Diamondhead man on quest to bring his dad back home - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Diamondhead man on quest to bring his dad back home

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DIAMONDHEAD, MS (WLOX) -

By Jeff Lawson – bio | email

DIAMONDHEAD, MS (WLOX) - When Lee was seven months old, his father died when the plane he was in was shot down by the German military. It went down in Poland, just a month before the end of the war.

That was 66 years ago, but since that time Lee has tried to learn more about the crash and about his father, but to no avail. That's why Lee was stunned when he got an email about his dad, just a few weeks ago.

"I did not know the exact date; I did not know what kind of a mission he was on," Taylor said. "I knew very little about my father's plane crash."

That's because what little existed in terms of military records about the crash, had been lost way back in 1950.

But then, just recently, a friend in California decided to learn what he could about his father, who also was in the Air Force. In the process, that friend stumbled upon a lot of information about Lee's dad, and the plane crash. A few weeks ago, that friend e mailed Lee with the news.

"Shock, I don't know how you could say it any other word," is how Lee described his reaction to the news. " I now know virtually every single thing there was to know about my dad. I know the names of the crew members on all of the flights he was on, I know the full history of all the missions that he flew, and I knew what happened to him."

Lee had learned his father's plane was strafed by the German's, then caught fire and went down in a field.

Lee told us that eyewitnesses to the crash have said the plane was on fire, and there was no way anyone in the plane would have survived.

Lee also has now seen something he had no idea ever existed. It is a photo taken of Lee's dad's airplane, a few days after the crash. It clearly shows the airplane had burned, but incredibly, the tail section with the number on it, was still intact.

"It is the only absolute, irrefutable proof there could be, that that is in fact my dad's crash site, and his airplane and somewhere in that field, are his remains," Lee said.

The debris and the tail section, were cleared decades ago. But now, Lee Taylor is determined to go to that place, to connect in some way, with the father he never got to know.

His hope is that there may be some small fragment of bone still in that field in Poland. Then, in a sense, he can bring his dad home to Arlington National Cemetery, to be buried with his fellow war hero's.

"I am on a mission to see if that can happen," Lee said. "And until such time as it becomes obvious to me that it can't, I will not give up that idea. To be able to bring my father home after 66 years, no sir I can't give that up," Lee added, choked with emotion. 

We will keep you updated on WLOX News and our website at WLOX.com, if Lee learns anything else about his father's mission and if he is able to travel to Poland to see the crash site from 66 years ago.

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