Cyrus R. Taylor
was born on February 8, 1917 to parents Clinton Tallmadge Taylor and Leah Brooks Robinson in Mount Vernon, New York. Nicknamed "Cy" or "The Cypress".
Enlisted in the U. S. Navy (USN) with Navy serial number O-122496. Assigned to Assigned to Motor Torpedo Boat Squadron Twelve (MTBS 12) in the South West Pacific Area (SWPA) as captain of PT-193 nicknamed "The Witch" by the crew. Later, after the boat's successes they renamed it "Bitchin' Witch".
During the night of March 12, 1944 to March 13, 1944 PT-193 under the command of Lt. Cyrus R. Taylor and PT-196 under the command of Lt(jg) Alfred G. Vanderbilt, Jr. departed on a patrol. During the night, they were attacked by a Japanese float plane that dropped a bomb that landed 150 yards astern of PT-193. Gunners aboard the PT-Boats fired at the aircraft and claimed it as shot down. Afterwards, Taylor earned the Silver Star for this action.
On June 24, 1944 at 4:30pm PT-193 under the command of Taylor with PT-331 under the command of Capitan Lt. Montz departed Mios Woendi PT Boat Base on a mission to Noemfoor Island. After completing their mission, both PT Boats hunted Japanese barges and became grounded on a coral reef.
While preparing to abandoned ship, gas was poured over all compartments. Taylor went below deck to his quarters for a final check of the ship. While below decks, the gas ignited and exploded, severely wounding Taylor and blowing four of the crew members overboard onto the reef and all sustained injuries. Taylor was severely burned and went into shock. Afterwards, transported to hospital ship AHS Maetsuycker, but at 9:45pm died from his
Taylor was officially declared dead on June 25, 1944 and earned the Silver Star.
Afterwards, Mois Woendi PT Boat Base was renamed "Camp Taylor" in honor of Cyrus R. Taylor. Postwar, he was permanently buried at Manila American Cemetery at Plot F, Row 7, Grave 88.
Bureau of Naval Personnel Information "Silver Star citation Cyrus R. Taylor" Bulletin No. 333 December 1944
"The President of the United States of America takes pride in presenting the Silver Star (Posthumously) to Lieutenant Cyrus R. Taylor (NSN: 0-122496), United States Naval Reserve, for gallantry in action when Motor Torpedo Boat ONE HUNDRED NINETY-THREE (PT-193), was bombed by an enemy float plane while patrolling with another torpedo boat on 13 March 1944. Lieutenant Taylor directed highly effective evasive tactics and enabled his crew to destroy the Japanese plane and bring the torpedo boat through without casualties among personnel or damage to the vessel. His gallant actions and dedicated devotion to duty, without regard for his own life, were in keeping with the highest traditions of military service and reflect great credit upon himself and the United States Naval Service."
US Navy Action Report, PT 193 24/25 June 1944
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - Cyrus R. Taylor
FindAGrave - Lt Cyrus Robinson Taylor (Manila American Cemetery)
At Close Quarters PT Boats in the United States Navy (1962) by Robert Bulkley pages 236, 251, 252 (photo Camp Taylor), 253, 502 (Silver Star, Taylor), 513 (Appendix D, Casualties KIA, Taylor), 570 (index Taylor)
Pacific Island Odyssey pages 60-62
Hell On Keels: The Saga of Motor Torpedo Boat Squadron12– A Story of Wooden Boats and Iron Men by Rick Desloge pages 46-47