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

 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 Association Memberships
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)
 Photo Album   (More...

 1952-1952, F-89 Scorpion
From Year
To Year
Personal Memories
Not Specified
 F-89 Scorpion Details

Aircraft/Missile Information
Model Northrop F-89D Scorpion
Length 53.84 ft | 16.41 m
Width 59.65 ft | 18.18 m
Height 17.59 ft | 5.36 m
Engine(s) 2 x Allison J-35-A-35 turbojet engines with afterburn generating 7,200lbs of thrust.
Empty Weight 25,194 lbs | 11,428 kg
MTOW 42,241 lbs | 19,160 kg
Max Speed 636 mph | 1,024 km/h | 553 kts
Max Range 2,600 miles | 4,184 km
Ceiling 49,196 ft | 14,995 m | 9.3 miles
Climb Rate 5,250 ft/min (1,600 m)
Hardpoints 5 (including wing tip mounts)
Armament 104 Mighty Mouse 2.75in air-to-surface rockets in wingtip launchers.


3 x Falcon air-to-air missiles
27 x Mighty Mouse 70mm unguided rockets
Accommodations 2

Major Variants

* F-89 - Base Model Series Designation
* F-89D - Definitive Scorpion Model; most produced in the series; fitted with 104 Mighty Mouse 2.75in rockets on wingtip pod mounts; fitted with advanced APG-40 radar system and Hughes E-6 fire-control system.
* F-89J - F-89D Converion Models with provision for AIR-2A Genie unguided nuclear air-to-air missile.

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Last Updated: Sep 16, 2009
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  11 Also There at This Aircraft:
  • Arnold, Berle, MSgt, (1950-1970)
  • Bonkowski, Thaddeus, SSgt, (1951-1955)
  • May, Leon, SSgt, (1950-1954)
  • Moncla, Félix Eugène, 1st Lt, (1947-1953)
  • Wingfield, William, SSgt, (1950-1954)
  • Yarbrough, Arthur F, SMSgt, (1948-1970)
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