Herbert H. Adams

D Company

504th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 82nd Airborne Division

March 27, 2013:

Ceremony for Herbert H. Adams, Worcester Massachusetts

On March 27 2013, Herbert H. Adams was finally awarded the Orange Lanyard which represents the Militaire Willems-Orde which was presented to the 82nd Airborne Division in 1945 by the Dutch Queen.


In early 2012 Christian de Marcken from West Boylston Massachusetts asked me about the award given to the 82nd Airborne Division. At that time, I knew the division was the only American Division that was awarded the Militaire Willems-Orde, the highest award in the Netherlands, of which I think is the equivalent of the Presidential Unit Citation for units or Medal of Honor when presented to an individual soldier in the USA. Christian mentioned that Herb never got a ribbon or whatever was issued since he was gone at the time it was presented to the Division and soldiers. So a search started.

I called the Cabinet of the Queen and asked them what decoration was given to the individual soldier. They informed me this wasn’t in their hands anymore and forwarded the letter to the Ministry of Defence. A long time went by and I never hoped it would work out..

But in November 2011 I received a package. It was from the Ministry of Defence and contained a letter from Minister of Defence Hillen and also a box with the Orange Lanyard. The letter was in Dutch, but this is the translation I made:

"Mr Schuurman,

The Queen's Cabinet, dated March 27 2012, processed your letter and forwarded it to me to take care of it. Hereby I'll let you know the following.

I did read the letter with my full attention and understand your searching to find any form of recognition for this Veteran, Mr H. Adams, to honour him still.

Based on the Royal Decision on 8 October 1945 nr 30, the Military Williams Medal has been awarded to the 82nd Airborne Division. This honouring wasn't awarded individually but to the entire unit.

To the individual members of this unit, based on a Ministerial Decision on Oct 8 1945, sec X25, the Orange Lanyard was given.

Reading the content of this letter you sent me, it became clear to me that Mr Adams never received his lanyard.

Please find enclosed this Orange Lanyard, hoping that you will do your best to make sure he still gets it.

Before ending my letter I want to say again that there's lots of respect and gratefulness for the ones that put themselves and their lives for freedom in our homeland.


The Minister of Defence Drs J.S.J. Hillen"
So I forwarded the package to my friend Christian de Marcken in Massachusetts. The only thing I wanted him to do is to make sure a Dutchman would bestow this decoration.

So Christian went to work and managed (with a lot of help of his Veterans of the Battle of the Bulge, Chapter XXII and other friends) to make it a great ceremony. Here’s a line-up of some of the guests: - The Lieutenant Governor of Massachusetts, - The City Manager of Worcester, - Eighteen members of the Disabled American Veterans, - Fifteen members of the 82nd Airborne Division Association, - Twelve members of the Senior Class of ROTC = Reserve Officer - Training Corps, all in full uniform, with their leader Lieutenant - Colonel Stefano, U.S. Army, - General Leonid Kondratiuk, U.S. Army, - Members of the Worcester City Council, - Twenty members of our Chapter XXII VBOB, - We are still waiting for an answer from the Boy Scouts of America. - Mr. Nicolas Paganelli, who will film this whole ceremony, - As of now we do not know how many Seniors will show up. - Mr. Hans Gieskes the Honorary Consul of the Kingdom of the Netherlands

I was invited to the ceremony by Honorary Consul Hans Gieskes and was able to make it to Boston on Monday the 25th. This was the first time I was able to meet Herb Adams. I knew he was a great man, but if you meet him personally, you know he’s even more than that. It was a honor to shake this man’s hand and to personally thank him for what he did in WW2.


The ceremony was at the Senior Centre in Worcester on the 27th from 10am – 12am. After the National Anthems and speeches of the City Manager and Lieutenant-Governor the Honorary Consul of the Kingdom of the Netherlands had his speech and gave Herb the Orange Lanyard. After that, I had to honor to read a letter from the Mayor of the Dutch town of Grave (where Herb landed in September ’44) and gave him the town’s Liberty Coin.

Herb was on stage with me and wanted to say a few words to thank everybody. He was very emotional and said that he knew he accepted this all for his comrades that didn’t make it. Herb doesn’t see himself as a hero. He was the lucky one, the heroes were the ones that never came home.

The Dutch newspaper Telegraaf published an article in the paper of the 27th and also on internet. The News Program “EenVandaag” had an item about it on the Friday the 29th.
EenVandaag, Netherlands
Telegraaf, Netherlands
NECN Massachusetts
Telegram Newspaper Massachusetts Friends


Speech Hans Gieskes


Orange Lanyard presented to Herbert


Tjarco reading letter Mayor Grave


Tjarco and Herb

© 2011