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    Moody honors Khobar Towers hero with Airman’s Medal ceremony

    Mother of Khobar Tower hero honors late son

    Photo By Staff Sgt. Thomas Johns | Catherine Adams, mother of U.S. Air Force Capt. Christopher J.J. Adams, holds her late...... read more read more



    Story by Senior Airman Thomas Johns 

    23rd Wing

    MOODY Air Force BASE, Ga - “When he came into my room, Chris saved my life.”

    Retired Lt. Col. Thomas Shafer, 71st Rescue Squadron deployed commander, wrote those words describing Capt. Christopher J.J. Adams’ heroism in a narrative of the events that took place during the Khobar Towers Bombing in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia, on June 25, 1996.

    Moody Air Force Base, Georgia, the current home of the 71st RQS, posthumously presented Adams an Airman’s Medal on March 11th, 2022, for his actions which resulted in the loss of his life during the attack. The HC-130 Hercules pilot had lived by the very motto echoed in the rescue community.

    “Within Air Force Rescue we have a motto, ‘These things we do so that others may live,’” said Lt. Col. Brian Desautels, 71st RQS commander. “Chris lived that motto on the last day of his life, saving a fellow Airman to make sure he was able to come home.”

    The attack on the Khobar Towers took place when members of Hezbollah Al-Hejaz detonated a bomb next to a housing complex at King Abdul Aziz Air Base, killing 19 U.S. Air Force members and wounding 574 more.

    On the night of the attack, after being notified by the security police sentry to evacuate the building, Adams disregarded his own safety to search for Shafer. After finding Shafer in his room and informing him to evacuate, Adams was mortally wounded in the ensuing explosion.

    “I was a few feet into the center alcove between rooms when the bombs went off,” Shafer explained. “I don’t think I lost consciousness, but I remember becoming aware that I was screaming.”

    Shafer recommended Adams for the Airman’s Medal for his selfless actions and sacrifice to alert him of the present danger.

    “As a result of Captain Adams swift actions, Lieutenant Colonel Shafer survived with minor injuries,” Shafer wrote in the award justification. “His personal courage and decisive action undoubtedly saved the life of his fellow wingman.”

    Today, Adams’ sacrifice reminds current Airman of the 71st RQS of the severity and importance of their commitment.

    “Adams represents what many of our Airmen prepare to do,” Desautels said. “Many times we don’t realize we’re going into harm’s way. Adam’s sacrifice allows us to remember that there’s always people with ill-will while we’re trying to do our heroic mission.”

    This sacrifice and bravery in the face of present danger, and devotion to duty through the rescue motto is what drove Shafer to recommend Adams for the Airman’s Medal.

    The Airman’s Medal was established on July 6, 1960, and is presented to service members who distinguish themselves by a heroic act, usually at the voluntary risk of their own life but not involving combat, which Adams embodied with his actions.

    “With the presentation of the Airman’s Medal to Adams’ family, we can show them that we recognize the heroism and sacrifice of that night,” Desautels said. “I’m just glad we were able to get him the recognition he deserved.”

    As a member of the combat rescue community, Adams distinguished himself and embodied the rescue motto, “So That Others May Live.”



    Date Taken: 03.11.2022
    Date Posted: 03.11.2022 18:59
    Story ID: 416350

    Web Views: 277
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