Ronald Adams was born in the third quarter of 1921 in Lostock Hall. His father was John Thomas Adams (b. 1897 in Preston), who worked in maintenance and repairs on the railway. His mother was Elizabeth Wallbank (b. 1897 in Preston). Elizabeth and John were married in 1920 and Ronald was born the following year. In 1939, the family lived at “Melrose”, 84 Coote Lane, Lostock Hall.
So Ron turned 18 about the time War was declared. He joined the RAF Volunteer Reserve, and was assigned service number 1047206. He joined 104 Squadron. 104 Sqn was reformed at Driffield on 1 April 1941, serving as a night bomber squadron until October that year. They were subsequently based in Malta, then Egypt and Tunisia, until at the end of 1943 they moved to a base near Foggia, in southern Italy.
Wellington X bomber
On the night of 16 April 1944, Wellington X LN928, with Ron as one of the six crew members on board, took off from Foggia Main airbase on an operation to bomb the harbour and shipping at Livorno. On the return trip, over the Tyrrhenian Sea, the pilot experienced engine problems and at 02:09hrs, the crew sent out a message “preparing to ditch”. Air-sea rescue were dispatched from Corsica. In rough seas, the plane hit the water and sank rapidly. The pilot was ejected by the in-rush of water and he managed to clamber into a dingy and was picked up later that day and taken to Bastia for treatment. Searches continued throughout the day for the other crew members but none was found. Ronald Adams was killed that night, he was 22 years old.
Service Number: 1047206
Unit/Regiment: Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve, No. 104 Sqn.
Date of death: 17/04/1944
Commemorated at: MALTA MEMORIAL
Memorial Reference: Panel 14, Column 2.