RICHARD W. TAYLOR, KIA, February 23, 1945

On the morning of February 23 1945, the people of the Dutch village Castricum, were startled by the howling noise of a plane in distress followed by a huge impact in a field nearby.
It turned out to be the crash site of a Mustang piloted by 22 year old 2LT Richard ('Dick') Wallace Taylor, 363 FS/357FG, flying as a wingman to Paul Bowles that day. They were on a bomber escort mission to Germany.
Every week from that day on until the end of the war fresh flowers were laid at his field grave by two Dutch sisters taking care of his grave ! Richard's remains were recovered in 1946, after which an official funeral was finally held at Glenwood Cemetery, Geneva, NY. in 1949.
On July 29, 2000, the local council of Castricum decided to name a new street after Richard W. Taylor for ' the role he played in the wartime history of Castricum and for Freedom in The Netherlands '. Richard Taylor was the only American killed in Castricum during the war.
His older brother 1LT Robert Hugh Taylor who flew a 15 AF 97BG/340BS B-17F bomber out of Foggia/Amendola Italy, was reported MIA on March 11 1944 and is still listed on the Florence Wall of the Missing.
Within one year their mother lost both her children....
The memory to Richard Taylor is kept alive with a small display in the Museum of the Aircraft Recovery Group 1940 - 1945 in Heemskerk, starting with the words ' Born To Fly - Richard Wallace Taylor '
The cause for his crash was maybe due to a medical reason as he suffered from a heart murmur as a child, probably giving heart trouble during this mission...(Paul Bowles stated that Richard Taylor was lagging behind while flying in and out of clouds and suddenly disappeared)
Recent investigation revealed a new fact. Some days after the crash a witness found an almost intact released P-51 cockpit canopy at a distance of about 800 m. from the crash site, indicating that Richard Taylor was trying to bail out but it was too late.....
Building activities are on it's way in this new street and we're looking forward to the day the official street name sign 'Richard W. Taylorstraat' will be placed !
Paul Patist 

(Thanks to Paul for this great story about Richard!)

Temporary street sign to honor Richard Taylor. Paul Patist photo.

A permanent sign for "Richard W. Taylorstraat" has now been placed in the city of Castricum, the Netherlands, to honor Richard Taylor. A sign in Dutch reads, "American pilot killed in action Feb 23, 1945." Thanks to Paul and all those who supported this effort to honor Richard!!!

 

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