Adams, Michael James, Maj

Deceased
 
 Service Photo   Service Details
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Last Rank
Major
Last Primary AFSC/MOS
2865-Experimental Test Pilot
Last AFSC Group
Aircrew
Primary Unit
1966-1967, National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)
Service Years
1950 - 1967
Major

 Last Photo   Personal Details 


Home State
California
California
Year of Birth
1930
 
This Military Service Page was created/owned by Sgt Stephen Willcox to remember Adams, Michael James, Maj.

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.
 
Contact Info
Home Town
Sacramento
Last Address
Johannesburg, CA

Date of Passing
Nov 15, 1967
 
Location of Interment
Mulhearn Memorial Park Cemetery - Monroe, Louisiana
Wall/Plot Coordinates
Not Specified

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 Military Association Memberships
In the Line of Duty
  2014, In the Line of Duty


 Additional Information
Last Known Activity
"The tragic accident that took Mike Adams life occurred on November 15, 1967, during the 191st flight of the X-15 program. It was the first suborbital mission for Adams, who already had completed six atmospheric flights in the famed rocket plane. Adams was flying the third of three X-15s build by North American Aviation in Inglewood. It was the same airplane in which eight of the twelve X-15 project pilots earned their astronaut qualifications. Adams' accident was the only fatal mishap during the decade-long program."  Source: http://www.thexhunters.com

Major Adams "seventh X-15 flight, flight 3-65-97, took place on 15 November 1967. He reached the peak altitude of 266,000 feet; the nose of the aircraft was off heading by 15 degrees to the right. While descending, at 230,000 feet the aircraft encountered rapidly increasing aerodynamic pressure which impinged on the airframe, causing the X-15 to enter a violent Mach 5 spin. As the X-15 neared 65,000 feet, it was diving a Mach 3.93 and experiencing more that 15-g vertically (positve and negative), and 8-g laterally, which inevitably exceeded the design limits of the aircraft. The aircraft broke up 10 minutes and 35 seconds after launch, killing Adams. The United States Air Force posthumously awarded him the Purple Heart and astronaut wings for his last flight." Source: http://en.wikipedia.org

   
Other Comments:
Michael James Adams entered the Air Force in 1950 after graduation from Sacramento Junior College with an AA Degree in Forestry. After Basic Training a Lackland AFB, he served with the 3501st Pilot Training program as a Link Training instructor until he was selected as an Aviation Cadet. He received his primary training at Spence Field, Georgia and advanced training at Webb Air Force Base in Texas. After returning from Korea in 1954 he spent 2 or so years in England and on a rotational basis at Chaumont Air Base in France. After returning to the U.S. he earned an aeronautical engineering degree in 1958 and did graduate work at MIT. After a stint as a Maintenance Officer at Chanute AFB,  he "was selected in 1962 for the Experimental Test Pilot School at Edwards Air Force Base, California. Here, he won the Honts Trophy as the best scholar and pilot in his class. Adams subsequently attended the Aerospace Research Pilot School (ARPS), graduating with honors in December 1963. He was one of four Edwards aerospace research pilots to participate in a five-month series of NASA moon landing practice tests at the Martin Company in Baltimore, Maryland. In November, 1965 he was selected to be an astronaut in the United States Air Force Manned Orbiting Laboratory program. In July 1966, Major Adams came to the North American X-15 program, a joint USAF/NASA project. He made his first X-15 flight on 6 October 1966 in the number one aircraft." Source: http://en.wikipedia.org

 
   
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Korean War/Third Korean Winter (1952-53)
Start Year
1952
End Year
1953

Description
The military stalemate continued throughout the winter of 1952-1953. Allied Sabrejet pilots, meantime, persisted in destroying MiGs at a decidedly favorable ratio. In December the Communists developed an ambush tactic against F-86 pilots patroling along the Yalu River: MiG pilots would catch the UN aircraft as they ran short of fuel and headed south to return to base. During these engagements, some of the F-84 pilots exhausted their fuel and had IO bail out over Cho-do Island, 60 miles southwest of Pyongyang.

United Nations forces held the island and maintained an air rescue detachment there for such emergencies. To avoid combat while low on fuel, Sabre pilots began to fly home over the Yellow Sea. MiG pilots at this time generally sought the advantages of altitude, speed, position, and numbers before engaging in aerial combat. The UN pilots, on the other hand, relied on their skills to achieve aerial victories, even though they were outnumbered and flying aircraft that did not quite match the flight capabilities of the MiG-15s.

One memorable battle occurred on February l8, 1953, near the Sui-ho Reservoir on the Yalu River, 110 miles north of Pyongyang; 4 F-86Fs attacked 48 MiGs, shot down 2, and caused 2 others to crash while taking evasive action. All 4 U.S. aircraft returned safely to their base. While the Fifth Air Force maintained air superiority over North Korea during daylight hours, the Far East Air Forces Bomber Command on nighttime missions ran afoul of increasingly effective Communist interceptors. The aging B- 29s relied on darkness and electronic jamming for protection from both interceptors and antiaircraft gunfire, but the Communists used spotter aircraft and searchlights to reveal bombers to enemy gun crews and fighter-interceptor pilots.

As B-29 losses mounted in late 1952, the Bomber Command compressed bomber formations to shorten the time over targets and increase the effectiveness of electronic countermeasures. The Fifth Air Force joined the Navy and Marines to provide fighter escorts to intercept enemy aircraft before they could attack the B-29s. Bomber Command also restricted.missions along the Yalu to cloudy, dark nights because on clear nights contrails gave away the bombers' positions. FEAF lost no more B-29s after January 1953, although it continued its missions against industrial targets. On March 5 the B-29s penetrated deep into enemy territory to bomb a target at Chongjin in northeastern Korea, only 63 miles from the Soviet border. While Bomber Command struck industrial targets throughout North Korea during the winter of 1952-1953, the Fifth Air Force cooperated with the U.S. Navy's airmen in attacks on supplies, equipment, and troops near the from fines.

In December 1952 the Eighth Army moved its bombline from 10,000 to 3,000 meters from the front lines, enabling Fifth Air Force and naval fighter-bombers to target areas closer to American positions. Beyond the front lines, the Fifth Air Force focused on destroying railroads and bridges, allowing B-26s to bomb stalled vehicles. In January 1953 the Fifth Air Force attempted to cut the 5 railroad bridges over the Chongchon Estoary near Sinanju, 40 miles north of Pyongyang. Expecting trains to back up in marshaling yards at Sinanju, Bomber Command sent B-29s at night to bomb them, but these operations hindered enemy transportation only briefly.

As the ground thawed in the spring, however, the Communist forces had greater difficulty moving supplies and reinforcements in the face of the Fifth Air Force's relentless attacks on transportation. At the end of March 1953, the Chinese Communist government indicated its willingness to exchange injured and ill prisoners of war and discuss terms for a cease-fire in Korea. On April 20 Communist and United Nations officials began an exchange of POWs, and 6 days later, resumed the sessions at Panmunjom. 
   
My Participation in This Battle or Operation
From Year
1952
To Year
1953
 
Last Updated:
Oct 10, 2017
   
Personal Memories
   
My Photos From This Battle or Operation
No Available Photos

  138 Also There at This Battle:
  • Duffy, Frank, SSgt, (1951-1955)
  • Highfield, William, SSgt, (1949-1954)
  • Johnson, Samuel Robert, Col, (1951-1979)
  • Mathews, John, Maj, (1951-1971)
  • Newton, Donald, TSgt, (1951-1971)
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