Salutee for April 2016

BERKLEY ERNEST "Berk" ADAMS

Lieutenant, U. S. Army Air Corps, WWII

Born on March 22, 1922 in Charleston, Charleston Co., S.C. the son of Vincent Reed and Gertrude Wells Adams.  He was raised in Charlotte Co., Va. where his family owned and operated the Red Oak Bottling Company, specializing in fruit flavored cola beverages.


      
Berkley entered the United States Army Air Corps during World War II, where he was on the flight crew of a Martin B26 Light Bomber, posted with the 451st.Bomb Squadron under the 336th.Bomber Group stationed at Braintree, UK some 40 miles northeast of London, where they participated in raids against Nazi Germany. On one such mission his plane was forced to crash-land in Belgium on 3 Oct 1944, however all of the crew survived. Just 10 days later on 13 Oct. 1944, at 11:00 a.m. his plane was again hit by anti-aircraft fire and the plane went down. All were lost except Lt. Adams, who was injured by shrapnel and blown out of the aircraft still strapped in his seat,and later captured and spent the rest of the war, a POW in a German prison camp. (They used conventional bail outs using parachute and ripcord. Most were successful, however for some the outcome was fatal. The performance dynamics of their aircraft made successful escape without mechanical assistance less certain, and assisted escape systems were developed after the war to give the maximum  chance of survival.)

     

Newspaper:  The Charlotte Gazette, Drakes Branch, VA., Thursday, February 7, 1946

Many Charlotte Veterans Released During January
J. Kent Early, reemployment committeeman of the local Selective Service Board of Charlotte County announced that the following named Veterans have been released by the armed forces during the month of January and wishes to call attention to their former employers, and also prospective employers, to this fact.
Mr. Early also stated that any old employer, or prospective new employer of any of the following released men may contact them through him at the Local Selective Board of Charlotte Court House.

Adams, Berkley E.


Berkely went on to work at Wright-Patterson AFB in Dayton, OH and then at the Pentagon in Virginia. When he retired he bought a sailboat and lived on it for about the next 20 yrs. He was a very active person all his life - he wasn't one to sit down & relax much. In his later years he enjoyed going to church and doing volunteer work in a hospital. Berkley died on December 22, 2009 in Orange City, Volusia Co., FL. He was cremated and his ashes were scattered at sea which he loved so much.