The Airmen's Stories - F/O D A Adams
Dennis Arthur Adams was born in Banbury on 6th May 1913 and educated at Liskeard High School, Wallasey. He passed the entrance examination for Cambridge University but decided to do an apprenticeship in the light leather industry.
He finished his time at a Northampton tannery and then took a job with the firm there.
Adams joined the F2 Reserve of Pilots on 14th April 1936 at 7 E&RFTS Desford, becoming a Sergeant u/t Pilot the next day. The course required nine weeks full-time training in the first six months on Tiger Moths and two weeks in the second six months on Harts, still at Desford. No uniform was issued.
Above: 41 Squadron
Back row: F/O HC Baker, F/O DA Adams, P/O MF Briggs, Sgt. EV Darling, F/O JN McKenzie,
F/O ADJ Lovell (in cockpit)
Front row: P/O DE Mileham, F/Lt. EN Ryder, Sgt. RA Angus, S/Ldr. DO Finlay, Sgt. TWR Healy,
Sgt. JS Gilders, P/O EP Wells, Sgt. RC Ford
When the RAFVR was formed, Adams enlisted as a Sergeant-Pilot, having qualified after his Hart training. The RAFVR weekends were spent at Meir, Staffordshire.
In 1938 Adams applied to join 610 Squadron, Auxiliary Air Force but there were no vacancies so he applied to 611 Squadron at Speke in July 1938 and was accepted. He was commissioned and given £60 uniform allowance to spend at Gieves in Liverpool. The Squadron went to camp at Duxford on 13th August 1939 and was mobilised on the 24th.
Above image courtesy of the Graham Saunders Archive.
Over Dunkirk on 2nd June 1940 Adams destroyed a Ju87 and probably a Me109. Flying from Tern Hill on 22nd July, he made a forced landing on the beach at Colwyn Bay, in Spitfire N3062. The aircraft was towed on to the promenade by the Army to escape the incoming tide.
On 21st September Adams was sent up to investigate an unidentified aircraft over Liverpool and sighted Do215 0023 VB+KK of the Luftwaffe HQ reconnaissance unit. He climbed to intercept and tried to turn the aircraft back to Hooton Park. The German pilot did not comply and Adams shot the aircraft down at Dolgelly, Merionethshire. It crash-landed at Trawsfynydd. One crew-member was killed and the other three captured, wounded.
Adams joined 41 Squadron at Hornchurch on 29th September and three days later shared in destroying a Me109. On 7th October he was shot down by return fire from a Do17 and baled out of Spitfire N3267, landing at Douglas Farm, Postling.
He was posted away from 41 in April 1941. Adams served in the RAF until 1945 when he was released as a Squadron Leader.
He later went to live in South Africa and died there in 1995.