Victor Vaughan Taylor, Jr. – Captain, United States Army

Courtesy of his classmates, United States Military Academy

Victor Vaughan Taylor, Jr.

No. 13263  •  24 May 1920 – 15 April 1945
Killed in action in the Ruhr Valley, Germany
Interment: Arlington National Cemetery, Arlington, Virginia

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Victor Vaughan Taylor, Jr. beloved son of the late Brigadier General Victor Vaughan Taylor, United States Army, and Mrs. Landes Taylor of  Seattle, Washington, was born on 12 May 1920 to the tune of martial music at Fort Riley, Kansas. There was no wonder the Army and its traditions were in his blood. All through his boyhood this was his ambition, and the years to follow made it a reality. His courage, sense of fairness, desire for knowledge, his strong belief in democratic principles, and his readiness to give assistance where needed were an integral part of him. He was full of laughter and energy. At the age of nine he saved a boy from drowning at Cub Scout camp for which he was given a citation. Before he left for the east to study for West Point, a special Court of Honor was held for him in order that he could be made an Eagle Scout. Hiking, mountain climbing, skiing, and outdoor sports occupied his free time. Those who knew and loved him will never forget him. Everyone knew Vaughan Taylor, and Vaughan got the best out of life with his spontaneous enthusiasm for life and his love of others.

Before going overseas, Vaughan was made a Captain in the 13th (Lucky Black Cat) Armored Division, and in June 1943 he married Doris Hoeninghaus of New York City. It was a most happy marriage and tragically brief.

A letter arrived a short time before his death from France telling me that in two weeks he was about to reach the venerable age of 25. He never lived to attain it. He said he had been living with the officers in a majestic old chateau, forbiddingly cold and draughty. He decided he wanted to be with his men, who were quartered in a large barn on the premises, so he moved into the barn. They prepared for him a bed in a manger near the huge fireplace filled with crackling logs and he was very happy there. He enjoyed thoroughly the rural French people and had many long and
interesting talks with them.

Then news came of his death in the Ruhr Valley. He died in the vicinity of Knatt, Germany, and was buried in Margraten, Holland, Plot A, Row 17, Grave 29. He has since been reinterred in Arlington National Cemetery, Arlington, Virginia. His name is engraved on the pylon in Seattle among other Seattle men who gave their lives for their country.

His commanding officer, General Wogan, who also was a personal friend, wrote that he was proud of Vaughan’s achievement in his first day of fighting when he brought in to camp many captured German prisoners. The following day, those who came back arrived without him. He had been shot and killed by a German ack ack gun.

Nothing I could say about my son would in any way do justice to his fineness of character, his love of life and inward charm of which he was so unconscious. Those who knew him will never forget his influence on others during his short life. I am blessed, indeed, to be able to say, “Victor Vaughan Taylor, Jr. was My Son.”

— G. L. T.
Originally published in ASSEMBLY, July 1956

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