Bob Taylor Earns His Navy Wings

This article is from a movie magazine from sometime in the forties.

Quietly and efficiently, Robert Taylor is performing a very important war job.

The following article is reprinted from the Bayou Tale Spinner, New Orleans, Louisiana, where Robert Taylor has been a student.  We were very interested to learn what the fellows who worked with and studied and flew with Bob thought of him and we feel our readers will be, too.

Robert Taylor in class at Flight School.

Another of the semi-weekly Instructors-Under-Training graduations takes place today.  But this graduation day sees Lt. (j.g.) Robert Taylor  receives his Navy wings and his “diploma” as one of the Navy’s specially trained primary flight instructors.

“So what!” some of you may say, “Why all this fuss about Robert Taylor graduating?  He’s no different from any other IUT.”

But unfortunately for him, he is different.  And for that reason he’s been on the spot ever since he joined the Naval Air Force.

Lt. Taylor entered the service as a commissioned officer.  People jumped on that, saying “Ha!  A movie star–so he comes in with a commission,” although thousands of others have and are doing the same.  Yet Mr. Taylor more than fulfilled the Navy’s requirements.  He is a college graduate and had enough hours of flying as a civilian to qualify as a pilot.

When he was undergoing primary flight training, he had to be painstaking careful about

Flight School.

everything he did.  Any slight error or foolish mistake he might make would be magnified a hundred times.

If he even broke a minor regulation, no matter how great his punishment might be, his fellow students might easily say or think, “If Taylor can break the rules, I guess I can do it, too.”

So Lt. Taylor worked studiously and conscientiously in order that he would make no mistakes and obey every rule and regulation in the books.

When he arrived here, we wondered “Just what kind of a guy is this movie idol?”

As his fellow instructor-students and others, who came in contact with him, they unanimously agreed that he was simply “a good Joe.”

Robert Taylor, home on leave, visiting with some of his friends: from lower left, James Cagney, Judy Garland, Kay Kyser?, Fred Astaire, Harpo Marx

He joked with the “mechs” on the flight line, kidded the WAVES and took the good-natured but merciless ribbing from the other IUTs with a grin.  Always he was obedient and respectful to his superior officers.

When his arduous daily routine was ended, Lt. Taylor gave his time during his liberty hours to appear on our weekly “Skyway To Victory” radio program so that the public could hear of the splendid essential work that the unpublicized flight instructors do.

Lt. Taylor has taken out of our mouths the bitter taste we’ve had from movie celebrities who seem to get highly ballyhooed but soft, easy jobs in the service.  On the other hand, there is no chance of his gaining glory in combat in the near future.

No one’s going to hear much about what he’s doing–except maybe the parents of a grateful young flight student who writes home again about his “helluva swell flight instructor.”

The ex-high-salaried movie star will go about one of the important jobs in the war–producing combat pilots for the Navy–quietly and efficiently.  For that and his record we’d like to give Lt. (j.g.) Robert Taylor an enthusiastic “up check.”

At work.



About giraffe44

I became a Robert Taylor fan at the age of 15 when his TV show, "The Detectives" premiered. My mother wanted to watch it because she remembered Mr. Taylor from the thirties. I took one look and that was it. I spent the rest of my high school career watching Robert Taylor movies on late night TV, buying photos of him, making scrapbooks and being a typical teenager. College, marriage and career intervened. I remember being sad when Mr. Taylor died. I mailed two huge scrapbooks to Ursula Thiess. I hope she got them. Time passed, retirement, moving to Florida. Then in 2012 my husband Fred pointed that there were two Robert Taylor movies that evening on Turner Classic Movies--"Ivanhoe" and "Quentin Durward." I watched both and it happened all over again. I started this blog both for fans and for people who didn't know about Robert Taylor. As the blog passes 200,000 views I'm delighted that so many people have come by and hope it will help preserve the legacy of this fine actor and equally good man.
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