Henry James McAdam

Sergeant Henry James McAdam from Belfast, Co. Antrim died on a raid over Berlin on 1st September 1943 while serving as an Air Gunner with RAF 77 Squadron.


Henry James McAdam


Belfast born Henry James McAdam flew with RAF 77 Squadron and survived several near misses over the skies of Germany before his untimely death in September 1943.

Sergeant Henry James McAdam (547995) served in the Royal Air Force during World War Two. He was the son of Thomas McAdam and Margaret McAdam of Belfast, Co. Antrim.

McAdam was Air Gunner on Handley Page Halifax DT643 damaged by flak on 10th July 1943. His crew took off at 2314hrs from RAF Elvington, Yorkshire on a bombing raid to Gelsenkirchen, Germany. They hit their targets from around 19,000 feet, suffered slight flak damaged but returned to base at 0512hrs.

The Belfast man had another escape on 26th July 1943. He was the only member of the above crew not on board Handley Page Halifax JB838 when it was shot down over Essen, Germany. All on board died.

Berlin CWGC Memorial

A memorial bearing the inscription "their name liveth for ever more" stands in the Berlin 1939-1945 Cemetery in Charlottenburg, Berlin. Photo taken on 24th October 2017.

Eventually, after a number of raids over Germany, Sergeant McAdam’s luck ran out. He died on 1st September 1943 aged 23 years old. Handley page Halifax JD418 KN-A of RAF 77 Squadron failed to return from an operation over Berlin, Germany. The plane took off at 2028hrs on 31st August 1943 from RAF Elvington, Yorkshire piloted by Flight Sergeant Ralph Owen Chester.

Four other members of the crew died alongside Chester and McAdam. The remaining two aircrew became prisoners of war.

Sergeant Henry James McAdam’s grave is in Section 1, Row E, Plot 17 of the 1939-1945 War Cemetery, Charlottenburg, Berlin, Germany. His headstone bears the inscription:

God took him home, it was his will but in our hearts he liveth still. Our son.

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