The son of Samuel Taylor, Merrill Samuel Taylor was a student of Applied Science (1912-1916) when he enlisted in the University of Toronto Overseas Training Company in April 1916. He joined the Royal Naval Air Service in Ottawa on 19 January 1917. By the end of the year, he was posted to 9 Naval Squadron (later 209 Squadron) as a Sopwith Camel pilot. Scoring his first and only victory of the year, Taylor downed an Albatros D.III near Dixmude on 28 September 1917. On 2 May 1918, he shot down a white Fokker Triplane flown by Hans Weiss of Jasta 11. Having increased his score to eight, Taylor was killed in action over Hamel when his Camel was shot down by Franz Büchner.