Adams, Arthur I., 1st Lt

 Service Photo   Service Details
View Time Line
Last Rank
First Lieutenant
Last Primary AFSC/MOS
AAF MOS 1091-Pilot, B-17
Last AFSC Group
Pilot (Officer)
Primary Unit
1942-1943, AAF MOS 1091, 360th Bombardment Squadron, Heavy
Service Years
1941 - 1943
USAAFOfficer Collar Insignia
First Lieutenant

 Last Photo   Personal Details 

Home State
Year of Birth
This Military Service Page was created/owned by CMSgt Don Skinner-Deceased to remember Adams, Arthur I., 1st Lt.

If you knew or served with this Airman and have additional information or photos to support this Page, please leave a message for the Page Administrator(s) HERE.
Casualty Info
Home Town
Not Specified
Last Address
Molesworth, England (AAF 107)

Casualty Date
Jan 03, 1943
Hostile, Died while Missing
Air Loss, Crash - Land
World War II
Location of Interment
Elgin Union County Cemetery - Elgin, Oregon
Wall/Plot Coordinates
Not Specified

 Official Badges 

 Unofficial Badges 

 Photo Album   (More...

 Ribbon Bar

Pilot Badge

 Unit Assignments/ Advancement Schools
Aviation Cadet Flight School303rd Bombardment Group, Heavy360th Bombardment Squadron, Heavy
  1941-1942, Aviation Cadet Flight School
  1942-1942, AAF MOS 1091, 303rd Bombardment Group, Heavy
  1942-1943, AAF MOS 1091, 360th Bombardment Squadron, Heavy
 Combat and Non-Combat Operations
  1942-1942 World War II/European-African-Middle Eastern Theater/Air Offensive, Europe Campaign (1942-44)
  1943-1943 World War II/European-African-Middle Eastern Theater/Air Offensive, Europe Campaign (1942-44)
 My Aircraft/Missiles
B-17 Flying Fortress  
  1942-1943, B-17 Flying Fortress
 Additional Information

Last Known Activity
Arthur I. Adams was born on December15, 1920, in Oregon. He was the son of John W. and Emily Jane Law Adams. Nothing concerning his early life has been located, and there is no NARA enlistment form in the database. But because of his birth date, rank, and his assignments, it may be assumed he entered service in 1941.

The first official mention found in military records is his assignment to the 303rd Bomb Group, in training, on July 26, 1942. The unit was at Gowen Field, Idaho, training for formation flying. Later, it moved to Biggs Field, Texas, to prepare for deployment to England.

The personnel records and other documents of the 303rd reflect a large number of discrepancies as to his rank. The combat crew photo of him and his original crew shows he was a 1 Lt. The activity summary below the photo calls him "Captain" twice. More amazing is the personnel index and mission summary that states on July 26, 1942, he was a 1 Lt, but also states that on November 18, 1942, he was a 2 Lt. His gravestone states 1 Lt.

He and his crew flew 3 missions, with one abort. On January 3, 1943, he was part of a raid that bombed the torpedo storage sheds at St. Naizaire, France. The flak was intense over the target, and approximately 35-40 German fighters from 7/JG2 attacked.

Adams' aircraft took a direct flak hit in the belly turret, badly wounding the gunner. It was hit by another flak burst, and an FW-190 shot most of the right wing off with cannon fire. Several of the crew were wounded, but bailed out, to become POWs for the duration. One, Sgt Magee, was blown from the ship without a parachute, fell 22,000 feet, and landed on the glass dome of the railway station. Although badly injured, he survived and was a POW. Seven of the crew were killed.

The remains of the aircraft crashed near La Baules Pins, France. The subsequent events concerning Lt Adams' remains are uncertain but he has a gravestone in the Elgin Cemetery in Elgin, Oregon. The American Battlefield Monuments Commission has no record of an overseas burial.
USAAC-USAAF Aircraft Inventory Reports


The aircraft involved in this incident was B-17F #41-24620, nicknamed "Snap! Crackle! Pop!," with appropriate nose art. It was named by Captain Jacob Fredericks who worked for Kellogg's Company before the war, and flew the aircraft to England.

Missing Air Crew Report 15464 was issued, and identifies the crew as:

1 Lt Arthur I. Adams     p
2 Lt Gene A. Witterstetter     c-p
2 Lt Glen W. Herrington     nav
2 Lt Michael L. Libonati     bomb
TSgt Lews C. Hart      eng/tt gun
TSgt Alfred M. Union    r/o
SSgt Alan Magee     btg
Sgt  Marion L. Milam     lwg
SSgt Edward W. Durant      rwd
SSgt James I. Gordon     tail gun

Herrington, Magee, and Gordon were the survivors. All other crew members killed.

In the crew photo, members are:

Back (L-R)

Adams, Libonati, Herrington

Front Row (L-R)

Members of original crew, but only Union (third from left) is identified.


Copyright Inc 2003-2011