Maj WILLIAM E. ADAMS
A/227th Assault Helicopter Company
52d Avn Bn, 1st Avn Bde
Kontum Province, RVN
25 May 1971
On 25 May, 1971, a frantic call for Dust-Off was
broadcast on Fox-Mike.
But, there were no Dust-Off aircraft were within range to recover the gravely wounded soldiers.
Major Bill Adams was in flight returning from a mission and withing range. He unhesitatingly volunteered to go do a “Hot Evac” from a small fire base under attack by a large enemy force.
The Major was informed that the enemy positioned anti-aircraft guns in a defensive circle around the fire base. The odds of getting in were slim and none but there were 3 wounded Americans who needed Medivac. – That was all the Major needed to hear. He was going in and bringing them out – PERIOD.
As he approached the LZ, enemy gunners let loose with heavy machine guns, RPGs and small arms. Undaunted, and in spite of the concentration required to fly a helicopter at tree-top level with thousands of rounds whizzing by the Major continued in-bound, as he calmly directed gunship fire on his radio.
He landed his bird at the firebase and his Crew Chief and Gunner loaded the wounded. The aircraft took serious enemy fore as the Major pulled Pitch out of the LZ. It began an uncontrolled descent. Only by incredible flying skills did Major Adams 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. The crash killed everyone on board with the exception of his crew chief, SP/4 John W. Littleton.
SP/4 Littleton was wounded but made it back to the firebase where he was later evacuated by helicopter. The aircraft carrying Littleton was also shot down, Littleton’s second shoot down on the same day. SP/4 Littleton and Huey crew were killed in the crash.
Major Adams, his crew chief, and Gunner knew the odds were bad. Knowing that risk they chose to go in and recover their fellow Americans.
“No greater love…”