James K. Taylor, known to his family and friends as Buster was born on January 12, 1918 in Rye. He grew up at the Kirby Homestead at 42 Davis Avenue. James lived there with his mother Katherine, his sister Elaine, grandmother Margaret Kirby, his Aunt Anna Kirby and cousin Mary ORourke and all were members of the Church of the Resurrection.. His father died of influenza on November 26, 1918. Buster graduated Rye High School in 1935. He was a forward on the basketball team and was Captain of the baseball team where he played second base. He also played on Sams All-Stars a team coached by Sam Ball. Buster owned his own delivery service in Rye and took courses at Pace University in order to pass an entrance exam for the Army Air Corps. James Taylor Aviation Cadet in California Doing his share to Keep Em Flying, James K. Taylor, twenty four, son of Mrs. E. F. Taylor of 42 Davis Avenue, has become an Aviation Cadet at the Air Corps Replacement Training Center in Santa Ana, Calif. By means of a recently adopted screening process, Cadet Taylor will be placed in the type of duty for which he is best suited. Instruction received at the Replacement Training Center will be the first step toward Taylor taking his place in the
Air Corps as either pilot, navigator, or bombardier. Taylor is a graduate of Rye High School and was prominent in athletics.
Friday, April 17, 1942 THE RYE CHRONICLE PAGE NINE James K. Taylor enlisted in the Air Corps on January 12, 1942 as an Air Cadet, his twenty fourth birthday. Buster was assigned to the 35th Bombardment Squadron, 25th Bombardment Group. He reached the rank of First Lieutenant.
Taylor was a member of the crew of a B-17 Flying Fortress which departed from Salina, Kan stopping at Georgetown, British Guinea. On March 13, 1943,embarking from Georgetown to Brazil his plane disappeared over South America while en-route to combat duty service in North Africa. It was presumed lost for lack of fuel and the entire crew was presumed to have been lost.
At wars end, American casualties remained unaccounted-for around the globe, some where they had fallen, some in the depths of the oceans, and many in temporary cemeteries scattered throughout the major theaters.
Following the war, the U. S. Government launched a global initiative called, The Return of the World War II Dead Program, to locate aircraft crash sites, comb former battlefields for isolated graves, and disinter temporary military cemeteries around the globe. Seventy years later and the work continues, in January 2010, the Department of Defense added a field investigation mission to the WWII Division formerly the Archival Research branch . Historians and analysts collaborate in researching, investigating and nominating for recovery the cases of U. S. casualties still missing from WWII. Of the 16 million Americans who served in World War II, more than 400,000 died. At the end of the war, the U. S. government was unable to recover and identify approximately 79,000 Americans. Today, more than 73,000 are unaccounted-for from the conflict. Cemetery: Tablets of the Missing in Action at East Coast Memorial First Lieutenant James K. "Buster" Taylor, Rye High School Graduate Class of 1935 Buster's first cousin John Bassett also died in service in WWII. Other first cousins from Rye who served were John A. Kirby, George Kirby, Stephen O'Reilly and Thomas O'Reilly. His two uncles Martin Kirby and James Kirby served in WWI. On Memorial Day 1944 James Mother, Mrs. Katherine Kirby Taylor was quote in below article publishe in the Rye Chronicle June 2,1944