James Bradshaw Adamson
Major General, United States Army
James Bradshaw Adamson, 81, a retired Army Major General who in 1972 and 1973 was commander of the Military District of Washington, died January 13, 2003, at a hospice in Jupiter, Florida. He had emphysema and lung cancer.
As military district commander, his responsibilities ranged from command of Army details serving at the White House to supervision of burials at Arlington National Cemetery.
In a Florida magazine, he recalled the death of the portly Federal Bureau of Investigation chief J. Edgar Hoover in 1972, which came in General Adamson's first week on the job.
"There I was, overseeing six pallbearers carrying Hoover's casket up the steps of the [Capitol] Rotunda, and they were visibly buckling like they weren't going to make it," General Adamson said. "I had this vision of [him] bumping down the Rotunda steps in his casket."
General Adamson, who lived in the Washington area in the early 1960s and again in the early 1970s, was born in Texas. He was a 1944 graduate of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point and received a master's degree in business administration from the University of Miami.
He served in Korea during the Korean War, was an Army budget analyst in Washington in the early 1960s, a logistics officer in Hawaii and a senior adviser in Vietnam in the late 1960s. He was assigned to the Citadel in Charleston, South Carolina, then, in the early 1970s, commanded the Army's II Corps in Vietnam.
General Adamson, who lived in Jupiter, retired from the Army in 1974. His decorations included the Army Distinguished Service Medal, a Silver Star, three awards of the Legion of Merit, a Bronze Star, a Purple Heart, seven awards of the Air Medal and the Army Commendation Medal.
His marriage to Marjorie Adamson ended in divorce. Their son Patrick died in 1996.
Survivors include his wife of 10 years, Shirley Miller Adamson of Jupiter; two sons from his first marriage, James B. Adamson of Troy, Michigan, and Michael Adamson of Lexington, Virginia; and three grandchildren.
General Adamson was buried with full military honors in Arlington National Cemetery (Section 7, Grave 10201-B-1).
Posted: 25 February 2003 Updated: 10 September 2005