Enshrined November 9, 2013
Rear Admiral Jimmie Taylor of Nashville, Tennessee attended the University of Tennessee, Middle Tennessee State College and graduated from San Diego State University. He obtained his Private and Commercial Pilot License and Flight Instructor Certificate from MTSU flight school. He taught flying prior to entering Naval Flight training in February 1957 earning his Naval Aviator wings in September 1958.
RADM Taylor’s aviation career spanned more than three decades with the majority spent in the cockpits of F-8 and F-14 fighter aircraft aboard most of the Navy’s aircraft carriers. He completed five carrier combat cruises while accumulating some 200 combat missions. His career included numerous command and staff positions culminating with Chief of Naval Air Training (CNATRA), responsible for all flight training in the U.S. Navy, Marines and Coast Guard. This command position was also responsible for the U. S. Navy Blue Angels and provided the unique opportunity to fly with them.
His distinguished accomplishments include the First fleet F-14 demo pilot, including the 1973 LeBourqet Airshow in Paris, France. His performance in Paris resulted in a nomination for the Harmon Trophy, kudos on the editorial page of Aviation Week, and was the first recipient of Grumman’s “Topcat” award. He served as Commanding Officer of the first F-14 squadron to make a fleet deployment. While aboard the USS ENTERPRISE in 1975, he participated in the first F-14 combat sorties during Operation Frequent Wind, which concluded our presence in Vietnam with the evacuation of Saigon.
RADM Taylor’s specialty is aircrew training at both the undergraduate and graduate levels. He has served with the Operational Test and Evaluation Force, the Education and Training Command, and the Air Training Command. The last 10 years of his naval career were spent as: Chief of Naval Air Training; Vice Commander, Naval Education and Training Command; Head, Naval Aviation Plans and Programs at the Pentagon; Commander, Training Air Wing Two; and Chief of Staff, Fighter and Airborne Early Warning Wing, Pacific.
RADM Taylor retired from active duty in August 1991 after 34 years as a naval officer and accepted and served as the Vice President and Vice Chairman of Armed Services for the Pensacola Area Chamber of Commerce. Additionally, he was responsible for implementing the Armed Services Program of Action and interfacing with the Department of the Navy, Department of Defense and Congressional delegations.
He now resides in Smyrna, Tennessee with his wife, Annette. He continues flying, and is active in the community, serving on various boards and committees of the Smyrna Rotary Club, Meals on Wheels, Director for MTEMC’s customer care board and Habitat for Humanity.