Sergeant Archibald John Adams

Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve

Sacred to the memory of Archibald John Adams, Sergt. Pilot, R.A.F., died on active service 8th February 1943, aged 21, beloved only son of Archibald John Adams died 1st January 1958; his wife Mary died 15th November 1966.

CWGC:  Sergeant Pilot Archibald John Adams, Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve, 418 Sqdn Royal Canadian Air Force;  service no. 1340969; died 8 Feb. 1943; son of Mrs. A. J. Adams, of Edinburgh.  W 112. 

Archibald John Adams was born in Edinburgh in 1921, the only son of Archibald John Adams, a grocer, and his wife Mary Gray Mathieson, who had married in 1915 and were living at 123 Nicolson Street by 1920.  

Archibald was a member of the R.A.F. Volunteer Reserve.  He was serving with 418 (City of Edmonton) Squadron of the Royal Canadian Air Force and was based at Bradwell, Essex, when he and the three other crew members were killed on 8 February 1943 during a training flight.  The Operations Record Book states simply “Sergeant Adams crashed near R.A.F. Station, Pershore, during a day cross-country training flight with all members of the crew being killed instantly.”  Other sources state that while low flying their plane hit a tree.  The four crew members were:  Sgt A. J. Adams (Sergeant Pilot), Sgt L. V. Jackson (Air Gunner), LAC C. H. E. Ross (Navigator) and LAC B. Kapusta (Airframe Mechanic).  

Basil Kapusta was a Canadian of Polish descent and his Canadian service record is available on Ancestry.  It reveals that Kapusta was “Killed in Boston III Intruder W.8320 while carrying out training flight” at c.16.45 on 8 February 1943 “One mile N/NW Cock Bevington Hall, near Pershore, Worcs”.  Apparently he was an unauthorised passenger on the flight.

Deaths registered in England record the deaths in Alcester registration district of Archibald J. Adams, a. 21, Leonard V Jackson, a. 20, Basil Kapusta, a. 21 and Charles H. Ross, a. 28.  Jackson and Ross were both married.  Kapusta was buried locally in Pershore Cemetery; Jackson in East Finchley Cemetery, London; Charles Hugh Ross in Hawkhead Cemetery, Paisley; and Adams in the Grange Cemetery, where he would be joined in due course by his parents.

AIR 27 / 1820 No 418 Squadron RCAF (Royal Canadian Air Force): Operations Record Book (available on The Genealogist website,

WW2 Index to Allied Airmen Roll of Honour (Ancestry)