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Adapted from "Commander Dudley H. Adams, United States Navy, Deceased"
[biography, dated 19 May 1953] in Modern Biographical Files collection, Navy Department Library.

Document Type
  • Biography
Wars & Conflicts
  • Korean Conflict 1950-1954
  • World War II 1939-1945
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Dudley Hale Adams

7 March 1917 - 15 May 1953

Dudiey Hale Adams was born in Boston, Massachusetts, on 17 March 1917, son of Donald B. and Louise R. (Ufford) Adams. He attended Burlington (Vermont) High School and Columbia University, New York, New York, for one year prior to his appointment to the US Naval Academy, Annapolis, Maryland, from the State of New York in 1935. As a Midshipman he was a member of the French Club, the Quarterdeck Society, and the News Staff of the Log and participated in cross country track. Graduated and commissioned Ensign on 1 June 1939, he subsequently advanced in rank, attaining that of Commander, to date from 1 July 1949.

Following graduation from the Naval Academy in 1939, he joined USS Tennessee. Detached from that battleship in February 1941, he had flight training at the Naval Air Stations, Pensacola and Miami, Florida. Designated Naval Aviator on 5 September 1941, he had further instruction with the Advanced Carrier Training Group, Norfolk, Virginia, until January 1942, when he reported aboard USS Wasp. He was attached to that aircraft carrier during the initial assault on Guadalcanal, 7 August 1942. "For meritorious achievement...against enemy Japanese forces in the Solomon Islands on 7 August 1942... "he was awarded the Air Medal. The citation continues in part:

"While attempting to drive off several Japanese Zeros which were harassing the plane ahead of him in formation, Lieutenant Adams was attacked by an enemy fighter from behind. Although severely wounded in the engagement, he succeeded in bringing his severely damaged plane to a safe landing on the sea alongside one of our destroyers..."

He was also awarded the Purple Heart Medal for wounds received in this action.

Transferred to a shore hospital for treatment, he rejoined the Wasp early in September 1942, and was aboard her when she was torpedoed by Japanese submarine on 15 September, of that year. She was sunk by a destroyer of our Navy to prevent her from falling into the hands of the enemy.

Between October 1942 and January 1944 he was an Instructor in fighters and bombers at the Naval Air Station, Vero Beach, Florida, after which he served as Executive Officer of Fighting Squadron SEVENTY NINE, operating in the Atlantic. In April 1944 he transferred to Fighting Squadron ONE HUNDRED AND FOUR, to command that squadron until September 1944. He next had duty as Executive Officer and Commanding Officer of the Naval Air Combat Training Unit, Pacific.

Designated for Aeronautical Engineering Duty Only (Electronics) in 1946, he was assigned in March of that year, to the Bureau of Aeronautics, Navy Department, Washington, DC, where he remained until August 1950. He was then transferred to the Naval Air Technical Training Center, Memphis, Tennessee. He was so serving when he was killed as a result of an airplane crash on 15 May 1953, in Memphis.

In addition to the Air Medal and the Purple Heart Medal, Commander Adams had the American Defense Service Medal; the American Campaign Medal; the Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal; and the World WarII Victory Medal.


Published: Wed Jan 03 12:02:16 EST 2018