On the morning of February 23 1945, the people of the Dutch
village Castricum, were startled by the howling noise of a plane in distress
followed by a huge impact in a field nearby.
It turned out to be the crash site of a Mustang piloted by
22 year old 2LT Richard ('Dick') Wallace Taylor, 363 FS/357FG, flying as a
wingman to Paul Bowles that day. They were on a bomber escort mission to
Every week from that day on until the end of the war
fresh flowers were laid at his field grave by two Dutch sisters taking
care of his grave ! Richard's remains were recovered in 1946, after
which an official funeral was finally held at Glenwood Cemetery, Geneva,
NY. in 1949.
On July 29, 2000, the local council of Castricum decided to
name a new street after Richard W. Taylor for ' the role he played in the
wartime history of Castricum and for Freedom in The Netherlands '. Richard
Taylor was the only American killed in Castricum during the war.
His older brother 1LT Robert Hugh Taylor who flew a 15 AF
97BG/340BS B-17F bomber out of Foggia/Amendola Italy, was reported MIA on
March 11 1944 and is still listed on the Florence Wall of the Missing.
Within one year their mother lost both her children....
The memory to Richard Taylor is kept alive with a small
display in the Museum of the Aircraft Recovery Group 1940 - 1945 in
Heemskerk, starting with the words ' Born To Fly - Richard Wallace Taylor
The cause for his crash was maybe due to a
medical reason as he suffered from a heart murmur as a child, probably
giving heart trouble during this mission...(Paul Bowles stated that
Richard Taylor was lagging behind while flying in and out of clouds and
Recent investigation revealed a new fact. Some days
after the crash a witness found an almost intact released P-51 cockpit
canopy at a distance of about 800 m. from the crash site, indicating that
Richard Taylor was trying to bail out but it was too late.....
Building activities are on it's way in this new street and
we're looking forward to the day the official street name sign 'Richard W.
Taylorstraat' will be placed !
to Paul for this great story about Richard!)
Temporary street sign to honor Richard Taylor. Paul Patist photo.
A permanent sign for "Richard W. Taylorstraat" has now
been placed in the city of Castricum, the Netherlands, to honor Richard Taylor. A sign in Dutch reads,
"American pilot killed in action Feb 23, 1945." Thanks to Paul and all
those who supported this effort to honor Richard!!!