Medal of Honor




Rank and organization: Major, U.S. Army, A/227th Assault Helicopter Company, 52d Aviation Battalion, 1st Aviation Brigade


Place and Date: Kontum Province, Republic of Vietnam, 25 May 1971


Entered Service at: Kansas City, Missouri


Born: 16 June 1939, Casper, Wyoming




Maj. Adams distinguished himself on 25 May 1971 while serving as a helicopter pilot in Kontum Province in the Republic of Vietnam. On that date Maj. Adams volunteered to fly a lightly armed helicopter in an attempt to evacuate 3 seriously wounded soldiers from a small fire base which was under attack by force. He made the decision with full knowledge that numerous anti-aircraft weapons were positioned around the base and that the clear weather would afford the enemy gunners an unobstructed view of all routes into the base. As he approached the base, the enemy gunners opened fire with heavy machine guns, rocket-propelled grenades and small arms. Undaunted by the fusillade, he continued his approach determined to accomplish the mission. Displaying tremendous courage under fire, he calmly directed the attacks of supporting gun ships while maintaining absolute control of the helicopter he was flying. He landed the aircraft at the fire base despite the ever-increasing enemy fire and calmly waited until the wounded soldiers were placed on board. As his aircraft departed from the fire base, it was struck and seriously damaged by enemy anti-aircraft fire and began descending. Flying with exceptional skill, he immediately regained control of the crippled aircraft and attempted a controlled landing. Despite his valiant efforts, the helicopter exploded, overturned, and plummeted to earth amid the hail of enemy fire. Maj. Adams' conspicuous gallantry, intrepidity, and humanitarian regard for his fellow man were in keeping with the most cherished traditions of the military service and reflected the utmost credit on him and the U.S. Army.


The 2 children of William E. Adams.

Thanks to Stanley L. Wojciechowski Jr. for the photo

--- General / Personal ---

Last name: ADAMS


Home of Record (official): FORT COLLINS

State (official): CO

Date of Birth: Friday, June 16, 1939

Sex: Male

Race: Caucasian

Marital Status: Married

--- Military ---

Branch: Army

Rank: MAJ

Component: Regular

Pay grade: O4

MOS (Military Occupational Specialty code): 1983

--- Action ---

Start of Tour: Monday, July 6, 1970

Date of Casualty: Tuesday, May 25, 1971

Age at time of loss: 31

Casualty type: (A3) Hostile, died while missing

Reason: Air loss - Crashed on land (Pilot - Helicopter)

Country: South VietNam

Province: Kontum

The Wall: Panel 03W - Row 054

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