Name: Phillip Charles Taylor
Rank/Branch: E5/US Army
Unit: Troop A, 3rd Squadron, 17th Cavalry, 12th Aviation Group
Date of Birth: 15 April 1949 (Elmyra NY)
Home City of Record: Grand Island NY
Date of Loss: 27 May 1971
Country of Loss: Cambodia
Loss Coordinates: 120105N 1063133E (XU661289)
Status (in 1973): Killed/Body Not Recovered
Category: 2
Aircraft/Vehicle/Ground: OH58A
Refno: 1749
Source: Compiled from one or more of the following: raw data from U.S.
Government agency sources, correspondence with POW/MIA families,
published sources, interviews. Updated by the P.O.W. NETWORK in 1998.
Other Personnel in Incident: Thomas W. Knuckey (missing)
SYNOPSIS: On May 27, 1971, 1Lt. Thomas W. Knuckey was the pilot and Sgt.
Phillip C. Taylor the observer on board an OH58A helicopter which was part
of a force conducting battle damage assessment (BDA) in Kracheh Province,
Cambodia, where air strikes had been made in attempts to destroy an enemy
machine gun position. The location of the gun emplacement was near the
border of Cambodia and South Vietnam, about 8 miles southeast of the city of
During Knuckey's final pass over the gun emplacement, his aircraft was hit
by enemy groundfire, and exploded while still in flight. The helicopter then
crashed and exploded a second time and burned. Witnesses reported that the
crew could not have survived. Because of heavy enemy activity in the area, a
ground search was not possible.
Knuckey and Taylor were listed as killed, bodies not recovered. They are
among nearly 2500 Americans who remain unaccounted for from the Vietnam war.
The cases of some, like Knuckey and Taylor, seem clear - that they perished
and cannot be recovered.
In 1988, the government of Cambodia announced to the press that it had a
number of American remains it wished to return to the U.S. (in fact, the
number announced was more than are officially listed as missing in
Cambodia). Despite the efforts of several U.S. Congressmen, these remains
have never been returned because the U.S. will not make an official response
to Cambodia, a government it does not diplomatically recognize.
It is not thought that many of the men lost in Cambodia survived, primarily
because of Pol Pot's mass genocide after American involvement in Southeast
Asia ended. Unfortunately, mounting evidence indicates that hundreds of
Americans are still captive in Vietnam and Laos, waiting for the country
they proudly served to secure their freedom. While Knuckey and Taylor may
not be among those said to be still alive, we can honor their sacrifice by
refusing to allow political pandering to prevent the return of their bodies.
We can honor the sacrifices of all who died in Vietnam by insisting that all
living prisoners of war are returned home. There can be no other honorable
end to the war in Vietnam.