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Dr. Benjamin Harrison Adams
File:File:CAPT Benjamin H. Adams.jpg
Born (1888-11-05)November 5, 1888
Died May 27, 1989(1989-05-27) (aged 100) [1]
Place of birth Armour, South Dakota
Place of death Baltimore, Maryland
Buried at United States Naval Academy Cemetery
Allegiance United States
Service/branch Emblem of the U.S. Department of the Army.svg United States Army
Seal of the United States Department of the Navy.svg United States Navy
Years of service 1918-1950
Rank US-O7 insignia.svg Rear Admiral
Commands held US Naval Academy Hospital
Battles/wars World War I
World War II
Philippines campaign
Awards Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal ribbon.svg Commendation Medal
Spouse(s) Marguerite Schaeffer [2]

Benjamin Harrison Adams (November 5, 1888 – May 27, 1989), was a medical officer in the United States Navy that served during World War I and World War II, and reached the rank of Rear Admiral.

Early life and education[edit | edit source]

Adams was born in Armour, South Dakota, son of Winthrop Lucius and Ellen Amelia Adams (née Moore). In 1912 he began attending Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois. In 1913 he transferred to Cornell College, in Mount Vernon, Iowa, and again in 1914 to the University of Iowa in Iowa City. He graduated with a Doctor of Medicine in 1918 and briefly served with the United States Army.[3]

Career[edit | edit source]

Adams transferred to Naval Service on 15 June 1918 and was given the rank of Lieutenant (junior grade). His first assignment was at the Naval Hospital at Great Lakes, Illinois. LTJG Adams spent the remainder of World War I there, and completed a 15-month internship. In September 1919 LTJG Adams transferred to the Naval Reserve on inactive duty and returned to Sioux City, Iowa to practice medicine. August 31, 1921 Adams returned to active duty in the Regular Navy, Medical Corps and was promoted to Lieutenant.[3]

LT Adams returned to the Naval Hospital at Great Lakes as a Ward Medical Officer. After two years at Great Lakes, Adams was assigned to the USS Idaho (BB-42) as a Junior Medical Officer and spent 11 months at sea. Upon returning, Adams was transferred to the USS Vega (AK-17) as a Medical Officer for ten months. In July 1925, he reported for duty at the Naval Hospital at Puget Sound, Washington until March 1927. His next assignment was Medical Examiner at the Navy Recruiting Station in Seattle, Washington.[3]

Adams was among the first Navy doctors to be designated as a Submarine Medical Officer. In September 1928 he reported for duty as a Submarine Personnel Examiner at the Submarine Base in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. After completing this assignment in June 1930, Adams spent a year studying at the Naval Medical School in Washington DC. He then went on to study Physiology at the School of Public Health, Harvard University in Cambridge Massachusetts. On April 25, 1932, Adams was named a Research Fellow in Physiology.[3][4]

In September 1932, Adams reported to his next assignment as a Medical Examiner at the Submarine Base in New London, Connecticut. In October 1934, he finished his assignment and was transferred to the light cruiser USS Raleigh (CL-7). Adams served on the USS Raleigh for a year, and then spent another year aboard the minelayer USS Oglala. In September 1936, Adams returned to shore duty and conducted chemical warfare research at the Medical Research Unit, Edgewood Arsenal in Edgewood, Maryland. After completing his research he attended the staff officers course in chemical warfare.[3]

In July 1940, CDR Adams joined the Submarine Squadron FIVE, part of the Asiatic Fleet as a Staff Medical Officer and served aboard the flagship USS Canopus (AS-9). The USS Canopus was moored at Manila during the Japanese invasion of the Philippines. Adams established the first aid stations ashore and removed valuable medical supplies before the Japanese could capture them. For his actions, CDR Adams was awarded a Letter of Commendation with Ribbon with combat distinguishing "V" device. With the withdraw of US Forces from Manila to Bataan, CDR Adams became the Senior Naval Medical Officer in the Bataan-Corregidor area. CDR Adams was ordered to Java, traveling there aboard the USS Seadragon (SS-194) and then to Southwest Australia aboard the USS Holland (AS-3). In July 1942, CAPT Adams was transferred to the USS Otus (ARG-20) and returned to the United States.[3]

In November 1942, CAPT Adams became the Executive Officer of the Naval Hospital in St. Albans, New York.[5] Finishing his assignment in February 1944, he received his second Letter of Commendation from the Secretary of the Navy for his service there. From March 1944 until January 1946, CAPT Adams served in the Navy's Bureau of Medicine and Surgery in Washington, DC. In February 1947, CAPT Adams became the Medical Officer in Command of the US Naval Academy Hospital in Annapolis, Maryland. In August 1949 he became a member of the Naval Retiring Review Board. A few months later, CAPT Adams became a Senior Medical Member of the Physical Evaluation Board of the Potomac River Naval Command in Washington DC. He kept this position until his retirement on December 1, 1950. After his retirement, CAPT Adams was promoted to the rank of Rear Admiral [3]

RADM Adams and his wife settled on a farm in the Abingdon, Maryland area after his retirement.[2] Adams was a member of the Mayflower Society and a volunteer with the American Red Cross. RADM Adams was honoured in 1985, when he was designated as a Harford County Living Treasure. He died at Church Hospital in Baltimore, Maryland at age 100.[1] His body was interred in the United States Naval Academy Cemetery in Annapolis, Maryland.[6]

Awards[edit | edit source]

Gold star
AF Presidential Unit Citation Ribbon.pngWorld War I Victory Medal ribbon.svg
Bronze star
American Campaign Medal ribbon.svg
Bronze star
Bronze star
Philippine Defense ribbon.pngWorld War II Victory Medal ribbon.svgNational Defense Service Medal ribbon.svg

References[edit | edit source]

  1. 1.0 1.1 "Dr. Benjamin H. Adams, rear admiral, dies at 100". Baltimore, Maryland. 25 June 1989. p. 12B. https://www.newspapers.com/image/377931946. Retrieved 11 January 2020. 
  2. 2.0 2.1 "Marguerite S. Adams, 89". Baltimore, Maryland. 11 December 1980. p. A6. https://www.newspapers.com/image/371585538/. Retrieved 11 January 2020. 
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 3.5 3.6 Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named NHHC
  4. Official Register of Harvard University. 29. Boston, Massachusetts: Harvard University. 31 May 1932. p. 11. https://archive.org/details/catalog19321933harv. Retrieved 12 January 2020. 
  5. "Hospital Three Years Old Today". New York, New York. 15 February 1946. p. 1. https://archive.org/details/StAlbansNavalHospitalNews35119460215?q=. Retrieved 11 January 2020. 
  6. "Benjamin Harrison Adams (1888-1989)". 11 Sep 2010. https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/58499910/benjamin-harrison-adams. 

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