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First Name: Arthur

Last Name: Adams

Birthplace: Jasper, MN, USA

Gender: Male

Branch: Marines (present)

Middle Name: Harvey

Date of Birth: 16 April 1915

Date of Death: 09 February 1999

Rank: Major General

Years Served:
Arthur Harvey Adams

•  World War II (1941 - 1945)
•  Korean War (1950 - 1953)
•  Vietnam War (1960 - 1973)


Arthur Harvey Adams
Major General, U.S. Marine Corps

Arthur Harvey Adams was born on 16 April 1915 in Jasper, MN. He was a graduate of the University of Minnesota.

Adams began his military career when he enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps Air Reserve in 1936. After completing flight training he was designated a Naval Aviator and commissioned as a Second Lieutenant in 1939.

During World War II, Adams flew combat air missions in the Pacific and was among the first to fly support operations at Guadalcanal. He commanded fighter squadron VMF-311 during the Korean War. 

During the Vietnam War, Adams served as Deputy Commanding General, Fleet Marine Force Pacific, (Honolulu). His career was also marked by his appointment as Senior Member, United Nations Armistice Commission at Panmunjom, Korea during 1969, when he was tasked with, and successfully negotiated, the safe return of the crew of the downed U.S. helicopter held captive by the North Koreans.

Noteworthy commands held by Adams include Commanding General, 3rd Marine Air Wing (El Toro, CA); Commanding General, 4th Marine Air Wing (Glenview, IL); Commander of the Marine Air Group-11 (Atsugi, Japan) and fighter squadrons VMF-311 and 322. He also served as Director of Information, Headquarters Marine Corps and on the staff of the U.S. European Command, Paris, France. 

During his career, Adams reached the rank of Major General. Those who served with him remember him for his steadfast dedication to the progress of Marine Corps aviation and for his inspirational and compassionate leadership to those under his command. 

Medals and Awards

Legion of Merit (2 Awards)
Distinguished Flying Cross (5 Awards)
Bronze Star Medal with Combat "Valor" Device (2 Awards)


Naval Aviator Badge

He was also a member of the Golden Eagles.

Military Education

Navy Test Pilot Training School, Patuxent River, MD
Air War College, Maxwell AFB, AL

In Retirement

After retiring to Norfolk, VA, he enjoyed a second career in law office management with Willcox and Savage and served as a consultant to local law firms and bar associations.


Adams married Kathleen (Katie) Watson of Minneapolis, MN, and they were married for 58 years. She died on 4 November 1997.

Death and Burial

Major General Arthur Harvey Adams died on 6 February 1999 in Pinehurst, NC, at the age of 83. He is buried at Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, VA, beside his wife, Katie.

Survivors include his second wife, Josephine Hillegas Adams, and four children, Frederick Adams, Kathleen Baczko, Melissa Tully, Judith Halter, and 13 grandchildren.

Honoree ID: 2036   Created by: MHOH




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