PVT William E. Adams
9th I.D. 15th Engineer Bn. Co. C
KIA 14 October 1944
Hurtgen Forest, Zweifall, Germany
-- Ronald Gayle Burrus, Jr. --
William Earl Adams was born 14 August 1922 in Batavia, Ohio to Mr. G.W. and Lillie Adams. He was raised in Winchester, Kentucky, attending Winchester City
Schools and Christian Church. He and His younger brother, Gordon Ishmael, were both inducted into the U.S. Army at Ft. Thomas, Kentucky. They trained to
become U.S. Army Engineers in November of 1943 at Ft. Belvoir, Virginia.
His brother Gordon went on to serve with the 1254 Engineer Combat Battalion in Holland. William E. was assigned to the "Old Reliables" of the Armys 9th Infantry
Division, who became known as "Hitler's Nemesis." Serving with the 15th Engineer Battalion, Company C., he left Camp Reynolds, Pennsylvania and sailed for
Europe in May of 1944. Landing in Winchester, England, the 15th Engineers prepared for the Normandy Invasion. On Utah Beach 10th of June the battalion drove on
to Cherbourg, taking part in the St. Lo breakthrough. They fought across France to the Siegfried line. On October 6th, 1944 the 39th and the 60th Infantry
regiment to which Grandfather had been assigned began their first attacks on Schmidt. On October 14th. 1944, PVT William E. Adams was listed as M.I.A. and
remained so until the 13th of April, 1945. Grandfather's photo appeared that day on the front page of the Winchester Sun, in the right column, and President
Franklin D. Roosevelt appeared in the left column as they had both passed on to their eternal reward.
PVT William E. Adams. who "Gave His Life for His Country to Germany" as the family had requested to be inscribed on His Tombstone. Additional information received
from SR&D revealed that he became M.I.A. near Germter Todten Bruck forest, where he had gone to remove a road block, when a mine exploded. The entire squad were
casualties. Cause of death given as K.I.A. direct hit by artillery fire.
Dated 26 November 1944 - AWARD OF SILVER STAR (MISSING IN ACTION) "Private William E. Adams, Corps of Engineers, U.S. Army, who distinguished himself by gallantry
in action and disregard for personal safety on 14 October 1944 during the operations in Germany, which reflects highest credit upon himself and the Armed Forces of
the United States. Entered military service from Kentucky."
First laid to rest in U. S. Military Cemetery, Henri-Chapelle #1, Belgium, Plot T, Row 7, Grave 124. He was repartriated upon the request of His Mother, Lillie W. Adams
to Winchester, Kentucky on 4 October 1947. Escorted Home by Tech Sgt. Jack H. Jones, they arrived at Columbus, Ohio on 8 November 1947. PVT William E. Adams was laid
to rest with full Military Honors by American Legion Post 19, at a family plot in Winchester Cemetery, Winchester Ky. under the direction of D.B. Scobee Funeral Home.
He now lies at rest next to his beloved Mother, Mrs. Lillie W. Adams, who passed away on 9 May 1986.
I was blessed with the wonderful opportunity to meet my Great Grandmother, Lillie W. Adams as a 20-year-old paratrooper with the 82nd "All American" Division, Ft Bragg,
N.C. The year 1980, and soon after a valiant effort of some elite troops attempting to rescue American hostages held in Iran. This moment in time had broken down the
"Wall of Silence." My Great Uncle Kenzie H. Adams and his wife took photos of Great Grandma Lillie and me. That day I held Great Grandma Lillie's hand and told her I
had earned my Silver wings in Memory of PVT William Earl Adams, the grandfather I had never met. The Gold Star Mother spoke fondly of her Son and I thanked Her for the
sacrifice he had made and that She had endured all of those years. A photo was taken of Great Uncle Kenzie H. Adams and me at attention at Grandpa's tombstone. A moment
in time that will always hold a place in My Heart. We miss you PVT William Earl Adams. Love Eternal from Your Family.