Selvwyn Risher Taylor

Warrant Officer
Army of the United States
18 December 1937 - 16 March 1969
Midland, Texas
Panel 29W Line 056


Army Aviator

DFC, Purple Heart, Air Medal, Good Conduct, National Defense, Vietnam Service, Vietnam Campaign

The database page for Selvwyn Risher Taylor

08 May 2005

Selywyn Taylor was from Midland, Texas. He attended schools there. He was married. He was a 12 year veteran of military service and had spent the last two years training and flying fixed wing aircraft under the Army Warrant Officer Program. He was killed in a airplane crash in Dinh Tuong Province March 16, 1969. He is remembered by his community of Midland, Texas and by the Permian Basin Vietnam Veterans' Memorial. May his sacrifice not be forgotten.

Billy Brown

11 Dec 2005

In order to determine if WO Taylor's Military Headstone shows a Purple Heart, I found his final resting place at the Resthaven Memorial Gardens Cemetery in Midland, Texas. It shows that in addition to a DFC, Bronze Star Medal, and 17 Air Medals, Mr. Taylor indeed was awarded a Purple Heart. This does not necessarily clear up the controversy, but leads me to believe that he received the Purple Heart for his final mission.

From a PBVVM representative,
Billy M. Brown

24 Nov 2006

I received a copy of his military records under the freedom of information act. He served a tour with the 502nd Aviation Battalion in 1965 in Vietnam. He was wounded in September 1965 and spent from September 17, 1965 until April 8, 1966 as a patient at Fort Sam Houston, Texas. Therefore the Purple Heart listed on his headstone is from a previous tour. So the controversy still exists as to the status of his death.

He was born in McCamey, Texas, lived in Wink, Odessa, Midland, and Eldorado, Texas.

He was a 1957 graduate of Eldorado, Texas High School. He had enlisted in the Texas National Guard while in high school and served 17 months prior to going active duty in June 1957. He served in Japan and Germany and had served as a personnel clerk, vehicle mechanic, helicopter mechanic, and crew chief.

He was married and the father of two daughters.

From a PBVVM representative,
Billy M. Brown
4015 Melody Lane, Odessa, Texas 79762

21 May 2006

I flew with Mr. Taylor and Capt. Gaylord. Good men, both of them. Mr. Taylor had a big heart, always ready to help anybody who needed it. There was a question about the airplane going down. Some reported shots fired at the airplane as it was on short final. Some thought it ran out of fuel. I don't have the answer and I doubt anybody actually does, but whatever the case may be, Mr. Taylor, to me, was courageous, dependable, and served his country and fellow soldiers to the best of his ability. He was a fine man and a fine pilot.

All gave some, some gave All. Lest we forget.

From a fellow soldier,
David Linton
Friendswood, Texas

A Note from The Virtual Wall

Two men were killed when their O-1 "Birddog" went down during a night artillery spotting mission near Dong Tam in the Mekong Delta. The two were
  • WO Selvwyn R. Taylor, Midland, TX, pilot, 184th Avn Co, and
  • CPT Douglas D. Gaylord, St Peters, MO, observer, HHB, 9th Div Arty.
Oddly, WO Taylor's casualty record is coded for a non-hostile loss, while Captain Gaylord's is coded for a hostile loss.

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With all respect
Jim Schueckler, former CW2, US Army
Ken Davis, Commander, United States Navy (Ret)
Memorial first published on 9 May 2005
Last updated 08/10/2009