In Memory of
Capt Hugh M. Taylor
February 18, 1943 – June 17, 2015
Hugh Miller Taylor was born 18 February, 1943, in Birmingham, Alabama. Died 17 June, 2015, Pacoima (Los Angeles), California. He was a U.S. Navy veteran, having served as a Petty Officer 3rd Class (ABF3) on the USS Hornet, including service in and around Vietnam and the Gulf of Tonkin.
After retiring from a career with GTE as a manager, he later worked for Southwest Airlines as a Customer Services Manager at Bob Hope (Burbank-Glendale-Pasadena) Airport. He also worked as a professional photographer and videographer. He was a volunteer civilian worker for the Los Angeles Sheriff Department.
Hugh will perhaps be remembered most for his service as an officer in the Civil Air Patrol (USAF Auxiliary). Starting as a cadet in the late 1950’s, he achieved much in his cadet career, including attendance at the National Drill Competition and the highly prized Jet Orientation Course. He was a licensed pilot, commanded the cadet wing at a California Wing cadet encampment (Norton AFB) and achieved the highest training award of his cadet era, the Certificate of Proficiency, along with the rarely bestowed three bronze clasps to that award. His trophy for “Cadet of the Year” for 1962 from the Squadron 9 “Thunderbirds” was on proud display in his home when he died.
Following his Navy service, he returned to Civil Air Patrol, serving as a Cadet Programs Officer at California Wing Headquarters. In that capacity he mentored cadets in leadership skills and personal development, with his no-nonsense yet incredibly gracious style. He had a knack for expecting excellence while providing subtle guidance that boosted confidence. He eventually served as Director of Cadet Programs for California Wing, leading a staff that handled cadet activities and policy guidance throughout California. In 1973 he served as Commandant of Cadets at the Vandenberg AFB cadet summer encampment.
During recent conversations among his friends, nobody could recall a single instance of Hugh raising his voice or losing his temper. His disappointment at someone who let him down was quietly blistering without being punishing – and was immediately forgotten, replaced by his famous smile.
It is safe to say that his example and encouragement guided multiple generations of cadets for over 50 years. His cadets, some of them now in their 60’s and 70’s, have passed along his leadership, mentorship and friendship to following generations. Those who will never meet him will still be learning from him.
“Hugo” was larger than life and lived life to it’s fullest. May he enjoy fair winds and clear skies.