Allen Bond Adams was born in Newcomerstown, Ohio, on 14 March 1910. He attended Moundsville (West Virginia) High School before entering the US Naval Academy, Annapolis, Maryland, by appointment from West Virginia in 1928. As an undergraduate he was especially interested in fencing, being the academy champion in 1930 and 1931, and was a member of the Intercollegiate Champion (saber) Team in 1932. Commissioned Ensign upon graduating in June 1932, he subsequently advanced in rank to Captain to date from 1 January 1951.
When detached from the Naval Academy, he was assigned to USS Maryland, and after one year transferred to USS Mississippi. In September 1934 he joined the staff of Commander Battleships, Battle Force, US Fleet, for communication duty, and served in the flagship USS West Virginia until February 1936. He served consecutively in USS Flusser and USS Wright from April 1936 to May 1939.
He attended the Postgraduate School from July to September 1939, when he was assigned to USS Gilmer. In July 1940 he returned to the Naval Academy for duty in the Executive Department.
When detached in June 1942, he reported to the Submarine Chaser Center, Miami, Florida for indoctrination training, and the following August assumed command of PC-585 (submarine chaser patrol craft). He transferred in February 1943 to USS Decker, destroyer escort, and after five months he was detached and ordered to the Bethlehem Steel Company, Hingham, Massachusetts, where USS Amesbury was fitting out. Upon commissioning of Amesbury on 31 August 1943, he assumed command. That destroyer escort was flagship of Escort Division 19 and made eight crossings with North Atlantic Convoys before he was ordered as Commanding Officer of Escort Division 12, Atlantic Fleet. He was awarded the Bronze Star Medal with combat distinguishing device V, and cited as follows:
"For meritorious achievement during operations against the enemy forces while serving as Commander of a unit of ships of an escort group protecting trans-Atlantic convoys during World War II. Undeterred by enemy opposition and adverse weather conditions, (he) expeditiously directed the ships under his command in fulfilling difficult assignments thereby contributing materially to the success of his group in this area of operations...."
He served successively in command of Division 21, and Division 19 before being ordered to the Naval War College, Newport, Rhode Island, to attend the command course, June to December 1945.
From January to March 1946 he served on the staff of Cruiser Division 13, and in April 1946 he was Executive Officer of USS Atlanta (CL 104), then operating with the First Fleet, US Pacific Fleet in the Marianas area, until September. She was then assigned to undergo overhaul at San Francisco, and in February 1947 again joined the Fleet for maneuvers in Hawaiian waters. The Atlanta departed with Task Force 38 for a formal visit to Australia, Guam, the Coral Sea, Guadalcanal and Truk, returning to San Pedro, California, at the end of July 1947.
When detached from the Atlanta he reported to the Bureau of Personnel, Navy Department, Washington, DC, and had duty in that Bureau from November 1947 to August 1950. He then assumed command of Mine Division-2, Mine Force, Atlantic Fleet.
In addition to the Bronze Star Medal with Combat "V," Captain Adams had the American Defense Service Medal, Base Clasp; American Campaign Medal; European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign Medal; and the World War II Victory Medal.