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LT  James C. ADAIR

UNIT: 349th BOMB Sqdn POSITION: P

 James C. Adair, pilot Detailed Information 

SERIAL #: O-765896 STATUS: CPT
MACR:

Comments1: 25 FEB 45 MUNICH

COMMENTS & NOTES

MEMO 1:

CREW

2nd Lt James C. Adair             P        CPT   25/2/45  MUNICH, MY             sn# O-765896
2nd Lt Elmer G. Wesala          CP       CPT   25/2/45  MUNICH, MY             sn# O-771179
2nd Lt Benjamin J. Goddard   NAV      CPT   25/2/45  MUNICH, MY             sn# O-2060501  
2nd Lt Milton J. Brucker        BOM      CPT   25/2/45  MUNICH, MY              sn# O-777429
Cpl Conley E. Culpepper       TTE        CPT     25/2/45  MUNICH, MY            sn# 38508301
Cpl Dewitt P.Meley               ROG       CPT     25/2/45  MUNICH, MY            sn# 13106958
Cpl James E. Hendrix            BTG       CPT     25/2/45  MUNICH, MY            sn# 39297502
Cpl James H. Horny              WG        CPT   25/2/45  MUNICH, MY               sn# 38461218
Cpl Glenn J. Babcock            WG        NOC    Taken off to reduce crew to 9  sn# 17118150
Cpl David M. Dalgarn             TG         CPT     25/2/45  MUNICH, MY            sn# 17006218

349th Sqdn. This crew joined the 100th Gp on 23/9/44.  Flew overseas B-17G 43-38480   This Aircraft was assigned to the 493rd Bomb Group at Debach and was lost on Sept 30, 1944.  Lt Adair flew 20 of their missions in "532" which they  nicknamed "Little Sweetheart" and  was later called "Kleen Sweep" by Hal Switzer's Crew. 

“Goddard was pretty quiet, but fun to be around ... a good officer. When you think about it, he died fairly young after we got home [1958]. But while we were over there he was pretty much a grown-up to me. He was married and had a little girl already – and she [Paula] – was the reason we called the plane that we flew most of our missions on the ‘Little Sweetheart.’” – Conley E. Culpepper interview

According to his daughter, Maureen, via a phone call last Christmas, "Lucky Jim" Adair carried a 4-leaf clover from Iowa inside wax paper his wallet for the duration of the war (and long afterward). It was given to him by his future wife Geneva before he left the States.

Missions of 1st  Lt James Adair

#     DATE      TARGET                      A/C                                      COMMENTs

1.   12/10/44  Bremen                      681   Grumblin Gremlin III         FW 190 parts Factory          
2.   15/10/44  Cologne                     011   The Reluctant Dragon      Marshalling Yards
3.   19/10/44  Ludwigshaven             987   The Little Skipper            RR Yds, Bomb Bay doors stuck open, #3 eng. Burned out
4.   22/10/44  Munster                     215    The Grumblin Gremlin      RR Yds
      25/10/44  Heligoland                  211    no name                       Recalled after assembly
5.   26/10/44  Hanover                     535    no name                       Tank and Gun factory                 
6.   02/11/44  Merseburg                  987    The Little Skipper           Oil 
7.   05/11/44  Ludwigshaven             986    Once In A While             Chem. Plant, Chaff Ship, Landed at ? Because of strong winds
8.   06/11/44  Neumunster               295     White Cargo                  Marshalling Yards 
9.   16/11/44  Langerwehe (Aachen) 313     Lil Butch                        Landed with 120 Gal of gas
10. 21/11/44  Osnabruck                  535     no name                       RR Yds
11. 26/11/44  Hamm                        073    That's All Brother            RR Yds
12. 02/12/44  Koblenz                      681    Grumblin Gremlin III         Recalled after passing sortie line
13. 04/12/44  Friedburg                    987    The Little Skipper           RR Yds
14. 05/12/44  Berlin                         987    The Little Skipper           Tank & Gun factory, Hendrix and Horny passed out from anoxia.       
15. 12/12/44  Darmstadt                  532     Little Sweetheart           RR Yds, 2nd Element Lead
16. 18/12/44  Mainz                         532     Little Sweetheart           Brought Bombs Back
17. 24/12/44  Biblis                          532     Little Sweetheart           Airfield Plastered
18. 25/12/44  Kaiserlautern               532     Little Sweetheart           RR Yds
19. 28/12/44  Koblenz                      532     Little Sweetheart           RR Yds
20. 29/12/44  Frankfurt                    532     Little Sweetheart           RR Yds No 3 in Low Element
21. 30/12/44  Kassel                        230     no name                       Aborted-No1 Eng burned out                   
22. 03/01/45  Fulda                         532     Little Sweetheart           RR Yds
23. 05/01/45  Frankfurt                    532     Little Sweetheart           RR Yds, Low Element Lead
24. 07/01/45  Cologne                     532     Little Sweetheart           Drove over primary, hit Limburg                                  
25. 20/01/45  Heilbronn                   532     Little Sweetheart           RR Yds, Deputy Lead
26. 21/01/45  Mannheim                  532     Little Sweetheart           RR Yds, Low Lead
27. 29/01/45  Kassel                        532     Little Sweetheart          2nd Element Lead
28. 09/02/45  Weimar                      532     Little Sweetheart          Arm Plant, 2nd Element Lead
29. 14/02/45  Chemnitz                    532    Little Sweetheart           RR Yds, Low Element Lead
30. 15/02/45  Cottbus                      532    Little Sweetheart           RR Yds
31. 20/02/45  Nurnburg                    532    Little Sweetheart           no comment
32. 21/02/45  Nurnburg                    532    Little Sweetheart           no comment
33. 23/02/45  Trenchtlingen              532    Little Sweetheart           RR Yds
34. 24/02/45  Bremen                       532   Little Sweetheart           RR Bridge
35. 25/02/45  Munich                        532   Little Sweetheart           RR Yds. FINIS

Lt Adair's Medals: Air Medal with 5 Oak Leaf Cluster
ETO Ribbon with one Battle Star

NOTES from Lt Jim Adair's Pilot Log Book:

Assignment and Training of the Crew were in Sioux City Iowa from 6/44 to 9/44.  Crew members were previously trained for their positions at various bases. Milton Brucker came from a Bombardier training base in Texas.  In September 1944, the crew was sent to Lincoln, Nebraska to pick up a new B-17G.  From Lincoln the Crew flew to Syracuse, N.Y. to fuel, then onward to Grenier field, New Hampshire.  From there, departed for Presque Newfoundland.  Had to return to Grenier Field after detecting a faulty fuel Pump.  Waited 8 Days for a replacement to come in.  Finally left September 12th for Goose Bay, Newfoundland (5 hour, 40 minute flight).  Stayed overnight, left September 14th, flying to Meeks Field in Iceland (8 hr Flight).  Stayed at Meeks Field overnight (nothing but C rations for Food).  Left Iceland September 16th, heading for Wales (5 hours 40 minutes).

The takeoff from Iceland was extremely hazardous due to the strong cross winds and boulders along side of the runway, Very Scary!!!  Had to take off at 70mph substantially less that usual take off speed because of strong cross winds and boulders alongside the runway.  Pilot told the control tower of the dangers in that particular runway hoping there might be a better choice for future takeoffs.  Arrived in Wales 5 1/2 hours later, left the new plane in Wales and boarded a train for Thorpe Abbotts Air Base.  Beginning October 5, 1944, Practice missions 30 minutes to 3 1/2hrs in length were scheduled.

First Bombing Mission was 10/12/44 to Bremen, Germany, Flying time 6 hrs 20 minutes.  Bombing raids usually had 27-36 Planes from the 100th flying in formation plus other Groups from England making 1200 planes total on a mission.  Target in Bremen was FW 190 parts factory.  Battle of Bulge had 3000 plus planes from the Eighth Air Force flying that Mission.  The only encounter our crew had with a German fighter plane (ME 262) WAS WHEN A German fighter pilot flew through our formation undetected due to heavy contrails.  He flew close enough to our plane for us to see his face.  Our gunners shot at him but he was probably flying 120 miles an hour faster and vanished in an instant.

The Pilots log went through censors and some of the data was deleted.  Censoring was done before V-E Day and at a time when our 35 Missions were already completed.

My Worst Three Missions were:

No1.   Bremen: WE discovered there was real flak out there and realized we could get killed!!!!
No 6   Merseburg: A refinery was heavily protected by flak guns brought in by rail. I witnessed one of our planes go down in flames
No 35 Munich: This was our last mission. Heavy Flak trailed us just 200 feet to one side during a long bomb run.  A plane just above us caught fire on #2 engine.  The bombardier jumped out immediately--afraid of an explosion.  The pilot of his plane made it back to base.  The Bombardier ended up a POW (it was actually to have been his last scheduled mission).  
My Crew felt very fortunate to complete 35 Missions without a casualty.  However, in the future age and illness took their toll.
*************************************************************************************************************

TAPS on Wednesday,August 13th,2008 
 
JAMES "Jim" CRAIG ADAIR, 349th BS Pilot,86 years old,one of nine children,born to Ida and Henry Adair...
 
Jim's obituary was published in the August 17th Houston Chronicle
 
 
Jack

MEMO 2:

Lt. James C. Adair, Pilot – SN# 0-765896
Born: March 11, 1922 – Burlington, IA
Died: August 13, 2008 – Bellaire, TX
Burial: Houston National Cemetery – Houston, TX
 
Crewmate Comments:
“Adair was always fair. Some officers weren’t, but Adair was consistently fair. He’d listen to you, hear you out before deciding something, and he always trusted – and expected – you to do your job.”
 
“He was just an all-around outstanding pilot. Never once got rattled that I knew of. No matter what happened to us – or the plane – Adair got us home and landed smooth. I don’t ever recall a rough or bad landing with him.”
 
“I’d say Adair held us together. ... A good man. One of the finest I’ve ever known.” – Conley E. Culpepper interview
 
--------
“I remember [James E. Hendrix] said that the life raft got loose on a mission and hung up on the plane. The crew even tried to shoot it off but the safety stops on the guns wouldn't let them hit it. He also said that when they landed that day, one of the ground crew was berating them and wanted to know what idiot had deployed the life raft, and at that point Adair stepped in and told the man what had happened and said "Don't ever talk to my crew like that again." – Sharon Hendrix Enos, daughter of ball-turret gunner James E. Hendrix, 12 March 2014 email

KIA / MIA / EVA / INT INFORMATION:

TARGET: DATE:  
AIRCRAFT: CAUSE:  

BURIAL INFORMATION

PLOT: ROW:  
GRAVE: CEMETERY:  

PHOTOS:

James C. Adair Crew (left to right)
Ben Goddard (NAV), Conley Culpepper (TTE), Mike Dalgarn (TG), Barney Meley (ROG), Jim Hendrix (BTG), Jim Horny (WG), Elmer Wesala (CP), James Adair (P), Milton Brucker (BOM) Standing in front of Little Sweetheart 48532

Lt James Adair Crew photo (photo courtesy of Chip Culpepper)

Lt James Adair Crew Stateside. Photo Courtesy of Chip Culpepper. 

The Lt. Adair crew pictured in front of B-17G 'The Little Sweetheart' serial 44-48532 of 349th BS - 100th BG, Thorpe Abbots, England. 

The crew (L-R standing)  Mike Dalgarn (TG), Conley Culpepper (TTE), Jim Hendrix (BTG), James Adair (P), Elmer Wesala (CP), and Barney Meley (ROG); (kneeling L-R): Goddard (Nav), Jim Horny, and Milton Brucker (Bom).

Credit: The Culpepper Family Archive - All rights reserved.

Image repair, restoration and colourisation - Nathan Howland  @HowdiColour.

Little Rock Reunion with Conley Culpepper, James Adair and Milton Brucker. (courtesy of Chip Culpepper)

Mission Diary of T/Sgt "Chip" Culpepper TTE on Lt Adair Crew. (photo courtesy of Chip Culpepper)

[Adair's Crew - Version 7] (identification)
Standing (L-R, as viewed): Sgt David M. Dalgarn (TG), Sgt Conley E. Culpepper (TTE), Sgt James E. Hendrix (BTG), Lt James C. Adair (P), Lt Elmer G. Wesala (CP), Sgt DeWitt P. Meley (ROG). Kneeling (L-R): Lt Benjamin J. Goddard (NAV), Sgt James H. Horny (WG), Lt Milton J. Brucker (BOM) ( photo courtesy of Chip Culpepper)

Lt James Adair Crew: (identification)
Dalgarn, Goddard, Culpepper, Hendrix, Horny, Meley, (Wesala, bending in background), Brucker (photo courtesy of Chip Culpepper)

10-man2): This is the full crew that came over with Adair shortly after landing in the UK and before reducing to 9 men for combat assignment -- my father was added shortly before they shuttled the new plane over (B-17G 43-38480). 

BACK ROW (L-R): Wesala, Goddard, Brucker, Adair, Horny. 
FRONT ROW: Glenn Babcock (WG), Hendrix, Meley, Dalgarn, Culpepper. (Dad was retained by Adair's crew. Glenn Babcock was put into a replacement pool). (Photo and info courtesy of Chip Culpepper) 

PHOTO IDs:
This is the full crew that came over with Adair shortly after landing in the UK and before reducing to 9 men for combat assignment -- my father was added shortly before they shuttled the new plane over (B-17G 43-38480). 

Seems photo likely taken by Adair, as he's absent.
BACK: Wesala, Goddard, Brucker, Hendrix, Horny, Dalgarn
FRONT: Babcock, Meley, Culpepper

Photo courtesy of Chip Culpepper)

Conley "Chip"Culpepper Mission Diary

T/Sgt Conley Culpepper TTE on Adair Crew mission diary (courtesy of Chip Culpepper) 

T/Sgt Conley Culpepper TTE on Adair Crew mission diary (courtesy of Chip Culpepper)

T/Sgt Conley Culpepper TTE on Adair Crew mission diary (courtesy of Chip Culpepper)

T/Sgt Conley Culpepper TTE on Adair Crew mission diary (courtesy of Chip Culpepper)

Conley Culpepper TTE and Dewitt Meley ROG on Lt Adair Crew (Courtesy of Chip Culpepper)

Ground Crew for Lt James Adair B-17, Little Sweetheard

Mission Diary of S/Sgt James Hendrix, #1  ( Photo courtesy of Chip Culpepper)

Mission Diary of S/Sgt James Hendrix, #2  ( Photo courtesy of Chip Culpepper)

Mission Diary of S/Sgt James Hendrix, #3  ( Photo courtesy of Chip Culpepper)

Mission Diary of S/Sgt James Hendrix, #4  ( Photo courtesy of Chip Culpepper)

Mission Diary of S/Sgt James Hendrix, #5  ( Photo courtesy of Chip Culpepper)

Mission Diary of S/Sgt James Hendrix, #6  ( Photo courtesy of Chip Culpepper)

Mission Diary of S/Sgt James Hendrix, #7  ( Photo courtesy of Chip Culpepper)

Mission Diary of S/Sgt James Hendrix, #8  ( Photo courtesy of Chip Culpepper)

Mission Diary of S/Sgt James Hendrix, #9  ( Photo courtesy of Chip Culpepper)

Mission Diary of S/Sgt James Hendrix, #10  ( Photo courtesy of Chip Culpepper)

Mission Diary of S/Sgt James Hendrix, #11  ( Photo courtesy of Chip Culpepper)

Mission Diary of S/Sgt James Hendrix, #12  ( Photo courtesy of Chip Culpepper)

Mission Diary of S/Sgt James Hendrix, #13 ( Photo courtesy of Chip Culpepper)

Mission Diary of S/Sgt James Hendrix, #14  ( Photo courtesy of Chip Culpepper)

Mission Diary of S/Sgt James Hendrix, #15  ( Photo courtesy of Chip Culpepper)

Mission Diary of S/Sgt James Hendrix, #16  ( Photo courtesy of Chip Culpepper)

Mission Diary of S/Sgt James Hendrix, #17  ( Photo courtesy of Chip Culpepper)

Mission Diary of S/Sgt James Hendrix, #18  ( Photo courtesy of Chip Culpepper)

Mission Diary of S/Sgt James Hendrix, #19  ( Photo courtesy of Chip Culpepper)

Mission Diary of S/Sgt James Hendrix, #20  ( Photo courtesy of Chip Culpepper)

Mission Diary of S/Sgt James Hendrix, #21  ( Photo courtesy of Chip Culpepper)

Mission Diary of S/Sgt James Hendrix, #22  ( Photo courtesy of Chip Culpepper)

Mission Diary of S/Sgt James Hendrix, #23  ( Photo courtesy of Chip Culpepper)

Mission Diary of S/Sgt James Hendrix, #24  ( Photo courtesy of Chip Culpepper)

Mission Diary of S/Sgt James Hendrix, #25  ( Photo courtesy of Chip Culpepper)

Mission Diary of S/Sgt James Hendrix, #26  ( Photo courtesy of Chip Culpepper)

Mission Diary of S/Sgt James Hendrix, #27  ( Photo courtesy of Chip Culpepper)

Mission Diary of S/Sgt James Hendrix, #28  ( Photo courtesy of Chip Culpepper)

Mission Diary of S/Sgt James Hendrix, #29  ( Photo courtesy of Chip Culpepper)

Mission Diary of S/Sgt James Hendrix, #30  ( Photo courtesy of Chip Culpepper)

Mission Diary of S/Sgt James Hendrix, #31  ( Photo courtesy of Chip Culpepper)

Mission Diary of S/Sgt James Hendrix, #32  ( Photo courtesy of Chip Culpepper)

Transfer paperwork to be ssnt home from 3rd Air Division

How the press rarely agreed with the men who had to fight the war.  (photo courtesy of Chip Culpepper)

Final sign off with Crew Chief of walk around inspection prior to start engines and pulling Chalks. (photo courtesy of Chip Culpepper)

Lt James Adair on Leave. (photo courtesy of Chip Culpepper)

James Adair Stateside (photo courtesy of Chip Culpepper)

Lt James Adair Lucky Bastard Certificate

Lt Milton Brucker, BOM on Lt Adair Crew and Lt James Adair (courtesy of Chip Culpepper)

48532 Little Sweetheart on Hardstand

Little Sweetheart 48532 XR-G with Lt Adair Crew

30 Dec 1944 – Sat – Kassel, Germany
Mission No. 21 of (Adair's) Crew #12
Pilot’s Log (Adair): “Aborted. No. 1 Engine burned out, diamond in Low” Aircraft: unnamed – 48230 XR-A
Flight Duration (Hours): 6:00

 

SERVED IN:

Crew 1

ID: 12