From: Static Line, March 1999
Don Lassen, PO Box 87518, College Park, GA 30337-0518
Tyerus Adams, one of the 11 surviving members of the 50 man Original Parachute Test Platoon of 1940, died in the early morning hours of February 26 in Augusta, Georgia with Betty his wife of 52 years by his side.
Born on the 16th of July 1914, Tye demonstrated from early on that he was going to be a man cut from the cloth from which PARATROOPERS are made. In 1933, when a recruiter couldn’t find him an enlistment slot, he got himself a cot and moved into the barracks at Ft. Benning and waited for one to come open. It took two weeks, but he got into the 29th Regiment. Now, in those days “Tye had a little bit of temper,” said his wife Betty, with a smile. He didn’t really start any fights, but he sure finished them all. When volunteers were being solicited for the Test Platoon, Tye’s 1st SGT suggested that “it might be a good idea if he was one of them.” He had no doubt he would make it, and he did.
Adams had more than his share of challenges in his Airborne career. Starting with his first jump in 1940, he was knocked out by deploying suspension lines as he left the aircraft. The resulting solution was the “chin on the chest” body position modification all jumpers now use.
After WWII, Adams was assigned in a variety of positions in the Rigger field at Ft. Benning and the Richmond Quartermaster Depot. Among the first handful of the Army’s Master Paratroopers, he was involved in many of the efforts to make military parachuting safer. His accomplishments as a rigger resulted in his being listed in the Rigger Hall of Fame. Adams retired as a Chief Warrant Officer in November 1959.
He missed the D-Day jump into Normandy because he had broken a leg in a preparatory training jump in England, but recovered to participate in the breakout of Bastogne.
Tye and his family settled in Americus, Georgia in 1961, where he began a second career in the dry cleaning business for 6 years, followed by employment with the Sherman Williams Paint Co, from which he retired in 1975.
Visitation hours were held for Adams in Americus on the 28th of February. The service was attended by family members, close friends, and LTC Brian Stephenson, CSM Efrain Hernandez from The Airborne School
A memorial service was conducted to standing room only on the 3rd of March at the Fort Benning Chapel. In attendance in addition to the Adams’ family was the Commanding General of Ft. Benning, MG Carl Ernst. There were several other surviving Test Platoon members present as well as the Airborne Walk Committee. Among the others eulogizing Tye were Charles, “Swifty” Wilson and Thad Selman, both test platoon members.
Honors and the LAST ROLL CALL were conducted by the 1/507 PIR (the Airborne School). His ashes were scattered over Fryar Drop Zone by a C-130 Fly-by as a final resting place for this distinguished Paratrooper. When the ashes left the aircraft, son Tye Jr leaned over to Betty and said, “He’s at home now, Momma.”. With tears in her eyes she felt peace in her heart.
This report was prepared by Marcel “Frenchy” Lettre.