The patch of the 502nd.

The so called "Five - 0 - Deuce"

or: "The Deuce"

Lester Taylor (l) was a Corporal in I Company, Second Platoon, 502 PIR. He jumped in Normandy on D-Day and also in Son (North of Eindhoven) on September 17, 1944. He fought in the battle at Best, also North of Eindhoven. He was killed in action only two days later. The photo above right (made in 1939 the year their little sister Betty was born!) shows Carl, age23 (l) and Lester Taylor, age 21. Lester died 3 days before his 27th birthday.

Left: The book cover of a nowadays very rare book written by S. Marshall. Lester's sister Betty bought it on a flee market in the US. and gave it to me as a Christmas present in 2001. To me a very precious present....

On D-day, June 6 1944, Lester rescued John.P. Lachkovic (36125328) who landed with his parachute in a canal in Normandy and was drowning, struggling in his parachute in the water.

After being dropped in Son, North of Eindhoven, on September 17th, 1944, Lester fought near Best. On September 19 his was killed in action. Just before he was promoted to sergeant.

Because of his heroic action in Normandy and in Best he got the Bronze Star.(with the Oak Leaf Cluster.)

With the Bronze Star medal given to Lester A. Taylor, 39087876 after his death is the following:

"Corporal Lester Taylor distinguished himself by heroic achievement in action on June 6, 1944. He landed by parachute in the inundated area near St. Germain de Varreville, France. Seeing a comrade struggling in his parachute in a canal, Corporal Taylor, ignoring the danger of enemy machine gun fire from nearby positions and the danger of drowning in the canal, unhesitatingly plunged down the bank into the water and dragged the drowning man to the comparative safety of the bank. The furor caused by this rescue caused the enemy to fire on the three men engaged in the rescue with mortars as well as machine guns, but disregarding the risk involved, Corporal Taylor continued to render artificial resuscitation to his comrade until he regained consciousness. In a later operation, Corporal Taylor was mortally wounded. His actions were in accordance with the highest standard of the military service."


  • a. The Bronze Star Medal was established by Executive Order 9419, 4 February 1944 (superseded by Executive Order 11046, 24 August 1962).
  • b. The Bronze Star Medal is awarded to any person who, while serving in any capacity in or with the Army of the United States after 6 December 1941, distinguished himself or herself by heroic or meritorious achievement or service, not involving participation in aerial flight, in connection with military operations against an armed enemy; or while engaged in military operations involving conflict with an opposing armed force in which the United States is not a belligerent party.
  • c. Awards may be made for acts of heroism, performed under circumstances described above, which are of lesser degree than required for the award of the Silver Star.
  • d. The Bronze Star Medal may be awarded for meritorious achievement or meritorious service according to the following:
  • (1) Awards may be made to recognize single acts of merit or meritorious service. The lesser degree than that required for the award of the Legion of Merit must nevertheless have been meritorious and accomplished with distinction.
  • (2) Award may be made by letter application to Commander, ARPERCEN, ATTN: DARP-VSE-A, 9700 Page Boulevard, St. Louis, MO 63132-5200 (enclosing documentary evidence, if possible), to each member of the Armed Forces of the United States who after 6 December 1941, has been cited in orders or awarded a certificate for exemplary conduct in ground combat against an armed enemy between 7 December 1941 and 2 September 1945, inclusive, or whose meritorious achievement has been other wise confirmed by documents executed prior to 1 July 1947. For this purpose, an award of the Combat Infantryman Badge or Combat Medical Badge is considered as a citation in orders. Documents executed since 4 August 1944 in connection with recommendations for the award of decorations of higher degree than the Bronze Star Medal will not be used as the basis for an award under this paragraph.
  • (3) Upon letter application, award of the Bronze Star Medal may be made to eligible soldiers who participated in the Philippine Islands Campaign between 7 December 1941 to 10 May 1942. Performance of duty must have been on the island of Luzon or the Harbor Defenses in Corregidor and Bataan. Only soldiers who were awarded the Distinguished Unit Citation (Presidential Unit Citation) may be awarded this decoration. Letter application should be sent to the Commander, ARPERCEN, ATTN: DARP-VSE-A, 9700 Page Boulevard, St. Louis, MO 63132-5200.

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pictures on this page courtesy Betty Taylor.

© Peter van de Wal