American Valor
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History of the Medal
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James TaylorJames Taylor

Born: December 31, 1937
Arcata, California

War: Vietnam

Rank: Captain (then 1st Lt.), US Army, Troop B, 1st Cavalry, Americal Division (Armored Cavalry Division)

Location of action: West of Que Son, Republic of Vietnam

Date of action: November 9, 1967

Medal received from: President Lyndon Johnson, November 19, 1969

Official Citation:
Captain Taylor, Armor, was serving as Executive Officer of Troop B, 1st Squadron. His troop was engaged in an attack on a fortified position west of Que Son when it came under intense enemy recoilless rifle, mortar, and automatic weapons fire from an enemy strong point located immediately to its front. One armored cavalry assault vehicle was hit immediately by recoilless rifle fire and all five crewmembers were wounded. Aware that the stricken vehicle was in grave danger of exploding, Captain Taylor rushed forward and personally extracted the wounded to safety despite the hail of enemy fire and exploding ammunition. Within minutes a second armored cavalry assault vehicle was hit by multiple recoilless rifle rounds. Despite the continuing intense enemy fire, Captain Taylor moved forward on foot to rescue the wounded men from the burning vehicle and personally removed all the crewmen to the safety of a nearby dike. Moments later the vehicle exploded.

As he was returning to his vehicle, a bursting mortar round painfully wounded Captain Taylor, yet he valiantly returned to his vehicle to relocate the medical evacuation landing zone to an area closer to the front lines. As he was moving his vehicle, it came under machinegun fire from an enemy position not 50 yards away. Captain Taylor engaged the position with his machinegun, killing the 3-man crew.

Upon arrival at the new evacuation site, still another vehicle was struck. Once again Captain Taylor rushed forward and pulled the wounded from the vehicle, loaded them aboard his vehicle, and returned them safely to the evacuation site. His actions of unsurpassed valor were a source of inspiration to his entire troop, contributed significantly to the success of the overall assault on the enemy position, and were directly responsible for saving the lives of a number of his fellow soldiers. His actions were in keeping with the highest traditions of the military profession and reflect great credit upon himself, his unit, and the U.S. Army.

Of Note:
Taylor attended the following civilian and military schools:
Arcata Union High School, Arcata, CA
Tampa University, B.S. Criminology
3rd Armored Division NCO Academy, Germany
U.S. Army Officer Candidate School, Ft. Benning, GA
U.S. Army Armor School, Fort Knox, KY

In addition to the Medal of Honor, Taylor has received the following awards and decorations:
Bronze Star Medal
Air Medal
Purple Heart
Good Conduct Medal – 3rd award
National Defense Service Medal
Vietnam Service Medal
Vietnam Campaign Medal (Vietnamese)

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