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Kenneth T. Adams
was confirmed by the U.S. Senate as Assistant Director of the Coast andkenneth t. adams Geodetic Survey with the rank of Rear Admiral on October 18, 1949. Admiral Adams, a native of Gambier, Ohio, graduated from Kenyon College in 1912 and joined the Coast Survey in December of that year. For the next 20 years he participated in varied field surveys along the coasts of the United States, Alaska, Philippine Islands, and Hawaiian Islands. While in command of the ship GUIDE off the Hawaiian Islands in 1928, Admiral Adams pioneered in the use of precise astronomic control for off-shore hydrography. He also was associated with the initial use and development of radio-echo sounding and radio- acoustic ranging. He is the author of several official technical publications, including the Hydrographic Manual. Admiral Adams has represented the Coast Survey at several international meetings abroad. He is the represent ative of the Department of Commerce on the United States Board on Geographic Names. He is a member of numerous technical societies, and has served as a Director of the American Society of Photogrammetry. He is a member of Phi Beta kappa and Sigma Xi. In 1945, Admiral Adams organized the Division of Photogrammetry, and while serving as its Chief since that date, has been largely responsible for its ascension to the prominent position in the Bureau it now holds.

In spite of his earnest desire to have no official ceremony, Admiral Adams was the recipient of a camera, various other photographic supplies, and a testimonial bearing the signatures of all personnel in the Bureau, in a surprise presentation in his office on Thursday, May 31 1951, climaxing asuccessful career of almost 39 years with the Coast and Geodetic Survey.

Presentations were made by CDR Hubbard and Mr. Geyer in behalf of the Field Association and Civil Service personnel respectively. ADM Adams also received a beautiful copper engraving of Grays Harbor to Admiralty Inlet which was the artistic work of Austin R. Gordon and presented by Adm. Knox in behalf of the Chart Division.

From 1932 to 1934 he was in charge of the Boston office of the Bureau and later served as Chief of the Division of Charts in the Washington office. The Division of Photogrammetry was organized by him in 1945 and he served as the first Chief of the Division until he was appointed to his present position in 1949. During his administration of the Division extensive developments in the use of aerial photographs for charting and mapping purposes have contributed considerable economy to the operation of the Coast and Geodetic Survey. During his many years in field surveys Admiral Adams played a prominent part in the development and improvement of hydrographic and photogrammetric surveying methods which has brought him international recognition. He pioneered in the use of precise astronomic control for offshore hydrography. The Hydrographic Manual, compiled and edited by ADM Adams, has gained recognition throughout the maritime world as the undisputed authority on the subject. His untiring efforts in the study of geographic nomenclature have made the Coast and Geodetic Survey a leader in the proper use of place names appearing on maps and charts. With the approval of the Secretary of Commerce, he will continue to serve after his retirement as the Department of Commerce member on the U.S. Board on Geographic Names.

Leaving the Bureau for the last time in an official capacity, ADM Adams takes with him the satisfaction of having so capably served his country as well as our best wishes and many thanks for a JOB WELL DONE. There is one anecdote that he himself told on the day of the ceremonies. He recalled when he first filled out the questionnaire for the C&GS rating how he was asked whether he had any objections in going to various places such as Hawaii, the Philippines, Alaska, etc. The Alaska answer was a very emphatic expression on his part as not wanting to go there. When he reported for duty the young lady in the appointment office looked up, asked his name. When he answered "Kenneth T. Adams, "she leaned back and laughed heartily. "Oh, yes you are the man who doesn't want to go Alaska." Six months later Aid Kenneth T. Adams was doing duty in Alaska. A sequel of this story is the one that Admiral Studds told of when he entered on duty it was with the express purpose of going to Alaska--he made it after 29 years. "Best of luck to you in all of your endeavors, Admiral Kenneth T. Adams."

The Buzzard Vol. 17, No. 43, 10/25/1949
The Buzzard Vol 19, No. 23, 6/5/1951

Publication of the National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), NOAA Central Library.

Last Updated: June 8, 2006 9:24 AM

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