MAJ. WILLIAM E. ADAMS
A/227th Assault Helicopter Company
52d Avn Bn, 1st Avn Bde
Kontum Province, RVN
25 May 1971
Maj Adams was serving as a helicopter pilot in Kontum Province in the Republic of Vietnam. The call came for Dust-Off but no Dust-Off aircraft were within range to recover the gravely wounded soldiers.
Maj. Adams unhesitatingly volunteered to go do a “Hot Evac” from a small firebase under attack by a large enemy force.
The Major had full knowledge that the enemy had positioned anti-aircraft guns in a defensive circle around the firebase. The odds of getting in were slim and none but there were 3 wounded Americans who needed Medivac.
Medivac Pilots are a lot like Combat Medics and Corpsmen- they seem to go blind to everything but the mission as soon as they hear that call for help. Maj Adams was no different.
As he approached the LZ, enemy gunners let loose with heavy machine guns, RPGs and small arms. The Major was undaunted – he continued in-bound.
In spite of the concentration required to fly a helicopter at tree-top level with thousands of rounds whizzing by, He calmly directed gunships to targets.
He landed his bird at the fire base despite and calmly waited until the wounded soldiers were placed on board.
As his aircraft departed from the firebase, it was struck and seriously damaged by enemy anti-aircraft fire and began descending.
Only by incredible flying skills did he regain control of the crippled aircraft and attempted an auto-rotation.
Despite his valiant efforts, his ship exploded, overturned, and plummeted to earth amid the hail of enemy fire.
“No greater love…”