South Missouri Chapter of VHPA



Jim Adams Biography

Jim Adams was born in Independence, MO, grew up in Nevada, MO and graduated NHS in 1960.  He earned degrees from Kansas State University, a Bachelor of Architecture and a Master of Community Planning.  At graduation he was commissioned a 2nd Lieutenant through K-State’s Army ROTC program.         

After flight training at Ft. Wolters TX and Ft. Rucker AL, in December 1968, Adams entered Vietnam and was assigned to the 71st Army Assault Helicopter Company under Americal Division in Chu Lai. During his 12-month tour he was promoted to Captain and twice served as Platoon Leader of each troop carrier platoon.  Adams flew a total of 1400 combat hours in Vietnam, was shot down 3 times, received two Distinguished Flying Crosses, a Bronze Star, and 25 Air Medals, (3 with Valor Device).          

His second DFC was earned on September 22, 1969, “Black Monday” while Cpt. Adams lead his flight into a hot LZ to reinforce ground troops.  His Company had lost 6 choppers with a total of 12 troops KIA, from enemy small arms and 51-caliber machine gun fire.  On exiting the LZ, Cpt. Adams’s chopper was hit by a 51 Cal round passing through his door-post and exiting the roof, blowing out the entire roof mounted towel rack antenna and all engine instruments wiring.  Flying by sound alone, he managed to low level through enemy small arms fire and return to LZ West before the Huey died on the landing pad.                       

After Vietnam, he served as Facility Planner at Ft. Meade MD before leaving active duty in January 1970 to intern as an architect at Davis, Smith & Carter a young growing firm in Reston, VA.  In 1974 Jim returned as a licensed Architect to Nevada MO to found a design/build firm with his wife, Rama, an Interior Designer.  During 37 years of business, Adams&associates, inc., has provided planning, design and construction services to more than 430 public and corporate projects in 13 states.

The Adamses have three children:  Jeremy, a software engineer in Carrollton TX; Joshua, a commercial photographer in Columbia MO; and Jessica, a civil engineer in San Francisco CA.

Jim Adams

South Missouri Chapter of VHPA