James Henry Adams
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Parents, Homer & Vulia Adams
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10/26/1943 – 1945
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James Adams was born in Bloomington, Illinois, in 1925; the fourth child of housing contractor Homer Adams and his wife, Vulia. Little is known about his life until he received his draft notice in October, 1943, just two months after his eighteenth birthday.
Adams was sent to MCRD San Diego for boot camp, and upon graduation briefly joined the Fourth Signal Company of the 4th Marine Division. The Signal Company promoted him to Private First Class; shortly thereafter, on February 21, 1944, he joined A/1/24 as a replacement for a Marine lost in the recent battle of Namur.
PFC Adams trained as a rifleman with A/24th Marines, and fought in the battle of Saipan from June 15 to July 1, 1944, when he was evacuated for illness. He was treated and returned to action eighteen days later, just in time to participate in the conquest of nearby Tinian.
Adams was hospitalized for some time after returning to Maui in the fall of 1944. When he returned to his company, he was re-rated as a BAR gunner and promoted to corporal. He made the February 19, 1945 landing on Iwo Jima, but on D+1 morning Adams was hit in the left hand by a shrapnel fragment and evacuated to the USS Sibley. Though his condition was listed as “favorable” his wound was bad enough to prevent his return to combat. He was admitted to the 289th Army Field Hospital on Guam, after which he disappears from Marine records.
After his discharge in 1945, Adams returned to Illinois. He married Mary Coughlin in 1947, and raised a family while working as a postal carrier. He died in 2012, and is buried in Camp Butler National Cemetery, Springfield, IL.