World War II Honor Roll

William Charles Adamson

Staff Sergeant, U.S. Army Air Force


419th Bomber Squadron,
301st Bombardment Group

Entered the Service from: New Jersey
Died: March 13, 1943
Buried at: Plot F O 1678
                  Beverly National Cemetery
                  Beverly NJ

STAFF SERGEANT WILLIAM CHARLES ADAMSON was born on November 26, 1919 in Maryland to Charles and Isabel Adamson. Charles Adamson was a veteran of World War I. The Adamson family had previously lived in Washington DC where older sister Ellen was born in 1917. The family lived in New Jersey briefly in the 1920s before another move took them to Pennsylvania. The family moved to again, to 43 Lafayette Road, Audubon NJ early in 1930. The family later moved again to 49 Creston Road in Audubon. Charles Adamson operated a steamship ticket agency, the Camden Travel Service, at 211 North 6th Street in Camden NJ. He had served in the Army as a First Lieutenant during World War I, and was active in the American Legion.

Known to friends and classmates by his middle name, William Charles Adamson graduated from Audubon High School in 1937, and completed a course at the South Jersey Law School, which became a part of Rutgers University's Camden campus years later. He was employed at the RCA factory in Camden prior to enlisting in the Army in December of 1941, after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. 

Assigned to the 419th Bomber Squadron, 301st Bomb Group, he was trained as a tail-gunner on a B-17 bomber. His unit moved to England, in July and August of 1942, and assigned to the Eighth Air Force. They began combat in September of 1942 and attacked submarine pens, airfields, railroads, bridges, and other targets on the Continent, primarily in France. After eight missions, the group was re-assigned to the Twelfth Air Force after moving to North Africa in November, 1942. The 301st bombed docks, shipping facilities, airdromes, and railroad yards in Tunisia, Sicily, and Sardinia, and attacked enemy shipping between Tunisia and Sicily. During Sergeant Adamson's tine overseas, he flew out of the following airfields:

Chelveston, England 9 Aug 1942
Tafaraoui, Algeria c. 26 Nov 1942
Maison Blanche, Algeria 5 Dec 1942
Biskra, Algeria c. 16 Dec 1942
Ain M'lila, Algeria c. 17 Jan 1943
St-Donat, Algeria 6 Mar 1943

Staff Sergeant William Charles Adamson was killed in an accident while serving in North Africa on March 13, 1943, on a day when the 301st Bomb Group was attacking shipping in the Sicilian straights. He was survived by his father, sisters Ellen and Virginia, and brothers John W., serving in the Navy, Joseph, serving in the Merchant Marine, Robert, and Ernest. Joseph Adamson survived the sinking of the SS Patrick Hurley in September of 1942. 

The death of William Charles Adamson was reported in the April 6, 1943 edition of the Camden Courier-Post. On June 20, 1943 the South Jersey Law School in Camden conferred an honorary degree of LL.B. on Sergeant Adamson, at the annual commencement exercises. 

After the war ended, William Charles Adamson was brought home to New Jersey. His body was returned to the United States aboard the USAT Barney Kirschbaum in May of 1948, and he was buried at Beverly National Cemetery in Beverly NJ on June 4th of that year. His father passed away March 5, 1952, and was also buried at Beverly.

Five members of Audubon High School's 1037 graduating class were also lost while serving in America's military during World War II. Besides Charles Adamson, the dead include Edwin Klenk, George Riggin, Charles Stevenson, and Peter Albano.

Camden Courier-Post * July 3, 1942

15 Percent of Graduates Serving U.S.; Many Hold Commissions

More than 15 percent of the graduates of the College of South Jersey are serving in some branch of Uncle Sam's military forces, it was announced today, by Dr. Charles A. Maurer, dean of the college.

They are serving in the Army, Navy, Marines and in the Royal Canadian Air Force. A large number or the graduates hold commissions ranging from Navy ensigns and Army second lieutenants to Naval lieutenants senior grade and Army majors.

Graduates of the college and the South Jersey Law School, who are in the Army Air Corps are Mair Auerbach, Earle Benton, Thomas F. Connery, Joseph Hilderbrand, David MacGhee and Robert W. Lowden. 

Serving In Army 

Serving in the Army are Philip W. Cooper, Joshua V. Davidov, William G. Freeman, Nelson G. French, Joseph Frost. Jack H. Fuhrman, John R. Hall, William B. Knight. W. Warren Luckenbill, Joseph Moss, Robert W. Norris, Ralph Obus, William Peel, John F. Rodgers, C. Zachary Seltzer and Robert T. White. 

Graduates in the Navy are John J. Crean, Angelo De Persia, Samuel T. French, Jr., Thomas B. Hazelton, Robert Hollingsworth, John H. Mohrfeld, Bernard W. Nicel. Frederick A. Smith and Fred Thatcher. 

Undergraduates serving in the Army are John Borden, William Boyd, Dominic De Persia, Elmer Highley, Frank Houser, William I. Johnston, Samuel Massimiano, James Matthews and Robert Runge. Those in the Navy are John Winton, Clyde Creato, William T. Hiering, John Heckers and Robert F. MiIler.

In Canadian Force*

Those with the Royal Canadian Air Force* are Leo Burnett, Robert Cundy, Charles Adamson, John Broomall, Ralph Corriden, Clark Fountain, Ben Hollick, Alfred Pierce, William Sippel and Richard Truette. Vincent J. Manno is now at an Army officers training school. 

*This appears to be in error. It does not appear that any of these men were serving in the Royal Canadian Air Force in July of 1942, rather, the all had enlisted in the U.S. Army Air Corps prior to the writing of this article.   

Camden Courier-Post * November 4, 1942
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June 1943

Camden Courier-Post

June 4, 1948