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Air Marshal Carey William Adamson, CNZM, AFC (5 September 1942 – 10 May 2019) was a senior officer of the Royal New Zealand Air Force. He was Chief of the Air Staff from 1995[1] to 1999 and Chief of Defence Force from 1999 to 2001.

Carey Adamson
Born(1942-09-05)5 September 1942
Fairlie, New Zealand
Died10 May 2019(2019-05-10) (aged 76)
AllegianceNew Zealand
Service/branchRoyal New Zealand Air Force
Years of service1961–2001
RankAir Marshal
Commands heldChief of Defence Force
Chief of the Air Staff
No. 40 Squadron RNZAF
Battles/warsVietnam War
AwardsCompanion of the New Zealand Order of Merit
Air Force Cross

Adamson grew up in Fairlie before attending Timaru Boys' High School, where he was a boarder. As a teenager, Adamson joined the Air Training Corps. He then joined the Royal New Zealand Air Force in 1961, where he served as a pilot flying Austers and Harvards. In 1964 Adamson was assigned to the United States to train on the C130 Hercules.[2]

In the 1979 Queen's Birthday Honours, Adamson was awarded the Air Force Cross.[3] In the 1999 New Year Honours, he was appointed a Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit.[4]

Adamson died on 10 May 2019.[5]


  1. ^ Lee-Frampton, Nick (24–30 July 1996). "Forward Thrust". Flight International. Retrieved 15 May 2016.
  2. ^ "Pilot's painful duty to clip wings of his own fighters". The New Zealand Herald. Retrieved 25 May 2016.
  3. ^ "No. 47871". The London Gazette (3rd supplement). 16 June 1979. p. 31.
  4. ^ "New Year honours list 1999". Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet. 31 December 1998. Retrieved 16 May 2019.
  5. ^ "Carey Adamson death notice". The Press. 16 May 2019. Retrieved 16 May 2019.

External linksEdit

Military offices
Preceded by
Lieutenant General Anthony Birks
Chief of Defence Force
Succeeded by
Air Marshal Bruce Ferguson
Preceded by
Air Vice Marshal John Hosie
Chief of the Air Staff
Succeeded by
Air Vice Marshal Don Hamilton