Adams, Donald E., Maj

 Service Photo   Service Details
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Last Rank
Last Primary AFSC/MOS
AAF MOS 1055-Pilot, Single-Engine Fighter
Last AFSC Group
Pilot (Officer)
Primary Unit
1952-1952, AAF MOS 1055, 1st Fighter Wing
Service Years
1942 - 1952
Officer Collar Insignia

 Last Photo   Personal Details 

Home State
New York
New York
Year of Birth
This Military Service Page was created/owned by SSgt Harry McCown (Mac) to remember Adams, Donald E., Maj.

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Contact Info
Home Town
Last Address
Detroit, MI

Date of Passing
Aug 30, 1952
Location of Interment
Clinton Grove Cemetery - Mt Clemens, Michigan
Wall/Plot Coordinates
Not Specified

 Official Badges 

 Unofficial Badges 

Air Ace

 Military Associations and Other Affiliations
Air Force Memorial (AFM)In the Line of Duty
  2015, Air Force Memorial (AFM) [Verified] - Assoc. Page
  2017, In the Line of Duty

 Additional Information
Last Known Activity
Don Adams was born on February 23, 1921, in Caton, New York. After graduating with a Bachelor's degree from Western Michigan College in 1942, he entered the Aviation Cadet Program of the U.S. Army Air Forces on October 24, 1942, and was commissioned a 2d Lt and awarded his pilot wings on August 30, 1943.

Lt Adams then served as an instructor pilot at Newport, Arkansas, from August 1943 to July 1944, followed by advanced fighter training in the P-51 Mustang.

He went to England and joined the 343rd Fighter Squadron of the 55th Fighter Group, 66th Fighter Wing, 3rd Bombardment Division, 8th Air Force in February 1945, where he was credited with destroying 2 enemy aircraft on the ground while strafing enemy airfields before the war ended. Adams transferred to the 307th Fighter Squadron of the 31st Fighter Group on occupation duty in Germany in November 1946, and then returned to the U.S. in June 1947.

His next assignment was flying F-80 Shooting Stars and F-86 Sabres with the 62nd Fighter Squadron of the 56th Fighter Group at Selfridge AFB, Michigan, from July 1947 to October 1951.

Maj Adams then deployed to Korea, where he was credited with the destruction of 6.5 enemy aircraft in aerial combat plus 3.5 more damaged while flying with the 16th Fighter Interceptor Squadron of the 51st Fighter Interceptor Wing at Suwon, South Korea from November 1951 to June 1952.

He joined the 27th Fighter Interceptor Squadron of the 1st Fighter Interceptor Wing at Griffiss AFB, New York, in July 1952, and was killed while flying an F-89 Scorpion near the Detroit Airport on August 30, 1952.

His Silver Star Citation reads:

For gallantry in action against an armed enemy of the United Nations as a Pilot, 16th Fighter-Interceptor Squadron, 51st Fighter-Interceptor Group, FIFTH Air Force, on 3 May 1952. Leading a squadron of six F-86 type aircraft, Major Adams attacked a flight of twenty MiG type aircraft. In the ensuing battle, from 30,000 feet down to 5,000, Major Adams aggressively pressed the attack despite mechanical difficulties which resulted in sever frosting of his windscreen and rendered his sighting system useless. With an extraordinary display of airmanship and gunnery skill, Major Adams succeeded in destroying the flight leader of the enemy element. In succeeding maneuvers he observed a second aircraft and, unaware of the first destruction because of excessively reduced visibility, he attacked, believing this aircraft to be his first target escaping. Continuing his aggressive attack, he destroyed the second aircraft as well. The destruction of the two aircraft effectively broke up the enemy force. By his high personal courage, resourcefulness, and extraordinary flying skill, Major Adams reflected great credit upon himself, the Far East Air Forces, and the United States Air Force.

Other Comments:

"Korean War Aces" by Robert F. Dorr, Jon Lake, Warren Thompson (pg. 42) Shot down 2 MiG-15s

"F-86 Sabre Aces of the 51st Fighter Wing" by Warren Thompson (photo on pg. 40)
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  1945-1947, 8th Air Force

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Last Updated: Dec 10, 2019
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146 Members Also There at Same Time
8th Air Force

Anderson, Jasper Lee, TSgt, (1940-1961) [Other Service Rank]
Atencio, Francis Xavier, Capt, (1941-1945) [Other Service Rank]
Bille, Henry Smith, Maj, (1942-1945) [Other Service Rank]
Cowan, Clyde Lorrain, Capt, (1941-1946) [Other Service Rank]
Doyle, Jesse W., Sgt, (1943-1945) [Other Service Rank]
Essenson, Charles Paul, (1943-1945) [Other Service Rank]
GRAMAGLIA, JOSEPH, Cpl, (1942-1945) [Other Service Rank]
Grasse, John T., SSgt, (1943-1945) [Other Service Rank]
Guerra, Peter, Sgt, (1943-1946) [Other Service Rank]
Haigh, Owen Clarence, Sgt, (1942-1951) [Other Service Rank]
Haines, William Wister, Lt Col, (1942-1945) [Other Service Rank]
Halvorsen, Gail Seymour, Col, (1944-1974) [Other Service Rank]
Haynsworth, Stuart Getz, Maj Gen, (1942-1977) [Other Service Rank]
Henderson, Lyle Russell Cedric, 1st Lt, (1940-1945) [Other Service Rank]
McCann, Harry C., Maj, (1942-1976) [Other Service Rank]
Raymond, Gene, Col, (1941-1968) A23 AAF MOS 1060 [Other Service Rank]
Roosevelt, Elliott, Brig Gen, (1940-1946) [Other Service Rank]
Souder, Donald S., MSgt, (1941-1962) [Other Service Rank]
Watson, Harold E., Maj Gen, (1936-1962) [Other Service Rank]
Anderson, Frederick Lewis, Maj Gen, (1924-1947) A23 AAF MOS 1060 Major General
Anderson, Orvil Arson, Maj Gen, (1917-1951) A16 AAF MOS 2140 Major General
Doolittle, James Harold, Gen, (1917-1959) Major General
Wurtsmith, Paul Bernard, Maj Gen, (1927-1946) A23 AAF MOS 1060 Major General
Allard, John Stetson, Brig Gen, (1917-1946) 200 2 Brigadier General
Auton, Jesse D., Brig Gen, (1928-1952) A23 AAF MOS 1065 Brigadier General
Badham, William Terry, Brig Gen, (1918-1945) Brigadier General
Cook, Everett Richard, Brig Gen, (1917-1945) Brigadier General
Eaker, Ira Clarence, Gen, (1917-1947) Brigadier General
Banfill, Charles Yawkey, Brig Gen, (1916-1953) Colonel
Blakeslee, Donald James Matthew, Col, (1938-1965) Colonel
Gibbs, Jack Alban, Brig Gen, (1937-1966) 115 1151A Colonel
Hough, Cass Sheffield, Col, (1938-1945) A23 AAF MOS 1055 Colonel
Stovall, William Howard, Col, (1917-1945) Colonel
Coler, Eugene Seeley, Col, (1942-1953) Lieutenant Colonel
Edner, Selden Raymond, Lt Col, (1942-1949) Lieutenant Colonel
Eubank, Eugene Lowry, Maj Gen, (1917-1954) Lieutenant Colonel
Rohr, Louis W., Col, (1940-1952) A23 AAF MOS 1093 Lieutenant Colonel
Schilling, David Carl, Col, (1939-1956) Lieutenant Colonel
Albert, Alfred, Lt Col, (1942-1947) 01 Major
Bostwick, George Eugene, Col, (1941-1963) A23 AAF MOS 1055 Major
Elliott, Frank Bower, Brig Gen, (1940-1968) Major
Graham, Archie C., Lt Col, (1941-1946) A16 AAF MOS 2136 Major
Ilfrey, Jack Milton, Maj, (1941-1945) A23 AAF MOS 1055 Major
Meyer, John Charles, Gen, (1939-1974) Major
Bither, Waldo James, Maj, (1925-1954) A08 Captain
Constant, Leo, Capt, (1941-1946) A20 AAF MOS 4530 Captain
Diltz, Edwin Cary, Maj, (1940-1948) A23 AAF MOS 1091 Captain
Harris, Lowell, Lt Col, (1942-1966) Captain
Jabara, James, Col, (1942-1966) A23 AAF MOS 1055 Captain
Keil, Lillian Kinkela, Capt, (1943-1955) 976 9761 Captain
McKee, Herschel Jessup, Lt Col, (1917-1958) A08 Captain
Middleton, George, Maj, (1942-1963) A23 AAF MOS 1055 Captain
Rubich, Edward, Lt Col 102 1021A Captain
Schenck, Robert Lenard, Capt, (1942-1952) A23 AAF MOS 1091 Captain
Schuster, Billy C., Capt, (1941-1945) A08 AAF MOS 1035 Captain
Talbot, John Mayo, Brig Gen, (1939-1973) Captain
Thayer, Reginald Holden, Capt, (1941-1953) Captain
Westover, Charles Bainbridge, Lt Gen, (1937-1967) Captain
Whitehead, Samuel H., Capt, (1942-1946) A23 AAF MOS 1091 Captain

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