Valor Friday

| February 15, 2019

army moh

Today’s Valor Friday is dedicated to Lucian Adams, Staff Sergeant, USA, and his incredible heroism in WWII near St. Die, France. Sometimes all it takes is one determined soldier and a BAR to solve a lot of problems. This is such a story, provided to me by one who wishes to remain anonymous.

Zeppelin Stadium (Zeppelinfeld) in Nuremberg, Germany was the site of the spectacular and infamous Nazi rallies, the place where Hitler whipped his legions into a frenzy, the place featured in German propaganda films of the 1930s. During April 1945, it was also the place where the huge, nearly 50-foot wide, metal swastika that sat atop the stands was blown to bits by American troops, an event famously captured on film by 163rd Signal Corps soldier Elby Fenberg. But something else happened at Zeppelin Stadium that same spring day, shortly before the symbol of Nazism was destroyed. A ceremony was held there to bestow the Medal of Honor upon five soldiers of the US Army’s 3rd Infantry Division. One of them was Staff Sergeant Lucian Adams. This is about him and his one-man attack on the enemy in France’s Montagne Forest six months earlier.

Until 23 February 1943, the date Lucian was inducted into the Army, the 20-year old was living in Port Arthur, Texas, one of eight brothers who would serve in the military during wartime. Lucian is said never to have touched a gun before he entered service, but he learned quickly how to use one effectively. His first combat came at Anzio where he destroyed a machine gun and, for that action, received a Bronze Star. He was also wounded in action, for which he received a Purple Heart. The 30th Infantry Regiment and Lucian Adams saw heavy combat in France and the accounts of the heroism and valor of individual soldiers are many. Below is the official citation of his one-man attack.

Lucian Adams mustered out of the Army in 1945 and took work with the VA as a counselor, a job he held for 40 years. He was a soft spoken and unassuming man who blessed us with a short, first-hand video account of his life, which is available through this link:

Lucian Adams passed away at age 80 on 31 March 2003. He is buried at Fort Sam Houston National Cemetery.

The President of the United States of America, in the name of Congress, takes pleasure in presenting the Medal of Honor to Staff Sergeant Lucian Adams, United States Army, for conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at risk of life above and beyond the call of duty on 28 October 1944 while serving with Company I, 3d Battalion, 30th Infantry Regiment, 3d Infantry Division, 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, Staff Sergeant Adams braved the concentrated fire of machineguns in a lone assault on a force of German troops. Although his company had progressed less than ten yards and had lost three killed and six wounded, Staff Sergeant 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, Staff Sergeant Adams made his way to within ten 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 ten yards distant; however, Staff Sergeant Adams dispatched him with a single burst of BAR fire. Charging into the vortex of the enemy fire, he killed another machine gunner at 15 yards range with a hand grenade and forced the surrender of two 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 five more of the enemy. Finally, when the third German machinegun opened up on him at a range of 20 yards, Staff Sergeant Adams killed the gunner with BAR fire. In the course of the action, he personally killed nine Germans, eliminated three 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.

Hand Salute. Ready, two!

Category: Army, The Warrior Code, Valor

Comments (6)

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  1. Outcast says:

    RIP, may you be with others like you that have crossed over such as the one I unknowingly served under, Bud Day.

  2. CDR_D says:

    BZ and RIP.

  3. M48DAT says:

    Not much can match a 20 round mag of 30.06 on full auto.

  4. STGCS Ret says:

    The greatest generation – A perfect Example – RIP

  5. FuzeVT says:

    “Sometimes all it takes is one determined soldier and a BAR to solve a lot of problems.”
    No doubt there!

    “Charging into the vortex of the enemy fire. . .”
    That’s pretty bad-ass.

  6. 5th/77th FA says:

    “Thank God that such men lived.” BZ SSG Lucian Adams. We Salute your Bravery. If the barrage of fire from the B(Howitzer be his name)AR did not get the attention of the Germans, then I’m sure, the clanking of those big brass balls did.

    And again, we see from the video, the true heros/brave ones do not gloat, bragg, embellish, or me,me,me.

    Thanks again to AW1Ed and one who wishes to remain anonymous for these stories.