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LT  Alonzo P. ADAMS


Lt. Alonzo P. Adams (courtesy of Doris Richardson)

MACR: 00271 CR: 00271

Comments1: 25 JUN 43 BREMEN (Original 100th , Crew #2)



DATE: 25 June 1943 349th Sqdn.  A/C #42-3260 "ANGEL'S TIT"

MISSION: Bremen,Ger. 100TH'S FIRST MISSION  MACR #271,Micro-fiche 90

1st Lt Alonzo P.Adams III    P KIA
F/O George Z.Krech          CP KIA
2nd Lt Nicholas Demchak   NAV POW (TAPS 10 OCT 2001)
2nd Lt Jessie D.Gurley       BOM KIA
T/Sgt John K.Sullivan       TTE KIA
T/Sgt James D.Purcell      ROG KIA
S/Sgt John G.Kruzich        BTG KIA
S/Sgt Edmonde J.Walker   WG KIA
S/Sgt Norman Asbornsen   WG KIA
S/Sgt Bryant Hutchinson     TG KIA

According to Nick Demchak,sole survivor,they were jumped by fighters about 20 miles from the enemy coast. Demchak's statement: "My mind is a complete blank from the time we got the bail out signal until I regained Conciousness on a German boat. 2nd Lt.Gurley was in nose of ship and was not hurt when we received the bail out signal - I was firing my guns and did not hear the signal but Gurley informed me. I believe Adams and Krech were severely wounded or killed by a burst of machine gun fire which came quite close to me and from the angle appeared to enter the cockpit.Directly after that the bail out signal was given. I believe the plane exploded at that moment and the rest of the crew were killed by the explosion or rendered unconscious and unable to operate their chutes. The German boat that picked me up said they did not see anyone else."

The bodies of Adams and Asbornsen must have been recovered but all of the others appear on the Wall of The Missing at Maddingly.

This was the 1st mission for this crew.

Message From: 
Sent: Wednesday, August 08, 2001 2:06 PM
Subject: Re: B-17: "Angel's Tit"

In a telephone conversation I had with Uncle Nick last night (he's in 
Massachusetts and I'm in Florida), he provided a bit of info that you might 
already have, but here goes...

"The inherent problem with the mission that "Angel's Tit" and the other planes were on was the fact that they had no escorts. The bombers could merely cruise and were way out maneuvered by the smaller, quicker Messerschmidts who were right on their tails. 
The Germans had open target practice on the B-17s and were able to pick them off at will. 
He was amazed at the amount of victories attributed to the fighter pilot who shot his plane down, and quickly acknowledged that each was just doing their job. "

Nicholas Demchak, last survivor of "Angel's tit" 's crew 
died on October 5, 2001 and was buried on October 10.
We shall never forget his bravery.


Last Known Activity
Alonzo P. Adams III entered the military from Albany, New York, on June 24, 1941. He received training as a pilot, and was commissioned as a 2nd Lieutenant.
He was assigned to the newly-activated 100th Bomb Group, and received further combat crew training at Wendover, Utah and Walla Walla, Washington. He was assigned a crew that trained together, and deployed with the unit to England, arriving there in June, 1943.

The 100th Bomb Group received transitional training, and flew its first combat mission on June 25, 1943. This was a scheduled bombing raid on German ship building yards at Bremen, Germany. Lt. Adams and his crew would fly this as their first mission.

After take-off, assembly, and flying across the North Sea, the formation drew intense flak from batteries located on islands approximately 20 miles off the enemy coast. As the formation neared the mainland, it was attacked by 30 enemy fighters. One singled out Adams' aircraft, and made a slashing attack. The B-17, raked by cannon and machine gun fire, fell out of formation, out of control. The pilot rang the bail-out bell, but most crew evidently did not hear it. In the words of the only survivor, "There was this enormous explosion, and I found myself outside the aircraft." He parachuted successfully to the ground where he was captured by the Germans. The tangled wreckage of the aircraft fell into the North Sea, about 30 km North of Langeoog, Germany. Feldwebel Edgar Dorre, flying a BF-109 from JG 26/9 was given credit for shooting down the bomber.

The bodies of Adams and one other crew man was recovered as they washed ashore, and were buried in a local village cemetery. After the war, Adams was transferred to Ardennes American Cemetery where he now lies in Plot B, Row 36, Grave 40.

The aircraft "Desert Rat" that appears behind the crew was a training aircraft used at Wendover, Utah. The crew, as well as Adam's gravestone, appear in the "Photo" section of the profile.

The aircraft involved in this incident was B-17G # 42-3260, nicknamed "Angel's Tit," assigned to the 349th Bomb Squadron.

Missing Air Crew Report 271 applies. Loading lists and 100th Bomb Group documents identify the crew as:

1 Lt. Alonzo P. Adams III     p
F/O George Z. Krech      c-p
2Lt Nicholas Demchak     nav
2 Lt Jessie D. Gurley      bomb
TSgt John K. Sullivan     eng/tt gun
TSgt James D. Purcell     r/o
SSgt John D. Kruzich       btg
SSgt Edmonde J. Walker       wg
SSgt Norman Asbornsen     wg
SSgt Bryant Hutchinson    tail gun

Lt. Demchak was the only survivor.

Only the bodies of Adams and Asbornsen were recovered. The remainder of the crew is immortalized on The Tablets of the Missing at Cambridge, England, Cemetery.


TARGET: Bremen DATE: 1943-06-25  
AIRCRAFT: "Angel's Tit" (42-3260) CAUSE: EAC  


PLOT: B ROW: 36  
GRAVE: 40 CEMETERY: Ardennes, Neuville-en-Cond, Belgium  


Lt Alanzo Adams III Crew 
My great uncle Norman Asbornsen (bottom far right) was lost along with 9 other crew members, and it appears there is no photo of this crew on the website. I understand 2nd Lt. Nicholas Demchak was the lone survivor......Doris Richardson   (Photo courtesy of Doris Richardson, great-niece of Norman Asbornsen)  

Lt Alonzo Adams III Crew photo Stateside. Norman Asbornsen is kneeling second from the Right. (Photo courtesy of Doris Richardson, great-niece of Norman Asbornsen)

Back Row (L-R): Nicholas Demchak, Norman Asbornsen, John Kruzich, Bryant Hutchinson, Front Row (L-R): Edmonde Walker, John Sullivan, Jesse Gurley, George Krech, James Purcell (photo courtesy of Doris Richardson)

 Alonzo P. Adams, III 349th P New York KIA 25 Jun 43 Bremen Alonzo P. Adams Crew (100th Photo Archives) 



Crew 1

ID: 19