TAYLOR, TED JAMES
Name: Ted James Taylor
Rank/Branch: O3/US Army
Unit: Troop A, 2nd Squadron, 17th Cavalry, 101st Airborne Division
Date of Birth: 09 November 1945
Home City of Record: Lancaster SC
Date of Loss: 15 July 1971
Country of Loss: South Vietnam
Loss Coordinates: 164030N 1065219E (XD996444)
Status (in 1973): Killed/Body Not Recovered
Other Personnel in Incident: (none missing)
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 2015 with information
provided by R Rainwater. 2020
SYNOPSIS: Capt. Ted J. Taylor was the pilot of an AH1G Cobra gunship (serial
#67-15674) that departed Quang Tri on July 15, 1971 on a combat assault
mission. His destination was Red Devil Road in South Vietnam.
As Capt. Taylor's helicopter started to descend, an explosion occurred.
Noticing his instruments were still in normal operating range, he decided to
head for Forward Base Sheppard. He then reported that he had overshot
Sheppard and was going to go on to Vandergrift, rather than circle around.
Taylor was proceeding down the Quang Tri River when his aircraft engine
failed. Taylor successfully autorotated into the river, and he and his
copilot got safely out of the aircraft. They were standing at the tail section
still wearing their body armor when the chase ship came to pick them up.
During the rescue attempt, as Capt. Taylor was being pulled off the
helicopter skid, a strong river undertow sucked him under water. He was not
seen after that moment. Search efforts in and along the river were
unsuccessful in locating either Taylor or his body.
It is tragically ironic that, having heroically flown his aircraft
to safety, Capt. Taylor should fall victim to an accidental drowning.
Although no remains were found, thus leaving open the possibility of
survival, it is likely that Taylor would have turned up at the nearest
friendly base had he survived. It was logically presumed that he drowned.
Taylor is one of over 2400 Americans still missing, prisoner or otherwise
unaccounted for from the Vietnam War. Some cases, like Taylor's seem readily
solved. Many others are not so clear.
Thousands upon thousands of reports have been received related to the
missing that have convinced many authorities that hundreds of Americans are
still in captivity in Southeast Asia. Whether Taylor is one of them is
certainly not known. What seems certain, however, is that he would gladly
fly them to safety if he could.