Clarence Adams Born
January 1, 1930 Died
1999 Place of birth
Memphis, Tennessee Place of death
Pyongyang, North Korea Allegiance
United States (1947–1950) China (1950–1957; defector) Service/branch
United States Army Years of service
1947–1950 (defected) Rank
Clarence Adams was an African-American GI during the Korean War. He was captured on November 29, 1950, when the People's Liberation Army overran his all-black artillery unit's position. Adams was held as a POW until the end of the war. Instead of returning to the United States during Operation Big Switch, Adams was one of 21 American soldiers who chose to settle in the People's Republic of China. As a result of their decision, these 21 Americans were considered defectors.
Early life Edit
Adams grew up poor in Memphis, Tennessee.
He dropped out of high school and joined the  U.S. Army in 1947, at the age of 17.
Korean War Edit
After basic training Adams became an infantry machine gunner. He travelled to Korea shortly after the war between North and South erupted in June 1950 and was posted to Battery A of the 503rd Artillery Regiment, attached to the 2nd Infantry Division. This was his second tour in Korea, as he had first been posted there in 1948.
Prisoner of War Edit
Life in China Edit
Return to the United States Edit
Later years Edit