Name: Walter Joseph Taylor, Jr.
Rank/Branch: E3/US Army
Unit: Company B, 158th Aviation Battalion, 101st Airborne Division
Date of Birth: 30 October 1947
Home City of Record: Moss Point MS
Date of Loss: 06 December 1970
Country of Loss: South Vietnam/Over Water
Loss Coordinates: 160903N 1081308E (BZ013850)
Status (in 1973): Killed/Body Not Recovered
Category: 4
Aircraft/Vehicle/Ground: UH1M
Refno: 1682

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 2020.


SYNOPSIS: On December 6, 1970, PFC Joseph Taylor was serving as a door
gunner on a UH1M helicopter when it crashed into the South China Sea near
the Da Nang Harbor. The aircraft failed to recover from a very steep dive
being maneuvered. (Note: The UH1M, was not a particularly common version of
the Huey used in Vietnam. The M model was essentially the same as a UH1C,
with the addition of a more powerful engine.)

PFC Taylor was last seen by the aircraft commander about one minute prior to
the crash of the aircraft. Upon impact with the water the helicopter
exploded and burned. Rescue teams recovered the pilot and aircraft commander
and several days later, the body of the crew chief. Navy divers also
recovered a portion of the aircraft, but no trace of Taylor was found.

It was the opinion of the U.S. Army that Taylor died on December 6, 1970.
Because his body was not recovered, Taylor is listed among the nearly 2500
Americans missing from the Vietnam war.

For others who are missing, determination of death is not possible. Some of
the missing were last seen being led away by enemy troops. A few wrote home
from POW camps, but were not released at the end of the war. Others were in
radio contact with search and rescue teams and advised them of their
imminent capture. Some simply disappeared.

Since the war ended, thousands of reports have accumulated indicating that
hundreds of Americans are still alive, captives in Southeast Asia. While
Taylor is probably not one of them, one can imagine him willingly flying one
more mission to help bring them home.





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On December 6, 1970, a UH-1M Iroquois (tail number 15184, call sign "Lancer 45") with four crew members failed to recover from a steep dive and crashed into Da Nang Bay in the South China Sea. Immediate search and rescue efforts resulted in the rescue of the pilot and the aircraft commander.  The body of the crew chief was recovered several days later. While search and rescue divers recovered portions of the aircraft, the fourth crew member was not found.

Private First Class Walter Joseph Taylor Jr., who entered the U.S. Army from Mississippi, served with Company B, 158th Aviation Battalion, 101st Airborne Division, and was the door gunner on this helicopter at the time of its loss. He remains unaccounted for. Today, Private First Class Taylor is memorialized on the Courts of the Missing at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific.

Based on all information available, DPAA assessed the individual's case to be in the analytical category of Active Pursuit.

If you are a family member of this serviceman, DPAA can provide you with additional information and analysis of your case. Please contact your casualty office representative.

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