NAME: William E. Adams
ORGANIZATION: U.S. Army, A/227th Assault Helicopter Company, 52d Aviation Battalion, 1st Aviation Brigade
PLACE: Kontum Province, Republic of Vietnam
DATE: 25 May 1971
ENTERED SERVICE AT: Kansas City, Missouri
BORN: 16 June 1939, Casper, Wyoming
MAJ Adams distinguished himself on 25 May, 1971 while serving as a helicopter pilot in Kontum Province in the Republic of Vietnam. On that date, MAJ Adams volunteered to fly a lightly armed helicopter in an attempt to evacuate 3 seriously wounded soldiers from a small fire base which was under attack by a large enemy force. He made the decision with full knowledge that numerous antiaircraft weapons were positioned around the base and that the clear weather would afford the enemy gunners unobstructed view of all routes into the base. As he approached the base, the enemy gunners opened fire with heavy machineguns, rocket-propelled grenades and small arms. Undaunted by the fusillade, he continued his approach determined to accomplish the mission. Displaying tremendous courage under fire, he calmly directed the attacks of supporting gunships while maintaining absolute control of the aircraft he was flying. He landed the aircraft at the fire base despite the ever-increasing enemy fire and calmly waited until the wounded soldiers were placed on board. As his aircraft departed from the fire base, it was struck and seriously damaged by enemy anti-aircraft fire and began descending. Flying with exceptional skill, he immediately regained control of the crippled aircraft and attempted a controlled landing. Despite his valiant efforts, the helicopter exploded, overturned, and plummeted to the earth amid the hail of enemy fire. MAJ Adams' conspicuous gallantry, intrepidity, and humanitarian regard for his fellow man were in keeping with the most cherished traditions of the military service and reflected utmost credit on him and the U.S. Army.