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Ronald Adam was a man who combined an acting career with an extra-ordinary military career that encompassed being a victim of the Red Baron in world war one to taking his revenge as an RAF fighter controller in the Battle of Britain. Born Ronald George Hinings Adams on the last day of 1896, he was educated at University College, London. When still only 17 years of age Adams volunteered to join the British army on the outbreak of the first world war. On December 2nd 1914 he was commissioned as a temporary second Lieutenant in the 15th (reserve) battalion of the Middlesex regiment. He then transferred to the Royal Flying Corps (RFC) as an observer and then undertook pilot training. Adams then served with 18 squadron and flew Sopwith Camel`s with 44 squadron on home defence duties. He then joined 73 squadron, also flying Sopwith Camel`s in France. On April 7th 1918 he was shot down near Villers-Brettoneux in northern France. Historians still debate who shot down Adams, some argue his victor was Ltn Hans Kirchstein, but many others think that he was the 78th victim of the legendary Baron Manfred Von Richthofen, known to history as the Red Baron. Adams was wounded and captured and on the evening of his ariel defeat was visited by a German orderly who gave him Von Richthofen`s compliments. Ronald Adams spent eight months in hospitals and prison camps before he was re-repatriated on 17th December 1918, the 15th anniversary of the Wright brothers first powered flight.
Post-war Adams trained as a chartered accountant and then moved into theatre management, running the Embassy Theatre in London. He then decided to become an actor proper, altering his name slightly to Ronald Adam. He also wrote books and several of his plays were staged. From 1936 he began to work in films. On the outbreak of the second world war Ronald Adam rejoined the Royal Air Force (RAF) and during the Battle of Britain which raged over England in the summer of 1940 he was the fighter controller for the Hornchurch sector. No matter how good the RAF`s Spitfire and Hurricanes were, they could not be effective unless they could intercept the armada of incoming German planes. It was Wing Commander Ronald Adam`s job to co-ordinate the RAF fighter command interceptions from data gathered by radar and ground observers and then dispatch fighters to intercept. It was a vital role in one of histories decisive battles in which the future of western civilization was at stake. Post war Ronald Adam lived in Surbiton, Surrey and died on 28th March 1979. He was 83 years of age.
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Ronald George Hinings Adams
Ronald Adam OBE (December 31, 1896 – March 28, 1979), born Ronald George Hinings Adams, was a British officer of the RFC and RAF, an actor on stage and screen and a successful theatre manager.
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