Secret Astronauts


Lt. Col. James M. Taylor
United States Air Force

"To be in MOL, you had to be smart and you had to be a leader. To me, Jimmy was among the best in both categories."—Vice Adm. Richard H. Truly


James Martin Taylor was born in Stamps, Arkansas, on November 27, 1930. He received his bachelor of science in electrical engineering from the University of Michigan in 1959.

Career highlights

Following the cancellation of MOL, James M. Taylor served as an instructor pilot at the Test Pilot School at Edwards Air Force Base. Tragically, he and a student were killed the next year, in 1970, when their T-38 jet crashed during a training mission at Palmdale Regional Airport near Edwards Air Force Base.

Taylor's fellow MOL astronauts escorted the lieutenant colonel's body to McChord Air Force Base in Pierce County, Washington. They were pallbearers at his funeral.

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