SSGT Samuel Ellis Adams

SSGT Samuel Ellis Adams

Richmond, Madison County, Kentucky, USA
Death 13 Apr 1943 (aged 23)
Burial Carthage, Tunis, Tunisia
Plot Tablets of the Missing ~ Remains Recovered
Memorial ID 56251503 · View Source
Suggest Edits

Samuel's remains were found in the Libyan Desert and recovered in March of 1960 and he is now interred in the Olio Township Cemetery, Eureka, Illinois.

" Click Here " for that record.

" Look below for the diary entry of 2nd Lt. Robert F. Toner concerning what happened to the crew ..... "

A "Rosette" was placed in front of his name here at North Africa to signify that his remains were recovered.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Samuel served as a Staff Sergeant and Tail Gunner on B-24D #41-24301 "Lady Be Good", 514th Bomber Squadron, 376th Bomber Group, Heavy, U.S. Army Air Force during World War II.

He resided in Woodford County, Illinois prior to the war.

He enlisted in the Army on February 12, 1942 at Camp Grant, Illinois. He was noted, at the time of his enlistment, as being employed in construction and also as Married.

B-24D #41-24301 took off, with a crew of 9, on a high altitude bombing mission over Naples Harbor, Italy. They were not seen nor heard from after taking off. They ended up crashing, for an unknown reason, in the Libyan desert during the war.

Samuel was first declared "Missing In Action" and after his remains were recovered his status was changed.

Awarded the Air Medal and the Purple Heart.

Service # 36318060

( Bio by: Russ Pickett )

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

In May of 1958, during an aerial survey by a British oil exploration team, they spotted what looked like a World War II era plane. In March 1959 a ground geological team visited the aircraft and it was confirmed to be The Lady Be Good. The crew, except for SSgt. Moore, was eventually recovered in March of 1960.

Airmen who perished on B-24D #41-24301:

Adams, Samuel E. ~ S/Sgt, Tail Gunner, IL
Hatton, William J. ~ 1st Lt, Pilot, NY
Hays, DP ~ 2nd Lt, Navigator, MO
La Motte, Robert E. ~ T/Sgt, Radio Operator, MI
Moore, Vernon L. ~ S/Sgt, Gunner, OH
Ripslinger, Harold J. ~ T/Sgt, Engineer, MI
Shelley, Guy E., Jr. ~ S/Sgt, Gunner, PA
Toner, Robert F. ~ 2nd Lt, Co-Pilot, MA
Woravka, John S. ~ 2nd Lt, Bombardier, OH

( Crew Report by: Russ Pickett )

2nd Lt. Robert F. Toner keep a diary, that was found in the desert, concerning this crash and what happened to the crew. Life Magazine featured the diary in one of their issues ~ the entries read:

April 4, 1943
Naples: 28 planes. Things pretty well mixed up. Got lost returning, out of gas, jumped, landed in desert at 2 in morning. No one badly hurt. Can't find John, all others present.

Monday 5.
Start walking NW. Still no John. A few rations, 1/2 canteen of water, 1 cup full per day. Sun fairly warm, good breeze from N.W. Nite very cold. No sleep. Rested and walked.

Rested at 11:30, sun very warm, no breeze. Spent P.M. in hell. No planes, etc. Rested until 5 P.M. Walked and rested all night, 15 min. on, 5 off.

Same routine, everyone getting weak, can't get very far, prayers all the time, again P.M. very warm, hell. Can't sleep. Everyone sore from ground.

Hit sand dunes, very miserable, good wind but continuous blowing of sand, everybody now very weak, thought Sam and Moore were all gone. LaMotte's eyes are gone, everyone else's eyes are bad. Still going N.W.

Friday 9.
Shelley, Rip, Moore separate and try to go for help, rest of us all very weak, eyes bad. Not any travel, all want to die, still very little water, nites are about 35°, good N. wind, no shelter, 1 parachute left.

Still having prayer meetings for help. No signs of anything, a couple of birds, good wind from N. Really weak now, can't walk, pains all over, still all want to die. Nights very cold, no sleep.

Still waiting for help, still praying, eyes bad, lost all our wgt., aching all over, could make it if we had some water, just enough left to put our tongue to, have hope for help very soon, no rest, still same place.

MONDAY 12. No help yet. Very cold night.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Previously added to Find A Grave,
source unknown:

Crewman of the B-24 "Lady Be Good"
Buried in Illinois

ABMC record:
Samuel E. Adams
Staff Sergeant, U.S. Army Air Forces
Service #
514th Bomber Squadron, 376th Bomber Group, Heavy
Entered the Service from: Illinois
Died: April, 1943
Missing in Action or Buried at Sea
Tablets of the Missing at North Africa American Cemetery
Carthage, Tunisia

Samuel (Ellis MN) served as a Tail Gunner in the 514th Bomber Squadron, 376th Bomber Group (Heavy).
His crewmembers and posistions were,
1stLt. William J. Hatton Pilot
2ndLt. Robert F. Toner Co Pilot
2ndLt. Dp. Hays Navigator
2ndLt. John S. Woravka Bombardier
T/Sgt. Harold J. Ripslinger Engineer
T/Sgt. Robert E. LaMotte Radio operator
S/Sgt. Guy E. Shelley Asst. Engineer
S/Sgt. Vernon L. Moore Asst. radio operator
S/ Sgt . Samuel E. Adams Tail gunner
The remains of the crew SSGT Adams' remains have been recovered and identified. His name is permanently inscribed on the Tablets of the Missing at the North Africa American Cemetery and Memorial.



  • Maintained by: Find a Grave
  • Originally Created by: War Graves
  • Added: 6 Aug 2010
  • Find a Grave Memorial 56251503
  • Find a Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for SSGT Samuel Ellis Adams (25 Oct 1919–13 Apr 1943), Find a Grave Memorial no. 56251503, citing North Africa American Cemetery and Memorial, Carthage, Tunis, Tunisia ; Maintained by War Graves (contributor 6) .