Rescue HC-130 Pilot
Capt. Christopher Adams, called “Chris” had two loves in his life: his best friend and fiancée Air Force Capt. Karen Oullette and their new 32-foot cabin cruiser, dubbed the “Diamond Ring.” He named his boat for his girl because, after their wedding, the couple was going to sail Diamond Ring to the Bahamas for the honeymoon that never was. Most of their friends received their wedding invitations days before the blast.
According to friends, Adams knew he and Karen were going to get married five years ago. It was the last thing on their “Five Year Plan” that was right on schedule.
“Chris would drop everything in a second to stop and help someone else,” said fellow Capt. Ted Ferguson, who also was Adams’ roommate and friend of six years.
Adams’ peers said his concern was always his people. “That was his job as an officer. When he made a decision as an air craft commander, his concern was always his crew – what was best for his crew,” said Capt. George Kochis, pilot. “And every one’s input was important, from the junior airman up.”
Ferguson agreed: “Chris would do anything for the good of the squadron and its people. One year, Chris volunteered to take a Saudi rotation for a married guy so he could spend the holiday with his family.”
Adams also volunteered for and participated in airlift operations during Operation Desert Calm, and he was selected to fly a sensitive mission filming the oil fires in Kuwait during Desert Storm.
He later deployed to Provide Promise, the humanitarian airlift into Bosnia, and flew 16 missions under combat conditions.
Hudson and Adams were with Chris the day before he left for Saudi. They took Diamond Ring for a voyage on the Indian River and ran her aground.
Hudson said they spent a good part of the night trying to get the boat free so they could dock it and catch his flight the next day.