Military Service Members from Taylor – Summary of Ed Komandosky’s Talk
Ed Komandosky, a retired army colonel, was among the five speakers presenting oral histories at the first “Deep in the Heart of Taylor” story night at Taylor’s Moody Museum, October 13, 2018.
Ed discussed the establishment and early years of the Taylor Rifles, the forerunner of the City’s National Guard unit, formed shortly after Taylor’s founding in 1876. He shared stories about Mendel Booth, one of the members who also served as a local bank president.
From World War I, Ed pulled the name of Graham Luhn, who was killed in the war and after whom the Taylor American Legion is named. The post’s first commander was Dan Moody who grew up in this house (Moody Museum) and later served as Governor of Texas. World War II involved many Taylorites, men and women who served in the military, on the defense assembly lines and in the fields tending the crops that fed the troops. Joe Stiborik was assistant navigator on the Enola Gay that dropped the first atomic bomb. Erwin Teggeman was a P.O.W and later served as president of the State 36th Division Association. Ross Wilder flew with Doolittle in the first raid over Japan. Sidney Pierce became the first person from Taylor to die in the war after whom the Taylor VFW is named. John Brunner was Taylor postmaster and personally delivered the dreaded telegrams of family war deaths.
In the more recent “conflicts,” Ed stated that he and his brother both served in Vietnam along with Benny MaCuk and Jerry Kidwell, the current VFW commander. Chuck Nowlin was injured when his helicopter was shot down in Vietnam. Chuck was the speaker at a recent veterans event at the Moody Museum. Serving in the Near East “conflicts” were Nathan Davis, Condra Funeral Home General Manager, Joe Meller, past VFW commander and Scott Dean, local businessman and current commander of the American Legion.
These and many other citizens of Taylor have answered the call as good citizens of the United States.