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First Name: Lucian

Last Name: Adams

Birthplace: Port Arthur, TX, USA

Gender: Male

Branch: Army (1784 - present)

Home of Record: Houston, TX

Date of Birth: 26 October 1922

Date of Death: 31 March 2003

Rank: Staff Sergeant

Years Served: 1943 - 1945
Lucian Adams

•  World War II (1941 - 1945)


Lucian Adams
Staff Sergeant, U.S. Army
Medal of Honor Recipient
World War II

Staff Sergeant Lucian Adams (26 October 1922 - 31 March 2003) was a U.S. Army soldier during World War II who received the Medal of Honor for single-handedly destroying enemy machine gun emplacements to re-establish supply lines to U.S. Army companies.

Lucian Adams was born on 26 October 1922, in Port Arthur, TX. He was one of twelve children from a large Mexican-American family. He attended Port Arthur High School. Adams enlisted in the Army in 1943 after spending two years in a wartime plant making landing craft just like the ones that would carry him to the shores of Italy, then France, in the American invasion of Europe.

In the summer of 1944, the 3rd Infantry Division landed near Saint-Tropez and began advancing into central France. By late October, Sergeant Adam's company was near the town of Saint-Die in the Mortagne forest, moving down a country road to open a supply line to two assault companies of his battalion that were cut off by the Germans. When stopped by heavy enemy fire, Adams was sent forward to scout the German position and reported three enemy machine-gun nests to his company commander. He was then told "You go on out there and make a breakthrough to get those GIs."

Carrying a borrowed Browning Automatic Rifle (BAR), Adams began walking with his men down the road which was heavily wooded on both sides. They had not gone ten yards before the German machine guns opened fire, killing three men immediately and wounding six others. All of the men except Adams took cover. Adams pressed forward, moving from tree to tree, straight through enemy fire to kill the first gunner with a grenade. When another German popped up from a foxhole a few yards away, Adams killed him with fire from the BAR. Charging into the fire of the second machine gun, he killed its gunner with another grenade and forced its two supporting infantrymen to surrender. He then ran deeper into the woods, killing five more Germans. Then he began taking fire from the third machine gunner, who missed his mark; Adams didn't. He killed the gunner, and by the time Adams finished his one-man rampage he had cleared the woods of enemy soldiers.

Adams' men began calling him the tornado from Texas. After the action, Adams was told by messenger that he was recommended for the Medal of Honor. Since he had heard the same thing at Anzio when he single-handedly destroyed a German machine gun position, he didn't pay too much attention and continued on with his unit, fighting their way into Germany.

In the spring of 1945 he received orders to go home to be awarded the Medal of Honor by President Franklin D. Roosevelt. But before he left, President Roosevelt died. Adams received the medal from Lieutenant General Alexander Patch on 23 April 1945 in Nuremberg's Zeppelin Stadium. An American flag was draped over a huge swastika on the top of the stadium. After the ceremony, American engineers removed the flag and blew up the swastika.

Medal of Honor

Rank and organization: Staff Sergeant, U.S. Army, 30th Infantry, 3rd Infantry Division.

Place and date: Near St. Die, France, 28 October 1944.

Citation: For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at risk of life above and beyond the call of duty on 28 October 1944, near St. Die, France. When his company was stopped in its effort to drive through the Mortagne Forest to reopen the supply line to the isolated third battalion, S/Sgt. Adams braved the concentrated fire of machineguns in a lone assault on a force of German troops. Although his company had progressed less than 10 yards and had lost 3 killed and 6 wounded, S/Sgt. Adams charged forward dodging from tree to tree firing a borrowed BAR from the hip. Despite intense machinegun fire which the enemy directed at him and rifle grenades which struck the trees over his head showering him with broken twigs and branches, S/Sgt. Adams made his way to within 10 yards of the closest machinegun and killed the gunner with a hand grenade. An enemy soldier threw hand grenades at him from a position only 10 yards distant; however, S/Sgt. Adams dispatched him with a single burst of BAR fire. Charging into the vortex of the enemy fire, he killed another machine gunner at 15 yards range with a hand grenade and forced the surrender of 2 supporting infantrymen. Although the remainder of the German group concentrated the full force of its automatic weapons fire in a desperate effort to knock him out, he proceeded through the woods to find and exterminate 5 more of the enemy. Finally, when the third German machinegun opened up on him at a range of 20 yards, S/Sgt. Adams killed the gunner with BAR fire. In the course of the action, he personally killed 9 Germans, eliminated 3 enemy machineguns, vanquished a specialized force which was armed with automatic weapons and grenade launchers, cleared the woods of hostile elements, and reopened the severed supply lines to the assault companies of his battalion.

After serving in the European Theatre during World War II, Adams returned to Texas where he worked for the Veterans Administration for over 40 years before retiring in 1986.

Medals and Awards

Medal of Honor
Bronze Star Medal
Purple Heart
American Campaign Medal
European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign Medal
World War II Victory Medal

Death and Burial

Staff Sergeant Lucian Adams died on 31 March 2003, in San Antonio, TX. He is buried at Fort Sam Houston National Cemetery in San Antonio, TX, in Section AI, Site 555.

Honoree ID: 1267   Created by: MHOH




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