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SSGT. Clyde Alva Taylor, WWII Hero

Clyde A. Taylor, the youngest of the Taylor boys, was drafted into the Army for battle in World War II where he became a war hero for the United States of America. His brother, Floyd Taylor served in the Army Air Corps. Like their little brother Clyde, Levi, Milburn, and Bill Taylor all served in the Army’s infantry. Raymond was unfortunately placed with the United States Marine Corps. Raymond never recovered from his experience. The oldest brother, Charlie Taylor, was too old to serve in the military and was therefore not eligible to be drafted. Charlie remained in Vinita to help the boys’ father and step mother, Marion and Minnie Taylor, on the family farm. Two step brothers, Lloyd and Pete Snyder, also served in the Army’s infantry.

Clyde earned the bronze star while in battle. Clyde stormed Utah Beach the day after D-Day. He, like most of the other soldiers, arrived by boat. He remained unharmed during this outing.

Sgt. Clyde A. Taylor was severely wounded 3 times. He was wounded on June 13, 1944, in France. SSgt. Clyde A. Taylor was again wounded on November 29, 1944, and on December 12, 1944, in Germany.Sgt. Clyde A. Taylor was severely wounded 3 times. He was wounded on June 13, 1944, in France. SSgt. Clyde A. Taylor was again wounded on November 29, 1944, and on December 12, 1944, in Germany.

Later in life, Clyde married Myrtle Holt Tune on March 2, 1946, in Columbus, Kansas. They raised two children, Bobby Gene and Winnie Sue Taylor Tritthart in Commerce, Oklahoma. Bobby Gene gave Clyde one grandson, Scott Alva Taylor. Sue and her husband of 43 years gave Clyde two granddaughters Carrie Rae Tritthart Satterwhite and Rev. Cassie Sue Tritthart, M.A.

Clyde worked mostly at Eagle Picher Industries in Quapaw, Oklahoma. He was a chemist and foreman over one of the labs used to analyze specimens taken from the mines in the area. He did this job with only completing the eighth grade and a year of business school.

SSGT. CLYDE A. TAYLOR
December 22, 1919-December 10, 2000

Before Deployment to the European Theatre

Clyde A. Taylor, the youngest of the Taylor boys, was drafted into the Army for battle in World War II. At this time, his brother Floyd Taylor and he were working on a farm in Elbert, Colorado, for proprietor Charlie Smith. Not known to the family until his later years in life, Clyde was engaged to Mr. Smith’s daughter. Clyde and Miss Smith met on a farm owned by her uncle neighboring the Taylor farm near Vinita, Oklahoma. In order to be near Miss Smith, Clyde and Floyd took employment with Charlie Smith in Elbert, Colorado, where Miss Smith resided with her parents.

Both brothers were drafted while working in Colorado and had to report to the draft board in Vinita, Oklahoma, located in Craig County. Clyde entered active service on March 28, 1942.

At the intake center, one man snapped him in the back with a wet towel. Clyde turned around and punched him. He then had his bluff in on the other men, and no one else every bothered him again.

Clyde spent the first 4 months as a private learning basic infantry training in California and Arizona. He spent another 6 months as a private first class learning to be a heavy machine gunner, also in California and Arizona. He recalled being transported by train from California all the way to Boston, Massachusetts. Eventually, he was assigned to the 359th Infantry, 90th Division, and was deployed to the European Theatre from Fort Dix, New Jersey.

While traveling, the ship, named the Susan B. Anthony, struck something in the water causing a huge hole in the hull. Luckily, two other ships were passing by and picked up all the passengers. The ship Clyde was on sunk in less than an hour. While they lost all of their weapons that were to be used on D-Day, no one suffered any harm. If not for the other ships passing by, Clyde and all of his fellow passengers would have perished.

Earning the Bronze Star

Clyde earned the bronze star while in battle. His unit had taken a position atop of a hill per orders. Unfortunately, this played into enemy hands. The enemy was waiting on them and surrounded the hill. Most of the unit was killed. Clyde was the highest ranking soldier still alive. He took charge of the unit and led them in defeating the enemy. This allowed the few remaining U.S. soldiers to escape either slightly injured or completely unharmed. Because of his heroism and leadership under unimaginable odds, Sgt. Clyde A. Taylor was awarded the bronze star.

One Happy Moment on Leave

While in France, Clyde was granted forty-eight hour leave on December 7, 1944, in Paris. Clyde traveled through the city in uniform to see some of the sites. At one stop, a young French boy approached him. The boy was very excited and was exclaiming something over and over again. It took Clyde a minute to figure out what the boy was saying. The boy was shouting American with a heavy French accent. He was thanking Clyde for saving his family. Clyde never forgot the boy’s gratitude.

D-Day and the Battle of the Bulge

Clyde stormed Utah Beach the day after D-Day. He, like most of the other soldiers, arrived by boat. He remained unharmed during this outing. During the offensive, he was able to fight alongside his older brother Milburn. Milburn and he also participated in the Battle of the Bulge, but neither of them talked much about this experience.

A Purple Heart with Two Oak Leaves

A Purple Heart with Two Oak LeavesSgt. Clyde A. Taylor was severely wounded 3 times. He was wounded on June 13, 1944, in France. SSgt. Clyde A. Taylor was again wounded on November 29, 1944, and on December 12, 1944, in Germany. The metal shrapnel was never removed from his body and remained under his left eye and in his right thigh. His treatment of one of the wounds was administered at a Dutch M.A.S.H. type unit. He recalled his nurse wearing wooden shoes. She was very comforting and treated him well during his stay; therefore, he always had a special place in his heart for the people of Holland.

Other Medals

Sgt. Clyde A. Taylor was severely wounded 3 times. He was wounded on June 13, 1944, in France. SSgt. Clyde A. Taylor was again wounded on November 29, 1944, and on December 12, 1944, in Germany.

Back at Home

Clyde returned to the United States and spent the remainder of his time in the army at the Brooke Convalescent Hospital at Fort Sam Houston, Texas. While there, he took a typing class and played basketball to relax. He spent 2 years and 2 months in combat. His final rank was Staff Sergeant, Heavy Machine Gun Non-Commissioned Officer. He served with the 359th Infantry, 90th Division in England, France, Germany, Luxemburg, and Belgium. He was a platoon sergeant in charge of a heavy machine gun platoon. He led the platoon in combat against enemy troops and supervised the firing of machine gunners. He was a member of H Company. Milburn, his older brother, was a member of C Company.

The Taylor Boys

Floyd Taylor served in the Army Air Corps. Like their little brother Clyde, Levi, Milburn, and Bill Taylor all served in the Army’s infantry. Raymond was unfortunately placed with the United States Marine Corps. Raymond never recovered from his experience. The oldest brother, Charlie Taylor, was too old to serve in the military and was therefore not eligible to be drafted. Charlie remained in Vinita to help the boys’ father and step mother, Marion and Minnie Taylor, on the family farm. Two step brothers, Lloyd and Pete Snyder, also served in the Army’s infantry.

Taylor Family Information

Clyde Alva Taylor was the youngest surviving child of Marion and Clara Alice (Burke) Taylor. Clara Alice was first generation American. Her family had emigrated from Sweden and entered the United States through Staten Island, New York. When they entered the country their last name was changed to Burke from Bjornstadt. Originally, the family name was Erickson, but Clyde’s grandfather thought Bjornstadt would be easier to pronounce in America and hoped that the new family name would not be changed. Marion and Clara Alice had 10 children, three of which died at birth. The second infant to die at birth was a girl, who is buried with Clara Alice’s parents somewhere near Marshfield, Missouri. There were two boys that died at birth. The youngest child was a boy that died at birth. Clara Alice died during her last delivery, so she is buried with her son in the Bluejacket, Oklahoma, cemetery.

The remaining 7 children were all boys. They include, Charlie, Levi Alfred, Milburn O., Floyd, Raymond, Bill, and Clyde Alva. Clyde was a toddler when his mother died, so he never knew anything about her. Levi, Milburn, and Charlie never married. Charlie died at a young age of a heart ailment and was a farmer all his life. Levi owned and operated a barber shop just off Main Street in Vinita, Oklahoma, all his life. Milburn worked on building highways for the state of Kansas using a road grater and by installing the steel guards found along the highways. He resided in Dodge City, Kansas.

Floyd Taylor married Velma Young (who was a beautiful Navajo woman) in Tulsa, Oklahoma, in 1952. He worked in the Oil Industry all of his life, which led him and his wife to reside in Jal, New Mexico. Velma worked in publishing at the local newspaper in Jal. Eventually, the couple adopted a son, Floyd Jr. that has always been known as Butch. They also adopted a daughter named Dawn. Both children were of Native American descent of a tribe other than Navajo. Floyd was very close to his granddaughter Crystal Thomas, who is Dawn’s only child. Their relationship resembled the close friendship shared by Clyde and his youngest granddaughter, Reverend Cassie Sue Tritthart.

Raymond married late in life. He is thought to have been in his 50’s. The Marine Corps had turned him into a drunk and gave him a wild streak that he never could reconcile with the calm, country way he was raised in. He owned and operated a shoe repair store on Main Street in Vinita, Oklahoma, just around the corner from Levi’s barber shop.

Bill married Molly and resided in Vinita, Oklahoma. When they married, Molly had a son named Sammy Lemon. Bill adopted Sammy as his own son and changed his last name to Taylor. Bill and Molly had 3 children of their own. The oldest was a son named Nathan, followed by a set of twins named Felicia and Louie.

Clyde married Myrtle Holt Tune on March 2, 1946, in Columbus, Kansas. They raised two children, Bobby Gene and Winnie Sue Taylor Tritthart in Commerce, Oklahoma. Bobby Gene gave Clyde one grandson, Scott Alva Taylor. Sue and her husband of 43 years gave Clyde two granddaughters Carrie Rae Tritthart Satterwhite and Rev. Cassie Sue Tritthart, M.A.

Clyde worked mostly at Eagle Picher Industries in Quapaw, Oklahoma. He was a chemist and foreman over one of the labs used to analyze specimens taken from the mines in the area. He did this job with only completing the eighth grade and a year of business school.

Growing up, he loved playing basketball. School was a great joy for Clyde to escape farm life. Because of his love of school, his teacher failed him in history (even though he had an A in the subject), so he could go to school an extra year.

Ford cars were always a favorite of Clyde’s. He loved Mercury Grand Marquis automobiles. He always drove a Ford product and argued with those, like his brother-in-law, who drove General Motors products.

Basketball was a great love of Clyde’s. He taught his youngest grandkid, Cassie, to play to game. He enjoyed playing horse, even when he was advanced in age. He also played croquet.

Just before retiring, Clyde and Myrtle moved to the outskirts of Miami, Oklahoma. A short time later, his son-in-law Billie Ray Tritthart and daughter Winnie Sue built a home next door. Winnie Sue became gravely ill after the birth of her daughter Cassie, so Clyde stepped in to care for the new granddaughter. So after retirement, Clyde cared for his infant granddaughter while Winnie Sue recovered. This created a bond between Clyde and Cassie. They became best friends. Clyde Alva Taylor died from Parkinson’s disease on December 10, 2000, at Integris Baptist Regional Health Center in Miami, Oklahoma. He was just a few days shy of his 81st birthday. At the time of his passing he had 2 great grandchildren, Trueman Ray Satterwhite and Logan Shae Taylor. After his death 2 more great grandchildren were born, Victoria Tyne Satterwhite and Keira Elayne Taylor.

Clyde Alva Taylor was an outstanding soldier, husband, father, grandfather, great grandfather, and above all a great Christian man. He will never be forgotten.

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