Thomas N. Adams
Thomas N. Adams b. October 15, 1925.
Registered for Selective Service, October 16, 1943.
Sworn into U.S. Army November 08, 1943.
Ft. Hayes, Columbus, Ohio: Clothing and testing.
Camp Croft, South Carolina 13 week basic infantry training. 6 weeks
only, then transferred to Ft. Benning, Georgia again basic training,
testing to be sent to college (engineering) under the ASTP program. March, 1944 the program
closed down and sent to the Infantry.
Camp Livingston, Louisiana, "L" Company, 341st Infantry regiment,
86th Infantry Division ..."BLACKHAWK." This division was primarily infantry
basic training, and then replacements sent to divisions in the ETO (European
Theatre of Operations). The army decided to cancel replacements and send the 86th to
fighting the PTO (Pacific Theatre of Operations). The division was sent to
California: Camp Cooke, Camp San Luis Obispo, and Camp Callan for amphibious and, as
always, basic infantry training for invading Pacific strongholds and later
December 16, 1944 - late January, 1945...BATTLE OF THE BULGE. US
Army panicked. Instead of going to the PTO the 86 Infantry Division was sent
to the ETO. Arrived LeHavre, France March 1945. Camp Old Gold...to check rifles,
clothing and prepare for combat. Cologne, Germany, Battle of the Ruhr Pocket, Hagen,
Germany..."L" Company's biggest ground fight. Many casualties. Spring of
1945: the war was very fluid...went from the 1st Army Sector to Patton's 3rd Army and
the to Gen. Patch's 7th Army... southern Germany, Bavaria and finally Austria...
45 miles from Salzburg when the war ended, May 08,1945.
"Last in, First out" The 86th Infantry Division was the last
infantry division to fight in Europe, first to be redeployed to USA (New York City, June 17,
1945) to go to the PTO to end the war with the Japanese. 30 day furlough. Then
Camp Gruber, Oklahoma for new clothing, further training, etc. Troop train
heading for POE (California) to ship-out, Atomic Bomb August 14th, 1945. We
thought the war was over, but still sent to the Philippine Islands, garrison
duty although some units sent onto the jungles to round-up Japanese soldiers. December,
1945 I was trans-ferred to Division Hq, Special Services disseminated Hollywood
movies and books to the three infantry regiments.
Rank: PFC ...rifleman/messenger in the line company; Division HQ,
Tech 5th grade.
Separation from the army, April 23, 1946, Camp Atterbury,
Indiana...Honorable Discharge. Division casualties (unofficial KIA: 136; WIA:618;
died of wounds: 125. My "L" company possibly had the highest casualty rate (???) of
any rifle Company in the 86th (Blackhawk) Infantry Division.
Medals: Combat Infantry Badge, Bronze Star (1947...Pres.
Truman...all combat infantry soldiers awarded this medal), American Theatre of
War, European Theatre of War with one battle star for : Battle of Central
Pacific Theatre of War, German Occupation Medal, also Good Conduct
Medal and World War II Victory Medal.
Dr. Thomas Adams (Optometrist)
4177 Apache Place