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American Legion members Stan Gajda and Post 160 historian John Bordeau display the two books about Col. William Koch that the Legion is selling to support its scholarship fund.

Adams American Legion Remembers Local Veteran With Books

By Jack GuerinoiBerkshires Staff
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Col. William C. Koch Jr.
ADAMS, Mass. — The American Legion Post 160 is selling two books outlining the early life and career in the military of Col. William Carl Koch Jr., an Air Force pilot and Adams native.
 
"The Diary of Elsie Kleiner Koch" and his autobiography, "My Dash," look back on Koch's life and long career.
 
"I think it is an important story," Legionnaire Stan Gajda said. "He was an Adams resident and his mother and father lived in Adams. He was brought up in Adams until he left for the Air Force ... he was a great person; a great sense of humor."
 
Koch, who died in 2020, flew more than 100 combat and combat support missions in Southeast Asia during the Vietnam War. He also ferried freight and passengers around the world, flew nearly a dozen different types of planes, was later assigned to satellite tracking and data operations and earned a master of science degree in between. He is buried in Arlington National Cemetery.
 
Gajda said his family was close to Koch, especially his daughter Monique Yates, who also joined the Air Force and became a pilot.
 
"He was a good friend and inspired her to go into the Air Force. I am very proud of her," he said. "My daughter got all of these books when he passed."
 
Yates compiled the two books and Gajda said "The Diary of Elsie Kleiner Koch" is a collection of journal entries from Koch's mother. The book retells Koch's childhood and is set in 1930s Adams.
 
"I think a lot of people would be interested in reading these diaries. They are about everything he did in Adams. Fishing in the Hoosic River," he said. "They used to eat what they caught because no one had any money back then."
 
"My Dash" tells Koch's story through his early years, education, and life in the Air Force.
 
"In the book, it tells you all the places he landed," he said. 
 
The books can be purchased at the Adams American Legion and proceeds will go toward future scholarships for high school students.
 
"He would have been proud of this," Gajda said. 

Tags: american legion,   books,   veterans,   

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Adams Lifts State of Emergency, Gears Up for Summer & Fall Events

By Gregory FournieriBerkshires Correspondent

ADAMS, Mass. — The COVID-19 state of emergency in Adams is over.

Town Administrator Jay Green reported that Adams has lifted the state of emergency implemented for the pandemic. This originally went into effect in March 2020, and was lifted by the town to bring Adams into line with other local communities and the state of Massachusetts, which ended the public health emergency on June 15.

"Dare I say we are slowly approaching normalcy again," Green said Wednesday.

Selectman Joseph Nowak pointed out that despite the state of emergencies being lifted, local businesses may still require their patrons to wear masks. Moreover, Green said if COVID cases were to rise again in Adams, the Board of Health would have the authority to mandate masks independent of this decision by the Selectmen.

This, however, does not appear likely. Green reported that over roughly the last month, there were zero new reported cases of the novel coronavirus in Adams.

Adams joins Pittsfield, North Adams, and other towns in Berkshire County in lifting its state of emergency for the first time in more than a year.

In part to facilitate the return to normalcy, the Events Committee applied for and was granted space on the Town Hall lawn for outdoor movies on July 9, July 23, Aug. 6, and Aug. 20. These movies are family-friendly and begin at dusk. There will not be vendors, so attendees are advised to bring their own snacks and drinks.

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