Bruce A. Adams family papers, 1891-2003
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Brief Description: Bruce A. Adams Family Papers include genealogical and biographical information, educational records, military records, personal correspondence, and numerous photographs of Kansas natives Bruce A. Adams (KSU Class of 1969), George Earl Adams Jr. (KSU Class of 1948), George Earl Adams Sr., and their families. Of particular interest are World War II documents and photographs of George E. Adams Jr. who served as a reconnaissance pilot in Europe in 1944-45. The 31-year distinguished military career of K-State ROTC graduate Brigadier General Bruce Adams is well represented in the collection by a wide range of documents including three large photo albums that reflect in detail General Adams’ education, military training, military service, and personal life. The collection can be of interest to researchers whose scholarship focuses on twentieth-century American history, Kansans in the military, descendants of Seneca County, New York, and Atchison County, Kansas.
Held at:
Morse Department of Special Collections
Email: libsc [at]
Created by: Adams, Bruce A.
Volume: 8.0 Linear Feet
Acquired: 01/01/2014.
Biographical Note for Adams, Bruce A. :

Bruce Alan Adams

1946  September 11; Bruce Alan Adams was born in Horton, Kansas

1952-1960  Attended St. Leo’s Parish School in Horton, KS

1964    Graduated from Saints Peter and Paul High School, Seneca, Kansas

1969    January 21; Received Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration from Kansas State University

              February 2; Commissioned to the Army as a Distinguished Military Graduate

1970    Received Master’s degree in Business Administration from Kansas State University

              February 14; Married Janice Opal Austin

1970-1971  August-February; Student, United States Army Adjutant General School, Fort Benjamin Harrison, Indiana

1970-1978  On Active Duty

1971    August 6; Promoted to 1st Lieutenant

1974    July 15; Promoted to Captain

1978    April 24; Released from active duty upon personal request

            November 29; Reassigned in the US Army Reserve

1982    August 15; Promoted to Major of US Army Reserve

1987    August 15; Promoted to Lieutenant Colonel of US Army Reserve

1992    August 14; Promoted to Colonel of US Army Reserve

1998    October 2; Promoted to Brigadier General of US Army Reserve

2003    October; Retired from US Army Reserve

George Earl Adams, Sr.

1891    October 10; George Earl Adams was born to Samuel Henry Adams, a New York born Kansas Farmer of    Grasshopper Township, and Ida Hitchcock, a native of Scranton Pennsylvania.

1895    Samuel and Ida Adams moved with their children to California where they worked as farm laborers.

1913    Ida (divorced by the time) and George Adams returned to Kansas and settled in Grasshopper Township in Atchison County.

1917    August 13; During World War I, George Adams was drafted to the US Army and sent to Camp Funston, Fort Riley, to be trained as part of the 353rd Infantry Regiment. During the war, George Adams served as a member of the famous 140th Regiment, 35th Division, Company K, and participated in some of the bitterest fighting of the war for the Allied Expeditionary Force in the Alsace-Lorraine and Meuse-Argonne offensives.

1920    George Adams married Opal Agnes Keplar, a graduate of St. Joseph’s School of Nursing. They had four children including Mrs. Hilde Charlene Stanberry of Laton, California; Edward Blair Adams; Mrs. Robert Julia Ann Page, of Gardner, Kansas; and George Earl Adams, Jr.

1958    February 23; George Adams, Sr. was featured in Atchison Daily Globe for his experimental work utilizing personal funds in terrace farming and soil conservation at his 400-acre Brush Creek Farm in Atchison County, Kansas.

1971    September 8; George E. Adams, Sr. died of a heart attack. A member of Horton Presbyterian Church and American Legion, he was buried in the Brush Creek Cemetery.

1982  January; Opal Adams died.

George Earl Adams, Jr.

1923  March 23; Born in Horton, Kansas.

1941  Fall; Attended KSU and was a member of ATO fraternity

1943  February 2;  Called to active duty and proceeded to Army Air Forces Technical Training Command at Jefferson Barracks, Missouri for pre-aviation cadet basic training.  February-December; Attended training facilities and flight schools and Army bases in different parts of the country.

1944  March 12; Graduated from Army Advanced Flying School in Chandler, Arizona. Certified to fly B-25D, F-10, F-5A, B, C, and E, AT-6, 9, and P-38 airframes.

            March 26: Assigned to Will Rogers Field in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma for photo reconnaissance training.                               

            July 15; Departed for England

            Assigned to a P-38 Photo Reconnaissance Squadron under command of Colonel George W. Peck and Lieutenant  Colonel Richard S. Leghorn based in Middle Wallop, England. The unit had received a DUC (Distinguished Unit Citation) for reconnaissance operations conducted over Le Havre and the Straits of Dover (February 15 – March 20, 1944) in advance of the Normandy invasion, including low altitude flying in the face of intense flak.

            Assisted First Army and other army groups in the “Breakout” from Normandy and their drive on towards Germany; Based in Le Molay, France in July and Toussus le Noble, France in August.

            Due to heavy Allied air attacks, the enemy moved largely to nighttime troop movements during this period, forcing Allied command to adapt by sending P-38s on night intruder missions to identify their locations.

            September; Ninth Air Force based in Gisselies, Belgium 

            September 3; While returning from a reconnaissance mission, his P-38 encountered heavy cloud cover and ran out of fuel. Landing in Mussidan (near Norannes), he made contact with French Resistance who hid the plane and, three days later, secured 120 gallons of gasoline for him. Upon lift off, the pilot again ran into bad weather, making navigation difficult, but he was able to return to his base.

            September-December; Participated in the offensive against the Siegfried Line

1944-1945    December-January; Participated in the Battle of Bulge

1945  January 1; Volunteered to fly a photo reconnaissance mission in an unarmed and unarmored P-38 over the Ardennes battlefield near St. Vith at alt. 3,500 ft.

            January-May; The Squadron photographed dams on the Roer River in preparation for the ground offensive and aided the allied assault across the Rhine River and into Germany.

            March-July; Ninth Air Force based in different places in Germany

            April 30; Awarded Eight Bronze Oak Leaf Cluster

            June 27; Awarded Distinguished Flying Cross for January 1st aerial reconnaissance in an unarmed and unarmored plane

            July; Ninth Air Force transferred to the United States

            September 5; Sailed on the “Noordam” a Dutch liner, from Marseille to Newport News, Va.

            October 10; Married Yvonne Kathleen Cassidy in Stevens Point, Wisconsin

            November; Certified to fly B-17G, B-17A, L-4B, E-25D, and UC-78 airframes

            December; Discharged from the United States Army

1948  June, Graduated KSU with a BS in agriculture

1948-1959  Farmed and taught a “Veterans on the Farm” training course in Horton, Kansas

1949    Joined the Kansas National Guard, 154th FA Battalion, Battery C

1960    Employed by Soil Conservation Service in Seneca, KS

1962    July, Transferred to Bismarck, ND, working in the Right of Way Division for the Service

1964    November 9; Raised to the permanent rank of Major in the Kansas National Guard

1965    Employed by Farmland Industries, managing a bulk blend fertilizer plant

1967    Retired with the rank of Major on the National Guard Brigade Staff at Topeka, Kansas

1969    Employed by the Bureau of Reclamation as a Soil Scientist, mapping soils for irrigation projects in Minot, ND

1981    February; Transferred to Grand Island, NE to be close to his ailing mother living in Kansas

1982    February; First wife, Yvonne, died.

1983    March 23; Retired from the United States Army

              July; married Ramona Kuhn

1984    February; Retired from Bureau of Reclamation in Grand Island, Nebraska

            Moved Puyallup, Washington and worked a small berry farm before moving to Sumner, Washington

1996    August 17; Died in Sumner, Washington

Access Restrictions: All materials are open for research
Subject Index
Kansas life and culture
Kansas State University history
Languages of Materials
English [eng]
Rights/Use Restrictions: The researcher assumes full responsibility for observing all copyright, property, and libel laws as they apply.
Physical Access Notes: Original materials available during open hours of repository and any digitized materials that are online are available with Internet access.
PreferredCitation: [item title], [item date], Bruce Adams papers, Box [number], Folder [number or title], Morse Department of Special Collections, Kansas State University Libraries.