Robert Taylor was born on April 11, 1909, in Henderson, Texas. He received his bachelor of arts degree from Baylor University in Waco, Texas, in 1933; his master of theology degree from Southwestern Baptist Seminary in Fort Worth, Texas, in 1936; and his doctor of theology degree from Southwestern Baptist Seminary in 1939. Taylor was commissioned a 1st Lt in the Corps of Chaplains, U.S. Army Reserve, on September 9, 1939, and went on active duty beginning September 1, 1940. He had served as pastor of the South Fort Worth Baptist Church from 1939 to 1940. His first active duty assignment was as post chaplain at Barksdale Field, Louisiana, from September 1940 to April 1941, followed by duty as regimental chaplain for the 31st Infantry Division in the Philippines from May 1941 until he was forced to surrender to the invading Japanese forces and became a Prisoner of War at Bataan on April 9, 1942. After surviving the Bataan Death March, Maj Taylor was held at the POW Camp near Cabanatuan until January 1945, when he was sent to POW camps inside Japan, being held there until he was repatriated at the end of the war in September 1945. After recovering from his injuries, Col Taylor remained in the Army and served as deputy staff chaplain at Headquarters Army Air Forces Training Command at Barksdale Field, Louisiana, from January 1946 to September 1947, followed by service as wing chaplain at Mather AFB, California. He transferred to the U.S. Air Force on July 13, 1949, and served as assistant staff chaplain with Headquarters Air Material Command at Wright-Patterson AFB, Ohio, from July to December 1949. Col Taylor served as air chaplain with Headquarters Civil Air Patrol-U.S. Air Force at Bolling AFB, Washington, D.C., from January 1950 to August 1952, and then attended Air War College at Maxwell AFB, Alabama, from August 1952 to July 1953. He remained at Maxwell AFB as staff chaplain for Headquarters Air University from July 1953 to December 1957, and served as Chief of the Personnel Division in the Office of the Chief of Air Force Chaplains at the Pentagon from December 1957 to July 1958. Gen Taylor next served as Deputy Chief of Air Force Chaplains at the Pentagon from July 1958 to August 1962, followed by service as Chief of Air Force Chaplains from September 1962 until his retirement from the Air Force on August 1, 1966. Robert Taylor died on February 1, 1997.
His Silver Star Citation reads:
For gallantry in action while on patrol duty the night of 24-25 January, 1942, near Abucay, Bataan, P.I. While his regiment was fighting a withdrawal action from the Abucay Hacienda position he kept his patrol in enemy territory and brought back to the regimental aid station many men who were wounded in the action.