Delford O.Taylor helped to save Leonard Bostic from burning, Charleston, West Virginia, December 6, 1947. An airplane which Bostic, 26, was flying crashed on the steep slope of a thickly wooded ravine and came to rest upright on its fuselage. Flames eight feet high and smoke rose from the engine in the nose of the plane. Smaller flames covered one side of the fuselage, where the wing was partly ripped off, between the engine and the rear end of the cockpit, and also covered the underside of the fuselage beneath the cockpit. Taylor, 39, farm manager, and two other men ran to the airplane and, standing on the intact wing, removed a tree trunk that had fallen across the Plexiglas canopy of the cockpit. They tried to slide open the movable section of the canopy but could not. When the two other men then broke out part of the Plexiglas, reached inside, and pulled Bostic up through the opening to his waist, a minor explosion from beneath the cockpit caused them to stop momentarily. Aided by Taylor, they pulled Bostic with difficulty onto the wing. Taylor jumped to the ground and fell down from nervous weakness but rose and helped the other two rescuers carry Bostic away from the airplane. Thirty seconds later, flames 25 feet high rose from the cockpit and destroyed it. Taylor’s throat was irritated from smoke, his hair was slightly singed, and he suffered extreme nervousness. He recovered. Bostic was hospitalized nearly four months, and he too recovered.
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The Rev. Delford O. Taylor, 85, of Lisbon, Ohio, died on Feb. 22, 1994, following a brief illness.
He was born in Walton, W.Va., on Oct. 8, 1908, a son of Arthur and Dovie Harper Taylor. Taylor spent the last 23 years of his life in Lisbon, coming from Charleston, W.Va.
He had ministered at several churches from 1948 until his retirement in 1970 for the West Virginia Gospel Tabernacle Association of Charleston. He also had his own building contracting company. He attended the Lisbon Church of the Nazarene, where he taught the Young Adult Class for 18 years. In 1949, he received the Carnegie Medal for saving a man after an airplane crash on Dec. 6, 1947.
(Edited from an obituary provided by a family member.)