Medal of Honor Recipient
Taylor, Larry L.
The President of the United States, authorized by Act of Congress (March 3, 1863) has awarded the Medal of Honor to Capt. Larry L. Taylor, United States Army, for conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty.
First Lieutenant Larry L. Taylor distinguished himself while serving with Troop D (Air), 1st Squadron, 4th Cavalry, 1st Infantry Division, on June 18, 1968, near the village of Ap Go Cong, Republic of Vietnam.
On this date, First Lieutenant Taylor commanded a light fire team of two Cobra helicopter gunships scrambled on a nighttime mission in response to an urgent call for aerial fire support from a four-man long range patrol team. Upon arrival, First Lieutenant Taylor found the patrol team surrounded and heavily engaged by a larger Viet Cong force. He immediately requested illumination rounds from supporting artillery to assist with identifying the enemy positions. Despite intense enemy ground fire, he flew at a perilously low altitude placing a devastating volume of aerial rocket and machine gun fire on the enemy forces encircling the friendly patrol.
For approximately 45 minutes, First Lieutenant Taylor and his wingman continued to make low-level danger-close attack runs on the surrounding enemy positions. When enemy fire increased from the village of Ap Go Cong, he requested artillery rounds with lower illumination altitudes be fired on that portion of the village so that the burning rounds ignited the enemy positions. With both Cobra gunships nearly out of ammunition and the enemy still closing in on the patrol team, First Lieutenant Taylor flew the patrol team’s potential ground evacuation route, finding it unviable based on the heavy enemy fire encountered.
Returning to the patrol team’s location, he continued to circle it at a low level under intense enemy fire, employing his search light to make fake gun runs on the enemy positions to distract them from the patrol team. Running low on fuel and with the patrol team nearly out of ammunition, First Lieutenant Taylor decided to extract the team with his two-man Cobra helicopter gunship, a feat never before accomplished. He directed his wingman to fire their remaining mini-gun rounds on the patrol team’s east flank.
First Lieutenant Taylor then fired his own last mini-gun rounds on the enemy positions, opening an avenue of movement to the east for the patrol team. He directed the patrol team to move 100 yards towards the extraction point where First Lieutenant Taylor, still under enemy fire, landed his helicopter and instructed the patrol team to climb aboard anywhere they could. With the four-man long range patrol team seated on rocket-pods and skids, he evacuated them to the nearest friendly location, undoubtedly saving their lives.
First Lieutenant Taylor’s conspicuous gallantry, his profound concern for his fellow soldiers, and his intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty are in keeping with the highest traditions of military service and reflect great credit upon himself, his unit, and the United States Army.| Heroes | Tributes