Retired March 1, 1971. Died Sep. 18, 1997.
Major General Ralph G. Taylor is deputy chief of staff for plans, Headquarters Military Airlift Command, Scott Air Force Base, Ill. He is primarily concerned with planning for the most effective use of military airlift, including Reserve Forces airlift, in support of national policy and objectives; developing programs and policies for supporting these forces; and maintaining necessary liaison with civil and other government agencies concerned with transportation systems.
General Taylor was born in 1918, in Nashville, Tenn. He graduated from Durham High School in 1937, and attended Duke University, Durham, N.C. In September 1941 he entered the Army Air Corps aviation cadet training and in April 1942 received his pilot wings and commission as second lieutenant.
During World War II in January 1943, he went to the European Theater of Operations where he served as a P-40, P-47, and P-51 aircraft combat pilot. He was credited with six aerial victories, including four ME-109 and two Macchi 202 aircraft, and with the destruction of seven enemy aircraft on the ground.
He entered the Command and General Staff College, Fort Leavenworth, Kan., in 1945, and after graduation in May 1946 left for a tour of duty in Germany. In February 1949 he was assigned to the Ninth Air Force, Langley Air Force Base, Va., where he served as staff operations officer.
During the Korean War he went to Japan in November 1950 where he flew the T-6, T-33, and F-86 aircraft. He returned to the United States in May 1951 and served with Headquarters Eastern Air Defense Force, Stewart Air Force Base, N.Y., for one year, and then with the 4708th Defense Wing, Selfridge Air Force Base, Mich., as director of operations and then deputy commander.
In October 1956 General Taylor began a tour of duty in Iceland as commander of the 1400th Operations Group. He was assigned to Headquarters U.S. Air Force in December 1957 and served as deputy chief then chief, Air Defense Division, in the Directorate of Requirements and then the Directorate of Operational Requirements. He entered the Industrial College of the Armed Forces, Fort McNair, Washington, D.C., in August 1961.
From August 1962 to September 1963, General Taylor served as commander of the 1st Fighter Wing, Selfridge Air Force Base, Mich. He next went to Anchorage, Alaska, as deputy director of the Alaskan Region of the Federal Aviation Agency. In July 1966 he assumed command of the 4520th Combat Crew Training Wing. When the U.S. Air Force Tactical Fighter Weapons Center was activated on Sept. 1, 1966, he became its first commander.
General Taylor was assigned to Headquarters Military Airlift Command, Scott Air Force Base, Ill., in December 1969, as Deputy Chief of Staff for Plans.
He is a command pilot with more than 5,000 hours of flying time, and was current in the advanced weapons systems at Nellis Air Force Base, Nev., including the F-4D Phantom II and the F-111A. He directed the development of the first combat-ready aircrews to fly the variable sweep-wing F-111A in Southeast Asia.
His military decorations include the Legion of Merit, Distinguished Flying Cross, Air Medal with 10 oak leaf clusters, Soldier's Medal, Combat Readiness Medal, Air Force Commendation Medal, and Distinguished Unit Citation Emblem with oak leaf cluster. He is a member of the Order of Daedalians.
General Taylor's hometown is Durham, N.C.
He was promoted to the temporary grade of major general effective March 15, 1968, with date of rank Jan. 9, 1964.