Army Captain Larry Taylor feted for a Daring  Rescue in Vietnam
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Army Captain Larry Taylor feted for a Daring Rescue in Vietnam


US President Joe Biden has awarded the nation’s highest military medal to a Vietnam War helicopter pilot Army Captain Larry Taylor who disregarded a direct order and saved his comrades surrounded by unending waves of Vietnamese.

In 1968, retired Army Captain Larry Taylor, 81, flew his Cobra attack chopper into a firefight to rescue four US troops from near-certain death.

Army Captain Larry Taylor had been ordered to return to base, but when he learned a rescue helicopter wasn’t going to arrive to evacuate the surrounded troops, he fearlessly and defiantly rescued the men himself.

On the night of 18 June 1968, the long-range reconnaissance patrol team that then-1st Lt Taylor saved came under heavy fire and was surrounded by enemy troops outside Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam.

Running low on fuel and ammunition, he made low-level attack runs as the enemy returned intense ground fire for about half an hour. He was the only pilot multi-tasking in the Copter sending devastating impact to the enemy. Unfortunately, his ammo and fuel were getting low and the enemy waves were not subsiding.

Upon realizing that his ground team’s escape route was a death trap, he radioed with a new extraction point.

U.S. President Joe Biden awards the Medal of Honor to retired Army Captain Larry Taylor for conspicuous gallantry during the Vietnam War, during a ceremony in the East Room at the White House in Washington, U.S., September 5, 2023.


When the men arrived at the location, 1st Lt Taylor landed the helicopter “with complete disregard for his personal safety” to pick up the four troops, the White House said.

The men had to cling to the outside of the two-person aircraft as there wasn’t room inside.

President Biden said at Tuesday’s medal ceremony: “The rescue helicopter was not coming.

“Instead, Lieutenant Taylor received a direct order: Return to base. His response was just as direct: ‘I’m getting my men out. I’m getting my men out.’

Former Army Capt. Larry Taylor to receive Medal of Honor | Article | The United States Army

“Lieutenant Taylor would perform the extraction himself, a move never before accomplished in a Cobra.”

The Tennessee native’s aircraft was hit multiple times amid the rescue mission.

“He refused to give up. He refused to leave a fellow American behind,” Mr Biden said. “When duty called, Larry did everything to answer. He rewrote the fate of four families for generations to come.”

Biden awards Army pilot Medal of Honor for Vietnam War rescueAmry Capt Larry Taylor feted

Only 3,515 US military personnel have received the Medal of Honor, out of 40 million who have served since the Civil War. His actions had never before been attempted, the Army says. He received the Medal of Honor at the White House.