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James Harry Taylor

Born February 3, 1946
Died February 15. 1971, MIA Laos
Service Branch Army
Rank 2nd Lieutenant
Rating or Job Helicopter Pilot
Campaign Viet Nam
Military Citations  

Serial Number 567708141

Died in helicopter air crash in Laos

Body not recovered

National Archives


2nd Lt. James Harry Taylor

Feb. 3, 1946 - Feb. 15. 1971


Since his father was in construction work, the Montana-born James Taylor was raised all over the country—Washington, Arizona and California.

The family eventually settled in Oroville, and Taylor attended Las Plumas High School, where he graduated from in 1964.

A car buff, Taylor used to race autos at local tracks and won awards for his restoration of vintage cars.

After high school, Taylor went to junior college at Yuba College and later transferred to Chico State College. He graduated from Chico in 1968, and faced with the draft, joined the Army shortly thereafter.

Taylor was trained to fly Chinook supply helicopters and was sent to Vietnam in May 1970. He served first with the 196th Aviation Company, and when that outfit was deactivated, he was transferred to the 101st Airborne Divison near Danang.

On Feb. 15, 1971, with less than three months to go in Vietnam, Taylor volunteered to fly a load of fuel to a base in the field. The huge tank of fuel was suspended by cable below the helicopter.

While the Chinook was flying over Laos, a shot was fired from the jungle below at the fuel tank. The tank exploded, blowing up the helicopter.

US. forces could not land in the hostile territory and Taylor and the five others aboard are still considered missing in action.

Courtesy Chico News & Review. May 26, 1988



National Archives

Chico News & Review

Mementos Taylor