Lawrence C. Taylor
Lawrence Coburn Taylor was born 12 May 1920 at Santa Ana, Calif., and enlisted in the Marine Corps Reserve 14 January 1941. He was commissioned 2d lieutenant 24 March 1941 and after flight training served in the Pacific. Lieutenant Taylor was killed in combat during the Solomon Islands campaign in the summer of 1942. He was awarded the Silver Star for conspicuous gallantry while serving with a Marine Fighter Squadron 24 August 1942. “Prevented by a faulty engine from taking off with his flight to attack a hostile force of greatly superior strength, 2d Lieutenant Taylor skillfully effected hasty repairs and took off alone...his superb airmanship and dauntless courage under adverse conditions enabled him to destroy one heavy bomber...Taylor’s exemplary conduct and unswerving devotion to duty were an inspiration to the members of his squadron and in keeping with the highest traditions of the U.S. Naval Service.”
(DF-415: dp. 1,350; l. 306'; b. 36'8"; dr. 9'5"; s. 24 k.; cpl. 186; a. 25", 4 40mm., 10 20mm., 9 dcp., 2 dct. 3 21” tt.; cl. John C. Butler)
Lawrence C. Taylor (DE-415) was laid down 20 December 1943 by Brown Shipbuilding Co., Houston, Texas; launched 29 January 1944; sponsored by Mrs. Lawrence H. Taylor, mother of Lt. Taylor; and commissioned 13 May 1944, Lt. Comdr. R. Cullinan, Jr., in command.
After shakedown, Lawrence C. Taylor departed New York 6 August 1944 for the central Pacific, arriving Pearl Harbor 29 August. Sailing 16 October, the destroyer escort joined Anzio (CVE-57) and her hunter-killer group in the Philippine Sea. During operations near Leyte, her ASW patrols were rewarded 18 November after a 14-hour search for a Japanese submarine. Joining two planes from Anzio in a coordinated attack, Lawrence C. Taylor sent enemy submarine I-41 to the bottom.
During December the hunter-killer group searched the seas off Leyte and Luzon relentlessly, despite a violent typhoon which struck the islands. On 3 January 1945 Lawrence C. Taylor sortied with ships of the 3d Fleet to support the landings in Lingayen Gulf on the 9th. Remaining on patrol, she searched for enemy submarines off Luzon and prevented their closing the shipping lanes to the island.
When Iwo Jima, needed as stopover base for B-29s, was selected as the next target on the road to Tokyo, the destroyer escort departed Saipan 12 February to join the fight. She arrived off the tiny volcanic island 16 February and for 3 days guarded a group of escort carriers as they softened up the island prior to the landings. After the marines hit the beach the 19th, Lawrence C. Taylor stood by on patrol and support duty. Two days after the initial landings, she assisted Bismarck Sea (CVE-95) after the carrier was hit by a kamikaze. Under the constant threat of air raids, Lawrence C. Taylor continued operations off Iwo until early March.
The inspiring victory at Iwo Jima set the stage for the next campaign, Okinawa. Arriving off Okinawa 26 March, she performed ASW sweeps prior to the Easter Sunday assault in Japan’s own backyard. Once again her task was to keep the shipping lanes free of enemy submarines, and she continued this duty through June.
Then Lawrence C. Taylor accompanied Admiral Mitscher’s mighty fast carrier task force as it pounded the Japanese mainland. The submarine patrol brought results, because Anzio’s planes sighted an enemy submarine on the night of 15 July. At 0240 the following morning the destroyer escort registered her second kill when her depth charge attack sent I-13 to Davy Jones’ locker.
Lawrence C. Taylor continued operations with the 3d Fleet until the Japanese surrendered, then departed Okinawa 5 September to join the 7th Fleet as it landed occupation troops in Korea and China. She remained with the occupation units until 26 December when she departed Okinawa for home. Arriving San Francisco 15 January 1946, Lawrence C. Taylor remained on the west coast and decommissioned at San Diego 23 April. She joined the Pacific Reserve Fleet and at present is berthed at San Diego.
Lawrence C. Taylor received seven battle stars for World War II service.