Burt Adams was born on February 10, 1918, in Chester, Illinois. He enlisted in the Aviation Cadet Program of the U.S. Army Air Forces on September 4, 1941, and was commissioned a 2d Lt and awarded his pilot wings on June 23, 1942. Lt Adams next went to Orlando AAF, Florida, for night fighter pilot training before being assigned to the 6th Night Fighter Squadron of the 18th and then the 15th Fighter Group, flying the P-70 Nighthawk. He deployed with the group to New Guinea in March 1943 and was credited with destroying 1 enemy aircraft in aerial combat before transferring to the 80th Fighter Squadron of the 8th Fighter Group, flying the P-38 Lightning, in October 1943. Capt Adams was credited with destroying 6 more enemy aircraft in aerial combat before transferring to the 13th Air Force, also based in New Guinea, in June 1944. Col Adams returned to the U.S. in October 1944, and left active duty on October 18, 1946, remaining in the Air Force Reserve until his retirement on February 25, 1969. Burt Adams died on December 14, 1977.
Oh! I have slipped the surly bonds of earth
And danced the skies on laughter-silvered wings;
Sunward I've climbed, and joined the tumbling mirth
Of sun-split clouds - and done a hundred things
You have not dreamed of - wheeled and soared and swung
High in the sunlit silence. Hov'ring there
I've chased the shouting wind along, and flung
My eager craft through footless halls of air.
Up, up the long delirious, burning blue,
I've topped the windswept heights with easy grace
Where never lark, or even eagle flew -
And, while with silent lifting mind I've trod
The high untresspassed sanctity of space,
Put out my hand and touched the face of God.