SAMUEL ADAMS, LT, USN

From USNA Virtual Memorial Hall

Samuel Adams '35

Date of birth: April 10, 1912

Date of death: June 6, 1942

Age: 30

Lucky Bag

From the 1935 Lucky Bag:

Obituary

1935 Adams 1.jpg

From Find A Grave:

Samuel entered the U.S. Naval Academy on 10 August 1931, and he was graduated with the class of 1935 and was commissioned an Ensign on 6 Jun 1935. Like most new naval officers of his day Ens. Adams was required to do his first tour of duty at sea. After graduation, he was temporarily assigned to the battleship USS West Virginia (BB-48) on 28 Jun 1935, and then transferred to the USS Tennessee (BB-43) on 19 July 1935 for the duration of his first sea tour.

On 2 January 1938 Ens Adams reported for duty to NAS Pensacola, FL to begin flight training. He was promoted to Lt (Junior Grade) on 6 Jun 1938, and he was designated a Naval Aviator on 17 January 1939. He served a short tour of duty with the USS Saratoga (CV-3) air group before being reassigned to the USS Yorktown's (CV-5) Bombing Squadron Five (VB-5) on 12 April 1939. He was promoted to full Lieutenant on 01 October 1941.

Soon after the attack on Pearl Harbor, Yorktown participated in raids on Japanese forward bases in the Marshall and Gilbert Islands. Lt Adams led a section of Dauntless dive bombers from VB-5 in raids against Japanese forces at Jaluit on 1 Feb 1942. He again led a section of SBDs in raids on Japanese shipping of Lae and Salamaua, New Guinea on 10 Mar 1942. Later he led sections on raids against Tulagi on 4 May 1942 and in the Battle of the Coral Sea (7-8 May 1942). Damaged during the battle of the Coral Sea, the Lexington quickly returned to Pearl Harbor where she was hastily repaired in order that she might join the forces preparing for the Battle of Midway.

On June 4, 1942 after air elements from Enterprise and Yorktown had found and inflicted severe damage on three of the four Japanese carriers comprising the Japanese Strike Force, Lt Adams flew his Dauntless along with other VB-5 (Temporarily assigned as Scouting Squadron Five) aircraft to scout areas in search of any additional Japanese carriers. After extending his search arcs beyond the required limits Lt Adams finally sighted and reported the Japanese carrier Hiryu. As a result of his report US naval aircraft attacked and inflicted fatal damage (she did not sink immediately) to the Hiryu later that day.

The following day, June 5, 1942, a combined air strike comprised of 65 planes from Enterprise and Hornet were sent to find and sink the Hiryu. Unable to locate the Hiryu (it had already sunk) the air group began looking for any other Japanese units they could find. Without luck and running low on fuel the air group was preparing to return to base when a single ship was sighted. All 65 aircraft would eventually attack this destroyer, the Tanikaze, without scoring a single hit. During the melee, one American plane was shot down; Lt Adams and his radioman-gunner, ARM1 Joseph John Karrol, were lost during that attack. The Tanikaze had been sent out alone to find the Hiryu and sink it if she was still afloat. bio compiled by G47

His wife was listed as next of kin.

Navy Cross

From Hall of Valor:

The President of the United States of America takes pride in presenting the Navy Cross (Posthumously) to Lieutenant Samuel Adams (NSN: 0-74937), United States Navy, for extraordinary heroism in operations against the enemy while serving as Pilot of a carrier-based Navy Dive Bomber in Bombing Squadron FIVE (VB-5), attached to the U.S.S. YORKTOWN (CV-5), in action against enemy Japanese forces at Salamaua and Lae, New Guinea, on 10 March 1942. Leading his division in a dive-bombing attack against a formation of Japanese cruisers and destroyers, Lieutenant Adams, in the face of heavy anti-aircraft fire, personally made one of several direct heavy bomb hits on a light cruiser, causing serious damage and probable destruction of the hostile vessel. His superb leadership and outstanding courage were in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service.

General Orders: Commander in Chief Pacific: Serial 01128 (May 12, 1943
Action Date: 10-Mar-42
Service: Navy
Rank: Lieutenant
Company: Bombing Squadron 5 (VB-5)
Division: U.S.S. Yorktown (CV-5)

From Hall of Valor:

The President of the United States of America takes pleasure in presenting a Gold Star in lieu of a Second Award of the Navy Cross to Lieutenant Samuel Adams (NSN: 0-74937), United States Navy, for extraordinary heroism in operations against the enemy while serving as Pilot of a carrier-based Navy Dive Bomber in Bombing Squadron FIVE (VB-5), attached to the U.S.S. YORKTOWN (CV-5), in dive bombing attacks against enemy Japanese forces at Tulagi Harbor on 4 May 1942, and in an attack on an enemy aircraft carrier in the Battle of the Coral Sea on 7 and 8 May 1942. Pressing home these attacks in the face of tremendous anti-aircraft fire and, on 8 May, also harassed by heavy aircraft opposition, Lieutenant Adams assisted greatly in the sinking or damaging of the carrier and eight other enemy vessels. His conscientious devotion to duty and gallant self-command against formidable odds contributed materially to the success of our forces in the Battle of the Coral Sea.

General Orders: Commander In Chief Pacific Fleet: Serial 2050 (May 8, 1942)
Action Date: May 4, 7 & 8, 1942
Service: Navy
Rank: Lieutenant
Company: Bombing Squadron 5 (VB-5)
Division: U.S.S. Yorktown (CV-5)

From Hall of Valor:

The President of the United States of America takes pleasure in presenting a Second Gold Star in lieu of a Third Award of the Navy Cross to Lieutenant Samuel Adams (NSN: 0-74937), United States Navy, for extraordinary heroism in operations against the enemy while serving as Pilot of a carrier-based Navy Scouting Plane in Scouting Squadron FIVE (VS-5), attached to the U.S.S. YORKTOWN (CV-5), in action against enemy Japanese during the Air Battle of Midway, 4 - 6 June 1942. Locating major enemy units, Lieutenant Adams, in a persistent and vigorous effort to maintain contact, pressed home repeated attacks against harassing enemy aircraft until he finally succeeded in driving t hem off. Throughout the duration of his bold assaults, despite the distraction of concentrated anti-aircraft fire and power fighter opposition, he, with superb presence of mind and keen appreciation of the value of uninterrupted information, kept sending out complete contact and amplifying reports, which later enabled our forces to attack the last remaining Japanese aircraft carrier. His gallant perseverance and conscientious devotion to duty contributed in large measure to the defeat of the enemy and were in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service.

General Orders: Commander In Chief Pacific Fleet: Serial 18a P15(1), (July 18, 1942)
Action Date: June 4 - 6, 1942
Service: Navy
Rank: Lieutenant
Company: Scouting Squadron 5 (VS-5)
Division: U.S.S. Yorktown (CV-5)

Air Medal

From Hall of Valor:

The President of the United States of America takes pride in presenting the Air Medal (Posthumously) to Lieutenant Samuel Adams (NSN: 0-74937), United States Navy, for meritorious achievement in aerial flight as a Section Leader in Bombing Squadron FIVE (VB-5), attached to the U.S.S. YORKTOWN (CV-5), in action against enemy Japanese forces on Jaluit Atoll, Marshall Islands, 1 February 1942. Participating in the first raid of the war by Naval forces against Japanese-controlled territory, Lieutenant Adams led his section through darkness and extremely hazardous weather conditions over an area on which little advance information had been obtained and, reaching the target, executed a dive-bombing and strafing attack in the face of heavy anti-aircraft fire to inflict severe damages on shore installations and enemy vessels in the harbor. By his courage, skilled airmanship and devotion to duty, Lieutenant Adams upheld the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service.

Action Date: 1-Feb-42
Service: Navy
Rank: Lieutenant
Company: Bombing Squadron 5 (VB-5)
Division: U.S.S. Yorktown (CV-5)

Namesake

USS Adams (DM 27) was named for Samuel; the ship was sponsored by his widow.


Class of 1935

Samuel is one of 56 members of the Class of 1935 in Memorial Hall.