André A. Adam
Biography: André Alfred Adam was born on March 25, 1925, in Lowell, Massachusetts. He was the son of Calixte Adam and Marie A. Gauvin and attended Sacred Hearts School in Lawrence, MA, through the seventh grade. After leaving school in 1941, he worked at Liberty Bell Bakery, also in Lawrence, as a bakers helper.
Service Time: André entered the service on June 6, 1943, at Boston, Massachusetts. He was initially trained as a field artillery soldier but as the war went on, he went into the Replacement System and was trained as a medium tank crewman. He also qualified as a Marksman with the .30 caliber M1 carbine.
On January 25th, 1944, while on leave from the unit, he married the former Evelyn Alice Deshaies, who was born in Lawrence. She was the daughter of Omar Deshaies and Albia Provencal. The new couple’s celebrating went on a little longer than allowed and André came back to camp late and AWOL (absent without leave).
André shipped out to England on March 1, 1944, arriving on the 13th. He was assigned to Company B of the 803rd Tank Destroyer Battalion and was initially used as a messenger driver. He was soon serving in a TD as a driver and also operated the radio, fired the weapon and helped with the maintenance. The unit helped capture St. Lô in July and then moved quickly across northern France in August, passing through Belgium and Holland before reaching the Siegfried Line in September. They supported operations north of Aachen in October and then transferred to the Hürtgen Forest. Just before the German offensive began, the 803rd transferred into the Ardennes.
On December 16th, the unit was in the vicinity of Mondorf, Luxembourg, and B Company was north of that position near Consdorf. They were shelled by enemy artillery in preparation for an attack on that position. André was lightly wounded in his right thigh and was left behind as the town was evacuated by his unit. He was finally evacuated after he purposely laid in the road in front of a jeep full of officers. He was treated and was able to return to duty within a short period of time. The B Company CP (Command Post) was overrun the very next day.
They were then committed against the Siegfried Line in early 1945 and converted to the M36 in February. They participated in the capture of Trier and crossed the Rhine River on March 23rd at Oppenheim, Germany. The 803rd joined the elimination of Ruhr Pocket in April and then marched southeast through Austria and into Czechoslovakia.
André received the Purple Heart along with the Good Conduct Medal, the EAME Medal, and the WWII Victory Medal. He left the service, at the rank of Technician 5th Grade, at Fort Devens, MA, on December 5, 1945.
He returned to Lawrence and to Evelyn and worked in maintenance and carpenter jobs. The couple had one daughter, Andrea, born in 1946. André passed away on April 20, 1993, and was buried in the Fort Logan National Cemetery in Denver, Colorado. I want to thank André‘s daughter, Andrea, for providing the information and photos for this tribute.