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The Airmen's Stories - Sgt. R T Adams


Reginald Thomas Adams, from Marten, near Marlborough in Wiltshire, was born in December 1920 in Hungerford and joined the RAFVR on 29th August 1939 at Southampton.

He went to 3 EFTS Hamble on a wireless operators course. Eventually he was called up and sent to 4 ITW Bexhill.

After a posting to Debden, Adams went on an air gunnery course at No.1 AAS Manby. He passed out on 10th August 1940, was promoted to Sergeant and posted to 5 OTU Aston Down.

Adams joined 264 Squadron, operating Defiants, at Kirton-in-Lindsey on 7th September.



Above image courtesy of Lourens Looijenga


He was posted away from the squadron on 16th December 1940 and joined 256 Squadron, then reforming at Catterick with Defiants. Adams crewed up with F/O DR West, who was promoted to Flight Lieutenant and appointed 'A' Flight Commander.

Just before midnight on 7th April 1941 West and Adams intercepted and shot down a Ju88 of III/KG54. It crashed at Banks Marsh, Southport, 256 Squadron's first confirmed victory. In the early hours of 8th May West and Adams shot down a He111 that was raiding Liverpool. It crashed at Wrexham. During this action three of Adams' four guns jammed.

On 15th September 1941 'A' Flight of 256 Squadron was moved to Ballyhalbert to form the nucleus of 153 Squadron. When the squadron converted to Beaufighters, the air gunners were posted away.

Adams, then a Flight Sergeant, went to Bomber Command, joining 405 (RCAF) Squadron at Pocklington, equipped with Halifaxes.

Adams failed to return from a raid on Bremen on 30th June 1942. His Halifax, LQ-G W1113, was shot down by a night fighter and all the crew were lost. Adams was 21 years old and he is buried in the churchyard at Noordwolde, Weststellingwerf, Netherlands.

The other crew members were:

F/Sgt. JW Bell RCAF

F/Sgt. PAA Oneson RCAF

F/Sgt. HA Chinn RAAF

Sgt. WJ Harrell RCAF

Sgt. A Simpson

Sgt. WP Beare RCAF

Sgt. WJ Dickinson RCAF


This incident and its commemoration are comprehensively documented at:




Above image courtesy of San van Guinicus


Battle of Britain Monument