Lucian Adams

Lucian Adams


I was born and raised in Port Arthur, Texas. There were twelve in my family. It was nine boys and three girls. Out of the nine boys in my family, eight of us went to the Service during wartime. And we were all fortunate. We all returned. Thank God. NARRATOR: 20 year old Lucian Adams Ijoined the army in 1943 and was sent to fight in Italy with the Third Division of the 30th Infantry. On the Anzio beachhead, Staff Sergeant Adams knocked out an enemy machine gun position and enabled the company to advance, an action for which he would later receive a Bronze Star. But this was only a precursor to the remarkable heroism Adams would display in October of 1944, near Saint-Di, France, where his company was attempting to open a supply line that had been cut off by the Germans. My outfit was called to make an attack to liberate and to re-establish contact with two companies that had been cut off by the enemy. And, my company commander selected me to make a patrol and see what was holding us up. So I went and I saw three machine guns, you know, on the roadside. I told them it was three machine guns set up there. And he says, “You know what’s up there.” And he said, “You lead the company into the attack.” NARRATOR: Staff Sergeant Adams and his men had progressed less than ten yards when they came under heavy machine gun fire, which killed three of his men and wounded six. The rest of his unit took cover but Adams, armed with a Browning automatic rifle, made a fearless lone assault on the enemy. Despite the intense enemy fire, Adams got close enough to the first two machine gunners to kill them using hand grenades. He shot and killed six other Germans and forced two of their infantrymen to surrender. Finally, Adams killed the third machine gunner with a burst of BAR fire. In just ten minutes, Adams had single-handedly cleared the woods of hostile elements and reopened the severed supply line. I was just a youngster then. I was going to be 22 years of age. And when you’re young, you have no fears, generally. I never had any fear. And you do things so automatically because of the training that you had in the States that you don’t take time to think how serious, you know, the predicaments you get into are sometimes. And before you know it, you’re in it to your head and you just have to fight your way out. It was April the 24th of 1945. There were five of us that received the Medal of Honor at the same time. It was presented to us by General Alexander Patch, the Fifth Army commander in Europe, in the famous Zeppelin Stadium in Nuremberg, Germany, where Hitler used to make his famous speeches back in the late ’30s. It was a stadium that had a big swastika in the background. And the engineers set it up where they draped the American flag over the swastika, that you could see for miles and miles. But after we were decorated, the five of us were decorated, it wasn’t two minutes that the engineers had exploded that swastika. And, just blew that swastika into pieces. And it was a big thrill, a big satisfaction. A poor little infantryman here being decorated in Hitler’s famous stadium. It’s a big responsibility because you have to not only conduct yourself, you know, with some dignity and some honor because you’re not representing yourself, you’re representing the entire group of recipients, living and posthumous awardees. So, I try my best to be a good example, be a leader in being a recipient.

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