Last Known Activity
John W. Adams III was born in 1923 in Nebraska (www.findagrave states 1922 Kansas) to John W., Jr and Olive M. Adams.The Us Census 1930 lists the family in Kickapoo, Kansas (Leavenworth Military Reservation.) He graduated from Leavenworth High School in 1941.
Adams joined the US Army in July, 1941 at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas as a private in the Infantry. Shortly thereafter, he attended the West Point Preparatory Course at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas. On November 21, 1942, he married Helen Bielecki of Sumter City, California.
Adams transferred to the Army Air Corps in July, 1943, and was accepted for pilot training. He received crew training with the newly formed 100th Bomb Group in Ephrata, and Geiger Field, Washington. He departed for overseas duty on October 21, 1943.
As part of an original crew arriving in England, he was classified as a co-pilot on a B-17. According to sources, he flew 10 missions. On March 3, 1944, the target area was Berlin, Germany. The formation made its way to the target as weather closed in. Apparently, two of the aircraft entered a cloud bank at the same time and collided, causing both aircraft to crash.
According to reports, five of the crew were taken prisoner, evidently having parachuted out. Five dead were recovered, and buried locally. After the war, Lt Adams was moved to the Ardennes American Cemetery in Belgium where he lies in Plot A, Row 41, Grave 24.
US Census 1930
Lt John W. Adams III was performing duties as co-pilot on B-17G # 42-39817, named "Murderer's Row," assigned to the 349th Bomb Squadron.
Missing Air Crew Report 3029 accounts for this loss. Mission loading lists show the crew as:
1 Lt Robert D. Vollmer p
2 Lt John W. Adams III c-p
2 Lt Edward G. Sullivan nav
TSgt Ernest B. Clark tog
TSgt William S. Humphrey eng/tt gun
TSgt Elias M. Johnson r/o
SSgt Don Guthrie btg
SSgt Donald N. Becker wg
SSgt Thomas H. Mullenix wg
SSgt George W. Wood tail gun
Ranks and grades as of mission date.
TSgt Clark was a replacement for Lt Robert S. Connelly (original crew) and TSgt Humphrey replaced Sgt Hull (original crew.) These two crewmen were removed from the crew for unknown reasons, and nothing else about them appears in 100th Bomb Group records.
Lt Adams, Sgts Johnson, Clark, Wood, and Becker were killed.
Service photo source: