

July 1936

Ensign, USS California

Others at this command: LTjg Gus Lofberg, Jr. '27, 1LT Francis Williams '30, ENS Robert Brinker '34, ENS Thomas Hine '34, ENS Dewitt Harrell '35, ENS Henry Gearing, III '35, ENS Ralph Beacham '35, ENS George Wagner, Jr. '36, and ENS William Hulson '36.

Others at or embarked at this command: LTjg Eugene Davis '27 (Observation Plane Squadron (VO) 4B), LTjg Frederick Purdy '33 (Battle Force), and ENS Mark Eslick, Jr. '35 (Observation Plane Squadron (VO) 4B).

January 1937

Ensign, USS California

Others at this command: LT Gus Lofberg, Jr. '27, 1LT Francis Williams '30, ENS Thomas Hine '34, ENS Dewitt Harrell '35, ENS Henry Gearing, III '35, ENS Ralph Beacham '35, ENS George Wagner, Jr. '36, ENS Walter Bayless '36, and ENS William Hulson '36.

Others at or embarked at this command: ENS Mark Eslick, Jr. '35 (Observation Plane Squadron (VO) 4B).

April 1937

Ensign, USS California

Others at this command: LT Gus Lofberg, Jr. '27, 1LT Francis Williams '30, ENS Dewitt Harrell '35, ENS Henry Gearing, III '35, ENS Ralph Beacham '35, ENS George Wagner, Jr. '36, and ENS Walter Bayless '36.

Others at or embarked at this command: ENS Mark Eslick, Jr. '35 (Observation Plane Squadron (VO) 4B).

September 1937

Ensign, under instruction, Naval Air Station Pensacola, Florida

Others at this command: LT Richard Moss '24, CAPT Paul Moret '30, LTjg Samuel Dealey '30, LTjg Albert Gray '31, LTjg Charles Crommelin '31, 1LT Harold Larson '31, LTjg John Spiers '32, LTjg John Phillips, Jr. '33, LTjg Robert Isely '33, LTjg Edward Worthington '34, LTjg Frank Whitaker '34, LTjg George Nicol '34, ENS Herbert Carroll, Jr. '34, LTjg Philip Torrey, Jr. '34, LTjg Stuart Stephens '34, LTjg Walker Ethridge '34, LTjg William Drumtra '34, ENS Frederick Schrader '35, ENS Mark Eslick, Jr. '35, ENS Ralph Beacham '35, ENS Richard McGowan '35, and ENS Stanley Lipski '35.

Others at or embarked at this command: LCDR Arnold Isbell '21 (Training Squadron (VN) 4D8, Naval Air Station Pensacola, Florida), CAPT Ernest Pollock '28 (Training Squadron (VN) 2D8, Naval Air Station Pensacola, Florida), LT William Pennewill '29 (Training Squadron (VN) 1D8, Naval Air Station Pensacola, Florida), LTjg Claud Hughes '30 (Training Squadron (VN) 2D8, Naval Air Station Pensacola, Florida), and LTjg Alden Irons '31 (Training Squadron (VN) 2D8, Naval Air Station Pensacola, Florida).

January 1938

Ensign, under instruction, Naval Air Station Pensacola, Florida

Others at this command: LT Richard Moss '24, CAPT Paul Moret '30, LTjg Samuel Dealey '30, LTjg Albert Gray '31, LTjg Charles Crommelin '31, 1LT Harold Larson '31, LTjg John Spiers '32, ENS Glenn Dunagan '33, LTjg John Phillips, Jr. '33, LTjg Robert Isely '33, LTjg Edward Worthington '34, LTjg Frank Whitaker '34, LTjg George Nicol '34, LTjg Herbert Carroll, Jr. '34, LTjg Philip Torrey, Jr. '34, LTjg Stuart Stephens '34, LTjg Walker Ethridge '34, LTjg William Drumtra '34, ENS Clyde McCroskey, Jr. '35, ENS Frederick Schrader '35, ENS Norman Ostergren '35, ENS Ralph Beacham '35, ENS Richard Stephenson '35, ENS Richard McGowan '35, ENS Samuel Adams '35, and ENS Thomas Cummins '35.

Others at or embarked at this command: LCDR Arnold Isbell '21 (Training Squadron (VN) 4D8, Naval Air Station Pensacola, Florida), CAPT Ernest Pollock '28 (Training Squadron (VN) 2D8, Naval Air Station Pensacola, Florida), LT William Pennewill '29 (Training Squadron (VN) 1D8, Naval Air Station Pensacola, Florida), and LTjg Alden Irons '31 (Training Squadron (VN) 2D8, Naval Air Station Pensacola, Florida).

July 1938

Ensign, Bombing Squadron (VB) 3, USS Saratoga

Others at this command: LCDR Irving Wiltsie '21, LT John Yoho '29, and LTjg James Reilly '32.

Others at or embarked at USS Saratoga: LT John Waldron '24 (USS Saratoga), LT Gerald Dyson '27 (USS Saratoga), LT William Pye, Jr. '28 (Fighting Squadron (VF) 3), LTjg Albert Major, Jr. '32 (Fighting Squadron (VF) 3), LTjg John Spiers '32 (Fighting Squadron (VF) 3), LTjg George Nicol '34 (Scouting Squadron (VS) 3), ENS William Hulson '36 (Aircraft, Battle Force), ENS Paul Riley '37 (USS Saratoga), ENS William Mason, Jr. '37 (USS Saratoga), ENS John Smith '38 (USS Saratoga), ENS John Black '38 (USS Saratoga), ENS Keene Hammond '38 (USS Saratoga), ENS Osborne Wiseman '38 (USS Saratoga), and ENS Vincent Sim '38 (USS Saratoga).

January 1939

Lieutenant (j.g.), Bombing Squadron (VB) 3, USS Saratoga

Others at this command: LCDR Irving Wiltsie '21, LT John Yoho '29, and LTjg James Reilly '32.

Others at or embarked at USS Saratoga: LT John Waldron '24 (Scouting Squadron (VS) 3), LT Gerald Dyson '27 (USS Saratoga), LTjg John Spiers '32 (Fighting Squadron (VF) 3), LTjg George Nicol '34 (Scouting Squadron (VS) 3), ENS William Hulson '36 (Aircraft, Battle Force), ENS Paul Riley '37 (USS Saratoga), ENS William Mason, Jr. '37 (USS Saratoga), ENS John Smith '38 (USS Saratoga), ENS John Black '38 (USS Saratoga), ENS Keene Hammond '38 (USS Saratoga), ENS Osborne Wiseman '38 (USS Saratoga), and ENS Vincent Sim '38 (USS Saratoga).

October 1939

Lieutenant (j.g.), Bombing Squadron (VB) 4, USS Ranger

Others at or embarked at USS Ranger: LT William Pennewill '29 (Scouting Squadron (VS) 42), LTjg Frederick Schrader '35 (Fighting Squadron (VF) 4), LTjg Richard Bull, Jr. '36 (Scouting Squadron (VS) 41), ENS Harry Howell '38 (USS Ranger), ENS Walter Sharer '38 (USS Ranger), and ENS Lemuel Cooke '39 (USS Ranger).

June 1940

Lieutenant (j.g.), Cruiser Scouting Squadron (VCS) 5, USS Chester

November 1940

Lieutenant (j.g.), Cruiser Scouting Squadron (VCS) 5, USS Chester

Others at or embarked at USS Chester: LT Lynne Quiggle '30 (USS Chester).

April 1941

Lieutenant (j.g.), Cruiser Scouting Squadron (VCS) 5, USS Chester

Others at or embarked at USS Chester: LT Lynne Quiggle '30 (USS Chester) and ENS Robert Dwyer '41 (USS Chester).


Class of 1935

David is one of 56 members of the Class of 1935 on Virtual Memorial Hall.