Hall of Honor
Master Sergeant Bobby D. Taylor enlisted in the Texas Air National Guard
on September 27th, 1956, as an administrative clerk in the 136th
Aircraft Maintenance Squadron. In December of 1956, he transferred to
the 181st Fighter Interceptor Squadron as an Air Operations Specialist,
beginning a long career as an Air Guard Technician.
In 1958, Chief Taylor graduated from the Life Support Equipment School
as the Honor Graduate. In 1959 and in 1963, Chief Taylor received
Certificates of Merit for saving the lives of two pilots during an
emergency bailout. Both pilots would later become Major Generals and
Command the Texas Air National Guard.
Chief Taylor attended Aircraft Boom Operator School for KC-97 refueling
tankers in 1964, and was upgraded to flight instructor and evaluator
status. From 1967 until 1977, Chief Taylor participated in Operation
Creek Party, providing continuous air refueling support to the United
States Air Force in Europe. He was also selected as a crewmember to
conduct numerous test flights at Edwards Air Force Base, California, for
air- refueling compatibility with many new fighter aircraft. In 1978,
Chief Taylor attended Aircraft Loadmaster School for C-130 aircraft, and
was upgraded to flight instructor and evaluator. His was then assigned
to the 136th Airlift Wing. Over the next ten years, Chief Taylor
participated in Operation Volant Oak, flying numerous embassy re-supply
and drug interdiction missions into very remote and hazardous areas of
Central and South America.
In August of 1990, Chief Taylor participated in Operation Desert Shield
and Desert Storm for a period of eight months, flying multiple combat
and combat support missions. During a night mission, Chief Taylor and
his crew were transporting troops and equipment from the 101st Airborne
into a hostile area, when he noticed flames coming from a vehicle they
were transporting. Without regard to his own safety, Chief Taylor
climbed through a window, into the burning vehicle and extinguished the
flames with his hands. His swift actions saved the life of the Army
troops, his crew and the aircraft.
Chief Taylor participated in Operation Southern Watch in 1996, flying
missions in the no fly zone in Southern Iraq. A year later he was active
in Operation Joint Guard, flying missions into Bosnia, during the crisis
there. In December of 1994, Chief Taylor was selected as Command Chief
Master Sergeant for the 136th Airlift Wing and was awarded the
Meritorious Service Medal for his outstanding efforts. He was also
selected (twice) to chair a National Guard Bureau and Department of
Defense committee to rewrite job descriptions for enlisted aircrews and
their importance in the "Total Aircrew Concept".
During his remarkable career, Chief Taylor accumulated over fifteen
thousand flying hours, in all fifty states and seventy-one foreign
countries. He received a total of twenty-seven military decorations,
including the Meritorious Service Medal, Air Medal, Aerial Achievement
Medal, Air Force Commendation Medal, Air Force Achievement Medal, Combat
Readiness Medal and numerous other federal and state medals. Chief
Taylor is a lifetime member of the National Guard Association of Texas
and has been on the board of directors for the 136th Airlift Wing
Retirees Association for several years.
On April 27, 1998, Chief Taylor retired from the Texas Air National
Guard with forty-one years and seven months of distinguished service to
his state and nation.
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