Last Known Activity
Lee H. Adkins (called "Abe" by crew mates) was born in Oak Hill, West Virginia on October 7, 1915. He was the son of Wilson and Elizabeth Victoria Bragg Adkins. The US Census 1920 shows the family living in Fayetteville, West Virginia.
Adkins enlisted as an Aviation Cadet on October 7, 1941 at Fort Hayes, Ohio. His enlistment forms show he had completed 2 years of college (unnamed), and was a semi-skilled mechanic on motor vehicles.
After he completed Aviation Cadet training, he was commissioned, awarded wings, and sent to transitional training on multi-engined aircraft. Following this, he was sent to North Africa where he became a member of the Lt Maher combat crew.
On November 28, 1942, the crew flew to bomb targets in the Bizerte, Tunisia area. On the way to the target area, the formation was attacked by German fighters, and Lt Maher's aircraft was shot down. It crashed into the Mediterranean Sea. There were no survivors, and no bodies were recovered.
Lt Adkins is memorialized on the Walls of the Missing in the North Africa American Cemetery and Memorial in Tunis.
www.301stbg.com/301st bombardment group.cfm
NARA Enlistment Records
US Census 1920
Lt Lee H. Adkins was the assigned navigator on B-17F # 41-24374, unnamed, assigned to the 353rd Bomb Squadron.
Missing Air Crew Report 16038 was issued to cover this loss. Mission loading lists state the crew was:
1 Lt Robert E. Maher p
2 Lt Roy C. Tobey c-p
2 Lt Lee H. Adkins nav
2 Lt Fred J. Graf bomb
MSgt Edward C. Shackleton eng/tt gun
TSgt Frank J. Conlon r/o
Sgt Harry R. Alger wg
Sgt Max D. McNeil wg
Sgt Charles R. Goodwin tail gun
Ranks and grades as of mission date.
Shackleton's middle initial is given as "C" in the crew list, but is shown as "O" and "W" in other records.
There is no known photo of the crew.