Image Credit: army.mil
The Tennessee Conservative Staff –
An East Tennessee native and University of Tennessee Knoxville graduate is set to be honored with a parade for being awarded the Medal of Honor.
During a ceremony at the White House on September 5th, Captain Larry Lowe Taylor, a Vietnam veteran, officially received the Medal of Honor. Taylor distinguished himself by acts of bravery and courage during his time as a Cobra helicopter pilot during the Vietnam War.
Hamilton County, the City of Chattanooga, and the Chattanooga Area Veterans Council have been working with the Coolidge National Medal of Honor Heritage Center to plan the “Welcome Home” parade, which will take place on Patriot Day, September 11, at 11:30 a.m.
“The Medal of Honor is the nation’s highest medal for valor in combat, and we are honored that another Chattanoogan will receive the Medal of Honor in the coming days,” said Colonel Frank Hughes (USMC, Ret), chairman for the board of trustees at the Heritage Center. “Captain Larry Taylor’s Medal of Honor action is a story of someone who truly distinguished himself with courage and bravery with no regard for his own safety to ensure no man was left behind. We look forward to honoring him and sharing his story of courage and commitment with a new exhibit at the Coolidge National Medal of Honor Heritage Center.”
Taylor rescued four soldiers who were surrounded by North Vietnamese on the night of June 18, 1968, when he landed his helicopter in the middle of a firefight. He lifted the soldiers out of the fight and moved them to safety. David Hill of Visalia, California; Robert Elsner of New York City; Gerald Patty of Maryville, Tennessee; and William P. Cohn of Norwich, Connecticut were the soldiers rescued on that night.
Captain Taylor has previously been awarded with the Silver Star for his brave actions. President Joe Biden has upgraded the award to a Medal of Honor. Taylor is the 33rd person from Tennessee and the 6th soldier with connections to the Chattanooga area to receive the award.
With the 1st Squadron, 4th U.S. Cavalry and 1st Infantry Division, Taylor flew over 2,000 combat missions in the UH-1 and Cobra helicopters. In his four years of military service, Taylor was awarded 61 combat decorations, some of which include 44 Air Medals, the Vietnamese Cross of Gallantry, two Bronze Stars, and four Distinguished Flying Crosses.
Taylor ran a roofing and sheet metal company in Chattanooga after his time in the military. He was also an active member in several veterans’ organizations. Taylor now lives out his retirement in Signal Mountain with his wife.
The “Welcome Home” Parade will be held in Chattanooga upon Taylor’s return to the city. There will be a special flyover of several Vietnam-era Cobra and other modern-day helicopters at the parade. Also participating in the parade will be the Commanding General’s Mounted Color Guard and the 1st Infantry Division Band, several high school bands, JROTC units, and ROTC units.
“Chattanooga is the Birthplace of the Medal of Honor, and I encourage everyone to bring their children downtown on September 11 and line Market Street to help honor Larry Taylor as a true American hero and help celebrate the important heritage of the Medal of Honor whose birthplace, like Captain Larry Taylor, is right here in Chattanooga, Tennessee,” said General BB Bell, chairman of the National Advisory Board at the Coolidge National Medal of Honor Heritage Center.
Hamilton County Mayor Weston Wamp added, “There is no greater role model to represent the values of Hamilton County than legendary Vietnam veteran Larry Taylor, whose valor as a Cobra pilot is finally being appropriately recognized. All residents of Hamilton County should take great pride in sharing this once-in-a-lifetime celebration with our hometown hero.”
The parade will conclude with an official ceremony in front of the Coolidge National Medal of Honor Heritage Center. At the ceremony, Leroy Petry, Medal of Honor recipient, and other dignitaries will make remarks. There will be a temporary exhibit of Taylor unveiled after the parade. The exhibit will be housed at the heritage center.