Elmo G. Taylor, as seen through his brother Harold's eyes
Colaborador: toooldtohunt Created: 1 year ago Updated: 1 year ago
Born 6 Jan, 1920 Died 6 April, 1941, age 21, drown in the Marrow Bay Pacific ocean, never recovered his body. Served in the National Guard unit out of Cedar City, Utah. Attending branch Agriculture College at the time. Now University of Southern Utah.
I realize this is the ending of Elmo's stay on earth, so I'll start here and fill in events as I remember them.
I'll never forget that Sunday when Dad was called down to the phone at Blackburn's, who had the phone for the town of Loa. On his return he brought word back that Elmo G. had drowned in a lake in and around San Louis Abispo, California, and they had not found his body as of yet. Some way he got the message that nothing could be done then and he would be informed of further developments about the drowning. No word came, so in calling the base we did learn he was in the ocean, at Morrow Bay.
The family decided to go the coast, leaving Loa the evening of April 8, 1941, a Tuesday. Traveling in brother Orval Clell's 1940 Cheverolett. There were seven of us. Dad, Charles, Orval Clell, Pratt, Avagail, Mildred, Charles' wife and me. I remember the ride well. I sat on a padded stool between the seats. It was a long trip. We traveled 24 hours with hardly any stops except for gas and rest room visits. It had been raining in California and much of the highways were under water, almost to the running boards of the cars.
We checked into a beach cabin motel for the Wednesday night. Because of the noisy surf we didn't get much sleep.
Next morning, contact was made with Captain Peterson, Elmo's commanding officer. He in turn alerted the chaplin who in turn had a young soldier who knew Elmo and had the happinings of the drowning.
We then were escorted to the beach of Morrow Bay. The surf was really rough it seemed to me. We were told that the Military had held a Military funeral on Tuesday and had dedicated the Pacific ocean as Elmo's final resting place where he would have the freedom of the waters in the Pacific. There was a large green color rock 20 + feet in the bay, this was designated as his head stone.
We then held a family service of our own where in I was asked by the family to speak and relate some of my memories of my brother who lacked 2 days being two years older than me. My birthday being 4 Jan 1922. I had received a letter from Elmo where in he had told me about what he had done one week earlier. He had been swimming and told me that he had really had fun and how he enjoyed diving into the ground swell waves just before they broke into a roll, then he came up behind the breaking rolling water and rode them, as body surfing upon the wave into the beach.
Elmo was a real athlete all his life and had the ability to play basketball. He was on the high school team as a sophmore. He and older brother Orlo Austin played in many games together. We couldn't imagine Elmo getting in trouble while swimming. So we came to the conclusion that he must have gotten stung by a jelly fish, this paralysis the victim. He had called for help and a private Hunt from Enterprise went to his aid and they were coming in but a large breaker wave tore them apart and Elmo was not seen again. He was evidently sucked into the deep undertow and swept out to sea. Captain Peterson, told us that the Military had placed a large flowered reef on the water and it went out with the currents. While we were standing next to the water, a large wave came as to engulf more of the family.
We have pictures of the bay and family there looking out to sea. After our family service for Brother Elmo G. Taylor, we headed for home.
We traveled through Hollywood. It was there that Dad saw his first woman smoking.(April 1941) Dad almost went through the top of the car, coming out of the back seat shouting, "There is a woman on the side walk smoking!" Such a thing was not ever heard of in our sheltered home land of Loa, Utah.
We preceded onto Fort Roberts where we visited Orlo and Bose Webster. (brother and step brother respectably). Orlo, Brose, Rawlins Blackburn, and Bill Maxfield had volunteered for service to get their two years over with, which was the call of the country then.
(as written by my dad, Harold)