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The Airmen's Stories - F/Lt. J S Adams


Jack Sylvester Adams was born on 17th May 1911. He began his training with the RAF in January 1936, was commissioned in March and posted to 2 FTS Digby on 2nd May.

On completion of his training he joined 29 Squadron at Debden on 10th January 1937. He was still serving with 29 in September 1939 and served with the squadron in the Battle of Britain.


One night in August 1940 Adams sighted an enemy aircraft and chased it for fifty minutes before making contact off the South Coast. After attacking his quarry over the sea and having apparently destroyed it, Adams returned to Digby and landed with both fuel gauges reading nil. This action was mentioned in the citation when he was awarded the DFC (gazetted 24th September 1940).

On 28th October Adams was posted to 303 Squadron at Leconfield as a Flight Commander. He was given command of 151 Squadron at Wittering in January 1941, an appointment he held until October when he was posted to staff duties at HQ 12 Group.

Adams returned to operations in April 1942, taking command of 256 Squadron at Squires Gate as an Acting Wing Commander. He remained with 256 until October.

On 5th April 1943 he was posted to a staff job at the Air Ministry in the Directorate of Operations (Air Defence). A further tour of operations followed in 1944, with 226 Squadron, for which Adams was awarded a Bar to the DFC (gazetted 29th August 1944).

Adams stayed in the RAF after the war and retired on 27th July 1958 as a Wing Commander, retaining the rank of group Captain. In 1958 he was appointed Commander in the Order of Orange Nassau.

He died in July 1993 in Ashford.

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