Staff Sergeant Lucian Adams, USA (October 28, 1944)

Lucian Adams was born on October 26, 1922 in Port Arthur, Texas. He was drafted for wartime service with the United States Army on February 25, 1943 and was assigned to Company I, 3rd Battalion, 30th Infantry Regiment of the 3rd Infantry Division. Adams joined the division for the Italian Campaign, and landed at both Salerno and Anzio.

On October 28, 1944 as the 3rd Infantry Division closed in on Germany through southern France, Adams attacked and destroyed three Nazi machine guns alone, clearing the way for his company to continue its advance.

From Medal of Honor Citations for World War II (A-F):

Medal of Honor ribbon (foreground); World War II European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign ribbon (background)
Medal of Honor ribbon (foreground); World War II European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign ribbon (background)
Photo: Military Times’ Hall of Valor

ADAMS, LUCIAN

Rank and organization: Staff Sergeant, U.S. Army, 30th Infantry, 3d Infantry Division. Place and date: Near St. Die, France, 28 October 1944. Entered service at: Port Arthur, Tex.

Citation: For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at risk of life above and beyond the call of duty on 28 October 1944, near St. Die, France. When his company was stopped in its effort to drive through the Mortagne Forest to reopen the supply line to the isolated third battalion, S/Sgt. Adams braved the concentrated fire of machineguns in a lone assault on a force of German troops. Although his company had progressed less than 10 yards and had lost 3 killed and 6 wounded, S/Sgt. Adams charged forward dodging from tree to tree firing a borrowed BAR from the hip. Despite intense machinegun fire which the enemy directed at him and rifle grenades which struck the trees over his head showering him with broken twigs and branches, S/Sgt. Adams made his way to within 10 yards of the closest machinegun and killed the gunner with a hand grenade. An enemy soldier threw hand grenades at him from a position only 10 yards distant; however, S/Sgt. Adams dispatched him with a single burst of BAR fire. Charging into the vortex of the enemy fire, he killed another machinegunner at 15 yards range with a hand grenade and forced the surrender of 2 supporting infantrymen. Although the remainder of the German group concentrated the full force of its automatic weapons fire in a desperate effort to knock him out, he proceeded through the woods to find and exterminate 5 more of the enemy. Finally, when the third German machinegun opened up on him at a range of 20 yards, S/Sgt. Adams killed the gunner with BAR fire. In the course of the action, he personally killed 9 Germans, eliminated 3 enemy machineguns, vanquished a specialized force which was armed with automatic weapons and grenade launchers, cleared the woods of hostile elements, and reopened the severed supply lines to the assault companies of his battalion.

Adams’ Medal of Honor was presented to him at the Zeppelinfeld in Nuremberg, part of the Nazi rally grounds, on April 23, 1945. To cap off this marking of the German defeat, combat engineers demolished the swastika which had been covered with an American Flag for the presentation ceremony.

After the war, Adams’ served for 40 years with the Veterans Administration/Department of Veterans’ Affairs until he retired. He passed away at age 80 on March 31, 2003 and was laid to rest in the Fort Sam Houston National Cemetery in San Antonio, Texas.

3-30 Infantry is presently inactive. The modern 3rd Infantry Division is based at Fort Stewart, Georgia.

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