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Biography of John Hiriam "Johnny" Adair

Forreston, Texas

Johnny Adair was a sergeant in the U.S. Army Air Corps. He joined the U.S. Army Reserves in December 1942 while attending Texas A&M College. He was called to active duty in June 1943 and reported to the Army Air Corps at Sheppard Air Field in Wichita Falls, Texas. 

He had additional training in Florida, and then, assigned to Aerial Gunnery School at Kingman, Arizona. In May 1944, he was transferred to Sioux City Army Air Base in Iowa for advance crew training. He was assigned to a B-17 crew as a tail gunner. 

The first week in August 1944, Johnny flew to Amendola Airfield near Foggia, Italy, and he was assigned to the 2nd Bomb Squadron, 2nd Bomb Group in the 15th Army Air Force. But shortly after arriving at Amendola, his crew was split up, and Johnny assigned to a replacement pool. His first three missions were in three different crews as a tail gunner. In his fourth mission, on August 29, 1944, he served as the right waist gunner aboard the "Queen." It was shot down along with a number of other B-17s near Slavicin, Czechoslovakia. The bodies of 28 of the airmen were gathered up, taken to the cemetery in Slavicin, and buried in a mass grave.   

Johnny was the only son of Mr. and Mrs. Will M. Adair of Avalon. He was born in Forreston and moved to Avalon where he graduated Avalon High School. He attended Texas A&M College for one year. A memorial service was conducted at Forreston Baptist Church in his honor. 

Sergeant Johnny Adair was awarded the Purple Heart Medal. He is listed on the Forreston Monument and the Ellis County Veterans Memorial.

"We Were Soldiers Once, and Young" by Perry Giles

The bio information and photograph are courtesy of Perry Giles, Giles Monument Company, Waxahachie, Texas.

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