Mr. Daniel C. Kane was a 1954 graduate of St. Bonaventure University. He was a native of Olean, New York and a graduate of Olean High School. He was enrolled in the Army Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) program at St. Bonaventure and was commissioned his senior year (1951) to serve in Korea as a Field Artillery Officer. He obtained his degree after the war, when he was able to return and complete his area of study in Science.
He was trained as a Field Artillery Officer at Fort Sill, Oklahoma and was sent to Korea to serve in the 77th Field Artillery, 1st Cavalry Division. He served in A Battery and C Battery of the 77th Field Artillery. Largely as the result of his being from a Catholic University, as a young, white officer, he was sent to a primarily black unit to serve as their leader. The Army had only recently integrated and officers able to adapt to this fairly new aspect of the U.S. Army were chosen to serve in these positions. There was still a great deal of animosity, particularly among Southern soldiers and black soldiers. In Korea, he was attached to a Republic of Korea (ROK) unit and served primarily as a forward observer.
He went on to serve with distinction as a Forward Observer and junior officer during critical times in the fighting in Korea. His unit was recognized for bravery in a heated engagement with the North Koreans and Chinese, where a heavy artillery barrage was used to destroy a North Korean Tank Division offensive. His unit was awarded citations for bravery in this engagement. During October through November of 1951, he was located on Hill 395 and was involved in a heated engagement with the enemy for surrounding hills where he called in artillery fires. From December 12-23, 1951, he was involved in a fierce battle between U.S. and ROK forces and the Chinese for Hill 37 and Hill 38. Second Lieutenant Kane was located on Hill 38. One of the most notable engagements occurred on December 18, 1951 that lasted 13 hours. It was stated that the Chinese threw everything they had at his unit. Due to his duty position as Forward Observer, Second Lieutenant Kane was positioned ahead of his unit. He was captured for a brief period of time during the attack as his position was overrun. His strong will and perseverance contributed to his successful escape and evasion from the enemy until he was able to rejoin his unit.
He was promoted to the rank of First Lieutenant and returned from Korea. He separated from the Army and continued on with a very successful and prosperous life in Corning, New York. Mr. Kane became a very active member in his community. He served in numerous organizations to include the Holy Name Society, Boy Scouts of America, and as the Democratic City Chairman of Corning, New York. He was active in the Veterans of Foreign Wars and the American Legion where he served as a Commander and Post Commander. The John P. Eaton Post dedicated a flagpole to his memory in 1971 in the City of Corning. Mr. Kane died on February 8, 1971 at the age of 43 in Atlanta, Georgia.
Mr. J. Willard Taylor was born in Olean, New York January 31, 1935. As a young boy and into his teens, Mr. Taylor worked at his family’s manufacturing plant where he acquired and internalized skills that would benefit him during his years as an Army officer and later on as a successful businessman. Upon graduating from Olean High School, he enrolled at St. Bonaventure University. Growing up during the years of World War II instilled a strong sense of patriotism and he was drawn to the Army Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) program at the university. As a cadet, Mr. Taylor also enlisted in the United States Army Reserve and was a member of a local anti-aircraft artillery unit.
Mr. Taylor received his commission and took his oath on January 31, 1957 as a Finance Officer. Lieutenant Taylor began his military career in a field that was implementing many new procedures and techniques. He attended the United States Army Instructor Trainer Course at Hempstead, Long Island and completed the Finance Officer Basic Course in the newly organized Financial Management and Integrated Accounting program at Ft. Jay, Governor’s Island, New York. As a young officer, he helped institute new procedures outlined at the Finance School for both the Post level and the First Army Comptroller level. He served as an Accounting Officer, Training Officer, and Company Commander; being promoted to Captain in 1965. He transferred to Inactive Reserve Status in 1967 and undertook new business opportunities in civilian life.
While pursuing his graduate studies in Secondary Education, Mr. Taylor became licensed in many areas to include insurance and real estate. He taught in the Buffalo area for a number of years and then moved on to his specialty, banking and investments. He served as a director of a National Bank for 13 years and also served as a regional director with the National Association of Investors.
J. Willard Taylor has been a driving force in forging a supportive and lasting relationship between the St. Bonaventure Army ROTC program and the American Legion. He has been a very active member of the Charles Harbel Post #892 in Allegany since the 1980s. He served initially in an administrative capacity and then joined a committee as the ROTC Liaison Officer from Cattaraugus County to the 8th District. This district encompasses the eight counties of western New York. Mr. Taylor has worked to energize the local posts to become involved with the ROTC programs to provide logistical support as well as improving the relationship between our veterans and our future officers. He joined with those at the state level and is increasing the awareness of veteran’s benefits and affairs. Mr. Taylor is concerned for the well-being of our cadets in every way. One of the many examples is a program for our Color Guard in which he gains support from the local American Legion posts to purchase new jump boots for the cadets who participate in Color Guard. His contributions, enthusiasm, and mentorship have been a cornerstone to the Army ROTC program’s success and it is greatly appreciated by the cadre and cadets.
Mr. Taylor is a retired private investor, continuing his formal education here at St. Bonaventure University and volunteering his time in local service organizations.
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