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LT William L. Taylor  
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In his memory

LT William L. Taylor

Updated: April 6, 2009

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LTJG William L. Taylor flew VFP-62 missions over Cuba during the Cuban Missile Crisis and received the Distinguished Flying Cross (see "Cuban Missile Crisis" and "Faces of VFP-62" on this site).

Bill retired from naval aviation for a career with United Airlines where he became a 747 Captain.

He died of a heart attack after completing 10 years of retirement from United Airlines. He is buried in Arlington National Cemetery.

The following is Bill's obit from the Knoxville, TN paper:

TAYLOR, WILLIAM LEE (BILL) -husband, father, brother, decorated Naval Aviator, Airline Captain, and friend died suddenly and unexpectedly Thursday, December 28, 2006 in Tellico Village, Tennessee. After growing up in Peekskill, NY, Bill graduated from Georgia Tech University. Immediately after his college graduation he entered the U.S. Navy where he was Commissioned and earned his Wings of Gold as a Naval Aviator - and began a distinguished career serving his country as a Fighter Pilot.

During the Cuban Missile Crisis in 1962, then Lieutenant (jg) Taylor was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross for his bravery and exploits while flying Low Level Photo Reconnaissance Missions over the island of Cuba, and President John F. Kennedy personally decorated his squadron with the Navy Unit Commendation for their bravery and selfless service to their country.

After leaving the Navy he embarked on a 34-year career as a pilot with United Airlines where he earned the four stripes of an Airline Captain. His career culminated as the Captain of the Boeing 747, flying to destinations around the world. Retiring in 1997 first to Pensacola, Florida and then to Tellico Village, Tennessee he and his wife Terry enjoyed traveling and spending time with family and a close knit group of friends, while being active in their community and in their church. Bill played in the Church Orchestra and the Handbell Choir of the First Baptist Church of Tellico Village, and he served as a church trustee.

Bill is survived by his cherished wife of 46 years Terolyn (Terry) Wilkins Taylor of the home; a daughter Hillary Taylor Sheffer and her husband Brent of Columbus, Ohio; two sons, Christopher Bruce Taylor and his wife Christi of New Port Ritchie, Florida, Benjamin Terrell Taylor and his wife Michelle of Ashland, Ohio; one sister Mrs. JoAnn Taylor Brace and her husband, Robert of Syracuse, Utah; four grandchildren, and many nieces and nephews.

Services will be held at 2 pm Tuesday, January 2, 2007 at the First Baptist Church of Tellico Village. Family will receive friends after the service at the church. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the Children's Advocacy Center, P.O. Box 928, Lenoir City, TN 37771. Bill will be inurned at Arlington National Cemetery alongside his father and mother, the late Fred B. and Ann Lee Taylor. The Click Funeral Home of Lenoir City is handling arrangements.

Published in the Knoxville News Sentinel on 12/31/2006.

Bill was my father-in-law.
Brent Sheffer
Columbus, OH


Updated April 6, 2009: Lt. Taylor (Billy to me) was one of my closest friends in high school. I had a dance band and Bill was my tenor sax player. We hung out together and shared all of our "girl" problems. We stayed in touch throughout our years in college and after. He and his lovely wife Terry had dinner at my parents house after his military stint. I last saw Bill at our 50th high school reunion in 2004.

I was very upset to hear of his passing. I will miss him.
Martin (Marty) Silverstein


Webmaster's note: See other pictures on "Faces of VFP-62" Page 1, row 3, picture 3, Page 2, row 1, picture 3, row 2, pictures 1 & 2 and "Scarborough Photos" Page 1, row 2, picture 3.

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Click photo to enlarge: LT Thomas (standing 3rd from right) with group of Cuban Missile Crisis pilots

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LT Taylor on left, behind standard held by Cmdr. William B. Ecker
Navy Unit Commendation Ceremony presented to VFP-62 by President Kennedy

 

 
 

 

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