Quantico Sentry
The Corps' Oldest Newspaper
71st Year, No 79
Serving Marine Corps Base Quantico, Va., Since 1935
July 27, 2006

Officer Candidates School Dedicates
Barracks to Fallen Vietnam Veteran
By Cpl. Justin P. Lago
Combat Correspondent

"Although wounded several times,  he succeeded in reaching the machine gun  bunker and silencing  the fire from  that sector moments  before he was mortally  wounded," states  an excerpt from the  Medal of Honor citation of  Staff Sergeant Karl G. Taylor, Sr.,  who  was killed in action during an act of courage during the Vietnam War.

Officer Candidates School conducted a dedication ceremony Friday, June 21, 2006  for the newly  constructed  OCS Bachelor  Enlisted Quarters.  Taylor  Hall, which  now  bears  the name  of  the  fallen  veteran,  was  finished  in  November 2005  and currently houses  112 Marines.

The building was dedicated by  LtGen. Martin R. Steele, USMC (Ret) who was  very close to Taylor in friendship and professionalism through the times they served together.  Steele spoke of the first time the two met at  OCS and how Taylor mentored Steel  while he was a corporal  assigned  to  OCS  and  worked  for  Taylor.   "I  remember  the  first  time I met Taylor,"  said Steel  as he looked at the  painting of Taylor on  display.  "He  was  a  cut of granite in his size and demeanor.  I was privileged  to have him as  a  mentor."  Steel  went on to talk of his experiences transitioning from enlisted to officer through the OCS training and how Taylor was involved with training Steel as an officer.

"It has meant a lot to me and the family to have  the building named after my father," said Karl G. Taylor, Jr.  "I know that if he were here right now he would be saying that  he was just doing his job."

Taylor, Sr.,  was  born July 14, 1939, in  Laurel, Md.  He  graduated  from  Arundel  Junior High School in 1953, and then attended Arundel Senior High School for three years.  After leaving high school, he was employed by a construction company as a Tourna Pull-Scraper Operator.  In 1961,  he received  a high school  equivalency  test  from the  Armed  Forces Institute in Madison, Wis.

He  enlisted  in  the  Marine Corps along  with his brother,  Walter William Taylor,  at  the Recruiting  Station in Baltimore January 15, 1959 and attended Recruit training at Marine Corps Recruit Depot, Parris Island, S.C.  Later, Taylor returned to Parris Island  to attend the drill Instructor School and he then served as a drill instructor until January 1963.

After  being  assigned to sevral duty stations, Taylor  was sent to Quantico to train Officer Candidates  until  February 1968, when  he returned  to  the  Far East  and  the 3d  Marine Division (Rein), Fleet Marine Marine Force, this  time for duty as a Platoon Sergeant and Company  Gunnery  Sergeant  of  Company  I, 3d  Battalion,  26th  Marine  Regiment.  He deployed to Vietnam with his new unit.

Taylor  was  cited for  his courage and  inspiring  leadership on  December 8,  1968  during Operation Meade River  when he charged across an  open  rice  paddy  toward  an  enemy machine gun position.  Firing  a grenade  launcher as he ran and  in full view of  the enemy, Taylor succeeded in reachimng the machine gun bunker, silencing the enemy fire moments before he fell moratlly wounded.

President  Richard M. Nixon  awarded posthumously the Medal of Honor to  the family of SSgt. Karl G. Taylor during  a joint-service ceremony at  the White House on February 16, 1971.

"He is my hero and the epitome of what it is to be a Marine," said Steele.  "Taylpor is the first thing I think of when I wake in  the morning and the last conscious thought I have as I pray for his mortal soul."

Click photo for larger image

LtGen. Steele addressing those present.


Col. Robert Chase, CO, Officer Candidate School, presents GySgt. Kevin G. Taylor, USMC (Ret) the shovel used at the ground breaking.
Officer Candidates render proper respects.
The ensemble plays the National Anthem
They also played the Marine Corps Hymn and a few other military instrmentals.


Officer Candidate guards SSgt. Karl G. Taylor's Medal of Honor in Taylor Hall.  Floral wreath says, " India Company 2d Platoon, Remembering."
Members of the Marine Corps League from left: Bud Raines, Jr. Vice Commandant, Department of Maryland, MCL; Kevin Oliver, Commandant, SSgt Karl G. Taylor, Sr. Det. 1084, MCL; Jack Severn, Comman- dant, Dept. of Maryland, MCL; and Mike Betts, Jr. Vice Commandant and Adjutant, SSgt. Karl G. Taylor, Sr. Det. 1084, MCL.
From left, Cpl. Larry R. Gore, 81 mortars 881S; (sitting) Capt. Ron Hoover, CO I/3/26 during Meade River; Karl G. Taylor, Jr. USA (Ret); Capt. Duane Crawford, CO M/3/26 during Meade River and GySgt. Kevin G. Taylor, USMC (Ret).


"Gunny T" was the first Warrior from India I encountered on "The Hill". When I came off the chopper at the saddle LZ he hurled (and I do mean hurled) me into a trench and jumped in on top of me as the chopper left and the incoming started.  From that first meeting on 881S until that day on Meade River, SSgt Karl G. Taylor was the ultimate Marine in my book. 

    Cpl. Larry R. "Beaver" Gore, 81mm Mortarman, H&S/3/26

SSgt. Taylor died doing what he did best, taking care of Marines and ensuring their safety.  Many of our India Company Marines died or were wounded that night.  It was one of our most hellish nights during a long and hard operation.  He was not far from me when he died.   He was our Company Gunny.  He was my friend.  He was my hero.  He had a special laugh and enthusiasm that kept all of us going during the rough times - and Meade River was rough most of the time.  As a 19-year old Platoon Sergeant I needed his mentorship.  He was always there for me, for all of us.  He was Marine through and through.  I miss my friend.

    Colonel Filipe "Phil" Torres, USMC (Ret)

SSgt. Karl G. Taylor's History Index