Lucian Adams, 80, an Army soldier who received the Medal of Honor during World War II for a solitary forest raid against overwhelming enemy fire, died March 31 at a hospital in San Antonio. He had diabetes and a heart ailment.
Mr. Adams was a staff sergeant in northeastern France when he completed his quick and daring actions against German soldiers on Oct. 28, 1944. Armed with a Browning Automatic Rifle and some grenades, he took 10 minutes to destroy single-handedly three German machine-gun nests and kill nine enemy soldiers.
For his bravery in battle, which helped keep open a supply line to isolated American troops, he received the Medal of Honor, the military's highest award for valor.
After he was discharged in 1945, he spent 40 years working as a benefits counselor in San Antonio for the Veterans Administration, now the Department of Veterans Affairs.
"In combat I had no fear," he told a reporter last year. "None, until the events were over, and I began to realize how serious and how dangerous the situations were."
He was born in Port Arthur, Tex., and had no previous experience with guns before joining the Army in 1943.
In France, he was with the 30th Infantry, 3rd Infantry Division when he met with heavy German resistance in a forest near St. Die.
A commanding officer told him to scout for the enemy, and he reported back what he saw. Figuring Mr. Adams knew the dangers ahead, the officer told him to lead the group through the forest, without benefit of cover.
Mr. Adams ran from tree to tree with the borrowed Browning rifle, firing it from hip level to create his own cover. He dodged enemy rifle grenades and a barrage of tree branches that crashed down around him.
He threw a hand grenade at a machine-gun nest 10 yards away and killed a gunner. He also shot dead a German who was lobbing grenades at him.
With a seeming death-charge toward another machine-gun nest, he somehow avoided enemy fire and took out another machine gunner with a grenade. Two other Germans surrendered.
"Although the remainder of the German group concentrated the full force of its automatic weapons fire in a desperate effort to knock him out, he proceeded through the woods to find and exterminate 5 more of the enemy," his Medal of Honor citation read.
Yet another machine-gun nest opened fire from 20 yards away, and Mr. Adams killed the gunner with his rifle.
At the end of the day, he was without injury. His credited his parents' rosary prayers for his survival.
For his actions in other campaigns, he received the Bronze Star and the Purple Heart.
Last year, he appeared on camera for the History Channel documentary "Hispanics and the Medal of Honor."
His marriage to Linda Cassias Adams ended in divorce.
Survivors include three children, Grace Adams Fawcett, Rosa Adams and Lucian Adams Jr., all of San Antonio; three brothers; three sisters; and two grandchildren.