It’s not uncommon to see U.S. Coast Guard helicopters flying over Mobile every day. The largest aviation engineering division within the Coast Guard is in the Port City. Petty Officer Third Class Andrew Knight, Chief Petty Officer Fernando Jorge, Lieutenant Junior Grade Thomas Cameron and Lieutenant Commander Dale Taylor were in a tragic helicopter crash the night of February 28, 2012 in Mobile Bay. None of them survived. Lieutenant Commander Taylor’s wife, Teresa, says she feels like some of us may still have questions about what happened that night, so she wrote a book to answer those questions, and to help us get to know the man she calls the bravest man she’s ever known.
“These are all flights Dale did with the Coast Guard from flight school all the way up and hen recorded each flight, the hours, what aircraft he flew in, who he flew with, and his signature’s at the bottom,” said Teresa Taylor.
One of her most cherished possessions is her late husband’s flight log book. She says she’s looking forward to showing it to her sons when they get older. Evan was seven, and Emmett was four when their father was killed. She says flying was Lieutenant Commander Taylor’s pride and joy, and he looked forward to sharing that with his sons every chance he got.
In her book, Teresa recalls being in her kitchen making spaghetti when her husband told her he had a night flight February 28, 2012.
She says, “I went to bed early that night so everything was quiet and dark and I got a knock at the door and I got up and I knew deep within my soul that it was bad news.”
Her husband had taken his final night flight. He and three other heroic men died in that crash.
“I’m still learning to accept things I don’t like. I loved Dale very much and I still wish he was here. However through my faith in God and friends who have supported me, my kids and I still find days full of joy and we have a legacy to look back on and guide us.”
The next time you look up and see a military helicopter, remember even training can be difficult and dangerous, and that the men and women inside those helicopters are putting their lives on the line every day, all for you and me.
Page and Pallette
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