PVT William E. Adams
9th I.D. 15th Engineer Bn. Co. C
KIA 14 October 1944
Hurtgen Forest, Zweifall, Germany
-- Ronald Gayle Burrus, Jr. --
William E. Adams was born 14 August 1922 in Batavia, Ohio to Mr. G.W. and Lillie Adams. He was raised in Winchester, Kentucky attending Winchester
City Schools and Christian Church He and His younger brother by two years, Gordon Ishmael, were both inducted into the U. S. Army Engineer Corps
in November of 1943 at Ft. Belvoir, Virginia.
Brother Gordon went on to serve in Holland while William E. Adams was assigned to the "Old Reliables" of the Army's 9th Division, who became
known as "Hitler's Nemesis." Serving in the 15th Engineer Battalion Company, C he sailed for Europe in May of 1944. Landing in England the
15th Engineers prepared for the Normandy Invasion. On Utah Beach 10 June 1944 the battalion drove on to Cherbourg, taking part in the St. Lo
Breakthrough. They fought across France to the Siegfried Line. On 6 October 1944 the 39th and the 60th Infantry Regiments, along with the
Engineers, began their first attacks on Schmidt. On 14 October 1944, PVT William E. Adams was listed as M.I.A. and remained so until 13 April,
1945. Grandfather's Picture appeared that day, the 13th of April on the front page of the Winchester Sun, in the right column, and President
Franklin Roosevelt appeared in the left column as they had both passed on to their eternal reward. He was officially K.I.A. 14 October 1944.
PVT William E. Adams "Gave His Life for His Country to Germany" as the family had requested to be inscribed on His Tombstone. A Nazi land mine
took the life of this twenty-two year old American Hero. He earned the Nation's third Highest Honor for Gallantry in Action that day, the Silver
First Laid to Rest at Henri-Chapelle in Belgium. He was survived by a Wife, Polly, Daughter Joyce Marie and Son, Ronald Gayle. He was later
moved to a family plot in Winchester Cemetery in Winchester, Kentucky. He now lies at rest next to his beloved Mother, Mrs. Lillie W. Adams,
who passed away 9 May 1986.
I was blessed with the wonderful opportunity to meet My Great grandmother, Lillie W. Adams, for the first and only time as a young 20 year old
Paratrooper with the 82nd "All American" Division, Ft. Bragg, N.C. The Year was 1980, and right after the valliant effort of some of our elite
troops at Fort Bragg in attempting to rescue American hostages held in Iran. This moment in time had broken down the "Wall of Silence" between us
and we visited well into the afternoon. My Great Uncle, Kenzie H. Adams took the photo of Great Grandmother Lillie and me in uniform that will be
included in the next AWON History book. That day I held Great Grandma Lillie's hand and told her that I had earned My Silver Paratrooper Wings
in Memory of PVT William E. Adams, the Grandfather I never knew. The Gold Star Mother spoke fondly of Her Son and I thanked her for the sacrifice
he had made, and that she had endured all of those years. A Special Picture was taken of Great Uncle Kenzie H. Adams and me at attention at Grandpa's
Gravestone. A Moment in time that will always hold a special place in My Heart! I Miss you Grandpa, Rest In Peace, till we meet at the Savior's feet!