T/Sgt Abner LeRoy Adams (ASN 32888610) was born November 1, 1909 in Delaplane, Fauquier, Virginia. His father, John Robert Adams, and his mother, Mary Smith “Mollie” Turner, were both born and raised in Fauquier County, Virginia. His father was a farmer in Fauquier County. Abner was the seventh of his parent’s nine children. He had two older brothers, four older sisters, one younger brother, and a younger sister.
Abner was raised in Fauquier County and went to schools there. He completed his education at the Manassas Technical School in Manassas, Virginia on May 30, 1930. After graduation, Abner worked on the farm and also was a truck driver in Virginia. In 1933 one of his older brothers, Channing, died. On September 7, 1938 Abner married Virginia native, Zelma Jackson, in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. In 1940 the couple moved to Nassau County, New York. In 1943 Abner received his induction notice, and on April 13, 1943 he enlisted in the Army in New York City, New York.
After his basic training Abner was assigned to the 4042nd Quartermaster Truck Company in the 251st Ordinance Battalion. In November 1943 the 4042nd QM and 251st Ordinance became part of the newly designated 5th Engineer Special Brigade when they arrived in Swansea, Wales. In early 1944, the 5th Engineer Brigade did amphibious landing training in England.
All components of the 5th Engineer Brigade would be landing on the eastern sector of Omaha Beach. The brigade had a total strength of 6,756 men for the invasion. The 4042nd Quartermaster Truck company had a total of 104 2.5 ton trucks and 115 officers and men. On May 21, 1944 T/Sgt Abner Adams wrote to his mother that he would be in charge of 80 trucks during the invasion, and that he was going to do his utmost to shorten this war. On June 5, 1944 the brigade left England and anchored in the English Channel of the coast of Normandy.
Pre-invasion naval and aerial bombardment on Omaha Beach stated at 05:00 on June 6, 1944. The first wave the 4042nd Truck Company was scheduled to hit the beach at 07:20, about 50 minutes after the first assault troops. As the landing craft was approaching the beach it was clear this was not going to be easy. The seas were choppy, the early bombardment did little to prevent the heavy enemy firing, and debris from the earlier assault prevented access as close as desired. Some of the craft had to offload in four to six feet of water, and the trucks also made excellent targets for enemy guns. T/Sgt Abner Adams was in that first wave of 4042nd troops. Of the 35 trucks that were supposed to land, only 13 made it to the beach. Most of the disabled trucks were drowned out, and the rest were hit with enemy fire. T/Sgt Abner L. Adams was leading his men to the beach during the offloading and was killed by enemy fire. Later, the 4042nd was presented with a commendation letter from General Eisenhower for displaying ingenuity in salvaging trucks that were sunk from June 6 – July 15, 1944.
Abner’s body was buried on June 8, 1944 at St. Laurent #1. His remains were later laid to rest near his family in the Mount Morris Community Cemetery in Hume, Fauquier, Virginia. He was survived by his wife. He was also survived by his father, his mother, and his seven siblings. His younger brother, Harry Roosevelt, was a S/Sgt in the Army during WWII.
- 1940 United States Federal Census
- Virginia, U.S., Birth Records, 1912-2015, Delayed Birth Records, 1721-1911
- Pennsylvania, U.S., Marriages, 1852-1968
- U.S., World War II Draft Cards Young Men, 1940-1947
- U.S., Find A Grave Index, 1600s-Current
- U.S. Veterans' Gravesites, ca.1775-2019
- U.S., Headstone Applications for Military Veterans, 1925-1970
- U.S., World War II Army Enlistment Records, 1938-1946
This story is part of the Stories Behind the Stars project (see www.storiesbehindthestars.org). This is a national effort of volunteers to write the stories of all 400,000+ of the US WWII fallen here on Fold3. Can you help write these stories? Related to this, there will be a smart phone app that will allow people to visit any war memorial or cemetery, scan the fallen's name and read his/her story.