STAFF SERGEANT RICHARD SPENCER ADAMS; U.S. ARMY AIR FORCE

November 14, 1919 (New York, NY) – January 6, 1977; 57 years old
Married to Mrs. Betty Henderson Adams of Topeka, Kansas
Last local address: Scribner Avenue, South Norwalk
Serial number 31167309
Enlisted on August 10, 1943
392ND BOMB GROUP, 578TH BOMB SQUADRON


German POW in an unknown camp following the crash described below.


Missing Air Crew Report Details
USAAF MACR#:#00880
Target: Vegesack
Date Lost: 8-Oct-43
Serial Number: #42-7488
Aircraft Model B-24D
Aircraft Letter:”S-Bar” 6th Mission
Aircraft Name: “HELLZADROPPIN”
Location: Oerdingen near Sullingen, Germany
Cause: According to the surviving crew member reports, their aircraft was attacked by twin-engine enemy fighters at about 23,000 feet right after target in the vicinity of Belmanhorst, Germany. The German reports indicate the crash site of the aircraft was at Oerdingen near Sullingen Germany. As a summation of all survivor testimony taken by U.S. authorities, the following individual accounts were given at the time: Waller bailed out through the bomb bay; Coe also exited that way; Donlon went out through the nose wheel door; Hanrahan bailed out of the right waist window; Adams also went out the right waist window; Bernard exited through the same opening but one crewman’s report noted a great amount of smoke in the waist of the aircraft and felt that Bernard’s parachute may not have opened; Davis left the ship through the right waist window; Buschman exited through the bomb bay; and Hoover, very badly wounded in the stomach and chest, fell from the bomb bay without a parachute. The latter crew man was later observed by another survivor lying about 500 yards from where this survivor was taken POW. The German reports noted the following: The bodies of Sgts. Hoover and Bernard were positively identified from their respective dog-tags, however, there was one “unknown” person found. No identifying tags were found on this body.

The target was the submarine and ship building yards at Vegesack, three miles northwest of Bremen. It was the second largest seaport in Germany and one of the most important for construction of the larger submarines, destroyers and other vessels. It was last bombed on 3 March 1943 when 7 of the 15 U-boat slips were severely damaged and six slightly damaged. Estimates at that time were that the damage from the raid would result in neutralizing this yard for at least a year. Heavy opposition was expected from fighters: ME-109s and 110s, FW-190s, JU-87s and JU-88s. The 576th squadron led the attack and (432) 100# bombs were released through clouds which obscured the primary and observation of results. Two aircraft were forced to turn back prior to target because of mechanical problems. About 40 enemy fighters were encountered, principally FW-190s, ME-109s, and JU-88s in about equal numbers (6 to 10); also occasional ME-110s, ME-210s, Me-401s and one JU-87. The Group suffered the loss of two B-24s, both to fighter attacks. S/Sgt Wando Newberry, 579th, was killed by flak. Twelve aircraft suffered battle damage due to flak and fighters but managed to return safely.


Crew of “HELLZADROPPIN”
Captain John G. Buschman Pilot
2nd Lt Clarence R. Waller Co Pilot
2nd Lt Maurice A. Donlon, Navigator
2nd Lt Robert J. Green Bombardier
TSgt Richard S. Adams Engineer
TSgt J. T. Hoover Radio Op.
TSgt Jacque D. Coe Gunner
SSgt Ray W. Davis Gunner
SSgt Daniel J. Hanrahan Gunner
SSgt Leo E. Bernard Gunner


Buried in Barrancas National Cemetery, Pensacola, Florida; Plot 35, 0, 2727


Published by jeffd1121

USAF retiree. Veteran advocate. Committed to telling the stories of those who died while in the service of the country during wartime.

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