ADJ3 Douglas D. Taylor, USN, was assigned to Helicopter Attack, Light, 3 (HAL-3) "Seawolves" from August 1971 through February 1972. His formal training for this assignment began in February of 1971 attending various flight, survival, and weapons training schools. He arrived in Binh Thuy, RVN in Aug. '71 to become familiarized with his duty assignments as gunner/crew chief trainee of the Navy's Huey, UH-1B gun ship squadron. Upon completion, he was assigned to Detachment Seven (Det-7) based at Dong Tam, RVN. It was there that he qualified in his duties becoming a viable member of this fire team providing close air support for SEAL operations, Brown Water Navy operations, Marine, Army, RVN forces. He became proficient with all aspects of the Huey's weapons systems including 7.62 rockets, pod mounted mini guns, door mounted mini guns, .50 cal., M-60 machine guns, M-79 grenade launchers, flares, hand grenades, and various personal weapons. He logged over 300 combat hours during his tour that was cut short by the closing of hostile operations in February of 1972. His missions included serving as crew for reconnaissance, close fire support, rescue, medevac, troop insertions and retrievals. The following is but one of the many distinctive combat actions that could be written for this nominee for Enlisted Combat Aircrew Roll of Honor.
On or about mid-afternoon, 7 Oct. 1971, ADJ3 Douglas D. Taylor planned to perform routine periodic inspections of his UHlB gun ship, having removed panels and was changing fluids, & lubricating his aircraft. The policy here is to have one gun ship on alert status while the remaining craft is being serviced. A "scramble" was received midway through the maintenance procedure. The alert gun ship, piloted by officers Venter and Brooks and crew, left immediately in route to the scene. With Petty Officer Taylor directing, he and his crew consisting of pilots Masica and Barrett, with 2nd gunner PO1 Labarrer, quickly restored his ship to flying status. As a result, Petty Officer Taylor and his crew were on scene in approximately 20 minutes, joining their partner gun ship. The ambush site was aglow with friendly and enemy small arm fire, along with B-40 rocket fire, as these river boat crews fought for their lives. Their lead boat was burning and abandoned while their team retreated to a functioning boat and fought on. The Seawolf fire team provided accurate suppressing gun fire causing the enemy to cease their fire as the rescue of this ambushed river boat patrol was conducted. Petty Officer Taylor's professionalism and dedication is the leading factor in the successful rescue of these U.S. advisors and their counterparts in a most deadly situation.
Recent communications via E-mail have linked his detachment, radio call sign "Skirt Hoop" with a member of that rescued crew. All are eagerly looking forward to a reunion in St. Louis, Mo. in 2002.