173518 Flying Officer D. A. M. Adams
149 (East India Sqn) RAF
Douglas Adams was killed when the aircraft he was piloting crashed into the English Channel.
The Aircraft was a Mk III Short Stirling, serial number LK383 and coded OJ-A on the strength of 149 (East India) Sqn, RAF. It had arrived on the Sqn on the 14th June 1944, following repair after an accident whilst with 90 Sqn. On its final mission it was crewed by:
F.O. D A M Adams Pilot
The aircraft took off from Methwold at 21.01hrs and failed to return. All on board died and are commemorated on the Runnymede Memorial.
F.O. D A M Adams, Panel 204, Runnymede Memorial
The following is a scanned copy of the Squadron ORB (Operational Record Book) for the last Operation of OJ-A LK383. (2nd Entry)
F.O. Adams had, at the age of 30, flown four Ops before this, all with the same crew. It is interesting to speculate on Douglas’s age and rank. This would indicate that he was either a promoted NCO Pilot on his second tour or a University educated guy who entered the VR at the top end of the age restrictions. If it was the latter, he probably joined the RAF in 1942, and did his Elementary Flying Training in the UK; the usual aircraft was the DH 82 Tiger Moth. He could well have been one of the student pilots sent to America under the Arnold Scheme.
Over the War years, many aircraft were despatched on Operations, never to be heard from again. The losses were attributed to many causes, some discovered after the War and others unsolved to this day. Many relatives have tried in vain to find out what happened to their loved ones. Others have found their peace.
The Runnymede Memorial, below, is a tribute to all who have been lost and have no known resting place.
They went with songs to the battle, they were young.
They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:
All of the crew of LK383 were lost without trace and are remembered on the Runnymede Memorial.
Some of the Mine-Laying Areas referred to in the text are shown below.
Since completing this account I have been contacted by relatives of the Navigator, Sgt J A Prior, who will receive an account based on his service.