Soldiers Read More
|Adkins, John Clifton (Clifton)|
|Clifton, as he as called, was born in Letcher Kentucky. His parents were John Clifton Adkins (died in 1938) and Elizabeth Pauline Becker (died in 1991 at age 92). He was the oldest of the Adkins children. Clifton had 3 brothers, two of which died before he did! He came home on emergency leave in May 1944 when his brother Paul (age 11) died. His mother never spoke much about the experience. He graduated from Central Vocational High School in Cincinnati in 1943.
His graduation picture. Courtesy of Joyce Adkins
Short time after that he entered the service on July 24, 1943.
Clifton on the left with hat together with a unknown friend. Courtesy of Joyce Adkins
On 2 November 1944 he was reported Missing in Action as of 28 October, 1944 but on 3 November, 1944 this was changed into Killed in Action. It seemed that he together with Tec 4 Garris (also 31/A) was Killed in Action 1 mile West of Heitrak. Heitrak is part of the town of Neerkant. Both of them were crewmembers of tank 3099971-S, Garris being the driver. The commanding officer of Company A, which was the company he was in, was 1st Lt. Robert Foster. Lt. Foster was commanding officer of tank 3099971-S that day. He was rewarded the Silver Star for his actions on this day (28 October, 1944) with the following citation:
"Captain (then first Lieutenant) Robert C. Foster (Army Serial Number 01011320) Infantry, United States Army, for distinguishing himself by gallantry in action on 29 October 1944, in the area of Liessel, Holland. While he was serving as company commander, Capt. Foster's tank sustained a direct hit, killing and wounding his crew and blowing him from the turret. Although suffering from concussion, he remounted the tank and helped remove the injured soldiers from the stricken vehicle. Ignoring the intense barrage of artillery, mortar and small arms fire, Capt. Foster moved up and down the exposed road, directing his platoon to new positions. After preparing his men to resist the assault, he again disregarded his own safety to rescue another wounded soldier from a disabled tank. With assistance of another soldier, he carried the wounded man in nearly a mile through intense enemy fire until he found a medical vehicle. Capt. Foster's valorous conduct and magnificent devotion to his men merits the highest commendation."
Since he was the tankcommander of tank 3099971-S one of the men refered to in the citation was John Adkins.
Clifton was only 20 years old.
Western Union Telegram. Courtesy of Joyce Adkins
Letter by Lt. Col. Erlenbusch his commanding officer. Courtesy of Joyce Adkins.
His original Purple Heart with case. Courtesy of Joyce Adkins.
Many thanks to Joyce Adkins (sister in law) and Wesley Johnston for providing the information.