Died August 10,2010
Brigadier General Mervin M. Taylor is commander of the 23rd North American Air Defense Command Region, with additional duty as commander, 23rd Air Division, U.S. Air Force Aerospace Defense Command, Duluth International Airport, Minn.
General Taylor was born in Norcatur, Kan., in 1924. He enlisted in the U.S. Navy in December 1942, attended the U.S. Navy Reserve Midshipman School at the University of Notre Dame, and was commissioned an ensign in October 1944.
He was assigned to a ship of the 7th Fleet in February 1945 and participated in the Western Pacific Campaign until the end of World War II. After duty as a staff officer with the Senior U.S. Naval Commander in Tokyo, Japan, General Taylor returned to the United States and was placed in inactive Naval Reserve status in June 1946. He graduated from George Pepperdine College, Calif., with a bachelor of science degree in 1947.
In August 1947 General Taylor entered on active military duty in the U.S. Air Force and attended pilot training at Randolph Air Force Base, Texas. A distinguished military graduate, he received his pilot wings and regular commission as a second lieutenant in October 1948.
His first Air Force assignment was as an RF-80 pilot with the 12th Tactical Reconnaissance Squadron, then the 27th Fighter Squadron of the 1st Fighter Wing; both units located at March Air Force Base, Calif. During 1949 and 1950 he was a member of the 1st Fighter Wing's F-86 aerobatic team, the "Sabre Dancers."
In February 1951, during the Korean War, General Taylor was assigned to the 80th Fighter Squadron in Korea and flew 77 combat missions in the F-80C as a flight commander.
He returned to the United States in August 1951 and performed operational duties at squadron and group levels at Hamilton and George Air Force bases, Calif. From October to December 1956, he attended the U.S. Air Force Flying Safety School at the University of Southern California and was then assigned as assistant to the commander for safety, 27th Air Division, Norton Air Force Base, Calif.
General Taylor went to Rabat, Morocco, in October 1957, where he served two and one-half years as chief of tactical evaluation for the 316th Air Division. In May 1960 he was assigned to the University of California as assistant professor of air science. His next assignment was in July 1964 as chief, Fighter Branch, Directorate of Tactical Evaluation, 1st Air Force, Stewart Air Force Base, N.Y. In July 1965 he became commander of the F-l0l-equipped 60th Fighter Squadron at Otis Air Force Base, Mass.
In December 1966 General Taylor transferred to Korat Royal Thai Air Force Base, Thailand, as assistant deputy commander for operations, 388th Tactical Fighter Wing. During this one year in Southeast Asia, he flew 119 combat missions in the F-105; of these missions 102 were over North Vietnam. He returned to the United States in November 1967 and joined the Office of Studies and Analysis, Headquarters U.S. Air Force, Washington, D.C.
In March 1968 he completed the Department of Defense management course at Monterey, Calif., and in August 1968 was selected to attend the National War College, Fort McNair, Washington, D.C. In conjunction with his NWC studies, he participated in The George Washington University graduate program and earned a master's degree in international affairs.
General Taylor was assigned in August 1969 as vice commander, 78th Fighter Wing, at Hamilton Air Force Base. In January 1970 the wing was renamed the 1st Fighter Wing and General Taylor became commander.
In January 1971 he received his NATO assignment, first attending the NATO Defense College in Rome, Italy, then moving to 4th Allied Tactical Air Force Headquarters, Ramstein Air Base, Germany, where he assumed the position of assistant chief of staff for exercise and tactical evaluation in August 1971, and in October 1972 became deputy chief of staff for operations.
General Taylor returned to the United States in December 1973 and served as assistant deputy chief of staff, operations for Combat Operations for the North American Air Defense Command and for the Aerospace Defense Command with headquarters at Ent Air Force Base, Colo. He assumed his present position as commander of the 23rd NORAD Region in May 1975. General Taylor was assigned the additional duty of commander 23rd Air Division, on July 12, 1976.
His military decorations and awards include the Silver Star with oak leaf cluster, Legion of Merit, Distinguished Flying Cross with four oak leaf clusters, Bronze Star Medal, Meritorious Service Medal, Air Medal with 19 oak leaf clusters, Air Force Commendation with oak leaf cluster, Presidential Unit Citation Emblem, and the Distinguished Unit Citation Emblem.
He was promoted to the grade of brigadier general on Sept. 1, 1972, with date of rank Aug. 21, 1972.
(Current as of September 1976)