|Sad Sack was the airplane the
crew claimed as their own...it was the B24 that they flew
from the US to England in the latter part of 1943.
The Sad Sack nose art sketched and painted on the side
of the B24 nose section was was done by Joe Adams' wife,
Helen Bliss Adams. We have never been able to locate
Helen to inform her of these details...she remarried and
we do not know her current last name. (On the day of the
fatal flight the crew was flying a subsitute aircraft
known as the Black Widow with two substitute crew members...Hinton
B24H "Sad Sack" crew
in fall of 1943 at a base in the US.
Left to right: S/Sgt Paul Sallee, T/Sgt Earl W Lee,
S/Sgt Vincent L Riel, Lt Koonse, S/Sgt John D Fletcher,
Lt John T Carmody, Lt Joseph B Adams, S/Sgt Francis
A Stewart (stdg), Lt Marvin W Garber and T/Sgt Anthony
NOTE: S/Sgt Sallee and Lt Koonse were
not with the crew on the "Black Widow's" fatal
|1/Lt Garber, Marvin W.
|2/Lt Hinton, Foster J.
||POW - now deceased
|2/Lt Carmody, John T.
|l/Lt Adams, Joseph B.
|T/Sgt Nardozzi, Anthony J.
|T/Sgt Lee, Earl W.
||KIA - shot in parachute
|S/Sgt Stewart, Francis W.
|S/Sgt Riel, Vincent L.
||R Waist Gunner
||POW - now deceased
|S/Sgt Kieley, Adrian
||L Waist Gunner
|S/Sgt Fletcher, John D.
Joe Adams was a personal boyhood friend
of mine in Kansas. We both joined the Kansas National
Guard and were mobilized into the US Army on 23 Dec
40. Subsequently we both transferred to the USAAF
Aviaiton Cadet rogram and were commissioned 2nd Lt Bombardiers.
Joe was shipped to the 8AF/446BG/707BS at Bungay in
England, and I was shipped to the 15AF/376BG/412BS at
San Pancrazio in Italy. I was fortunate and survived
51 missions. I had received a letter from home
telling me that Joe was MIA, but I never knew the full
story and the crew's fate until this past year...some
53 years later.
With the help of a grateful British historical
researcher, Maurice Rowe, the story is now known in
great detail. He even found a record of the fighter
track, the exact time of the shootdown and the name
of the German fighter pilot who claimed the victory.
The badly mangled remains of those KIA were first buried
in a common grave in a French cemetery. After
the war Joe's father, Frank B Adams, while working with
the US Army graves registration organization, found
the initial burial site, identified one of the bodies
as his son, and arranged with all of the next of kin
for burial in a single grave site in the Jefferson Barracks
National Centery near St Louis, MO.
|A Memorial service honoring the World
War II service of lst Lt. Joseph B. Adams, was held
in El Dorado, Kansas on Memorial Day, 25 MAY 1998
at the El Dorado Cemetery Sunset Lawn cemetary.
El Dorado was Joe's hometown...where he grew up
and graduated from El Dorado High School in 1939.
It was from there that he entered the military service
On 4 FEB 1944 Joe, along with four of his fellow crew
members, was killed in action when a German FW190 shot
down their B24 bomber over France. Due to a set
of unusual circumstance's the word of his death was
never reported or recorded in his hometown. Two
of the surviving gunners, John Fletcher and Anthony
Nardozzi, and the widow of Vincent Riel, Shirley Riel,
are attended. The British historian who managed
the research efforts of this search for the full story
attended, and he was the featured speaker at the ceremony.
Read Bob Lehnherr's
speech at the dedication of the plaque
to Joe Adams on Memorial Day, 1998.
I would like to hear directly from anyone who was acquainted
with any aspect of the life of Joseph B Adams.
I would be very pleased to correspond with any of the
surviving crew members or anyone who knew him in the
707BS/446BG. Feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
More details about the Joe
Adams story...the story of the successful search
for the crash site of the Black Widow will be found
Scroll down the page until you come to the story
of the Black Widow.