WW2 CBE MEDAL GROUP BRIGADIER ADAMS ROYAL ARTILLERY DEVELOPER ROCKET TECHNOLOGY

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A post-war C.B.E. group of seven awarded to Brigadier J. D. Adams, Royal Artillery, who played a vital role in the development of surface-to-air weapons as C.O. of TEGWRA – the secret Trials Establishment Guided Weapons Royal Artillery – at the height of the Cold War. His earlier command of Hong Kong’s anti-aircraft defences was rewarded by his appointment to O.B.E.

The Most Excellent Order of the British Empire, C.B.E. (Military) Commander’s 2nd type neck badge, silver-gilt and enamel, in its Garrard & Co. case of issue; 1939-45 Star; Burma Star; Defence and War Medals 1939-45; General Service 1918-62, G.VI.R., 1 clasp, Malaya, impressed named to MAJOR J. D. ADAMS, R.A.; Coronation 1953, generally good very fine, the last seven swing mounted, as worn.

C.B.E. London Gazette 1 January 1963. The original recommendation states:

‘Brigadier Adams has been Commandant of the Trials Establishment Guided Weapons Royal Artillery since September 1959. During that time, this establishment has played a vital part in the development of surface-to-air guided weapons and in their introduction into regiments of the Royal Artillery. An exhaustive series of tests and trials were organised by Brigadier Adams and completed with exemplary exactitude. When the time came for the first firings by operational regiments, it was Brigadier Adams who once again made all the arrangements and who provided so much wise advice in the development of tactical doctrine for them to follow. More recently, an urgent requirement arose for the conversion of training missiles into operational ones. It was a technical task of considerable complexity. Under Brigadier Adams’s guidance, TEGWRA performed it in a much shorter time than had been forecast by the experts. In all that TEGWRA does, there is abundant evidence of the excellence of the command and guidance provided by Brigadier Adams … I strongly recommend that these sterling services be recognised by the award of the C.B.E.’

John Donald Adams was born on 7 December 1909 and was commissioned 2nd Lieutenant in the Royal Artillery in August 1930. Seconded to the Indian Army in October 1937, he was advanced to Captain in the following year and witnessed active service in the Burma campaign, at one time in the acting rank of Lieutenant-Colonel. Back on the Home Establishment, Adams gained the substantive rank of Major in July 1946 and served as a Senior Gunnery Instructor in Western Command 1948-50. Next embarked for Hong Kong, he commanded 27 Heavy Anti-Aircraft Regiment, R.A., a successful tour of duty that resulted in his appointment to O.B.E. (London Gazette 1 January 1955, refers). The recommendation refers to his ‘outstanding service’ and additional responsibilities as Hong Kong’s Anti-Aircraft Defence Commander in the same period (T.N.A. WO 373/162 refers); copy included. Having then seen active service in Malaya, he returned home to an appointment at the Central School of Anti-Aircraft Gunnery, prior to being advanced to Colonel and appointed C.O. of TEGWRA in September 1959: here then his vital part in the development of surface-to-air guided weapons at the secret R.A. establishment at Anglesey. Awarded the C.B.E., he was promoted to substantive Brigadier in January 1962 and placed on the Retired List later in the same year; sold with much copied research.

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