You are on page 1of 73

Major General Arthur H. Adams, U. S.

Marine Corps (Retired)

Major General Norman J. Anderson

rin

eC

HISTORY AND MUSEUMS DIVISION Headquarters, U. S. Marine Corps Washington, D. C. 1988

Ma

or p

sH

Interviewer

ist

or

yD

ivi

sio n

ORAL HISTORY TRANSCRIPT

DEPARTMENT OF THE NAVY


HEADQUARTERS UNITED STATES MARINE CORPS
MARINE CORPS HISTORICAL CENTER WASHINGTON NAVY YARD WASHINGTON, D.C. 20374-0580

FOREWORD

Ma

rin

eC

or p

sH

ist

Copies of this memoir are deposited in the Marine Corps Oral History Collection, Marine Corps Historical Center, Washington Navy Yard, Washington, D.C.; and The Research Center, Marine Corps University, Quantico, Virginia.

or

General Adams has read the transcript and has made only minor corrections and emendations. The reader is asked to bear in mind, therefore, that this is a transcript of the spoken rather than the written word. The interview has a restriction of OPEN, and thus is available for use by all researchers.

yD

This transcribed memoir of the Major General Arthur H. Adams, USMC (Ret), results from recorded interviews conducted with him at his home in Norfolk, Virginia on 27 October and 1 November 1983 for the Marine Corps Oral History Program. These oral histories provide an additional dimension to Marine Corps history and are an invaluable addition to the official Marine Corps records.

ivi

sio n
IN REPLY REFER TO

Ma

rin

eC

or p
Major General Arthur H. Adams, USMC (Ret)

sH

ist

or

yD

ivi

sio n

Adams - 4 MARINE CORPS ORAL HISTORY PROGRAM Interviewee: Major General Arthur H. Adams, USMC (Ret) Interviewer: Major General Norman J. Anderson, USMC (Ret) Place: Gen Adams' home in Norfolk, Virginia Date of Interview: 27 October and 1 November, 1983

Session I; 27 October, 1983 Begin Tape 1/I, Side A

Anderson: We are interviewing General Adams about the high points of his career in the Marine

the more unusual avenues, as I recall. Would you just briefly hit that?

Adams: Well, in 1936, when I was attending the University of Minnesota, a classmate of mine, now Col Robert R. Burns, Marine Corps Retired, mentioned to me that he had just joined a Marine air reserve squadron at Will Chamberlain Field in Minneapolis and thought that I might be interested in it since both of us were interested in aeronautical engineering and had discussed our mutual objectives of some day learning to fly. So I went to an evening drill with Bob

Schlapkohl, then a captain in the Marine Corps Reserve, who was a pilot at that time for Northwest Airlines and also the so-called Inspector-Instructor of the Marine Corps Reserve in Minneapolis. Following the interview I decided I would like to enlist, and shortly thereafter I took a physical examination and was sworn in to the Marine Air Reserve Squadron, then commanded by Congressman Mel Maas from Minnesota. At that time, I think Mel Maas was a major, and it was before he was stricken with his blindness which occurred much later in his life--I think subsequent to World War II. There was another acquaintance of mine, Goodwin Luck, who also either joined at the same time I did or shortly thereafter, and another gentleman by the name of Pete Cleven, all four of us being members of that squadron. We had monthly

Ma

drills on, I think it was, a Tuesday night and occasional weekend drills. I don't remember the frequency of those but I guess it was about once a month and then two weeks active duty which occurred for the first time for me in June or July of 1936, and that was performed at Camp Ripley, which is a military installation under the cognizance of the Minnesota National Guard. We went to Camp Ripley with the entire squadron including Mel Maas, the commanding officer;

rin

eC

or p

sometime along the spring of 1936 and was interviewed by, I think it was Col Charles

sH

ist

or

Corps. OK, Art, you came into the Marine Corps through the Marine Corps Reserves in one of

yD

ivi

sio n

Adams - 5 then-Capt Schlapkohl, previously mentioned as the Inspector-Instructor; Capt Avery Kier, who was the business manager of the Minneapolis Symphony Orchestra in civilian life; Hank Lane, who was an engineer for the state of Minnesota, also a captain; and Capt Porter Hoydale, who

was also a doctor and went on later to become a flight surgeon in the Navy was well as a Marine

Corps aviator. Who else, Martin Sivertsen, who was also a pilot for Northwest Airlines at that

I don't remember the size of the squadron but there was a good number of staff NCOs and

2s I think, and may be a 3. We also had a Grumman amphibian, and we went to Camp Ripley as I say, my first experience on active duty with a Marine Corps organization was a rather rude awakening in some respects because the first day on active duty I was listed on the plan of the

so recently joined that I was not aware of some of the terminology. So I asked one of the staff

scouring powder and led me down to the latrine, and said, "Go to work, and the medical officer

worked as a janitor in the dormitory I lived in at the University of Minnesota, and therefore I was finished well ahead of time and stood at attention without my hat on when the medical officer came to inspect. I was immediately reprimanded for not having a hat on and, however, was

I guess, I was then assigned as commanding officer's orderly and proceeded to become well acquainted with Mel Maas, his cigars, my responsibility to keep a supply of cigars always there

all times, and to make his bunk up every day and to perform other functions as an orderly.

Anderson: Your experiences with Mel Maas then set you up for a terrific job of entertaining that

Adams: Well, that entertaining is not my forte. That's Katie's, my ever-loving wife who is far more an entertainer than I, but I owe any expertise to her rather than to Mel Maas.

Ma

Anderson: Well, you're both rather famous for that. When did you report for flight training?

rin

you are so famous for these days.

eC

and a requirement to keep the coffee and other beverages and ice and refreshments in his tent at

or p

commended for the beautiful spotless condition of the head. Because of this stellar performance,

sH

will be around to inspect your work in two hours." I was used to this sort of thing because I had

ist

NCOs where I was to report, and he took me in hand and gave me a bucket and mop and some

or

day as the captain of the head. I didn't remember what that particular assignment meant, having

yD

NCOs who had been in the squadron for some time, and we were flying the Grumman FF1s and

ivi

time, and two or three others, one of whom was a 1stLt Ed Zoney, also a pilot for Northwest?

sio n

Adams - 6 Adams: I graduated in summer of 1938, then having been promoted to the rank of private first class. There were a large number of applicants for Marine Corps slots in the aviation cadet

program, and because of our experience in the Marine Corps, Pete Cleven and Goodwin Luck, Bob Burns, and I were selected for the four prospective aviation cadet slots, and we were ordered

to active duty I think in August of 1938 for elimination flight training which consisted of 10

base at Will Chamberlain Field in Minneapolis, and we were flying N3Ns, the Navy trainers at

difficult time of breaking me from the habit of kicking the wrong rudder, having developed this reaction from bobsledding, which I had enjoyed in my youth in southwestern Minnesota. If you wanted that bobsled to go to the left, you kicked right rudder, and vice versa, and it took me

right, to kick right rudder. However, under the patient tutelage of Charlie Schlapkohl, I finally

prospective aviation cadet there, they had a solo party, and the program was to go to one of the

who had just soloed into the drink fully clothed, and then he had to buy beer for everybody. That was the reward for soloing.

had a place in your life frequently since, I know, and you'll probably get around to mentioning a few of the incidents later on. Then you received your wings at Pensacola . . .

Adams:

No, following the solo, I had to wait till December '38 before being ordered to

Pensacola, and I reported to Pensacola the day after Christmas in 1938 to a completely barren barracks. Everybody had gone home on leave, and there was the OD and a duty clerk on watch.

everybody would be back. So, I got well acquainted with the city of Pensacola and was exposed for the first time to a ______ delicatessen, where they had wonderful oysters on a half shell.

Ma

This was my first experience at being in a seacoast town, and I developed a taste for oysters and beer that I have never lost. So my actual flight training commenced in January of 1939, and I guess there was a

ground school period of several weeks there before we actually started flying.

rin

We were told to entertain ourselves the best we could until the day after New Year's when

eC

or p

Anderson: That sounds like a good gang of people. You run into a lot of those people. They've

sH

beaches in Lake Nakomis in Minneapolis and all of the other students would throw the person

ist

made it within the ten-hour requirement for solos.

or

several hours and the threat of busting out before I could correct that, and if I wanted to go to the

yD

that time. Then-Capt Schlapkohl was my instructor and much to his dismay he had a very

In those days, any Navy or Marine

ivi

hours of instruction and then a solo flight. That was performed there at the Naval Air Reserve

sio n

Adams - 7

Anderson: Were you a Marine aviation cadet while going through flight training?

Adams: Right, they had Marine aviation cadets and naval aviation cadets, and they had both

Marine and Navy officer students. Now Gen Paul Fontana was one of the officer students that

acquainted with Paul there and knew who he was and have been friends with him over the years

were going through, but I don't remember any Marine NAPs in flight training at that time.

Anderson: squadron?

Well then, after flight training, were you assigned directly to a Marine Corps

Marine Corps aviator. At that time, the war had started in Europe and we were the first class to

years as an aviation cadet. I was exposed to the first Marine Corps bureaucracy in that my commission and orders to San Diego to the 2d Marine Air Group were lost in the mail, and I was successively postponed from one week to the next for about three weeks awaiting my orders so

Anderson: And back pay.

Adams: I don't remember how much was involved in that, but I suppose that was included. Anderson: So you reported to San Diego to Scouting Squadron?

the 2d Group.

Ma

Anderson: And that assignment lasted a year?

Adams: No, we were flying SOCs on wheels, and I wanted very much to get into the fighter squadron and in October of that year, Maj Vernon Megee, now Gen Vernon Megee, Retired,

rin

Adams: Well, I was assigned to VMS-2, the Marine Corps Scouting Squadron which was part of

eC

or p

that I could receive my designation, commission, and orders.

sH

graduate and be commissioned directly out of Pensacola rather than having to serve for three

ist

Adams: Yes. I completed flight training in October of 1939 and was awaiting designation as a

or

yD

ever since. They also had Naval Aviation Pilots, both Navy and Marine Corps. A few of those

ivi

was going through Pensacola the same time I was. He was a little further along, but I got

sio n

Adams - 8 interviewed me for reassignment to the fighter squadron. I was successful and was accepted as a member of VMF-2, with Greg Boyington, Charlie _____, Frank Tharin, and several other famous characters.

Just about three weeks after that happened, Headquarters ordered out most of the captains

and below from the whole air group to be reassigned to Pensacola and the various Naval Reserve

Thanksgiving time of 1940, and I was there a little over two years. Quite a few of the other

to fill up the squadrons and so forth after Pearl Harbor, but I was left there as an instructor. Capt "Fish" Salmon was my contact with the detail section in Headquarters, and I called him on several occasions, told him I'd done my duty as an instructor and wanted to transfer to the Fleet

and N2Ss for training got pretty heavy, and we were told were going to have to train in Piper

Cub back to Mustin Field. I took a parachute along with me, of course, and found that parachute

to bend it all the way on the flight back to Mustin Field. I called Fish Salmon the next day and told him that this was no place for a second lieutenant Marine aviator flying Piper Cubs. He said, "I'll call you back in 48 hours," and I had

back in 48 hours and said, "You'll report to Fort Worth, Texas, within 48 hours to the American Airlines twin engines school," and I couldn't believe my ears because I didn't even know what a

Cubs that I didn't protest too much. I went to Fort Worth and ran into another Minnesota aviation cadet who had preceded me, Doc Whittaker, and we went through the American Airlines training school there at Fort Worth. I think it lasted about a month. My instructor there

active duty. He gave me credit for bouncing a DC-3 higher than the control tower on my first landing. So I guess that it was a good thing that I went through some rather rigorous training

Ma

there.

Airlines people was they were meticulous in their instruction and even more rigorous in observing check-off lists and emphasizing safety procedures than I'd ever been exposed to in my

rin

was Gordon Adams, who was an American Airlines pilot who was in the reserve and ordered to

One thing that I did pick up from Gordon Adams in the syllabus there of the American

eC

twin-engine plane looked like at that point, but I guess I was so happy to get ordered out of Piper

or p

high hopes of being assigned to a fighter squadron or some other tactical unit. He called me

sH

under my butt didn't permit me to sit upright, and I showed up with a very sore neck from having

ist

Cubs, to give instruction in Piper Cubs, and I was sent to the Piper factory to ferry the first Piper

or

Marine Force with the rest of the people. Along about the spring of '42 the draw-down on N3Ns

yD

people that had been San Diego with me, were pulled out of Pensacola and other bases in order

ivi

Aviation bases for flight instructor duty, and I wound up in Philadelphia at Mustin Field about

sio n

Adams - 9 training at Pensacola. They were ruthless, and if you missed an item on a 30-point check-off list, you were given a down. My interviewer here, Norman Anderson, can probably attest to that because he was subject to that American Airlines.

Anderson: Yes, the thing about that airline flying that impressed me more than anything else

weather, which was something the services hadn't gotten around to at that time. Well, from that

Adams: The Navy Department sought to have us assigned to Military Air Transport Command and fly in some of their routes in Canada and Alaska and elsewhere, but there was some political

instruction with the airlines by flying as third pilots on the commercial routes. I was ordered to

then ordered to San Diego to VMR-253. There I met Gen Norman Anderson, and we were about

Anderson: You reported in July, I suppose.

Anderson: You want to say anything more about Kathleen at this particular point?

Begin Tape 1/I, Side B

Adams: Katie and I had met while we were both at the University of Minnesota, and we were

that there was this requirement of not being married for 2 years after graduation from Pensacola. But with the war on in Europe and the advice I received from several other people who had

Ma

violated this non-marriage agreement, they told me as long as it wasn't flaunted and you didn't

put in for allowances for your wife and so on, that they were inclined to look the other way and there would be no recrimination. However, there were several that utilized this as a means of being discharged from the Marine Corps. I know two or three people that did that by stating that

rin

very much in love. When I graduated from Pensacola, we were both aware before I went there

eC

End Tape 1/I, Side A

or p

Adams: July or early August.

sH

a month there at North Island preparing to go overseas.

ist

La Guardia Field in New York and flew out of there for a couple of months, I guess, and was

or

objection to this, so the graduates of the Fort Worth school were assigned for a period of further

yD

school then, you went into the transport business in a big way, as I recall.

ivi

was the instrument work. Their proficiency, total commitment to operating that machine in foul

sio n

Adams - 10 they were married and wanting allowances, and of course they were subject to discharge for violation of the order. Those who did this and were discreet about it, there was apparently no

intent to invoke the requirement of the agreement. So, to backtrack for a minute, when I was awaiting completion of flight training, Katie's parents set a date for our wedding, and it was

anticipated that it would be around the 1st of October, based upon the estimate I'd be finished

commission didn't come through, everything had to be delayed, and there was considerable

going to be available as planned, and to their great embarrassment, there was a delayed announcement of the wedding placed in the Minneapolis paper that the Watson-Adams wedding would take place at the convenience of Lt. Adams. That occurred on the 29th of November,

Diego. Then we moved to Coronado. Then, when I was ordered back to Philadelphia, we had a

on WO Seaford. He said, "Come in, Lieutenant, I want to talk to you for a minute." He said, "I

Corps. There's a war on, and we don't know what's going to happen. My advice to you is to get married again within the week after you are legally permitted or officially permitted to be married in the eyes of the Marine Corps so that should anything happen to you, your widow will

record just in case anyone should question it." So Katie and I did so. We went down to Elkton, Maryland, the marriage factory down there, and for ten dollars we became officially married in

dishonest, because I did not apply for any and we did not receive any allowances for marriage until we could legally claim this. And it worked out very well, I think, for all concerned. When we got to San Diego and prepared to go overseas, Katie was pregnant at the time,

in late August of 1942.

Ma

Anderson: By this time, the landings at Guadalcanal had occurred. I think that was the 7th of August and VMR-253 departed San Diego, it was late August, I guess, flew to Hawaii, and you were the co-pilot or navigator on the squadron commander's aircraft?

rin

so she went back to Minneapolis to be with her parents when I left with MAG-25 and VMR-253

eC

the eyes of the Marine Corps. There was never any question in our minds that we were being

or p

have a valid marriage certificate to show that you were married in an official fashion for the

sH

know you're married and that you are not supposed to be married in the eyes of the Marine

ist

very smart paymaster by the name of WO Seaford. So, I went to 1100 South Broad and called

or

1939, finally. Katie went to San Diego with me, and we "lived in sin" in a little apartment in San

yD

consternation, as you can imagine on the side of the bride's parents. The groom to be was not

ivi

flying and get commissioned then, in 1939. When the orders didn't come through and the

sio n

Adams - 11 Adams: That was Col P. K. Smith. He was the squadron commander and I was his co-pilot, and Hank Lane, whom I had previously mentioned as having been an officer in the reserve squadron

in Minneapolis was the navigator. And we went on out with the aircraft to New Caledonia via Hawaii, Palmyra, Canton, the Fiji Islands, and on into New Caledonia and finally set up camp

there at Tontuta airport. As I had mentioned, now-Gen Norman Anderson was in the squadron

job. I was just a pilot at the beginning of that thing.

Adams: I guess so. I remember that subsequently, and not too long after we got out there, you

insisted upon being the first pilot of VMR-253 to land at Henderson Field, and I suppose you

Adams: Yes, that was quite a historic flight in my book. We took off from New Caledonia and went up to Espiritu Santo and Col Smith spent a considerable amount of time--I think we were there about a day--speaking with people at the wing headquarters there, and then we finally took

Geiger was a passenger on that flight, and they didn't worry much about safety belts in those days, and I noted that he spent most of his time sitting on a keg of nails in the cargo compartment

also it was the nearest exit in the event of some problems. The flight to Guadalcanal was the first one made, and there were very limited navigational aids, of course. As we got closer to Henderson Field, why, Hank Lane as the

the top of the aircraft looking for friendly or unfriendly aircraft, and it got dark a little earlier than we thought. Communications with Henderson Field were pretty sketchy, and we weren't

Ma

exactly sure where we were. So we flew down the northeast coast of the island after having made the landfall, thinking that we had missed Henderson Field. This was with landing lights on, and we were calling for assistance from anyone who saw the landing lights. We finally got down to the end of the island, turned around and came back doing the same thing. Finally

rin

navigator kept a pretty close watch through the navigation bubble for taking celestial nav shots in

eC

near the cargo door, which I presume he did because that was probably pretty comfortable and

or p

off. We timed our arrival at about dusk in Guadalcanal there, at Henderson Field. Gen Roy

sH

were with him on that flight.

ist

Anderson: Yes. Now P. K. Smith, as the squadron commander, and group commander to be,

or

ran the operations up at Espiritu Santo. I guess that was what I was thinking of.

yD

Anderson: I don't think that I was operations officer. I don't know that I even had a squadron

ivi

with me, and he was, I believe the operations officer, isn't that right, Norm?

sio n

Adams - 12 spotted the flare pots that had been put up for us at Henderson Field as we approached. It wasn't much of a strip there, and Col Smith misunderstood the instructions and lined up to land on the wrong side of the flare pots and fortunately saw the error to take a wave off and go around, and

we finally did land there in darkness, and immediately the flare pots were put out and Condition Red declared because Washing Machine Charlie was overhead. So that was our introduction to

headquarters transferred to Guadalcanal at that time with Gen Geiger. I always thought that he

suffered before he ever got on the ground.

Anderson: Well, you spent one night there on that occasion and loaded up with something or

wounded people aboard. I believe we took them directly to Efate to the hospital there. They had

strip, and they had a hospital there. We dropped in there and then went back to New Caledonia. And then two or three days later I went back in. At that time, I was the pilot and don't remember who the co-pilot was. But that first flight was the initiation for quite a few successive flights in

Anderson: You don't happen to recall the exact day or date of that first landing by an R4D on

Adams: I'll look at my logbooks here so I can probably tell you.

Adams: According to my logbook, it was the 3d of September, 1942, and the duration of the

Ma

flight was 6.8 hours.

Anderson: Including the stop at Santo?

rin

Anderson: The exact date then of that first R4D flight into Guadalcanal was . . .

eC

Guadalcanal?

or p

there.

sH

a fighter strip there, and that's where Fritz Payne and Chick Quilter had their headquarters at that

ist

Adams: Yes, we stayed overnight and took off at dawn the next morning with a bunch of

or

another and came back south.

yD

probably deserved a medal for putting up with the transport that he had and the hazards he

ivi

Henderson Field and Gen Geiger's welcome aboard for him at Henderson Field. I think the wing

sio n

Adams - 13 Adams: No, that was from Espiritu Santo to Guadalcanal.

Anderson: Is that so? You did spend a little time going up and down that coast then, I gather.

Adams: Yes, we came out of there on the 4th, and then on the 9th, according to this logbook, is

Efate, and if this is correct, I had eight wounded.

Anderson: So in the fall, then, of '42 you continued these flights into Guadalcanal. Any other special events that you recall particularly other than your first trip to Sidney, perhaps?

for spare parts. And I guess we spent a couple of days there and came back after having made

rather interesting events, I guess. On one flight into Guadalcanal, I had Col Joe Bauer aboard

on the sea there, and we went down within what I considered safe range to determine whether it was a U.S. submarine or a Japanese submarine. Col Bauer was rather insistent that we make some strafing runs on this sub after it was determined that it was a Japanese submarine, but I

finally did--I don't know whether there was anything accomplished in that, but I would have been more than happy to have some armament aboard that we could have used. Joe even

being bombed, but I elected that it wasn't worth the risk to the people we had aboard, and lack of any defensive armament to proceed in that manner. I think he thought that transport pilots were a bunch of chickens at that point. He spoke to me several times after that, so I guess he felt

equipment aboard to take care of some of the wounded. They would be pretty well doped up

Ma

with morphine when they were put aboard the aircraft, but we were finally given morphine kits, and I can remember giving morphine shots to several of the wounded people during the flights in order to keep them more comfortable. The only other thing I remember is that a couple of occasions we flew out Japanese prisoners who were all chained together with foot manacles on

rin

better. But there were quite a few instances like that. I think that one of the things that I remember most is that we didn't have any medical

eC

suggested that we throw some of the cargo out overhead and maybe make them think they were

or p

reminded him that we didn't have any guns aboard. We tried to establish radio contact and

sH

and just off San Cristobal about an hour and a half out of Guadalcanal, we spotted a sub surfaced

ist

some arrangements for spare parts from the Army Air Corps in Australia, but there were several

or

Adams: Well, I remember going with Col Smith to Brisbane sometime during September to look

yD

ivi

when I went back directly from Tontuta to Guadalcanal, and on the 10th, from Guadalcanal to

sio n

Adams - 14 them, and they were pretty docile. We had an armed guard going with us, of course, so there were no problems. We had a wide variety of cargo going in, bombs and oxygen and even gasoline in 50-gallon drums because there was a shortage of gasoline for the fighter squadrons. But most of the return trips were with wounded aboard.

Whiskey was a pretty scarce item on Guadalcanal, and there was an antiaircraft battery

whiskey on one of my early trips in there because he had been very kind to me; he had made his

said, "If you keep bringing a bottle of whiskey to me, you've got a bunk in my foxhole." The bunk wasn't exactly a bunk, but at least it was a place to go. So Sgt Grouch and I established a very fine barter relationship, and I always had a reservation in his foxhole. It was pretty handy.

Anderson: Have you ever run into him since those days?

Adams: Never saw him after Guadalcanal.

Anderson: Well, OK. You left New Caledonia then and 253 in early 1943.

Adams: Yes, I think it was along in March or April of '43. There were a couple of aircraft that

ordered to active duty from TWA where he was a pilot. We were selected to take the two aircraft back to the states, which we did in the spring of '43 and delivered them to North Island. I

changes and final tests and preservation being put on carriers to go to the Pacific. That was a real fine tour of stateside duty. Katie came out to Coronado with our son. We had a wonderful year together there. Col Lowell Reeve was in the squadron and Bill Lemke, and Jim Walker,

experience away from me, and I actually had promise of some orders from Col Bob Galer to go

Ma

to the next fighter squadron that was going out. Unfortunately, VMB-433 was coming across from the east coast by train and their major operations officer fell off the train and was hurt, and they needed somebody with twin-engine experience, so I got zapped into 433 at El Centro, California in the spring of '44, and there I was reunited with my American Airlines instructor,

rin

who had come back with me from Guadalcanal. I was building up a lot of Corsair time, hoping this would take the stigma of twin-engine

eC

was assigned to ABG-2 at North Island, which, in those days, were making the final engineering

or p

were in need of rather extensive repairs and overhaul, and Jim Walker who was a reserve and

sH

ist

or

yD

foxhole available to me when the airfield was under attack during one of our landings, and he

ivi

commanded by a Sgt Grouch that was right next to the strip there. So I brought him a bottle of

sio n

Adams - 15 Col Gordon Adams, who was the squadron commander of VMB-433. We trained at El Centro for about three months and then went to Fairfield-Sassoon Army Air Force Base, that's now Travis Air Force Base. We ran fuel consumption tests up and down the San Joaquin valley there, and then about half the squadron took off for Hawaii. I was supposed to bring the rest of them

up the next day, and we got instructions that all of the aircraft were grounded because of fuel cell

Barbara, to the air station there, where there would be fuel cell changes made, and that delayed

and finally the rest of the squadron took off for Hawaii.

I had a little interesting incident there. I had a squadron flight surgeon who was in the echelon which I was in charge of and also had a mascot, which was a mongrel dog which we

as part of his crew. Of course, there were regulations about no pets in the transient barracks, but

He saw Whiskey in the barracks and turned and ran, Whiskey barking at his heels, and before the

do away with Whiskey. Well, we were going to leave in a day or two, so we elected to do something to circumvent this. I was also advised at that time that when we arrived in Hawaii, if we took Whiskey in there, he would probably be disposed of because of Hawaiian health

after having tranquilized him. We thought we better have a test run on this, so we proceeded to do this, but either the flight surgeon used the wrong tranquilizer or it had the opposite effect,

before the janitor came in, but instead of tranquilizing him, it drove Whiskey right up the wall and so I was again summoned and told there would be a report made to the senior Marine on the west coast if I didn't get rid of the dog before we left. Well, we kept him under wraps that night,

stuffed him back in the sea bag again in the bomb bay, where we hoped he wouldn't be discovered by any health officials. All of this was for naught, because when we landed, instead

Ma

of being ordered to land at Hickam for inspection, as we expected, we were directed to land at Ewa, and so there was no inspection made, and Whiskey went on from there to become a famous member of VMB-433 with a good many missions over Rabaul and Kavieng from Green Island and other missions after we moved up to Emirau.

rin

did put him in a sea bag untranquilized, let him out after we got him on the airplane, and then

eC

because we gave this to Whiskey one morning and stuffed him in a sea bag or attempted to

or p

regulations. So I consulted the flight surgeon, and suggested that we stuff Whiskey in a sea bag

sH

day was out, I was standing before the commanding officer of the base there, with instructions to

ist

we managed to keep Whiskey under wraps until one day, there was a new janitor that came in.

or

picked up at El Centro. We named him "Whiskey," and he would ride with a Lt Dallas Willfong

yD

us about another 10 days or two weeks. Back to Travis again, more fuel consumption test runs

ivi

problems. So, we sat around there for several days, and we were finally ordered to Santa

sio n

Adams - 16 Again, I ran into Norm Anderson during this tour in 433. We went overseas to Green Island, where he was there in command of 423, and in his usual, inimitable manner, Norman had made contact with the Coast watchers there, and their representatives, and he ran a very fine

outfit there on Green Island, and later I was invited back to a dinner he had arranged with Harry Murray, one of the Coast watchers. Harry had procured a bountiful supply of shrimp and other

Well, that got your squadron to Emirau, and you flew with them. But I think that before you came back to the states, you also had a tour of duty at wing headquarters.

which is the 1st Wing and ComAirNorSols headquarters.

Schlapkohl. That's where I ran into Johnny Seaford again and thanked him for his advice, and

certificate. Johnny and I used to pitch horseshoes together, and we became fast friends there during that time.

Gen Larkin was the commander of AirNorSols and 1st Wing, and I was sent to the

staging was for, but obviously it was for the staging of the 1st Wing headquarters through the Philippines for the then planned invasion of Japan. And while I was in the Philippines looking

was told to return to Bougainville. Of course, all plans were off there. I was just about at the end of my 14-month tour then, and I remember Gen Larkin calling me into the office--oh, this was a day or two after the second bomb had been dropped and the

you can go to China with us; I think we're going to China." I said, "I'd love to go to China, but if I went to China, I don't think I'd have a wife when I got home." And he said, "Your decision is

Ma

the same as mine." So we both returned to the states about that time. When I came back from overseas, we went up to Manus, and there I ran into Col Bob

Cox, who was the exec of VMB-433. We were both awaiting air transportation back to the states from Manus, and we had to wait about a week. We finally climbed aboard (they let both of us

rin

war was over--and he said, "You've got two options. Your tour is up and you can go home, or

eC

for this advance staging camp, the atomic bombs, both of them, were dropped on Japan, and I

or p

Philippines to look for a camp for the 1st Marine Air Wing. At that time, I didn't know what this

sH

told him that I was glad that we hadn't had to use the U.S. Marine Corps official marriage

ist

operations section with Col Frank Schwable and Col Ed Montgomery and Col Charlie

or

Adams: Sometime, I guess it was the spring of '45, I was ordered to Torokina at Bougainville, I was there on the staff in the

yD

Anderson: Well that's interesting. I remember Harry Murray, but I don't remember the dinner.

ivi

game from his representatives, and Norman put on a beautiful dinner there that I'll never forget.

sio n

Adams - 17 get on it) a C-54 loaded with mail. There weren't any seats, but they said we could sit on the mail sacks if we wanted to. So Bob and I agreed to play 100 games of cribbage while we were en route to Hawaii, and at the end, I either owed him a nickel or he owed me a nickel. I've

forgotten which, but it was a pretty tight cribbage match for a rather long flight back to Hawaii on those mail sacks.

Anderson: Pretty lucky to have a guy like Bob Cox to spend the time with.

Adams: That's right.

Anderson: So that was the end of World War II, and I guess you went to El Toro then.

Adams: Yes. I went back to ABG-2, and by this time, they had moved from North Island to El

of things in that air group. That was a nice tour of duty there for a while. Again, I was

was the CO and I was the exec. As I remember, I was ordered up to the station as the G-1 for a while and then went from there to Quantico to Amphibious Warfare School, Junior Course. Norman Anderson was also assigned there, so this was another link in a long-standing chain of

At the Junior School, I think that this was about a five-month course, if I remember correctly. Following that we went to Cherry Point where I was assigned as commanding officer

the air station. Gen Ivan Miller was the CO of the station at that time. We developed a very good relationship with Gen Miller, which has lasted through the years. As a matter of fact, I just saw him at the Marine Corps Aviation Association reunion in October of 1983. He and Mrs.

Anderson: I know the man you're talking about, but I haven't thought of him in years.

Ma

Adams: Isn't that awful? I've got to think of his name.

rin

Miller were there with their son-in-law Jake . . .

eC

of Aircraft Engineering Squadron 46. That was the squadron that had the airplanes assigned to

or p

relationships we have enjoyed in many places.

sH

associated with my good friend Norm Anderson, who was, subsequent to Gephart's departure, he

ist

Toro and Col Gephart was the CO there. We were doing overhaul and repair work and a variety

or

yD

ivi

sio n

Adams - 18 Anderson: Well, while you're thinking, maybe we could go back a minute. That five months at the Junior School, what was your reaction to that sort of . . . kind of interruption in your career as an aviator?

Adams: Well, we used to get our flight time in at the air station there, four hours a month I guess

and aviation. A couple of the aviators who were dyed-in-the-wool, ground-pounder haters,

backs on him and sit through the class with their backs turned to him. I don't know why they were permitted to get away with this, but I guess they finally saw the light, and I don't think that happened more than a few times. I enjoyed that very much because instead of being seated in

row and therefore could observe the whole class during the instructional periods and take

guise of studying with my head down looking at a book in my lap. Again, Norm Anderson was

ground problems that existed at that time among the members of the class. It was an enjoyable experience and my first exposure to any formal Marine Corps school, so I did get a lot out of it.

grunts, the ground side of the Marine Corps. We spent the whole war pretty much removed from them and that this was probably a pretty good move as far as getting the Corps back together

Well, from Cherry Point you . . .

wing, and I had VMF-222 for about nine months . . .

Ma

Anderson: Was that a Corsair squadron? Adams: Yes, a Corsair squadron, and we were about ready for an ORI, an operational readiness inspection, when this squadron was decommissioned by Louis Johnson, the Secretary of Defense at the time. We had no warning of this, and I pleaded with the wing commander and the chief of

rin

Adams: At Cherry Point I had AES-46 for a while and then I was given a chance to get into the

eC

again.

or p

Anderson: I think that my reaction is about the same as yours. I hadn't had any contact with the

sH

there and as president of the class, he did an outstanding job in trying to alleviate some of air-

ist

advantage of some of the duller lectures in order to catch a little catnap here and there under the

or

the front row with the name beginning with "A," they reversed it, and I was seated in the back

yD

whenever there was an instructor on the platform that was a ground officer, they would turn their

ivi

it was. It was quite evident at that time that there was a hiatus of some extent between ground

sio n

Adams - 19 staff, Ed Montgomery, to go through the ORI because everybody had worked so hard. But the funds for the operation of that squadron were cut off as of the day we were decommissioned, and everybody was disappointed at not being able to continue.

Anderson: This was when? In '49?

Adams: This was in '49, yes, in the Fall of '49. It was very precipitous action taken in

Secretary of Defense, who was Louis Johnson at that time. The Marine Corps, I think, suffered rather severe cuts under this edict, this money-saving project. I was then told that I would be ordered to Rio de Janeiro as the Assistant Naval Attach for Air, and two weeks later I was told

orders.

that there was a billet open up there at CO of the Marine aviation detachment there. So I

pilot training school class which convened in early 1950. That lasted for about five and a half, six months. At the graduation of the class, they took the class around to the various contractors, and I was in a seminar at Convair when the president of Convair said that he had just received

in that action, so they cut our trip short and we all went back to Patuxent again. Having just graduated there, I was committed to a tour of duty there, so I remained at

test center. It was a wonderful experience there because I got to fly just about any kind of airplane they had there at that time.

End Tape 1/I, Side B

Ma

Begin Tape 2/I, Side A

Anderson: So after going through the test pilot school, were you involved in any of the test programs in specific aircraft?

rin

Anderson: Let's take that up on the next tape.

eC

Patuxent as the CO of the Marine aviation detachment and special assistant to the director of the

or p

word that the President had dictated that the United States would support the Republic of Korea

sH

immediately applied for that, and in early January 1950, went to Patuxent and entered the test

ist

Col Marion Carl was at Patuxent at that time, and he called me and he said he thought

or

that the Secretary of Defense had abolished that post also, so that I wouldn't be receiving those

yD

decommissioning several Marine Corps squadrons. This was under the direct order of the

ivi

sio n

Adams - 20

Adams: Yes, they had five divisions at Pax at that time--there was flight test, tactical test,

service test, electronic test, and armament test. Most of the flying I did was in flight test or service test. The objective of the service test was to put as many hours on the various models of

aircraft that were under evaluation there as possible, so that it was almost like having an airplane

fly, and I also got to fly a good many of the flight test aircraft, which were the newer aircraft

Anderson: Name a few of them, Art.

The F7F with the automatic landing system, the Honeywell automatic landing system, and the

Adams: Yes. I don't think I got many flights in that at Patuxent, but I later did in Korea.

Adams: Yes. One incident at Pax River that occurred when I was flying a flight test aircraft

Marion Carl concerning this before I took off, but for some reason it just never registered that this was a different air speed indicator when I came round for a landing. As a result, I landed short of the runway and everything would have been alright except there was a ditch across the

I went down the runway on my nose. No damage other than that to the aircraft, but considerable damage to my aeronautical pride. I remember two or three of the people at flight test were very

Ma

solicitous in helping develop an alibi, but I said there was no excuse; it was 100 percent pilot error and insisted on that in the official accident report. I went to Capt Bob Dixon who was the director of flight test the next morning, told him what had happened, told him there was no excuse. He was also leery of such a snap decision on my part, wanted to check the air speed

rin

end of the runway where they were installing some lighting and that snapped the nose wheel, and

eC

configured with miles per hour rather than knots on the air speed indicator. I had been briefed by

or p

Anderson: Did you go to Korea directly from Pax River?

sH

Anderson: The 5 was the first of the swept-wing F9.

ist

F9F series, the 1s, 2s, 3s, and I guess that they even had a couple of 5s in there for a while.

or

Adams: Well the FJ was one of them. The F7U was another that was under evaluation there.

yD

introduced into the program for initial evaluation.

ivi

at your disposal whenever you could get away to fly. So I was very fortunate in being able to

sio n

Adams - 21 indicator and other things. I said, "You can do it if you want to, but it won't do any good because it was just head up and locked in this case," and he said, "Well, with honesty like that, you can

fly my airplanes any time you want. You can't crash them if you don't fly them." So I had a very gratuitous result to a stupid action.

The other thing I remember about flight test, or about the test pilot training and tour of

who was later director of service tests. I knocked the tail skag off of an F9 once in a tail-first

was also at Patuxent River and is now director of the FAA, was there, and we had rather tragic results with members of that class. I think there were 21 pilots in the class, and we lost 7 of them at the test center while I was there, including Col Delalio, who was a very, very fine helicopter

But the tour there was wonderful.

Probably the greatest experience I had as far

Some pretty famous people were there as the director of the test center. I served under five of

one other I can't remember now was there for a short time. Oh, Adm Schoeffel, Red Schoeffel was there. Adm Pride came in after I had my orders to Korea; he was there for about two weeks before I left, so I walked into his office to introduce myself and make my first call on him. And I

Marines, but I never ran into something like this before. Why am I so lucky?" I said, "Well, I have my orders and you're the fifth test center commander I've worked for. I predict that you'll

director I think for two or three years. I remember very well writing him occasionally from Korea. He said that he would write back, and he answered every single one of my letters, and he indicated that he was glad that I was in Korea rather than giving him trouble at the test center

the things I remember about the subsequent experiences I have had with people that I met there who were the directors of the test center.

Ma

Anderson: I guess the important thing about the test center is the pilots who get through flight test training are expected to wring out and get the absolute maximum performance out of those

rin

some way in every letter that he wrote. He was a wonderful person. I think that that was one of

eC

last here a lot longer than the others." He laughed, and he did remain there at Pax River as

or p

said, "Admiral, you're the luckiest man I know." He said, "Well, I've heard of young brash

sH

them: Adm Bill Davis, Adm Trapnell, Adm Marcel Glynn, and Adm Mel Pride, and there was

ist

increasing my knowledge of aviation from the technical side, also from the pilot proficiency side.

or

pilot and also a Capt Red Blanchard who was a fine pilot.

yD

landing, and he said, "That's alright. We just want good average pilots here." Lynn Helms, who

ivi

duty at Patuxent River is that I met some very wonderful people there, like Adm Fred Bardshire,

sio n

Adams - 22 airplanes they are testing within the envelope of the design. So this kind of thing must have been pretty handy when you got to Korea and your assignment there was with the F9Fs.

Adams: That's right, yes. I got to Korea and Col Herb Williamson was the commander of

MAG-33 at that time. He gave me command of VMF-311, and we had the F9F2s and were

and 5s; I've forgotten, but anyway, we got the 5 version just before I left the squadron in early

question about that, and even in later assignments.

Anderson: I should think that the young pilots of the squadron would have been very happy to

You reported in to MAG-33 then, was it '53?

Adams: No, in the fall of '52, I think about September '52. As has been evident in other

using. They had assigned pilots in there for five or six months and then rotate them out into other jobs and bring in new pilots. Of course this was designed to spread the pilot requirement work load as well as replace those that were lost and give some depth to the reserves, because

volunteer reserve. I had the privilege of having Ted Williams assigned to my squadron late in the game. One of the things that I remember about Ted was that he came in, joined the squadron,

airplane in weather. I don't feel that I am, and I'm not trying to get out of flying missions. I'll fly missions, but I refuse to fly now until I have had some further instrument training." So we looked into this, and it was true that the instrument training he had after he was mobilized in the

and finally after about 8 or 10 hops under the hood, why, he came and said, "I'm ready to go." So we put him on his first mission after that, and Ted was a real tiger. Unfortunately he was so

Ma

intent on hitting the target, he went in too low and got caught in his own bomb blast. Fortunately, the damage to the aircraft was not so severe that he couldn't get back across the bomb line, but he did have to land at an emergency strip a short distance from the line. I never have forgotten how important I became all of a sudden, because within about three hours the

rin

States was very sketchy, and I admired him for it. So we put him under the hood a few times,

eC

and immediately requested to see me. He came in and he said, "I am not qualified to fly this

or p

there were an awful lot of reserves that were mobilized for Korea, of course, including the

sH

interviews, I am sure these were really operational training squadrons that the Marine Corps was

ist

or

have a CO with that kind of background. Have confidence in his knowledge of the machine.

yD

'53. But the experience and knowledge I picked up at Patuxent did have a benefit, there's no

ivi

transitioning to the 3s, and then later transitioned to the 5s as I remember. Maybe it was 2s, 4s,

sio n

Adams - 23 telephones began to ring, and they wanted to talk to Ted Williams. He wasn't available, of course, because he was still up north, but they wanted to know how such a thing could happen. I had calls from Headquarters Marine Corps and a lot of the media, so that was I guess my first exposure of any kind to a mishap to a famous person on duty in the Marine Corps.

Ted was a very dedicated individual, and Jerry Coleman, his cohort in the baseball world,

Marine Corps. Every time they went on R&R, they would go to Japan and instead of going out

respect for the way he performed his active duty. John Glenn was a member of 311 at that time also and did a tremendous job there. Shortly after I got there, a very unfortunate accident. Herb Williamson was wounded during a hunting accident and had to be evacuated back to the states,

until the spring of '53 and was then reassigned out of the squadron for the balance of my tour

there.

information with Gen Homer Hutchison, with his F3Ds on the other side of the island. My last mission in Korea was a couple of weeks before I came home, and it was a night MPQ-14 mission. The weather was lousy, but it was beautiful moonlight below the target area. I checked

Kerby? And he said, "It sure is." I said, "This is Art Adams. He said, "Art, what are you doing flying on a night like this? I said, "It's a beautiful moonlit night up here, Ken. Ken

But we completed the mission, and that was my last combat mission with MAG-33.

Anderson: Well now, John Glenn was in your squadron then at that time.

Adams: Right.

Ma

Anderson: I'm sure that he was an extremely competent pilot. Was he one of the boys as far after-hours activities were concerned?

rin

eC

responded, "Well this is night for love and not fighting down here. We should all be in bed.

or p

in with the controller, and I thought I recognized the voice, and I said, "Is this Colonel Ken

sH

The last mission that I flew, we got into the MPQ-14 business after some exchange of

ist

there as the S-3 of the group, and continued to fly occasionally on missions with the squadrons

or

and Col Ben Robertshaw came along and took command of the group. I remained as CO of 311

yD

having a good time, they would visit the hospitals, put on baseball clinics, and so on. I had great

ivi

was assigned over at K-6 to one of the attack squadrons. He and Ted did a great thing for the

sio n

Adams - 24 Adams: Oh, I'd say John was not of the real tigers at the bar, but he was a good fellow and would join in squadron parties and so on. One of the other things I remember is that Woody Woodberry of the entertainment world fame, who appears at all the Marine Corps Aviation

Association meetings every year as an entertainer was in Jack Maas' squadron, the sister squadron in MAG-33 (sister F-9 squadron), and Woody was a fantastic guy, too. He always flew

two while he was playing that piano and singing us all songs. He also did a fantastic job of

periods.

The relationship between our two squadrons was terrific. Jack Maas and I had great times together in our squadrons, although in friendly competition. I think we worked very well

One other thing I remember about my tour in 311 there is that it was the fall of the year,

hunting. There were a lot of young Koreans that worked as our clean-up crew there, made up the

told me that it would be better to go duck hunting at night in the bright moonlight. So we got some decoys and went out and stood down moon from the decoys. You could hear these ducks coming over, and they'd see our decoys and pitch into them, and that was the greatest duck

retrieved, he'd get one to take home.

We had a great chief in charge of our mess (he was a Seabee), the officers' mess there at

to be relieved, I went to him and said, "Victor, I want to have a dinner for the whole group, the commanding general of the wing, and some of the wing staff. He said, "How many will you have? And I said, "Oh, probably about 60. He said, "You get 60 ducks, and we'll have a

and we got the ducks and turned them over to Victor. He hung them and I don't know where he got them, but he got some beautiful shrimp and wild rice and we had a duck dinner, a farewell

Ma

dinner for my leaving the squadron there that was just out of this world. It had everything that you could imagine except for beautiful silver and linen and crystal. What we had in that regard was adequate, but certainly didn't equal the food.

rin

dinner that will be equal to any you'll have in the States. So, we went hunting for 3 or 4 days,

eC

K-3. His name was Victor, and he had been mobilized from the Philippines. When I got ready

or p

hunting I ever had and Wu was the retriever. The agreement with him was that for every duck he

sH

bunks and swept the huts out, and so on. And this little fellow that was mine, his name was Wu,

ist

and these ducks were flying by in pretty good style, so a bunch of us decided we' d go duck

or

together.

yD

visiting hospitals and doing things to improve the morale of the troops during his off-duty

ivi

his missions. Woody was never a big drinker, but he was always at the bar. He'd have a sip or

sio n

Adams - 25 Anderson: Was there an officers' mess there at K-3 that all the pilots, all the officers . . .

Adams: MAG-33 had an officers' mess.

Anderson: It was a group mess.

Adams: We were on the other side of the field from the wing headquarters. Gen Jerome was the

to say, "A singing group is a happy group," and we sure sang a lot of songs while he was there, so I guess he figured that everybody was happy.

After return home from Korea, I went to Washington to the Division of Aviation, and

Planning and Programming Section. There I benefited from many of the contacts I had at

Pax River, and in Op-55, under then-Capt MacDonald . . .

Anderson: Not Wes MacDonald?

Adams: No, this was . . . I can't remember his first name. He later wound up as the CNO. But we were going down through a phase down after Korea, of course, and aircraft programming was

helicopter squadrons. It was always quite a fight between the people who were advocates of fighter and attack versus the helicopters. I remember Mac Magruder and I put together a briefing

extent that Gen Shepherd thought should be. So the program that we proposed was not accepted. We then got Gen Shepherd to sign a letter over to DCNO (Air) recommending that an objective of having Marine Corps aviation equipped with VTOL aircraft for tactical as well as

Gen Gay Thrash and I went around and talked to all of the contractors in Texas and on the west coast, and they all claimed that they were glad to see something like this to put their teeth into.

Ma

We got very good support from them. But Adm MacDonald, when this letter filtered down to him at the weekly meeting where I represented the Division of Aviation, also known as Op-52, he picked this letter up and said, "Who in the hell is the author of this thing that you got your Commandant to sign?" I spoke up and said, "Well Col Magruder and I are the sponsors of it.

rin

helicopter squadrons by 1975, that being approximately 20 years hence. In preparation for this,

eC

for Gen Shepherd and this gave recognition to some helicopter requirements, but not to the

or p

a pretty difficult thing. We were beginning to introduce plans for extensive expansion of the

sH

ist

Patuxent River, people that were assigned to BuAir or contacts that had at BuAir while I was at

or

again I ran across Paul Fontana there, who was my boss, and I was assigned to the Aircraft

yD

wing commander for part of the time I was there. He came over for that dinner. He always used

ivi

sio n

Adams - 26 He gave it back to me and said, "I've never heard of such a bunch of crap in my life. Take it back and tell your Commandant to tear it up. I don't want it on the record. Well, it was rather

interesting, of course, because we went on into the Harrier program. But I did enjoy that because

working with Adm Roy Iseman and Adm Red Carmody in Op-55, we developed the

commencement of the operational requirement for what is now the A-6. I also got to participate

with Ed Heineman and people at Douglas. So this was really I guess the frosting on the cake

Anderson: Well it must have been the frosting on the cake for the Division of Aviation because those airplanes certainly have been the mainstays of our stable ever since they appeared, and also

Director of Aviation at the time and Paul Thayer, who had been the project test pilot, and I had

turned down the F7U, and they were trying to salvage it and sell it to Marines as an A7U. Paul, now the Deputy Secretary of Defense, had been, while I was at Patuxent, he was demonstrating spin tests, and we finally had to tell him to jump out of the airplane one day when he couldn't get

feet or so, I guess. He came in and Gen Brice finally agreed to a briefing, and he sat through this briefing, saw all the charts, and everything. At the end of the briefing he said, "Excuse me, Mr.

attack airplane. We don't want that monstrosity that you have. Paul said, "Well, you have never given it a fair evaluation. It's never been flown in the attack configuration. So Gen Brice turned around to me and said, "You went to Patuxent, didn't you? And I said yes. And he said,

between the engines and the aft section and got it down all right. Next one, I had a hydraulic

Ma

failure, and got it down all right, and the third one I had to abort because of an engine failure. So, Paul Thayer never came out to say good bye to me. I don't think he felt it was worthwhile pursuing that any further. It was a foregone conclusion that my report to Gen Brice was the death knell of the A7U.

rin

"You go down to Dallas and fly three hops in that A7U and come back and give me a report. So I went to Dallas and got prepped up for the flights. The first flight I had a ______

eC

Thayer, just a moment. He came back in carrying a model of the A4D, and he said, "Here is the

or p

the thing out of a spin, and he landed outside of the fireball, having jumped out at about 1500

sH

known him at Patuxent on the F7U, requested an opportunity to brief Gen Brice. The Navy had

ist

Adams: One other interesting thing that occurred while I was there, Gen Oscar Brice was the

or

the AV8, at least the conceptual genesis goes back to that particular point.

yD

from my Patuxent tour of duty.

ivi

in several mock-ups for the Crusader, the F8U, and the A-4, the improved versions of the A-4

sio n

Adams - 27 There were a lot of experiences like that that occurred as a result of my Patuxent experience.

Anderson: It was pretty bright of Brice to put the bee on somebody to go down there and give it a pragmatic examination and to come back and tell me about it.

Adams: Well, I think he was being pressured by people in OpNav to maybe take this aircraft,

from carrier suitability, and so on. There was just no way the Marine Corps could accept it, but I think he felt he had to be objective about it and have a look at it.

Adams: I was there until '56. Gen Binney was at MARTCOM at that time, and he called me up

Minneapolis. Then Gen Salmon, who was the Deputy Director of Aviation, he called me in and

Binney's influence, because I think he's twisting your arm because you are a Minnesota resident. And I said, "No sir, I've had my tour of duty here, and I'd like to go and take that job. So he said, "OK," and I wound up going out there.

there had been a very bad accident in which a Marine reserve pilot in an F9 had landed short in a bunch of houses, and the reception that Marine aviators had around that point of time in

about the time, this was just after this accident occurred, so it was associated with the change of command as a reprimand for Owen Chambers, which of course was not true. But having lived in Minneapolis and my mother and father-in-law still lived there, very influential in the community,

the airlines up there. One person in particular, Col Sherm Bowen, who had the MACS squadron there, was an aviation writer and was also with WCCO TV. Sherm and the squadron

Ma

commanders and I, I think set things right again in Minneapolis as far as the future of the Marine air reserve was concerned. But that was a wonderful tour of duty because Katie and I had many friends there of

course from university days and her entire life having been spent in Minneapolis, why it was a

rin

that helped a lot, and I had some wonderful people in the reserve squadrons, several of them with

eC

Minneapolis was pretty cool. Unfortunately, the press got wind of my assignment as his relief at

or p

Unfortunately, Owen Chambers, who had been my predecessor at the detachment there,

sH

said, "I want your straight forward answer, and I'm having you in here without the benefit of Art

ist

and wanted to know if I would be interested in going to command the air reserve detachment in

or

Anderson: Well, that brings us up to about 1955.

yD

because there had been so much money invested in it, and it was just such a dog in every respect

ivi

sio n

Adams - 28 very enjoyable tour of duty and working with the reserves was a real pleasure. Having been a reserve myself to begin with, I had some appreciation for problems that they were faced with as

far as getting off for active duty for training and periods of additional active duty that we tried to arrange for them; as far as relationships with their employers . . .

I decided that there wasn't enough known about the Marine Corps in Minneapolis, so I

Quantico for one of the demonstrations that used to be put on at Quantico. The reception that

one demonstration that was put on and I think probably it did more than anything else that had been done there in some time in selling the Marine Corps to the people of the twin cities area and Minneapolis. The Marine Corps I think has always benefited from the support they've had from

together with the recruiters there and the Inspector-Instructor staff at the University of Minnesota

post - Korea was . . . the Korean War was still very much in the minds of the people.

Anderson: Incidentally, when you were at the University of Minnesota, didn't you play in the band?

has not been any great thing, but I enjoyed it a lot, and you got to go to football games for free.

Reserve Training Detachment, did the band invite you to come back and be an honorary horn tooter for them?

know anybody back at the university in the band at that time. The gentleman that was director of the band when I was there was no longer there. The only time I went back to the University of

Ma

Minnesota was to give a commissioning address for the ROTC people there that were graduating and deliver their commissions, and that was after I was a general officer. That was my only association on the campus. The recruiters did most of the work, and the Officers Selection

rin

Adams: No, I kept the fact that I was a former band member pretty much under wraps. I didn't

eC

Anderson: Well, what I want to know is when you were back there as the CO of the Marine Air

or p

Adams: Yes, Norman, I did. And that was a lot of fun. My background in the musical world

sH

ist

and our air reserve I think produced some good results during that period of time in which

or

the upper Midwest area and continues to receive that support I am sure. The work we did

yD

these people received was in typical Marine Corps style. They were the featured group at this

ivi

got permission to bring some of the top media people and some of the leaders in business there to

sio n

Adams - 29 Office did most of the work with the people on the campus and the instructors of the ROTC. But we worked very closely with them.

Anderson: About the end of your tour there in Minneapolis, who then was running the Marine Air Reserve Training Command? Was Binney still there?

Adams: No, Frank Croft was, I think. I can't remember for sure now, but I think that Frank

Anderson: Operating from Glenview.

get-together of all the reserve training detachment commanders?

Adams: Yes, there was an annual conference that they had, and of course, being as close to Glenview as I was in Minneapolis, I could jump in an F9 and be there in about 45 minutes. I took that privilege frequently--maybe too frequently in the eyes of the command down there--but

conference at Glenview with all the detachment commanders, and as many of the squadron commanders as could attend.

Anderson: Well, what did they do, the people at Glenview? I know you are going to get into this a little later on, but at that time, did they establish much in the terms of policy of the things you did at your detachment?

Adams: Yes, they had a full-fledged staff there, and they had an Inspector General who would inspect each detachment annually. They were responsible for the aircraft programming with the

Ma

Navy as far as utilization by Marine Corps squadrons of Navy aircraft was concerned. The Marine Corps did not have any aircraft assigned to them as such. They were assigned to the Naval Air Reserve and flown by us on a share and share alike basis. All the operating funds were provided by MARTCOM and they were also responsible for . . . We were responsible to

rin

eC

or p

when we had a problem, I'd usually go down and see him. But they had an annual commanders'

sH

ist

Anderson: You were required to report to Glenview from time to time. Did they have an annual

or

Adams: From Glenview, yes.

yD

Croft was the commander of Marine air reserve training at that time.

ivi

sio n

Adams - 30 them for the recruiting and retention of reserves and active duty for training periods, all of those things. We were responsible to MARTCOM for everything Marine Corps.

Anderson: What happened after you left Minneapolis?

August of 1958. I had completed a little more than two years at Minneapolis and this was a great

subsequent years than any class in the history of the Air Force. That's what I've been told, and there were some top-notch people there in the Air Force that went on to be four-star generals, quite a few of them. Col Bob Dixon, who wound up as commander of the Tactical Air

a classmate of mine. We had a wonderful time. The Marines there, Johnny Howard and Paul

ground officers there.

Their names escape me right at the moment.

ist

Ashley, Marion Carl, and I were the aviators, and I can't remember, but there were one or two But it was a great

is--but we had some top-notch people from State, the intelligence agencies, several foreign ambassadors, an all-around great spectrum of real talent both in the military and the political fields, foreign service field.

Anderson: Was that a six-month course then?

Command in Paris. I relieved Col Jake Baker over there, who very kindly arranged for me to take over the house that he was living in ______ outside of Paris, which was right near the European Command headquarters at Camp de Loges.

went by way of Minneapolis to visit Katie's parents. When we left to drive to New York, I remember my father-in-law looking at the car with 15 pieces of baggage on top of it and the four

Ma

kids and the dog, he said, "I'm glad you're doing this and not me!" We went to New York and spent a couple of days there and then got aboard the SS United States, which was a luxurious way to go to Europe, got off in Le Havre and drove down to ______ and was greeted there by

rin

We left Maxwell--by this time we had four children and a Labrador Retriever--and we

eC

Adams: No, it was nine months, and upon graduation from that, I was ordered to the European

or p

sH

experience. We were exposed to, as was the practice in those days--I don't know whether it still

or

Command, was there. Ed O'Connor, who wound up as the chief of the Materiel Command, was

yD

experience, also. In retrospect, I think that that class had more general officers commissioned in

ivi

Adams: I was ordered to the Air War College at Maxwell Air Force Base, and that was in

sio n

Adams - 31 Jake Baker and Hattie. They got us established, and that was the beginning of a three-year tour which was another fabulous experience I had in the Marine Corps.

Anderson: Let's switch this thing over, and we'll put some of it on the next side.

End Tape 2/I, Side A Begin Tape 2/I, Side B

Anderson: Was the command you were assigned to in Paris USEuCom?

the same general officer, who was Gen Norstad when I arrived there. He was commander of the

headquarters. They were at a separate compound and had the allied staff with quite a few U.S.

U.S. staff. That was commanded a four-star Army general, Gen Willie B. Palmer, when I arrived. Col Al ______ was his Marine aide at the time, and I've known Al from previous experiences and contacts during various stages of our tours together. We had about, I guess there

sections. Gen Wood Kyle was in the 3 section, Gen John Condon was the deputy 3 to a two-star Army general. He was a brigadier general at that time. They had two or three of us in the 3

2 section after I arrived. I've forgotten who he relieved. But the Marines were well represented in all staff sections except the G-1, and they had a chief of staff to Gen Palmer was rotated among the services, other than the Army. It was either an Air Force general or a Navy admiral.

USNavEur, which was then known as CinCNELM in London, and U.S. Army, Europe and U.S. Air Forces, Europe.

Ma

Gen Palmer addressed all the new officers that came in there and said that as long as the job got done, 50 percent of the people could be on leave. He felt that the opportunity to travel in Europe was something that would be broadening to anyone that cared to take advantage of it. He had

rin

So it was a well-balanced unified command and staff. The components, of course, were the

In '59, when I got there, there really was not too much activity going on at that time and

eC

section, and a couple or three in the military assistance division. Gen Ray Davis was there in the

or p

were 15 or 20 Marine Corps officers on the European Command staff in the various staff

sH

officers and enlisted personnel on the SHAPE staff, but the European Command was strictly a

ist

U. S. European Command and Supreme Allied Commander, Europe or SHAPE, the NATO

or

Adams: Yes, U.S. European Command. This was a U.S. command only. It was commanded by

yD

ivi

sio n

Adams - 32 that policy, encouraged people to take leave as long as they did their job. Marvelous. I had 60 days leave on the books when I got there and at the end of the first year, I had taken 65 days, so I traveled considerably in that first year.

Anderson: Broadening yourself.

Adams: It was. It was a great experience, and we traveled a lot in France, Katie and I did.

property that we lived on. They just adopted our children, and we could get up in the morning and say, "We're going to be gone for three days or a week. The food's in the deep freeze," and Madame and Monsieur ______ would take over from there, and we had no hesitancy about

Our son Rick was in his senior year in high school at Paris American High School that

school where they were two of about twenty English-speaking children in a class of 600 at the

who was less than a year old when we arrived there, learned to speak French before she did English, and when our friends from the United States would come and try to speak French to her, if they couldn't speak French properly, she would respond in French rather than English. Sort of

My father-in-law, Fred Watson, was a great track man at the University of Minnesota in his days, which were in World War I, and he held several Big Ten track records. The Olympics

he wasn't going to be taken in by the Italian innkeepers. He said that the only way they could get accommodations in Italian hotels over there was to send in a deposit for the full amount of the stay and if for some reason some emergency dictated cancellation, there would be no refund of

you to the Olympics. So Katie looked in the Paris edition of the Herald Tribune the next day, and lo and behold here was an ad in the classified section, an embassy representative of our

Ma

embassy in Rome was leaving for two months and offered to rent their apartment. So we telephoned her father right away and said, "You shouldn't have made such a generous offer because you're on. We've got this apartment for three weeks in August in Rome. They came over, and we went to Rome to the Olympics and took our son with us. The girls were pretty

rin

any money. So he wrote to us and said, "If you can find us a place to stay in Rome, we'll take

eC

were going to be in Rome in 1960, and he wrote us and said he had tickets for the Olympics, but

or p

put them down in their own place. But that was a wonderful three years.

sH

school. They became very fluent in French and European history. Our youngest daughter, Judy,

ist

year. Our two daughters, Cathy and Melissa, who were of school age, we put them in a French

or

leaving our kids.

yD

Fortunately, we had a wonderful set up with the French couple that were the caretakers of the

ivi

sio n

Adams - 33 young, so we left them at home, but my son had graduated from Paris American in June. We decided we'd send him to Munich for a little exposure, and so we had him enrolled in the

University of Maryland at Munich. So he went to the Olympics in Rome and from there then went to Munich to commence school. He was there for a year at the University of Maryland and

it was a wonderful experience for him because they had a lot of skiing trips and trips to various

living away from home for the first time. It stood him in good stead when he went to the Naval

But the whole opportunity of being at the European Command headquarters was a very broadening experience for me just having come from a high level school. The first brush that I had with some of the characters of the U.S. Army, Willie B. Palmer was a pretty tough customer.

competitors in the G-3, Tom Wappington, Gen Wappington, and Andy O'Meara, who was the

see how they could impress their subordinate staff officers, including general officers and

Force counterpart, also a brigadier, another deputy of the 3 section, at 11:00 in the morning the day that Gen Wappington was to leave at 2:00 to return to the United States under orders. They were standing at attention in front of Gen Wappington and he says, "I'm still the J-3 of this outfit

my signature," and that was the way they did business. Another interesting experience--Willie B. Palmer was a bachelor. His brother, Charlie

announced to Willie B. that he was going to be married and bring a wife with him and therefore he would need to have some things done to the quarters. The report is that Willie B. called up Charlie Dog and said, "You're going to ruin your whole career. You've already made four stars,

Dog showed up with wife, and they were delightful people. We enjoyed our relationship with them very much. We enjoyed also our relationship with a lot of the SHAPE officers. Several

Ma

people that we met there from the NATO staff became friends.

Anderson: You have . . . you've seen them from time to time since?

rin

but you're going to ruin your whole career if you get married at this point. However Charlie

eC

Dog Palmer, also had been a bachelor, and Charlie Dog was ordered to relieve Willie B. and

or p

until I leave at 1:00 this afternoon. You'd better have that paper back in my desk here ready for

sH

admirals, with their way of obtaining results. I remember being with Gen Condon and his Air

ist

head of the Military Assistance Division, and I think that the three of them competed trying to

or

He was known to tear up briefing papers and throw them at general officers. He had a couple of

yD

Academy the next year.

ivi

places as well as their academic program which was good. I think it was a year of maturing and

sio n

Adams - 34 Adams: Not seen them since, but we enjoyed the relationship very much. We have been back to Europe several times and have always touched base with several of the French families that we got to know in the community there.

Anderson: Do you remember the weekend that John Glenn orbited the earth? that you had a

lieutenant days in Philadelphia, before we got into the war--this was in 1941, about the summer of '41--HMS Furious, a British aircraft carrier came in to the Philadelphia Navy Yard. She was pretty badly beaten up with bomb holes in her deck and general war damage. She'd come in for

the ship while she was under repair, and one of these people was the torpedo officer. He'd been

charge of one of the beaches at Dunkirk during the evacuation. We kept in touch with them

Paris, he and his wife and daughter. The night John Glenn was orbiting the earth, I went out the airport to pick them up, so we were listening to the reports of John's orbit while I was driving Capt Ingram and his wife from Orly Airport to our home, which was quite an experience.

the Berlin Wall in '61. I can remember that all the staff was summoned. I was in the OpCon center and, as a colonel in the Marine Corps, I had the very responsible assignment of holding a

open line of communication between the command center there and the Army headquarters at Stuttgart, I guess it was. And after about four hours, I had to make a head call, and I couldn't get anybody to relieve me because they didn't want to have to hold that damned double E-8

After a short time I was back on there, and I thought that there must be some better way of communicating in this modern day and age. But that was it that day.

Ma

Anderson: That must have been the beginning of the move towards the hot line, wide open all the time.

rin

telephone to their ear with the button depressed, but I finally convinced somebody to relieve me.

eC

double E-8 telephone to my ear continuously trying to keep that button depressed so there was an

or p

Things heated up quite a bit at EuCom of course at the commencement of the building of

sH

several times, and we visited them once in England, and then they came over and visited us in

ist

pretty badly wounded and suffered some after-effects of chemical warfare at Dunkirk. He was in

or

repairs, and they left a skeleton crew. We got well acquainted with the crew that was left with

yD

Adams: Yes, I do. I'd forgotten about that until you mentioned it, but going back to my second

ivi

visitor.

sio n

Adams - 35 Adams: The other thing I remember particularly about the duties at the European Command, I was given a project of developing a readiness reporting system similar to what we might have now in our C-1, -2, -3, and -4 readiness evaluations for, I think that there were 17 countries that

we ran the Military Assistance Program for at the European Command headquarters. Ours wasn't quite as sophisticated as was the Marine Corps in 1983 and in previous years, but there

number of vehicles, and arms, and tanks and everything else that had been disbursed in our

was quite evident that a lot of it that had been given to Portugal wound up down in Angola during the years that that crisis . . . We began to get some very then sophisticated communications equipment. Gen Paul Fontana was in the tank at the JCS there, and we had to

watch in the command center, and there were a good many times I remember I'd be on watch and

National Command Center with a CinC operational readiness check. CinCEur, how do you

future. I found that he would respond . . .

Anderson: The playbacks didn't sound so good.

Adams: Didn't sound so good on the playback, I guess. They did get a lot more organized as far as their operational readiness was concerned.

Anderson: This was pre-MacNamara.

Adams: No, this was during the early years of the MacNamara regime.

Anderson: He came in with Kennedy. Adams: Yes.

Ma

Anderson: That's when things began to get systemized and hard line.

rin

eC

or p

sH

read? and I'd say, "I'm here, Paul. We had to stop that, and I had to be more formal in the

ist

the phone would ring and the voice on the other end would say, "This is Gen Paul Fontana at the

or

be able to respond within two minutes if we were called at the command center. We'd stand

yD

military assistance program. It was quite interesting to try and track some of that stuff, and it

ivi

had been no real readiness evaluation system of the millions and millions of dollars and large

sio n

Adams - 36 Adams: Right. Really didn't have a command center over there until the second year I was there, and then they put in a lot of communications equipment and rehabbed the whole room with security and all the rest. Prior to that, it would be a watch officer in the chief of staff's office. As I say, that was a great tour.

of France. Our fighter-bomber wings moved out of various French airfields to Germany and to Britain and so on. There were a couple of airfields where we had transport type aircraft that remained when I left there, but eventually, of course, the European Command headquarters

knowing that a straight ahead logistic pipeline is likely to be more efficient than one with a great

drastic step, remove themselves from military aspect of NATO.

Adams: Yes. Well, there was no question that this was in Gen De Gaulle's mind. We were

Paris at night, we could hear these plastiques going off and on a couple of occasions they were fairly close to us. People lying around on the street that we saw had been wounded by them.

remember the name of it now, they closed and they'd have barricades up and so forth while all this was going on.

Adams: Well, we never felt threatened in any respect there. I don't think that there was any intent to do any physical harm or to penetrate either the SHAPE headquarters or the European

Ma

Command headquarters. It was more of an internal problem to the French government itself. Norm, I'm going to have to quit, because I've got to get to Richmond.

Anderson: OK. Well, we're . . .

rin

Anderson: So, from that viewpoint, it was sort of a relief, perhaps, to move the headquarters..

eC

Several times there were threats of a takeover and the French airfield near Versailles, I can't

or p

there during the problems they had in Algeria, of course, and almost every time we went into

sH

bend in it because you have to stay out of French territory. They'd be willing to take such a

ist

Anderson: I've always been amazed at the way the French have looked at this thing, of course,

or

wound up going to Stuttgart, I guess two or three years after I left.

yD

Adams: Yes, when we got there, De Gaulle was in the process of getting all tactical U.S. air out

ivi

Anderson: Did you see any foreshadowing of the move of EuCom away from the Paris area?

sio n

Adams - 37

End Tape 2/I, Side B

Anderson: We are now at my home, also in Norfolk. Art, you remember that we were talking about your duty at SHAPE or at EuCom in the Paris area. Would you like to continue your

Norm.

in school, Katie elected to remain there until school was completed in the summer, and I left there in April. At that time, Secretary of Defense MacNamara had deemed that the gold flow problem that was causing economic difficulties for the United States was due in large measure to

their sponsors at the termination of their tour. It took some arranging for me to be able to leave Katie there with the children for them to finish school, but it finally came to pass and she

Following my tour in Paris, I hadn't had an opportunity to fly tactical aircraft. We were flying C-47s out of ______ to get our flight time in. So I was authorized refresher training at the instrument training squadron at El Toro en route to Japan. This lasted about three weeks, and I

wing commander at that time. I spent a couple of days at wing headquarters at Iwakuni for orientation purposes and then was fortunate enough to be assigned as commanding officer of

Ma

Marine Air Group 11 at Atsugi. This probably was one of the greatest tours of duty I had in the Marine Corps. I was

fortunate enough to keep the group under Gen Ev Leek when he relieved Condon after a few months and having two F4D squadrons and a Crusader squadron in that group in the exercises

rin

completed instrument refresher and then went on to the 1st Wing. Gen John Condon was the

eC

remained there in ______ until the children had finished school.

or p

the large number of dependents overseas and had directed that all dependents must return with

sH

I was ordered to the 1st Wing in Japan in the spring of 1962. Because the children were

ist

Adams: Well, I think I've covered pretty well the highlights of that tour during the last session,

or

remarks regarding that tour of duty?

yD

Begin Tape 1/II, Side A

ivi

Begin Session II; 1 November, 1983

sio n
End Session I

Adams - 38 and deployments and carrier quals that we had during that year was just an absolutely super job in a great location. I can remember the first F4D squadron carrier quals was scheduled aboard, I think it was the Constellation, off the southern coast of Japan there. The weather was very bad,

but it wasn't so bad at sea. We kept getting signals, rather sarcastic messages from the skipper of

the ship, Mickey Woessner, who in jest was really pinging on pretty hard about Marines being

some fun with Mickey at a later date regarding his carrier deck not being available when we did

Anderson: Were you operating from Atsugi for that car qual?

interesting. It was an amphibious exercise there at Okinawa, and we moved an echelon of the

the field. But I guess that the real cream of the whole tour was when we were made part of a

fund moving the entire air group from Atsugi to Pingtong north, which is near ______ in the southern part of Taiwan. ______ was the headquarters of the Republic of China Marine Corps and we were very well received by the Chinese Air Force and the Chinese Marine Corps at

at Pingtong North for a total of about 60 days, and we were able to get a couple of the airways closed so that we had live ordnance firing over the water off the southwest coast of Taiwan there.

came back to Atsugi around the first part of May. This gave our pilots some wonderful training and also an opportunity for carrier qualification again. I went aboard with the Crusader squadron off Cubi Point on the Constellation. That was the last carrier qualification I ever had.

Anderson: Well, that's a lot better than I did. I tried the car qual when I was with MAG-11 in a Ford, and I made about five passes, blew some tires, and retired to Atsugi and made a landing

Ma

into the forest.

Adams: LtCol Charlie Crew had the Crusader squadron, and Charlie had established a fantastic safety record. He was really nervous about me flying aboard with them because he was just

rin

eC

We shot up the whole balance of the ordnance for the rest of the fiscal year at that time, and

or p

Pingtong. The exercise lasted only a couple, three weeks, but we were given permission to stay

sH

landing exercise in Taiwan, and I was fortunate enough to get enough money from the wing to

ist

group headquarters to live in the field out at Camp Hansen and set up operational headquarters in

or

Adams: Yes. There was another exercise in Okinawa that fall, fall of '62, which was also very

yD

get there, but it was a lot of fun and the forward squadron did get aboard in good shape.

ivi

unable to fly in foul weather and so on, but the airfield was really closed in. I remember having

sio n

Adams - 39 certain that someone of my vintage would probably spoil that safety record, but I was lucky enough not to have any mishaps so he breathed a big sigh of relief when that was over with, I am sure.

Anderson: Was this an angled deck?

Adams: Yes, angled deck carrier. I left Atsugi and MAG-11, I think it was in May of '63, and

We packed up and headed for Washington. Unbeknownst to me, the zone for the selection of brigadier generals had been extended during my transit time, and I was included in the zone for selection to brigadier general, but I didn't realize it until I got to Washington and the board was

course, when I was.

Shoup, then the Commandant, to make my call on him and to receive my official assignment as

estate and his instructions to me were to go up to the third deck, second corridor, find my office and go to work. I wasn't to "make an acknowledgement to the press or to state anything to the press without checking with Smith, and my name is Smith. About face, march out. And that

At that time, the television series titled "The Lieutenant" was being prepared. Some of the first segments had been released, and it was pretty sorry in my estimation, but the Marine

Information was spent in the Pentagon reviewing the rough cuts of the segments of the television series. I was appalled at some of the things that were being portrayed in these rough cuts and made some very strong recommendations, but very soon learned that the television industry,

and it was too late for any script or scene changes. So, my face is pretty red on some of the initial segments of "The Lieutenant. But we weathered that one pretty well, and in some

Ma

respects people felt it was a good documentary of the Marine Corps as seen from the eyes of a young officer.

rin

when they said rough cut, it meant that they were just going to polish the final product a little bit

eC

Corps had committed themselves to technical assistance, so my first week as Director of

or p

was the substance of my first exposure as the Director of Information.

sH

the Director of Information. As everyone knows, Gen Shoup referred to the media as the fourth

ist

Then I was told I was going to be the Director of Information, so I walked into Gen

or

already in session. I had no expectation of being selected, but was very pleasantly surprised, of

yD

went back to Minneapolis where Katie and the children had been living while I was in Japan.

ivi

sio n

Adams - 40 Anderson: viewpoint? Were you the responsible reviewing authority for that from the Marine Corps

Adams: Yes, but as I said, by the time they had these rough cuts (as they put it) in the can, why there was very, very little that could be done as far as changing them because the film had

them to be shown.

getting acquainted with some of the media representatives, the AP and UPI and television people, was when we were beginning to get into the Vietnam affair. Gen Chesty Puller had written Gen Shoup a very strong personal letter regarding our involvement in Vietnam and said

divisions, supporting air, he'd clean out that whole mess right away. I was given the job of

personally edited, and I think he wondered what he had in the way of a Director of Information

were too many political implications to acknowledge and recognize Chesty Puller's solution to the problem. But I think that that occupied about six weeks of my time almost entirely in trying to get that project put to bed.

Adams: Yes.

Anderson: Did he play a really significant role in Shoup's decisions?

Adams:

Gen Shoup's evaluation of the importance of Marine Corps information objectives and the public relations program. It was only about a five-month period when Gen Shoup was Commandant

Ma

and then of course was replaced by Gen Greene as Commandant in January of 1964. I'll never forget that one. This occurred in late December, about mid-December I guess, I was summoned to Gen Greene's office about 10:00 in the morning, and he said, "This is top secret information but I am going to be announced as the next Commandant of the Marine Corps at 11:00 in the

rin

recommendations. However, Gen Greene very quickly made it clear to me that he did not share

eC

Yes, he was . . . Gen Shoup, I think, was very receptive to Gen Greene's

or p

Anderson: Well, now, at this point Gen Greene was chief of staff.

sH

who couldn't make a satisfactory reply to Gen Chesty Puller. It was finally put to rest that there

ist

replying to Chesty on this. I think there was about 14 drafts that I wrote that Gen Shoup

or

that the only way that we should go in there was to order him back to active duty, give him two

yD

I guess the next significant event after getting my feet wet as Director of Information and

ivi

already been shot. It was only with great difficulty that we were able refuse to permit a couple of

sio n

Adams - 41 Secretary of the Navy's office. Meet me there. I said, "Is there anything I can prepare for you in the way of a statement? He said, "No, I've taken care of all that myself.

So I went over to SecNav's office and Fred Korth was then Secretary of the Navy, and he came in. They assembled all of the press in his office; there were about, I guess, 30

representatives in his office. It was very crowded, television crews had set up their cameras and

"Gentlemen, I am pleased to present to you the next Commandant of the Marine Corps, General

and predicted that he would be a very fine Commandant.

The immediate question from the press was "General, what are your objectives for the Marine Corps? And I was dumbfounded to hear Gen Greene say, "Well, I think one of the first

to Africa or any trouble spot in the world in very short order. Everybody started looking around

the art in the next few years, and we might even foresee putting Marines into limited orbit for

he said, "I'm sorry, gentlemen, I'll have to give you more information on this later because I have another appointment now," and they left. I was the subject of about 30 immediate questions from 30 different television and newspaper and magazine correspondents, and I said the same

was able to get out from that. But believe me, there were some tough questions that came from that one. Then, of course, the United States got into the Vietnam situation with our Marines

other far-reaching objectives.

But the whole change in the picture of the Marine Corps headquarters and Gen Greene's views of the importance of good relations with the press and the public became very apparent

definitely felt that this was an important aspect of creating a proper Marine Corps image in the eyes of the American public. Maj Bob Morissey became his speech writer and traveled with Gen

Ma

Greene wherever he made a speech, and I went with him on several occasions for the important ones. We started regenerating the Marine Corps Combat Correspondents Association and found that, while it had been rather dormant for several years under Gen Shoup, that there was a wellspring of real talent on both coasts. With their assistance, we established Marine Corps

rin

immediately upon his assuming his post as Commandant of the Marine Corps, because he very

eC

landing at Da Nang and that more or less superceded any interest in rockets to Africa or any

or p

thing, "I'll have to get with you later, gentlemen, I have an appointment with Gen Greene," so I

sH

placement and invasion from rockets. Well, there were a few more questions like that and then

ist

at each other, and they made some further questions. He said, "Well, this is within the state of

or

things we are going to do is prepare streamlined battalions and put them in rockets so they can go

yD

Wallace M. Greene, Jr. He gave a very brief background of Gen Greene's Marine Corps career

ivi

so forth. I was standing back by the door, and Mr. Korth brought in Gen Greene, and he said,

sio n

Adams - 42 information clinics in both New York and Los Angeles for the next several years. I think that this stood us in very good stead when we got into manning the Combat Information Center in

Vietnam. It was just tremendous support for the Marine Corps in all of the reserve and the

members of the Marine Corps Combat Correspondents Association. Col Bob Kriendler, who was part owner of the 21 Club in New York, sponsored several affairs up there in New York,

same was true on the west coast with several of the people out there in Los Angeles and southern

Dick Stark, who has continued to serve in the Marine Corps Reserve as a radio spot announcer, developing spots for the Reserve recruiting service. It was a real pleasure to work with these people because they were so dedicated.

With the tremendous commitment that was devoted by the Marine Corps to the Vietnam

requests sometimes from Gen Lew Walt when he was CG, III MAF for information, and to try

Anderson: How about an example of that.

There wasn't any great example that comes to mind immediately, but there were just several things that he would get with the press out there and was very accurate in his assessment of

back up in Washington relating to body count and a few things like that, and also, I think, during Khe Sanh, there was an occasion there where I think he made some comment about the ability of the North Vietnamese to monitor the glide slope of the GCA going in there. This was really

for the aviators with their ability to vary their approach above or below the glide slope knowing that if they were on the glide slope, they were going to get shot at pretty accurately. But there

Ma

were several things like that I think we had to cover up for and flesh out if they were favorable. I enjoyed the job there in Washington as the Director of Information. There was one

rather amusing incident that I'd like to relate here just for, I guess you might say, Headquarters Marine Corps fun and games that still occurred at that time. Gen Fields was the Director of

rin

something that shouldn't have been released, but he mentioned it anyway and with great praise

eC

things. But quite frequently there would be things he would say to them that we would have to

or p

Adams: Well, I'm trying to think of a specific, Norm, and they kind of escape me right now.

sH

and flesh out and substantiate reports he was making in Vietnam.

ist

operation and establishment of the III MAF in country, we used to have some pretty hairy

or

yD

California. I just never will forget the fine support and very qualified talent, people like Col

ivi

where we had a Marine Corps information office with a lieutenant colonel in charge, and the

sio n

Adams - 43 Personnel, and in the Headquarters there, in the lobby, there were usually some Marine Corps exhibits that were placed in there showing the historical importance of historical events to the

Marine Corps. At one time there was . . . Several of the general officers had been itchy to get to Vietnam, so they'd been going in to see Gen Fields regarding a future assignment in Vietnam and

he'd say, "Absolutely not. Don't bother me or you'll never get a transfer out of here. Well, one

model horse displayed in the lobby.

around the corner from mine, he came to me one day, and he said, "We've got to put a little levity in this outfit. Will you meet me down here on Sunday, and we'll have something for Gen Fields when he comes to work Monday morning? Some emergency arose, and I couldn't make it, but

horse into his office, and put a sign around his neck saying, "How do you get a transfer out of

this and suspected that there were some general officers involved. I don't think he called in the

Thrash was the executor. We had a lot of fun over that. I also remember one occasion when I was the duty general officer at Headquarters. One of the assignments of the duty general was to escort the Commandant with a message book

Gen Greene had left . . . was leaving for a visit to Vietnam. There had been quite a serious firefight between the VC and the Marines, I think it was up in the Hai Van pass area someplace,

riding in the sedan out to Andrews Air Force Base, he became very upset as he read the messages on this. I remember him saying to me, "Where in the hell was the air? I don't see anything about air support in here, and I'm going to look into that when I get out there. I don't

indication that air was ever called for, and I recommend that you determine as a part of your investigation whether anyone actually called for air. He said, "I'll do that. When you and I will

Ma

see each other again, if they called for air, and it wasn't there, you're in trouble. So when he got back, he called me into his office, and he said, "Art, you are absolutely correct. No one ever thought of calling for air, and I changed a few things out there in that regard of coordination between air and ground.

rin

know why our aviators can't provide support. I said to him, "Well, Gen Greene, I see no

eC

and the results were rather disastrous for the Marine Corps. He was very upset about this, and

or p

whenever he left for a visit somewhere. I happened to be the duty general one morning when

sH

FBI, but it finally turned out that he learned that Adams and Thrash were the perpetrators, but

ist

this outfit? Monday morning when Gen Fields showed up, he was astounded, of course, to see

or

Gay and his son showed up down there and got the keys to Gen Fields' office. They moved the

yD

Gen Gay Thrash, who was then the Legislative Liaison Officer, and his office was right

ivi

of the exhibits was related to the days of the old Horse Marines, and they had a full-sized scale

sio n

Adams - 44

Anderson: Do you remember the time frame of that visit of Gen Greene's?

Adams: No, I can't pin it down, Norm. It was fairly early on. Well, it would have to be in '65, I think, or early '66, because I left DivInfo in '66, and it was not too long after the Marines got into

was put into operation, but I can't remember specifically. But to me, it did indicate the need for

Anderson: It certainly indicated Gen Greene's ability to penetrate to the heart of a problem and come back with a good solution.

Adams: That's right. Well, I don't remember anything specifically other than that about my tour

lot of interference with your freedom of action?

Adams: Yes. Arthur Sylvester was the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Public Affairs at that

Navy Department position including the Marine Corps. I enjoyed very much his willingness to consider the Marine Corps position on just about everything that came up that had to be

relationship with him.

There was one other thing that I just thought of, in connection with the Marine Corps Band participation in the Tournament of Roses. The Department of Defense under Sylvester and

being recognized or participating as an individual service. So Mr. Sylvester announced at one meeting (we used to have weekly meetings with him with all of the chiefs of information) that

Ma

the Tournament of Roses parade was coming up and that in the past the Marine Corps had a band that was the lead element in the parade, and that they had received a request for the Marine Corps Band to participate, but their reply was that it would be an all-service band with

representatives from the Marine Corps, from the Army, and the Navy and the Air Force bands. I

rin

under MacNamara, of course, was very much dedicated to elimination of any particular service

eC

presented to the Secretary of the Navy. Then Adm Bill Mack relieved him, and we had the same

or p

time. Adm McCain was ChInfo when I got in there, and he was very aware of the necessity of a

sH

Anderson: What about the coordination of info from the Department of Defense? Was there a

ist

as DivInfo.

or

yD

greater coordination of supporting arms for our ground Marines.

ivi

Vietnam in strength there when this occurred. I think that it was just about the time that Chu Lai

sio n

Adams - 45 reported this back to Gen Greene, and he said, "Get hold of your contacts on the west coast, and our position is that the Marine Corps Band will continue to participate if invited, but we will not participate if the Marine Corps Band cannot continue as a single entity."

So I called a couple of people up on the west coast and told them to get next to the Tournament of Roses people out there, and so when they got this reply from Arthur Sylvester,

invited that will lead the parade." So that sort of got around a few of those problems. There was

Wallow. Mr. Sylvester, under the direction of Mr. MacNamara, had said that the Marine Corps Band could not participate as such, and it would have to be a four-service affair as far as the musical presentation and the script and so on. Of course, the Marine Corps had been doing this

the Marine Corps will not be responsible for the Carabao Wallow this year," and Mr. Sylvester

interrupted him and said, "Mr. Sylvester, you tell Secretary MacNamara that the Marine Corps

and at that, he hung up. In a few minutes, Mr. Sylvester called back and said, "I'd like to speak to the Commandant," and Gen Greene would not accept the call. So I don't know how they sorted it out, but I guess Mr. Sylvester had to make amends to the SecDef for the fact that the

rather some pointed remarks in a song or two I think that were written, a few lyrics about this, which made it very clear to everyone that there had been a little tiff there but it had been resolved

We were always having to fight for Marine Corps recognition. This was, of course, during the time also when Mr. MacNamara, through Sylvester, put the muzzle on all service speeches, and there wasn't a speech that could be given without prior approval of the Secretary of

Commandant was going to use, and it would come back all red-lined and everything. But it always seemed to arrive too late for the Commandant to make changes in the speech, and he

Ma

pretty much disregarded that and went on his own, which got him in trouble a couple of times with the Secretary of Defense. But he seemed to weather that pretty well because, in all cases, he was giving information that was straight from the shoulder and factual, where it was trying to be watered down by some of the editors at the SecDef level.

rin

Defense through his Public Affairs Office.

eC

in favor of the Marine Corps.

or p

Marine Corps Band was going to participate at the Carabao Wallow. They did, and there were

sH

Band is going to participate, and we're going to run the Carabao Wallow as we have in the past,"

ist

said, "Yes, that's correct, Gen Greene.

We feel . . ." and at that point the Commandant

or

for years and years, so Gen Greene called Mr. Sylvester and he said, "I've just been informed that

Quite frequently we'd send a speech the

yD

a similar incident when they had the Gridiron Club, not the Gridiron Club but the Carabao

ivi

their response was, "If the Marine Corps Band does not participate as invited, there'll be no band

sio n

Adams - 46

Anderson: Wally Greene certainly had the right idea.

Adams: He had great fortitude and he wasn't afraid of anybody.

Anderson: Yes, that's right. I guess he's still the same way. Well, that's mighty interesting. I

pertinent also.

Adams: Well, I wonder today, since the new car decals have come out for issue to everybody this year, they are now Department of Defense decals, of course, and I don't who was responsible. Did this start under Gen Barrow or I'm sure it probably did because of the time, it

DOD decal with a little strip underneath identifying the installation for which the decal is issued,

square with the Marine Corps emblem and the number of stars for the general officer active or

the same fight's still going on and always will.

Anderson: I really am delighted at the marks P. X. Kelley is making. Tremendous. Well, we're

Adams: That's right. I was ordered to Marine Air Reserve Training Command to relieve Gen

Corps as a reserve and had a tour of duty in Minneapolis as the head of the reserve air detachment there, I felt that this was an opportunity for me to take advantage of my background. I also felt that the Marine Corps Reserve proved to be in World War II, of course, and again in

welcomed the opportunity to go there as the commanding general. I think we had about 21 detachments around the country, and it was an objective of mine to visit every detachment during

Ma

the first year that I had the command. I think I succeeded in most of those, although there were some I didn't get to until the second year. But, the opportunity to work with these people and to realize the fine talent that existed there and the dedication that existed there in our Reserve was really very heartwarming.

rin

Korea, a great supporting arm for the Marine Corps as a whole, both aviation and ground. So I

eC

Hugh Elwood in, I guess it was in June of '66. Since I had had my initiation into the Marine

or p

now at the, what, about 1966.

sH

retired to try and offset this inroad of the identity of the services by automobile decals. I guess

ist

that the Marine Corps has come out with this very fine, bright red decal, about three inches

or

was so soon after his relief by Gen Kelley. But the thought occurred to me that since its now a

yD

ivi

think those remarks about the relationship between your office and higher authority are very

sio n

Adams - 47 One of the things that I think Gen Greene authorized, which was an important part, was the recognition of the Marine Corps family as such, and that extended to the Reserve. He was a

great believer in the fact that wives and families of Marines were very important, and he therefore authorized me to take Katie with me on any trip where I thought she would be an asset.

She made many, many trips with me to visit the various detachments and to speak with the wives

I considered a successful tour.

commanders came to Glenview, and they would bring the fruits of their region; salmon from Seattle, elk from Denver, and shrimp from New Orleans, and oysters from the east coast, and we had a fantastic spread there that the detachment commanders brought the food for, and the

of the detachment commanders would bring their own wives with them, although at their own

think that the air reserve, Marine Air Reserve. . . .

sH

Begin Tape 1/II, Side B

Anderson: Go ahead with your idea about the Marine Air Reserve.

occurred during what I considered a successful tour at MARTCOM, was in part due to the things, the social events I just described.

and also one of the first things people would see when they came into the conference was something that was blazoned in neon lights. What was that?

Ma

Adams: Well, that's a sort of an aside of some interest. We had an old family friend, Mr. and Mrs. Jay O'Dell that lived at McHenry, Illinois, which was about an hour from Glenview. Their son, Dave, was an Air Force pilot on duty in Washington, and he would, about once or month or

rin

Anderson: Well, I remember very distinctly hearing of some of these conferences that were held

eC

Adams: Well, as I was observing, I think the improvement in the Marine Air Reserve, which

or p

ist

expense, because they weren't authorized to provide government air for them at that level. But I

or

stewards in our quarters prepared. Those were affairs I don't think anybody will forget. A few

yD

The other thing we did was, we had an annual conference where all detachment

End Tape 1/II, Side A

ivi

of the Reserves. They welcomed her with open arms and I think it was a significant part of what

sio n

Adams - 48 so, call and say, "What's for dinner tonight? I'm flying in to Glenview to get my four hours flight time in." We'd call his parents, and they would come in, and Katie would have dinner for them.

It was a nice reunion for us, old family friends, and also an opportunity to rib Dave a little bit about having to subsist off the Marine Corps as an Air Force pilot. Well, he and his father, after several of the occasions, decided they should recognize the hospitality at the Adams' quarters.

sign that they had prepared. It said, "Katie's Fly Inn," and they felt that this should be displayed

yards off the runway, so that it could be plainly seen from the runway by landing aircraft when it was illuminated. So, they gave this to us, and I indicated that when Dave flew in there, if he was welcome, the "Fly Inn" sign would be on. If it was not on, he would know that we were not in

became a rather famous sign, I guess, not only at Glenview but later on at El Toro and several

Adams: Yes, on occasion. Unfortunately, the sign has been broken now, and I have got to get it repaired before we can get it back in commission. Adm Dick Fowler, who was the chief of

have the tower call quarters and have them turn the sign on so he knew when he was near the end of the runway, he said. If we didn't respond properly, why, I was immediately called and put on

good purpose in the relationship of the Naval Air Reserve Commander as well as the Marine Air Reserve people.

relationships with a lot of folks. Hospitality is the name of the game as far as the two of you are concerned.

Ma

Adams: Well, you're very kind, Norm. That's Katie's wellspring there. She's far more adept at that than I, but she has been a tremendous asset to me in many ways, including her warmth and hospitality to people.

rin

Anderson: I think that that sign is a good illustration of the way you and Katie improved, aided

eC

report for risking the proper landing of the chief of Naval Air Reserve Training. So it served a

or p

Naval Air Reserve Training at that time, picked this up, so every time he was approaching, he'd

sH

Anderson: I've seen it displayed here at Norfolk, as a matter of fact.

ist

other places that we were at.

or

residence and unavailable to provide support in the way of dinner and entertainment. Well, that

yD

on the outside of the house facing the runway. The quarters at Glenview are about, I guess, 150

ivi

So there was a large box that arrived at the house one day, and we opened it, and it was a neon

sio n

Adams - 49 I think that one of the significant things that developed during my tour as MARTCOM was the decision to transform the reserve, both air and ground, into the 4th Marine Air Wing/4th Marine Division organization. Here again, Gen Greene backed this very strongly, and we were given budget support to provide identified logistics for aviation, and I am sure that the same was

true of ground. But we even had an officer at the Naval Aviation Supply Center in Philadelphia

Reserve, which was, of course, a lot of spare parts and so on. The commissioning of the 4th

colors of the 4th Marine Air Wing. It was a significant step, I think, in the formulation of a more cohesive reserve organization, both air and ground. Of course, that's gone on forward, and the 4th Marine Air Wing is now being equipped, as it has in the past, with more modern aircraft, and

is in support of the ground.

Anderson: Yes, it could well have been the model for what is now called the total force concept,

Adams: I think that about sums up my tour at MARTCOM. I, of course, had hoped to get a shot at a tour in Vietnam when I was due to leave MARTCOM, but in '68 Gen Chapman, then

Wing at El Toro. There was a requirement for Gen Quilter to get to Vietnam before I could relieve him, so then Gen Jim Feeley, then the Assistant Wing Commander, was assigned as

mentioned earlier and whom I respected a great deal for his career in the Marine Corps, particularly the way he had performed after his tour of duty in North Korea during the Korean War, was the commanding general of the air station and bases on the west coast. We moved into

transPacing them in addition to operating the training squadrons at Yuma. The entire year that I

Ma

had the wing was just about 100 percent devoted to that. As I remember, we transPaced some 375 aircraft either as replacements or as squadrons going into country during that year. This was done, of course, with the support of the C-130 refuelers, and the fact that we didn't ever lose an aircraft en route was I think very significant. Col Bill Beach was the squadron commander, and

rin

quarters next to Gay and Virginia, and I think that we had a great team going there at El Toro. The wing at that time was primarily involved in preparing squadrons to go in country and

eC

interim commander of the wing until I arrived in late summer of '68. Gen Gay Thrash, whom I'd

or p

Commandant, ordered me to relieve Gen Quilter as commanding general of the 3d Marine Air

sH

where the reserves, the National Guard are incorporated into all planning at the DOD level.

ist

or

I think it's considered a significant part of the aviation structure, just as the 4th Marine Division

yD

Marine Air Wing as such occurred at an evening parade at 8th and Eye where I accepted the

ivi

that identified our portion of the aviation reserve provided by the Navy for the Marine Air

sio n

Adams - 50 he did a fantastic job on every one of those transPacs. I was very grateful to him for the fine support that he provided, because that was the big thing for the wing that year.

The opportunity to be on the west coast again was certainly enjoyable, and we were invited to participate in many community affairs through the courtesy of Gen Mugs Reilly, who

was retired and living in Orange County, very prominent in industry and in the Orange County

the Marine Air Reserve squadrons performing active duty at El Toro was also a follow-on from

United States there training at El Toro which gave me an opportunity to assist in the readiness of the Marine Air Reserve as well as conduct the operations of the wing.

Correspondents Association.

Adams: Yes, there were several occasions there . . . I can remember one occasion where we

that the Combat Correspondents were involved in that also. Gen Jay Hubbard, then the Director of Information, was out to run the show on that one. Jay, who is a raconteur of the highest order, of course, was holding forth and put on a great program, in which he added some humor just

platform and said, "Don't ever invite me to follow Jay Hubbard again or I won't come!" There were many occasions like that that were really enjoyable. I guess probably the summation of

the Thrash-Adams combination, so in the summer of 1969, Gay Thrash left to take over the 1st Wing in Vietnam, and about a week later I had my change of command and was detached for duty in Korea as the senior member of the United Nations Armistice Commission at Panmunjom.

hoping that following my tour in Korea that I would get a shot at relieving him. Even though this United Nations tour was only six months, I hoped that maybe I could be put some place until

Ma

I could relieve Gay after his tour or a year or 14 months. Gen Chapman very kindly authorized Katie to go with me, since it was a six-month unaccompanied tour, providing she could travel

Space A. Of course in those days you could get on a Space A list with dependents 30 days ahead of time so that with a little flexibility in my arrival date in Seoul, Korea, why we were able to

rin

I was pleased to see that Gay was given the wing, with which he did a great job, but again, I was

eC

this, the community there in Orange County and Los Angeles could only stand about a year of

or p

prior to introducing Bob Hope, who was to be the guest speaker. And Bob Hope came to the

sH

were at, I think it was a Marine Corps Reserve Officers Association annual dinner, and I think

ist

or

Anderson:

You probably re-established contact with a lot of your friends in the Combat

yD

my tour at Glenview, and there were several occasions when we had squadrons from all over the

ivi

political affairs. So, all in all, it was a very fine tour. The opportunity to be the host for some of

sio n

Adams - 51 arrange for Katie to go with me. I also took our two youngest daughters with me; Judy, who was still in elementary school at that time, and Melissa, who was enrolled at the University of

Denver. I thought it would be an interesting experience for Melissa to come with us, so we transPaced through Hawaii to Tokyo and spent a couple or three days in Tokyo, and then went

on to Korea. Melissa returned later in time to go to school at the University of Denver, her

six-month tour in Korea and attended the American School there in Seoul.

Department and the Joint Chiefs of Staff. They had an admiral, whom I had known before, that was on the Joint Staff, Adm Spin Epps, and I spent a considerable amount of time with him and with several other people who had preceded me in those jobs, both Army and Navy flag and

there in that assignment, and while I didn't have a chance to speak with Joe personally, I had

the Army, had also been a predecessor of mine in that assignment in Panmunjom, and I had

briefings at State were quite interesting because the EC-121 had been shot down by the North Koreans over the Sea of Japan in April of that year, and the senior member of the Armistice Commission at that time, an Air Force major general, had been instructed to walk out of the

do. So there hadn't been a meeting of the Armistice Commission from April of '69 until I arrived, and State instructed me to re-establish the Armistice Commission meetings and

Commission procedures and the functions of the Armistice Commission as a result of the walk-out in April.

One of the first things that I did was to request a meeting of the Armistice Commission

Korea and also U.S. Forces, Korea, and he was a tremendous individual. A great tactician, a great scholar, just a brilliant individual, and he had been there for some time, so I relied heavily

Ma

on his guidance as to how to proceed. Even though I was the gent actually at the table at Panmunjom, why, Gen Bonesteel was very supportive, although not restrictive in any way other than to ensure that the presentations that I made were reviewed by him for policy matters, not in substance particularly.

rin

about a week after I got there. Gen Bonesteel was the CG of the United Nations Command in

eC

procedures as soon as I could there. They did not want to be accused of wrecking the Armistice

or p

meeting with the North Koreans at that time unless they apologized, which of course they did not

sH

known him, of course, from that Director of Information job, so he was very helpful. The

ist

many telephone conversations with him. Gen Woodard, who was the chief of information for

or

general officers. Gen Joe Butcher had been the last Marine general officer prior to my being

yD

Prior to going to this assignment, I had to go to Washington for a briefing by the State

ivi

second year there. The experience for her was tremendous, and Judy remained with us for our

sio n

Adams - 52 So the first meeting was scheduled about 10 days after I arrived, and part of the Armistice setup in Korea at the time of the Armistice was to establish a Neutral Nation Supervisory Commission. On the UN side, the Swiss and the Swedes were the representatives; on the North

Korean side, the Czechs and the Poles. The Neutral Nation Supervisory Commission really served no useful function other than a means of exchanging information. Their initial mission

armistice. But after about nine months after the armistice, the North Koreans disclaimed any

Neutral Nations Supervisory Commission, it was really only a function that they performed, and the North Koreans, of course, withheld as much information from them as they could as to the actual order of battle that they had.

of the demilitarized zone, which was about two miles from the Panmunjom site itself, but the

The Czech and Pole camp was in North Korea about three or four miles beyond the demilitarized

representative who we knew were intelligence agents, but they had been given military rank as major generals in their services for the purpose of this. The Swiss and the Swedes had similar people, oh not necessarily intelligence representatives, they were given rank as major generals.

the senior member of the Armistice Commission at functions at the Swiss-Swede camp at Panmunjom. Of course, the senior member was never permitted to go into the North Korean

occasion invited, under very close supervision, to go to the Czech and the Pole's camp, and some occasions to go into Pyongyang under extremely close supervision of the North Koreans. The Czechs and the Poles would always come and observe the meetings of the Armistice

held, as did the Swiss and the Swedes. Quite frequently there were observers from both sides and the press also attended, and the opportunity for the exchange of some intelligence

Ma

information was always a possibility. So that good relations between the members of the Neutral Nations Supervisory Commission was very important to us. The North Koreans did not afford the Czechs and the Poles very good support in the way

of accommodations or food or movies or other recreational facilities so that the Czechs and the

rin

Commission through the windows that were on both sides of the hut in which the meetings were

eC

side, where the Czechs and the Poles were. But the Swiss and the Swede representatives were on

or p

The communication between the Czechs and the Poles and the Swiss and the Swedes included

sH

zone, the north edge of the demilitarized zone. The Czechs and the Poles had each designated a

ist

Swiss and the Swede camp was right at the Panmunjom site or about 500 yards away from it.

or

In any event, the United Nations Command had an advanced camp on the southern edge

yD

responsibility for that, and so although the monitoring of the order of battle still went on by the

ivi

was to monitor the order of battle and to ensure that there weren't any violations of that after the

sio n

Adams - 53 Poles were always very happy to come down into the Swiss-Swede camp, and we invited them on some occasions into our advance camp on the southern edge of the DMZ there. But, every time they left the Panmunjom site itself, and drove down the road towards the advance camp, we

knew that the North Korean sentries would telephone Pyongyang immediately and advise them that the Czech and Polish representatives were going down to the American camp, the United

suspicious of what went on there, of course (and rightfully so), and they would be harassed to

of occasions for an introductory luncheon which my predecessor held for me at the advanced camp and with the Neutral Nations Supervisory Commission members, and they came down at our invitation and spent Thanksgiving dinner with us. Those were about the only two occasions.

much suspicion on the part of the North Koreans.

facilities for the Swiss and the Swedes. They had a residence in Seoul, but they spent a

very fine chefs. It used to be a competition to see who could own the most gourmet type meals, which we all participated in and enjoyed to a great extent. They would have a dinner about once a month in which the Swiss and the Swedes entertained the Czechs and the Poles.

the Swiss-Swede camp for a luncheon.

or p

I'd like to back up a minute here. Just before the first meeting, Katie and I were invited to This was a day or two after the luncheon I had

mentioned earlier, where my predecessor entertained at the advance camp, and this was my first

of the Swiss and Swede representatives were also present at this luncheon, which they hosted in . . . also the wives of the Czechs and the Poles were visiting them that time. It was during the summer months and fairly comfortable in their meager accommodations. But it gave the first

and the senior member, myself, and our wives. The luncheon was a very beautiful one, and I was aware that I would probably be

Ma

approached by the Czech and Pole representatives since we had broken the ice, so to speak, at our first luncheon. Gen _____, who was the Czech representative, was a very outgoing,

gregarious individual, and he introduced me to his wife and said, "Do you like vodka?" I said, "Yes, I like vodka." He said, "Do you like Russian vodka?" and I said, "Sure, Russian vodka is

rin

opportunity for social exchange of ideas between the Neutral Nations Supervisory Commission

eC

opportunity to meet Gen ______ and Gen _____, the Czech and Pole representatives. The wives

sH

considerable amount of time and each had their own little camp at Panmunjom, including two

ist

The United Nations, particularly supported by the United States, provided outstanding

or

However, they could go into the Swiss-Swede camp at Panmunjom with regularity and without

yD

some extent by the North Koreans when they got back there. They did come down on a couple

ivi

Nations camp. They didn't want to do this very often because the North Koreans were very

sio n

Adams - 54 fine. It's a very fine vodka." He said, "Do you like caviar?" and I said, "Certainly, caviar is a very fine dish." And I thought no more of it, I thought this was small talk. But I'll relate this a little later in my recitation here. But that was a very fine meeting, and immediately, Katie's winning ways with all of the people that met her there, it was very apparent, and again that will come into play as I describe it later on.

site to look over the meeting building or the other places there, the Neutral Nation Supervisory

by the North Koreans on their side and by the UN on our side. So, I took Katie into the meeting room, and we had a lieutenant colonel, Army type, who was the duty officer there in the UN side building, and I took Katie into the meeting room, and the duty officer was showing us around. It

that I was coming. So they immediately assembled some photographers and started to take

there immediately started a big fight on the outside between North Korean guards and the UN

And he said, "They claimed that you would not pose for pictures." So I said, "I'll take care of that if you can get them under control out there." Well, getting them under control was not the name of the game. The North Koreans wanted to use this as an excuse for a confrontation, so

rakes and pickaxes and hammers, and there was quite a fight going on in there. They called up some reserves from the advance camp on our side, and it was quite evident that this was a major

offering myself for photographs, all the photographs they want to take." I did so, and this didn't stop anything. By that time, the fight was really going on. So we got Katie out a side door and into the sedan. By that time the reinforcements had arrived from the advance camp and things

happened, and then to be sure they didn't claim that they had no opportunity to photograph me, after the luncheon I went drove throughout the entire Panmunjom area, so that they could take

Ma

photographs, so they wouldn't claim there was any action on my part to prevent them from photographing me. That was a pretty serious affair. It was one of the biggest confrontations between the

North Koreans and the UN people at Panmunjom there in a good many years. And I regretted it

rin

were quieting down. We had control again. So we went on up to the luncheon as if nothing had

eC

confrontation. So I told Col Terry, "I'll go out and do what I can to quiet this affair down by

or p

they called out some of their gardeners, so-called, that were armed with weapons as well as with

sH

guards, which were U.S. Army. I turned to the duty officer and asked, "What's the problem?"

ist

pictures of us. Katie and I walked out of the meeting room over to the duty officer's building and

or

was immediately apparent that this was a surprise to the North Koreans. They had no indication

yD

Commission meeting building and the other things, the propaganda displays that were portrayed

ivi

Just prior to this luncheon, I had decided to . . . I had not been into the actual Panmunjom

sio n

Adams - 55 afterwards because there were a couple of soldiers that were pretty badly beaten and injured. But I guess it put the North Korean side on notice that I would be available for anything that was in the interest of the Armistice Commission.

After the first meeting, which was held, as I indicated, about 10 days after I got there, this was rather just a formality. They made a couple of accusations, and we indicated our side

before the Armistice Commission. It wasn't really any substance to that meeting, other than to

four or five days later, there was a warrant officer, an Army helicopter pilot, who was going to give his new commanding officer, a captain, a tour of the DMZ by helicopter, so he could become familiar with the area. They took off on one of the most beautiful days I've ever seen. It

approached the estuary of the Han River, he confused it some way with another landmark and

could go along for the ride. They were in a little Bell, open bubble-type Bell helicopters that

They were attempting to communicate by radio, and their radio reports indicated that they were in North Korea and were being shot at. Their last transmission was, "We're going down." So we knew that they were up there someplace. We also had some indication from their

quarters and went to the command post immediately, and we attempted to determine what we could from the Army aviation command what had happened. It soon became apparent that they

afternoon, high level reconnaissance flights, but there wasn't anything that could be seen. So I sent a message to my counterpart in North Korea, indicating that one of our helicopters had been on a routine flight and apparently had become disoriented and had been shot down some place in

they had been wounded. I didn't hear anything in response, so the next day, Gen Bonesteel got into the act and sent a message to his counterpart in North Korea and that didn't produce any

Ma

results.

acknowledged the shooting down of the helicopter. In the meantime, we'd been in constant communication with the State Department in

Washington over this incident and, of course, having had this long holiday of meetings

rin

North Korea, and requested the return of the individuals, indicating that we had some indication

So it was several days before we had any real indication that they had in fact

eC

had become lost and were down up there someplace. We ran some reconnaissance flights that

or p

last transmission that at least one or more of them had been wounded. I was summoned from my

sH

were used for observation work. They got up almost to Kaesong and were taken under fire.

ist

flew off into North Korea. There was a third person with them, a mechanic who had asked if he

or

must have been 150-mile visibility, and that apparently confused them so much that when they

yD

re-establish it. It was a very short meeting, probably a couple of hours. The following Saturday,

ivi

wanted to re-establish the regular meetings to handle things that were properly to be brought

sio n

Adams - 56 subsequent to the shooting down of the EC-121 in April, this was a very bad turn of events from the standpoint of the future of the Armistice Commission and the relations between North Korea

and South Korea. I was instructed to call a meeting of the Armistice Commission, which I did.

The procedure of the meeting was to be called, the side wanting to call the meeting sent a

message to the other side proposing a meeting be held, and if the other side accepted it, they

would come back with some alternate date and time, just to show that they were not going to

delayed about a day. In the meantime, I prepared a very strong statement, which we had to send back to Washington for approval, and it came back as approved.

So we had the meeting, and, as anticipated, the North Koreans claimed that we had

North Korea. Well, the fact of the matter was the only navigational equipment that they had was

the extent of it. It became apparent that one of the people aboard had a camera with him,

to the North Koreans. Well, we refuted this, of course, and we asked about the condition of the people. They said that this was their business, and so we had no indication whether the people were dead or wounded or what. We did ask that if they had died, that the bodies be returned as

I don't remember how many meetings we went through on this, but it was sort of offset then by a very severe incident where we had one of our patrols ambushed and four people were

their weapons that had been dropped when our reinforcements chased them off into the DMZ. So we brought all that evidence up there for the press to see at the meeting and I attempted to get Gen _____, the North Korean senior member, to leave the table with me and go out to inspect the

broke up the meeting because I indicated that I wouldn't proceed unless he would be willing to go out and inspect the damage, and so on. I had been told to proceed in this manner, but not to

Ma

walk out of the meeting. We went through several minor circumstances like that where there were people wounded, but the main event, of course, was proceeding with trying to recover the three Army people that were up there.

rin

weapons and the weapons carrier that had been badly shot up. But he refused and that almost

eC

killed. We did recover the equipment and some of the North Korean shell casings and some of

or p

soon as possible and that wreckage of the aircraft be returned.

sH

because this was highly the sophisticated photographic equipment that was on board, according

ist

a bubble compass. They did have some radios for two-way communication but that was about

or

deliberately sent a highly sophisticated, electronically, photographically equipped spy plane into

yD

accede to any requests that we made. This was pretty much SOP, so I guess the meeting was

ivi

would confirm that. But almost always, when we proposed a meeting to the North Koreans, they

sio n

Adams - 57 After two or three meetings, they did indicate that the people had been wounded and were being cared for, and they refused to give any further information on them or to return the aircraft, which we anticipated. During this time, at most of the meetings as a result of some other social

interplay that we had with the Czechs and the Poles, and even though Katie never did come as an observer to any of these meetings, why the Czechs and Poles and their wives began to show up

acknowledge this with a smile or wave their hand. This drove the senior member of the North

any way by the representatives of the Neutral Nations Supervisory Commission from their side. About this time, the Czechs' and the Poles' wives decided to leave and go back because the accommodations were so poor that they couldn't stay through the winter in any comfort. So they

because this had become quite a thing with them, the fact that they would recognize the UN

Negotiations went on, oh, I guess, for eight or ten meetings and we weren't getting

activity and a whole bunch of other garbage which was unrelated, but still part of the overall play. It finally got down to the point where we convinced Washington by message that we weren't going to get these people back unless we had some degree of admission that was similar

or p

to the Pueblo incident, I guess. Henry Kissinger was the . . .

sH

anyplace as far as the Koreans . . . They demanded that we admitted full responsibility for spy

Begin Tape 2/II, Side A

Adams: . . . Henry Kissinger was the President's security advisor at the White House at that

everything had been elevated to his approval, particularly as to what we would admit to in order to get these people back. We submitted several drafts of proposed statements, which were

Ma

altered and returned for resubmission. Finally, in order to preclude media coverage, I was told to try to arrange private meetings, which had been accomplished in the past at the time of the Pueblo incident, to get the three people back. One of the people available to me was a civilian by the name of Jimmy Lee. He had been born in North Korea, at Kaesong, and had fled south at

rin

time. This incident had become so serious, apparently, in the eyes of State and Defense that

eC

ist

senior member in front of the press. There were photographs which appeared of this recognition.

or

left, and I guess that was probably with some degree of satisfaction for the North Korean side

yD

Korean side right up the wall to think that the UN senior member was being acknowledged in

End Tape 1/II, Side B

ivi

and I would look up and see them outside, would wave to them, and the women would

sio n

Adams - 58 the time of the Korean War and had worked with Army intelligence during the Korean War, and then at the time of the Armistice Commission, had been selected as a civilian advisor to the Armistice Commission's senior member. Jimmy was an invaluable support to me. He spoke

Chinese, and he spoke Korean, and was a very astute individual, including his ability to strictly interpret what the North Koreans were saying, which a normal interpreter might not have picked

In any event, the private meetings were to consist of the two senior members, a secretary,

November. I want to reiterate here that we had no knowledge of the treatment that the other people had been given these three people. We knew they were wounded; didn't know how severely. We were assured they were still alive, but it was pretty much an unknown situation.

It didn't last very long, but during this meeting, outside of the hut, which there were no windows

the "Yankee, go home! Yankee, go home!" and some profane comments addressed to me

eye, and I said, "These are obviously your guests, and if you can't control your guests, there's no further point in continuing this meeting. I recommend we adjourn until the next meeting," and he agreed to that. It turned out that it was Eldridge Cleaver, who had been up in North Korea,

dozen people that were trying to disrupt the proceedings. So, we terminated that one, and about a week later we got another private meeting going.

sign a statement that we had sent a spy aircraft into North Korea and that this had been very disruptive to the relationship and all of the other allegations that they had made. So I said, "Well, I'll have to consider this." So we took the comments and their requirements and sent

some fashion and several attempts be made to try to get them to accept some different verbiage which would be less incriminating. It took a couple three more meetings before they finally

Ma

agreed to an exchange date, which was just before Christmas. One of the interesting things was that the requirement was that they would furnish the stationery for the statement that we would have to sign and submit to them, and I couldn't understand why they would require the stationery. So I turned to Jimmy Lee, and he said, "Well, they want to be sure they furnish paper

rin

these back to Washington with the recommendation that they be watered down somewhat in

eC

There we got down to some substance as to what their conditions would be, and I had to agree to

or p

and they had gotten him to come down and participate in this little demonstration of about a

sH

personally as Gen Adams with several four-letter words after that. So I looked Gen _____ in the

ist

in so there could be no observation from the outside, there was a terrible ruckus. It went on with

or

The first meeting we had was sort of a meeting to lay the ground rules for these private meetings.

yD

and an interpreter, and that was all. The other side finally agreed to this, I think along in

ivi

up.

sio n

Adams - 59 so it could not be made on our paper which could contain chemicals which would eventually dissolve the paper, and so on, and also the fountain pen which you are to use when you sign

this." I said, "Why in the world would they want that?" And he said, "For the same purpose, and

also they'll show that someplace as the instrument with which the United States bowed to the Democratic Republic of North Korea." So we kicked that around a little bit and finally got that

and display them before members of the Armistice Commission staff in the vicinity of the

recognized as such, the individuals that had been lost in the aircraft disorientation. They agreed to this.

instructions had been that there would be a pool of the U.S. press and the free world press. But

wounded by ambulance to the advance camp and then put them aboard a helicopter there and

up. They said there were some complications and some final statements that they wanted to be sure we had included in this, and I began to be very apprehensive that this whole thing was ever going to fall through. But finally, the North Korean ambulance showed up, and the people were

barely so. They got out of the ambulances, and our duty officer, who had photographs of them from their records and so on, did make the identification, "Yes, these were the three people who

go ahead and sign the documents. So I did, and passed it across to Gen _____, my opposite number. But I kept the fountain pen. They were so happy to get this, they all jumped up and ran out. I picked up the fountain pen and thought I pulled a good one on them. But I went over to

in--I could see there was some delay, and they recognized the fountain pen was not in their possession. So they went back into the table where the signature procedure had taken place, and

Ma

it was not found there. They sent word in to me that they would not release the people until they found that pen. So, I had to give it back to them, and they then released the people, and they were put in ambulances. I preceded them down to the advance camp and made a statement to the press assembled at the advance camp there: the condition of the people, and we were not going

rin

our duty office where I could observe what was going on, and very shortly a messenger came

eC

were lost in the helicopter," and sent word in to me that as far as he was concerned, it was OK to

or p

assisted out. They were dressed in the usual POW costumes and they were ambulatory, but just

sH

take them to the hospital at Ascom City. The time came for the exchange, and nobody showed

ist

the majority of the people had to remain at the advance camp. The plan was to move the

or

The day came, and of course the press, the North Korean press was in there in force. Our

yD

building, and I would only sign the statement after I saw that they were alive and that they were

ivi

agreement made. We came to an agreed date where they would bring down the three prisoners

sio n

Adams - 60 to let them interview the returnees at this time because we weren't sure what condition they were in. But there were plenty of pictures taken, television coverage, and so on, when they transferred from the ambulance to the helicopter. They took off and went down to Ascom City.

Well, that took care of most of the meetings I had with the North Koreans during my tour out there. This occurred just before Christmas, in December, as I remember, and I was due to

January. That was shot down as they strayed out of the landing pattern for Seoul International.

it. I don't remember whether they were actually able to get into Seoul anyway. It was another incident, but was determined not to be an Armistice Commission matter, so we didn't meet there. I finished out my tour along the end of January and was relieved by an Army general there.

Korean Marine Corps. The Commandant of the Marine Corps made me a honorary Korean

invited me to play golf. It was about 15 degrees below freezing and in order not to break golf

tee into the frozen turf. In order not to lose face, although I surely did not enjoy that golf game, why we did play nine holes.

Adams:

And we were entertained constantly there by all of the Korean armed forces, in

we invited all the senior members . . .

Anderson: You didn't get the Czechs and Poles in on that.

Adams: Not the Czechs and the Poles, no, but the Swiss-Swede people came. It was wonderful hunting out there, up on the Kimpo Peninsula. That was the Korean Marine brigade area and so

Ma

Gen _____, the Commandant, invited me to go hunting up there. So we went up to the south bank of the Han River there. This was in the area where they exchanged propaganda over their

loud speaker systems--ours from our side, and theirs' from theirs'. We had just gotten out in the field when over the loud speaker system it said, "Gen Adams, why are you hunting this morning?

rin

eC

particular the Navy and the Marine Corps. We had a Marine Corps birthday ball there to which

or p

Anderson: The rigors of diplomatic duty!

sH

clubs and so, we were permitted to tee up every shot, but it almost took a hammer to hammer the

ist

Marine. Of course, we used to play golf. I can remember on the day after Christmas in 1969, he

or

Several interesting incidents occurred as a result of the fine relationship I had with the

yD

They got up over the Kimpo Peninsula and were shot down by the North Koreans, as I remember

ivi

leave in February. There was a Korean airliner shot down around the 1st of January or early

sio n

Adams - 61 You should be working. Go home, Gen Adams, go home." How in the hell they ever knew I was there hunting, but their intelligence was obviously pretty good.

There was never any attempt made where I was in any danger other than the occasion I described when Katie and I went into the Panmunjom site before the first meeting. But we were always very careful. Every morning the people in the advance camp, particularly when I was

and put out patrols so that the road into the Panmunjom site was thoroughly secured.

and my successor would represent the United Nations Command at the next meeting, why I permitted Katie to go up. There had been an incident or two along that road; so they put us in a sedan, and in front of us was a sentry dog in a jeep, and a couple of people with rifles and a

it. As we drove up that road, it was a beautiful day--sunny and bright--and was hard to realize

dog would stand up there and look out ahead, and then he'd turn around and almost smile us and

going in there that day," referring to Martha Raye and her various tours during World War II, of course, into the front line areas. It was a very peaceful meeting, very short, and so on. Some of the meetings got pretty long. There was one that lasted, I think, about 11 hours,

to be excused to make a head run, that was very bad from the standpoint of showing determination and would indicate possibly that the person that was leaving would walk out of the

agreement. I used to wear a bag on my leg, but I never had to use it except at this one meeting, which was about 11 hours. The other side finally gave up on that one. I think that they knew what they were up against. A favorite trick was to have one of the other members at the

army, also the Army attache to the Korean government, and there were always two South Korean military representatives from the Army or the Navy or Air Force, and then another one that

Ma

represented, in succession, some of the other United Nations' representatives there in Seoul. There were Ethiopians, and New Zealanders, and the Brit, of course, who was always there at the table. But the favorite trick was when things really began to get extreme as far as calls to nature were concerned, a member of our side would be designated to get a pitcher of water and pour it

rin

table--there were five sat at the table, a British representative who was a brigadier in the British

eC

meeting and break up the meeting. So you never did dare to leave your chair unless by mutual

or p

and I was prepared for this. I had been warned that this might occur and if either side requested

sH

say, "Follow me. I'll take care of you." Katie's remark was, "I almost felt like Martha Raye

ist

that we were in any situation where there might be some armed intervention. But this old sentry

or

machine gun mounted in the jeep. And behind us was a weapons carrier with several soldiers in

yD

The last meeting that we had was in January and where I announced that I was leaving

ivi

going up to the Panmunjom site, they would make a sweep of the road, and check all the bridges,

sio n

Adams - 62 into a glass and that usually caused enough instigation so that the North Koreans, who weren't prepared or didn't want to go in their pants, would recommend adjournment, and that would take care of that.

Anderson: Your subject matter was largely concerned with this helicopter shoot down for most

soldiers, and that was the subject of several meetings, along with . . . There could be more than one item discussed at a meeting, of course. The meetings lasted quite long because when we made a statement, it was translated into North Korean and Chinese, and when they made a

or two at the back of the room, although they were not always present, but normally they would

action officers in the tank for backup for I wanted. And they did the same, of course.

Queen, had a little phrase book, and he used to sit there and read this thing or read some book while the other guy was talking. We had simultaneous translation, so I could hear what was going on prior to the verbatim translation which was later made. So Wilson was a great

there for a couple of years, and so he was very finely attuned to the facial expressions and the attitude and the other characteristics of Gen _____, the North Korean senior member.

whisper in my ear while Gen ____ was speaking. This was always very apparent to Gen ___, and he became very nervous when this occurred because quite frequently, there would be something Gen Wilson would say, "Let's give him this one," or something like that on the

and we'd use that in a little blivet in our next statement. The North Korean knew that this was coming, so his tone of voice would rise in volume and pitch, and the rapidity of his statement

Ma

would also increase, so he was not very intelligible and used to cause some problems for our interpreters, because he was getting so agitated and it was coming across this way. We didn't do this too often, but there were several ways of getting to those people. You knew that you were never going to convince them and never win on the logical situation, but you could get to them

rin

rebuttal. He was great as far as picking up quotations of Churchill or some other great soldier,

eC

Every once in a while, he'd be looking at this book, and then he would lean over and

or p

character, and I've seen him several times since. He had a very fine . . . of course, he had been

sH

One other interesting thing was that Brigadier Wilson, who was the representative of the

ist

be there. We had our staff of about eight or ten people there, representatives who would be like

or

statement, it was translated into Chinese and English. The Chinese always had a representative

yD

Adams: Oh, there was one that I described, the ambush, where we lost several American

ivi

of the time . . . what other specific items did hit?

sio n

Adams - 63 by, as I indicated, getting the wives of the Czechs and the Poles to acknowledge my presence or wave to them, or by other means, such as I indicated, pouring water into a glass to get them to terminate the meeting. So, there were a lot of ways we utilized.

The Korean people were just wonderful to us. We were quartered in a very small hut. It

was really only a one-bedroom affair, but because of the possible security problem, this was

Mike" Michaelis, after several months, and so I had the privilege of working with two very fine

battlefield commission during the Korean War. He had been at Fort Sheridan when I was in Chicago at Glenview, and I got acquainted with him there, and we had several social occasions there to get acquainted. So we were acquainted when he came out to relieve Gen Bonesteel.

procedures for recognizing the senior military people, I think I must have come home with about

opportunity to share the experiences out there with the other UN nations that had representatives

Kong. It was a very fine tour. Again, I was hoping to get to Vietnam, but as I indicated earlier, Gay Thrash was halfway through his tour when I finished up my six months in Korea, so that wasn't possible. So, I was sent to relieve Gen Paul Fontana as the deputy FMFPac in Hawaii in

Let me back up just a moment here. During all these transmissions of messages back and forth to State, I was supposed to info the JCS on all of these, but many times we had to send

responses . . . I just couldn't believe that Adm Spin Epps or anybody at the Pentagon had had an input on to this, so it finally evolved that that was true. State were sending back their version without any military input. So I would get on the scrambler telephone and call Spin Epps and

because they were supposed to receive it. The Ambassador, Ambassador Porter, who was in Korea, was a fantastic individual, but

Ma

he left United Nations Armistice Commission matters almost entirely to his deputy, who was a fine guy, and to a political counselor, who was not as trustworthy as he should have been in my eyes. Messages that I would send and prepare for transmission, approved by either Gen

Bonesteel or Gen Michaelis, would sometimes be altered, and they would always say that there

rin

tell him that if they didn't get an info copy of a date-time group that I'd given, to request it

eC

them via back channel to State only. Quite early in the game, I detected from some of the

or p

the Spring of 1970. I had to go back to Washington for a debriefing by State and JCS.

sH

there, was interesting. Katie enjoyed the shopping and got to Japan several times and to Hong

ist

three footlockers full of plaques and so on that were presented to me as the senior member. The

or

As you can imagine, with the Oriental and the Korean, particularly the Korean

yD

Army officers there. "Iron Mike" Michaelis had received his commission as a general as a

ivi

within the compound of Gen Bonesteel. Gen Bonesteel was relieved, incidentally, by Gen "Iron

sio n

Adams - 64 was some reason for this, but it didn't truly represent the unified United Nations Command position as well as the U.S. embassy position. So, there were several occasions where it got up

to the ambassador, the CinC level, for resolution. But, because of my previous relationship with Adm Spin Epps and my constant advising him of messages that went, we got that straightened out. I'll be forever grateful to Spin Epps for doing the job he did there to ensure military input.

Marine Corps as well. We arrived in Hawaii without much leave, because Gen Fontana was

through quite a few things and get to Hawaii, which we did. We were welcomed with open arms there, and I had a couple of days with Gen Fontana before he left. Gen Lou Wilson had been the chief of staff there, and he was about to leave, and Kenny Houghton took over as chief of staff.

came in.

relationship with Adm McCain, CinCPac at that time, was very, very close, and his offices were

the floor above, and that would be the signal to have Gen Buse or whoever was present get up to Adm McCain's office right away. Gen Charlie Corcoran of the United States Army, whom I had known during our Paris tour, was his chief of staff, deputy.

POW. It always used to surface at every news conference that he would have, and he traveled a great deal of the time, so I became reacquainted with Charlie Corcoran and felt that he was a

and Gen Buse, and then Gen Jones, was very, very close. I think that Adm McCain relied upon the Marine component command there as a part of CinCPacFlt almost as much or more, in some occasions, than he did on CinCPacFlt, particularly as far as the in-country operations were

established a Management Center at FMFPac and instituted a very sophisticated readiness

Ma

system, (C1, 2, 3, 4 system) which was as I remember it. I think that was probably about that time that came in, and I think that was the forerunner for adoption Marine Corps-wide, because I

remember Gen Jones went to Washington a couple of times to brief on that. It became a very effective system. The day to day operations, of course, that FMFPac was almost directly, 100

rin

concerned.

I guess the most significant thing that occurred during my tour there was the fact that we

eC

great balance wheel to Adm McCain in many respects. The relationship between Adm McCain

or p

Adm McCain was under a lot of pressure of course, particularly because his son was a

sH

right above the commanding general's office. On several occasions we'd hear a few thumps on

ist

Of course we were in the thick of things as far as Vietnam was concerned.

or

We had a fine relationship there. Several months later, Gen Buse retired and Gen Bill Jones

yD

about to depart, and Gen Buse, the CG, FMFPac, required a contact relief. So we had to hurry

ivi

In any event, I had to go back to State for debriefing and debriefing at Headquarters

sio n
The

Adams - 65 percent involved with the Vietnam situation all during those years, '70 to '72, while I was there. The other opportunity I had for a, I guess you could say, partial WestPac tour was when Gen

Donn Robertson, who was on Okinawa, had to come back for surgery and I went to Okinawa for

a couple of months to take over his job there on Okinawa as III MAF and enjoyed that very much. It gave me a chance to get in-country a couple of times, and I had a couple of

Force, Pacific. I determined by this time that my chances of ever getting a tour as CG of the 1st

guess the Commandant, and Art Adams, and the drum major of the Marine Corps Band are the only ones that are not going to have served in Vietnam," and he said yes, he guessed that was right. That was the end of my attempts for a tour in Vietnam.

Anderson: That was a rather bold remark.

Adams: It was factual. The tour in Hawaii was fantastic because even with the work schedule

good many visitors there and the usual warm welcome we received from all the civilians there that were so supportive of all the armed forces in Hawaii. This made it a wonderful tour of duty. We enjoyed it a great deal. During that time, our oldest daughter had married a classmate of hers

officer of MAG-11 at Da Nang, so our daughter, Cathy, and her year-old child, a daughter, our first grandchild, were living with us for a year. Joe got back a couple of times to see them while

evidence and we had a wonderful time. It also gave us an opportunity to see our son, who was a submariner, and in and out of there on a couple of occasions in the USS Stonewall Jackson; he was assigned to at that time. He

rewarding tour in every respect professionally as well as personally. In 1972 I was ordered to Norfolk, Virginia to relieve my good friend Norman Anderson,

Ma

who was retiring from the CinCLant-CinCLantFlt staff in June of '72. Norman indicated that they were going to return to Washington, but about the time I arrived, he was afforded the opportunity of staying in Norfolk as the Executive Director of the MacArthur Memorial Foundation and so to our surprise, when we arrived, we didn't have to give a farewell party for

rin

came through there a couple of times, and we got to see him. It was just a very satisfying and

eC

he was in-country. So, as far as the Adams family was concerned, Katie's Fly Inn sign was in

or p

from Georgetown University. He had gotten into the Marine Corps and wound up as supply

sH

we had there, there was plenty of time for recreation, golf, and swimming, and so on. We had a

ist

or

yD

Wing were pretty minimal, so I told Gen Chapman when he came through there once, I said, "I

ivi

opportunities to get in-country when I was sent in by the Commanding General, Fleet Marine

sio n

Adams - 66 him, but had him as our entree into Norfolk. Norman has done a great job, as has Irene, integrating themselves into the community of Norfolk and were very instrumental in our introduction to people in Norfolk.

The tour on the CinCLant-CinCLantFlt staff was very rewarding as the so-called JO-3 of the CinCLant staff, some of the responsibilities were rather surprising. The responsibility for the

responsibility of the JO-3, and when I advised my son, who was then a lieutenant in another

aviator running our schedules." But nothing adverse occurred as the result of any input that I had. Adm Bob Long was ComSubLant at that time, and I always had great respect for him because the protocol was, if it was that an emergency of a ballistic missile submarine had

SubLant. On several occasions I arrived at the command center before Adm Long and was being

would always say, "Well, what do you think, Art?" and I thought that this was a pretty big man

was. There were things like this that just made that tour in Norfolk absolutely wonderful.

Anderson: I know you got that changed, Art. It was changed on your watch. Let's talk about

End Tape 2/II, Side A

Anderson:

responsibilities were realigned and made more logical, perhaps.

Adams: Yes. During Adm Ralph Cousins' tenure as CinCLant-CinCLantFlt and SacLant, there were some recommendations made concerning the organization of the staff, which included

Ma

disassociating the JO-3 position, as such, from the operational control of submarines, and so on.

The recommendations were pretty severe and in my estimation, watered down considerably the posture of the CinCLant command and staff, due to the concentration of practically everything into Navy hands. The component commands of CinCLant, of course, were CinCLantFlt and the

rin

eC

Begin Tape 2/II, Side B

I think that sometime during the course of your tenure there as JO-3, the

or p

that on the other side.

sH

who would come in and ask a Marine aviator what his evaluation of the submarine emergency

ist

briefed on what the problem was until he or his deputy arrived. Then when he did come in, he

or

occurred, simply because I was on the CinCLant staff, they would call me first and then call

yD

submarine, of this fact, he said, "The submarine force is in real trouble if they have a Marine

ivi

supervision of the schedules of the ballistic missile submarines was one of the things that was the

sio n

Adams - 67 Air Force component command and the Army component command, but these were for planning purposes only. There were really no operational aspects that CinCLant had other than for planning. I resisted many of the recommendations. Some of them did make sense, and I acceded

to those, but I indicated to Adm Cousins that I felt that if he adopted all the recommendations

made, Marine Corps participation in the CinCLant staff would be so minimal, it wouldn't justify

would have come out from the proposed organization certainly wouldn't have justified the

Well, the result was that things were reorganized about the time that I left there, and Gen Poggemeyer relieved me. There was further reorganization during his tour of duty which lasted only about nine months or a year. What finally evolved after several reorganizations I'm not

change generally has been to where the plans, policies, and exercises that CinCLant has are

not as drastic as had originally been proposed. In this case, the admiral that shall remain

the Marine Corps, and particularly Marine Corps aviators. I think his recommendations were rather emotional rather than completely objective, so there was quite a tenuous period there where there was some pretty harsh words exchanged. But it was necessary in order to preserve

McLaughlin, and I always got along very well, cooperated extremely well, and he made some changes within the CinCLantFlt N-3 section to give more Marine Corps responsibility where it

LantFlt staff. One of the things that was very apparent when I first got there, and I was warned of this by Norman Anderson, that the famous Gen Momyer, who was then commander of the Tactical Air Command at Langley, initiated a call to me rather than me calling on him, that he

having been exposed to Mr. Momyer's adventuresome tactics in Vietnam and in other places, it was very apparent to me that he was going to try out whatever he could on the new boy on the

Ma

block, so I was well prepared. While he was very cordial, it was very apparent he was hoping that I would agree to completely different command and control policies for CinCLant or make that recommendation to the CinC.

rin

would like to have me come over and call on him and talk about tactical air control. Well,

eC

should be placed and to augment the Marine Corps aviation input to the AirLant portion of the

or p

Marine Corps positions on the CinCLant staff.

sH

unnamed was a junior lower half rear admiral and for some reason had a tremendous hatred for

ist

under the old JO-3 command--I don't know what they call it now. But the reorganization was

or

fully aware of now, but it still remains a viable general officer position, because I think the

In contrast to that, the N-3, Adm Bill

yD

presence of a general officer.

ivi

a general officer being on that staff. I felt that this was justified because the responsibilities that

sio n

Adams - 68 In the first large exercise where the JO-3 was the officer conducting the exercise, Gen Momyer and Adm Duncan came head on after the first briefing on control of the air. I guess that

the first three or four months that I was on the job there prior to this major exercise, which occurred in the spring of '73, most of my time was spent in drafting personals from Adm Duncan to Gen Momyer in response to blivets which would come across from Langley from Gen

Adm Bob Dixon, who I had known at the Air War College, and we got along famously.

planned for some time under Gen Norman Anderson's tour of duty there, but we really got some airplanes assigned. The base commander at Langley was not particularly cooperative in logistics support for the airborne command post personnel, and I made mention of this at one time to Adm

again, that Air War College relationship paid off in this respect, and we got just about what we

The major exercise used to be called EXOTIC DANCER, and Mr. Clements had just

think was in the spring of '74. Adm Cousins brought him down on D-Day to observe the airborne operation and the amphibious operation on Onslow Beach and so on. We helicoptered all around and visited all these places. On the way back to New River, at noon, when he was

displays the tremendous might and virile manhood of our nation is called EXOTIC DANCER. That sounds like a pantywaist name to me, and I want it changed." Adm Cousins turned to me

exercises that can be picked, and I don't know where it started, but this is number six, or something." About 10 days later we got the message from the JCS, "Find another name for next year's exercise." So we went through a drill for several weeks trying to pick an exercise name,

Finneran, who was then ComSecondFlt and whose deputy I was--the JO-3 was during these exercises for CTF-119, is that the right number?

Ma

Anderson: I can't remember, Art.

rin

so we wound up with SOLID SHIELD, and that was submitted and approved. Adm Jake

eC

and he said, "How did we get such a name?" I said, "Well, it's selected from the names of

or p

going to fly back, he said to Adm Cousins, "How in the world is it that we have an exercise that

sH

taken office as Secretary of Defense during the initial stages of this particular exercise, which I

ist

wanted for the airborne command post out of Langley Field.

or

Dixon. He said, "You let me know what goes on here, and you'll have whatever you need." So

yD

About this time, the airborne command post was coming into being. This had been

ivi

Momyer to Adm Duncan. He subsequently left and things smoothed out quite a little bit under

sio n

Adams - 69 Adams: Well, anyway, the combined task force, it was generated and activated for control of the exercise, Jake Finneran said, "My God, how did they ever select SOLID SHIELD? That's the name of the highest volume selling condom in the state of Alabama." However, that remained and SOLID SHIELD was the exercise . . . I don't know what they call it now.

but I guess that's a lesser exercise.

Adams: Another interesting aspect of that tour was the general responsibility for the Iceland Defense Command and the Azores Defense Command, and Caribbean Defense Command, which gave me an opportunity to visit Iceland and the Azores and the Caribbean on a few

were new to me and a personal experience that I enjoyed. One of the things that occurred during

anti-U.S. element involved so that I didn't figure it was politic for me to be seen off the base, so I

representatives came to Norfolk for so-called logistic planning and awarding of contracts supported by the United States government for the Iceland Defense Command, Iceland Defense Force, and I became acquainted with several of the people and their wives at that time. One of

was his name, Norm?

Adams: Trygvison. Paul Trygvison . . .

Adams: Yes, Norway or Sweden, I forget which. In any event, on one of these golf games, Paul

Ma

had a propinquity for winding up in the sand trap, and I'd always tell him that as a Marine, I would help him get off the beach. He thought that this was all in good fun and jest, but later on during some rather serious negotiations about the future of our air station in Reykjavik there and the future of the presence of Navy air and the supporting facilities there, the foreign minister of

rin

Anderson: Who is now the ambassador to Norway.

eC

Anderson: Trygvison.

or p

the people was a great golfer, so Norm Anderson and I always entertained him. What the heck

sH

didn't get in to Reykjavik at all.

However, annually, a group of the Iceland government

ist

one trip that I made to Iceland was that they were having elections up there. There was a large

or

occasions, and an opportunity to meet the people on Iceland and in the Azores, both of which

yD

ivi

Anderson: I think it's still SOLID SHIELD. Well, there's another one call BOLD VENTURE,

sio n

Adams - 70 Iceland was very adamant about the fact that if we didn't build a satisfactory international airport building for them, they would probably close the base. It got to be a rather heated discussion,

which did not involve anyone from the military necessarily except the commander of the Iceland Defense Force, who was a Navy admiral. I sent a plaque up designating Paul Trygvison as an honorary Marine because of his ability to get off the beach, and this was presented by a State

break the ice, I guess. Although I don't take responsibility for it, I'm told that Paul Trygvison

the future of our air base there in Iceland, although he was always a very fine supporter of the Iceland Defense Force and the U.S. facilities. I really don't take credit for that, but it's an interesting aside; the presentation at this particular meeting when things were very tense,

proportions.

That, I think, winds up the significant parts of the tour that I had at

lived in Norfolk ever since.

as a Marine Reserve enlisted man prior to my flight training and commissioning was a very important aspect of my life. I never felt that I had a bad job. I was given opportunities I never would have had otherwise. The broadening experiences and the personal experiences that I had

and I counted up, I think we made some 30-some moves while we were married, and I had four wonderful children, all of whom have benefited from experiences from overseas tours and

to the University of Maryland in Munich prior to going to the Naval Academy, and the opportunity for our two daughters to go to a French school for a couple of years, and the opportunity for Judy to see Korea as an elementary age schoolchild, have all be very broadening

than I have. She's picked up and moved and held the family together during absences and was very much an asset in so many areas. So, all in all, the years I had in the Marine Corps is

Ma

something that I just couldn't ask for anything more.

Anderson: It's really hard to imagine a more satisfying life.

rin

and worthwhile. I don't think there's anyone that could have had greater support from their wife

eC

particularly for my son the opportunity to be in France and go to the Olympics in Rome and then

or p

and the opportunities that were given to my family were most rewarding in every respect. Katie

sH

To me the opportunity to be a Marine for some 36 commissioned and almost four years

ist

CinCLant/CinCLantFlt, and the 1st of March, 1975, I retired from the Marine Corps and I've

or

apparently the humor of it and the levity of it sort of brought things off the wall and into realistic

yD

cherished being designated an honorary Marine to the extent that it may have swayed his vote on

ivi

Department representative to Paul at a, I guess you might say, critical session, which seemed to

sio n

Adams - 71 Adams: It sure is. And I'm proud to have a son who is now commander of a nuclear submarine, attack submarine, USS Batfish, and have him part of our great United States naval service in that

capacity. He wanted to be an aviator, but when he went to the academy, his eyes failed and so has chosen another field that has given him great opportunities and holds a great future for him for the rest of his career.

Anderson: Challenges of an equivalent level or perhaps more. Well, thank you, Art. I know

to get it, and I'm happy to have had a chance to listen to this because we've many years together, during which I've known a lot about which you've been doing. But there have been years apart and you filled in the gaps.

sH

Anderson: End of tape, end of interview.

ist
End Tape 2/II, Side B End of Interview

Adams: It's been a pleasure, Norm.

Ma

rin

eC

or p

or

yD

that this is going to be a very valuable interview. The people in Headquarters will be very happy

ivi

sio n

Adams - 72 WORD SEARCH Adams, Mr. Gordon Air Force Units and Commands U.S. Air Forces, Europe Aircraft types A7U C-130 C-47 Crusader F4D F7F F7U F9F F9F2 FF1 (Grumman) FJ N3N R4D Army Bases Fort Worth, Texas Army Units and Commands U.S. Army, Europe Ascom City, Korea Ashley, Col Paul H. Azores Defense Command Corcoran, Gen Charles, USA Cousins, Adm Ralph, USN Crew, LtCol Charles Croft, MajGen Frank C. Davis, Adm William, USN De Gaulle, Gen Charles Delalio, Col Armond M. Duncan, Adm, USN Elwood, MajGen Hugh W. Feeley, BGen James A., Jr. Finneran, Adm Jake, USN Fontana, MajGen Paul J. Fowler, Adm Richard, USN Glenn, Col John Glynn, Adm Marcel, USN Han River, Korea Heineman, Mr. Edward Helms, Mr. Lynn Hope, Mr. Bob Howard, Col John D. Hoydale, Capt Porter Hubbard, BGen Jay W. Hutchison, BGen Homer G. Iceland Reykjavik Iceland Defense Command Iceland Defense Force Iseman, Adm Roy, USN Jerome, BGen Clayton C. Johnson, Secretary of Defense Louis Joint Training Exercises BOLD VENTURE EXOTIC DANCER SOLID SHIELD Joint Units and Commands U.S. European Command U.S. Forces, Korea Kaesong, North Korea Korea Ascom City

Caribbean Defense Command Carmody, Adm "Red," USN Chambers, Col Owen A. Cleaver, Mr. Eldridge Clements, Secretary of Defense Cleven, Capt Peter Coleman, Mr. Jerry Combat Information Center, Vietnam Constellation

Ma

rin

Baker, Col Jake Bardshire, Adm Frederick, USN Bauer, Col Joseph Beach, Col William L. Berlin Wall Binney, MajGen Arthur F. Blanchard, Capt "Red," USN Bougainville, Torokina Bowen, LtCol Sherman Boyington, Maj Gregory Burns, Col Robert R Burns, Col Robert R. Butcher, BGen Joseph O.

eC

or p

sH

ist

or

yD

ivi

sio n

Adams - 73 Han River Han River Korean Marine Corps Kriendler, Col Robert, USMCR La Guardia Field Lane, LtCol Henry C. Lee, Mr. Jimmy Long, Adm Robert, USN Luck, Maj Goodwin R. Luck, Maj Goodwin R. Marine Corps Combat Correspondents Association Marine Corps Reserve Units and Commands 4th Marine Air Wing 4th Marine Division Marine Air Reserve Training Command Marine Air Reserve Training Command Marine Corps Schools Amphibious Warfare School, Junior Course Marine Corps Units and Commands 3d Marine Air Wing Division of Aviation, HQMC Division of Information, HQMC Fleet Marine Force, Pacific Marine Air Group 11 (MAG-11) Marine Aircraft Group 33 (MAG33) Marine Bomber Squadron 433 (VMB-433) Marine Fighter Squadron 222 (VMF-222) Marine Fighter Squadron 311 (VMF311) Marine Refueling Squadron 253 (VMR-253) McLaughlin, Adm William, USN Megee, Maj Vernon E. Momyer, Gen, USAF Morissey, Maj Robert MPQ-14 Murray, Mr. Harry Pensacola, Florida Navy Units and Commands Airborne Command Post Commander in Chief, Atlantic Commander in Chief, Atlantic, reorganization New Caledonia, Tontuta North Korea Kaesong OConnor, Capt Edward, USN OMeara, Gen Andrew, USA Porter, Ambassador to Korea Pride, Adm Melvin, USN

eC

or p

rin

Ma

Naval Air Stations Langley Field, Virginia Patuxent River

sH

ist

or

Reykjavik, Iceland Robertshaw, Col Louis B. Schoeffel, Adm "Red," USN Sivertsen, Capt Martin Smith, Col Perry K. Stark, Col Richard, USMCR Sylvester, Assistant Secretary of Defense Arthur Tharin, Capt Frank C. Thrash, LtGen William Gay Tontuta, New Caledonia Torokina, Bougainville Tournament of Roses Trapnell, Adm, USN Trygivson, Mr. Paul United Nations Command United Nations Command United Nations Armistice Commission United States Vietnam Combat Information Center Walt, Gen Lewis W. Whittaker, "Doc," Williams, Mr. Ted Woessner, Capt Mickey, USN Woodard, Gen, USA Zoney, 1stLt Edwar

yD

ivi

sio n