Adams, William Morris, Sgt

Deceased
 
 Service Photo   Service Details
35 kb
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Last Rank
Sergeant
Last Primary AFSC/MOS
M 0611-Aerial Gunner
Last AFSC Group
USAAF
Primary Unit
1945-1945, Air Force Bases/ Installations
Service Years
1943 - 1945
Sergeant

 Last Photo   Personal Details 

39 kb

Home State
Pennsylvania
Pennsylvania
Year of Birth
1925
 
This Military Service Page was created/owned by SSgt Robert Bruce McClelland, Jr. to remember Adams, William Morris, Sgt.

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Contact Info
Home Town
Klingerstown, Pennsylvania
Last Address
Pitman, Pennsylvania

Date of Passing
Mar 08, 1980
 
Location of Interment
Hepler's Church of God Cemetery - Pitman, Pennsylvania
Wall/Plot Coordinates

 Official Badges 




 Unofficial Badges 




 Military Association Memberships
Air Force Memorial (AFM)Military Order of the Purple Heart
  2016, Air Force Memorial (AFM) - Assoc. Page
  2016, Military Order of the Purple Heart - Assoc. Page


 Additional Information
Last Known Activity

On Aug 24, 1944, B-24 "Wham! Bam! Thank You Ma'am" of the 854th Bomb Sq., 491st Bomb Gp. was shot down over Germany on their 1st combat mission. All 9 crew members parachuted safely to the ground even though 1 had been wounded in the stomach and another injured his ankle upon landing. They were soon captured, beaten somewhat, interrogated, and locked up in Greven near where they had landed. The wounded man was sent to a hospital and the other 8 were put on a train to take them to the Dulag interrogation center. They had to stop in Rüsselsheim because the tracks ahead had been damaged by allied bombing. On the morning of Aug 26, while being marched through Rüsselsheim to catch a train on the other side of town, they were viciously attacked and brutally beaten by a mob of townfolk who were furious that their city had been severely bombed by the RAF during the night. One local Nazi leader even shot some of them. They were assumed to be dead and were put in a cart and taken to the cemetery for burial. One German was giving them the coup de grace with a 2-by-4 when he was interrupted by an air raid alarm, which allowed 2 of the crew to survive and escape. However, they were recaptured several days later and sent to a POW camp and survived the war.
After the war, 13 Germans w
ere tried for these murders. All but 1 were found guilty and 9 were sentenced to hang, 3 to prison terms. However, the 2 sisters who were the main instigators of the attack had their death sentences commuted and served 8 years in prison. One condemned man was released on a technicality. The lead prosecutor in the case was Leon Jaworski, who later gained fame as the special prosecutor in the Watergate case.
William Adams w
as 1 of the 2 crewmen who survived the incident.
He was the nose gunner on his crew.
 

   
Other Comments:
 
Sources:
https://aad.archives.gov/aad/record-detail.jsp?dt=466&mtch=2&cat=WR26&tf=F&q=William+M+Adams&bc=sl&rpp=10&pg=1&rid=39026&rlst=124306,39026
Book: "The Last Mission of the Wham Bam Boys, by Gregory A. Freeman, Palgrave Macmillan, 2011.
   
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 Ribbon Bar


Aerial Gunner Badge


 
 Unit Assignments
854th Bombardment Squadron, Heavy491st Bombardment Group, Heavy POW GermanyAir Force Bases/ Installations
  1944-1944, 854th Bombardment Squadron, Heavy
  1944-1944, 491st Bombardment Group, Heavy
  1944-1945, POW Germany
  1945-1945, Air Force Bases/ Installations
 Combat and Non-Combat Operations
  1943-1945 World War II
  1944-1944 World War II/European-African-Middle Eastern Theater/Northern France Campaign (1944)
 My Aircraft/Missiles
B-24 Liberator  
  1944-1944, B-24 Liberator
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