HAROLD TAYLOR (USAAF)

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Left:  Harold Taylor. Shot down in B-24 during World War II.  POW, tail gunner, finally in USAF at Ellsworth AFB in March 1948.

US Army Air Corps MSgt. Harold "Had" Taylor entered the service on December 3, 1942, from his home in Cranston, Rhode Island.  From Miami Beach he started his formalized training as a gunner in Loredo, Texas.  He continued with his training in Salt Lake City, Denver, and Boise.
Taylor was shot down in his B-24 Liberator south of Vienna, Austria, by Luftwaffe Messerschmitt 110 fighters, while on a bombing mission to Bad Voslau.  Impaled by a metal fragnment in the leg, he was held in Stalag 17 as POW in Krems, Austria, from April 12, 1944, until his liberation by General Patton's 13th Armored Division on May 3, 1945.  There were about 4,000 other POWs in the same prison camp.  
On February 10, 1948, Taylor joined the newly formed USAF, and in March of 1948 came to Weaver Air Base, South Dakota, now renamed Ellsworth AFB.  Until his retirment, at Ellsworth AFB on April 30, 1965, Taylor also served as a tail gunner on the B-29 Superfortress, the B-36 Peacemaker, and was part of the B-52 H Stratofortress program at Minot AFB where he was stationed for a while.

Below: View of Stalag XVII-B near Krems, Austria, where Taylor was POW



Be sure to read the other story about Had.