Billy Joe Taylor

United States Marine Corps
24 November 1947 - 02 August 1968
Wyandotte, Michigan
Panel 49W Line 001


Silver Star

Purple Heart, National Defense, Vietnam Service, Vietnam Campaign

The database page for Billy Joe Taylor

23 Oct 2001

Billy Joe Taylor ...

As I trace your name, etched on cold marble,
warmed by the July sun, I wonder about you.
Who were you?
A blonde, with a carefree smile?
Dark-haired and ebony skinned?
Easy going, or sullen? Weighted by the world�s troubles?
I read many names on the wall.
Keiths, Rays, Bryans, Michaels, Todds, Roberts, Bobs, to name a few.
I wonder at all the Smiths, and Jones, a Callahan, an O�Malley or two.
The crowd keeps walking swiftly by -I stop and try to read all the names.
I want to read each one. I remember the war.
I remember the body counts, the blood, the anger.
I remember hating the covers of Time and Newsweek.
I remember the fear of desensitizing the nation.
I had high school friends and neighbors over there. I remember.
I want to remember each of you.
Billy Joe Taylor - Billy Joe Taylor
and I cried.
I didn�t know you, a stranger, yet, I cried for the Southern boy.
I wonder if your mom has been here to see the wall.
I touch your name in her honor.
Wonder about a family, a life wretched away.
I imagine you young. Were you here today could you be
A doctor, a lawyer, a farmer. I wonder.
The simple, innocent, friendliness of your name,
Billy Joe Taylor,
Juxtaposed against the hard rock and wall of names
Emphasized what we lost - Billy Joe Taylor.
We lost your smile, your future, the future of each.
I wonder what others are thinking?
How are they impacted? Will they renounce the next war?
I wonder what was said to make you, and thousands go.
I wondered too as I walked the Battlefield of Gettysburg the day before, I cried.
The copse of trees, Pickett�s charge, headstones upon headstones.
10,000 more bloodied those fields. Yet we went on to fight other wars?

Billy Joe Taylor,
Thank You.
I wish the epitaph to be "No More!"

July 1997, completed October 2001

A memorial from
Monalisa Di Angelo

A Note from The Virtual Wall

Corporal Taylor had served with C Company, 1st Battalion, 3rd Marines, but volunteered for duty with the Combined Action Program. The CAP placed a small unit of Marines, usually with a Navy Corpsman, in a village where they lived and sometimes died in company with the village's Vietnamese militia. CAP 1-3-3 was in Phuoc Hoa, Quang Ngai Province.

The 1st CAG command chronology for August 1968 contains the following entry:

"020245H Aug 68: CAP 1-1-3. Upper and lower compounds occupied by CAP 1-1-3 and MTT 1-2 came under attack from two VC companies. VC breached wire of lower compound. Reaction force from upper compound ejected and pursued them. Results: 29 VC KIA (C), 20 weapons captured."
Six Marines died in the fight:
  • CAP 1-1-3:
    • Cpl Larry A. Jamerson, Spokane, WA
    • Cpl Billy J. Taylor, Wyandotte, MI (Silver Star)

  • Mobile Training Team 1-2:
    • Cpl Carl D. Wakefield, Framingham, MA
    • LCpl David C. Crane, Rochester, NY
    • Pfc Michael A. Griggs, Bowie, MD
    • Pfc Peter J. Lovan, Elmont, NY
Corporal Taylor's actions that night warranted award of the Silver Star, America's third highest decoration for valor.

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With all respect
Jim Schueckler, former CW2, US Army
Ken Davis, Commander, United States Navy (Ret)
Memorial first published on 23 Oct 2001
Last updated 08/10/2009