Yehoshua Adari (Truskinovski), son of Moshe and Sara (nee Pominski), was born on February 23,1911 (25 Shevat, 5671) in Pasiene, Zilupe Municipality, Latvia. Yehoshua’s father passed away when Joshua was young, forcing the boy to help support his family that included his mother and two small brothers. Yehoshua was among the first to join the “Betar” Movement in Latvia (a Revisionist youth movement founded in 1923 in Riga, Latvia by Ze’ev Jabotinsky). In April 1930, Yehoshua immigrated to Palestine with the “Menorah” group (the first organizational framework of the Betar Movement in Eretz Yisrael and of which the first immigrants from Betar Latvia became members).
Yehoshua joined a Betar work crew and served in Kfar Saba, Herzliya and Netanya. He worked the citrus groves of Be’er Ya’acov and Klamenya near Kfar Saba and also served as a construction worker in Ramat Gan. It was reported that Yehoshua was strongly committed to fulfilling his duties, and even during the toughest times, he was optimistic and in good spirits.
During the Arab riots against the Jewish settlers in 1936, Yehoshua was among the first Jewish guards on the British Police Force (“Notrim”) during the British Mandate (1917-1948) serving the Jewish settlements. He was stationed in Ashdod. During that same time, he joined Etzel (Irgun Tzva’i Leumi), an underground Jewish military movement established in Jerusalem in 1931. It was founded by commanders who broke away from the Hagana, and demanded to act decisively against Arab aggression at that time, especially the aggression during the riots of 1929. Most of its members were young people from the Revisionist movement of “Betar”.
Shortly after the outbreak of World War Two, Yehoshua joined the British Army on 2.1.1940. He was assigned to the Transport Corps, later on joining the 462nd Company. After a short time he was promoted to the rank of lance-corporal. Yehoshua, or "Shayke" as he was referred to by his friends, was admired both by his superiors and his subordinates and was known for his willingness to help others. During his service, he remained in close contact with his Etzel comrades and enlisted many of his friends to join the underground movement.
Yehoshua served in Lebanon, Egypt, and the Western Desert of North Africa. When the front between the British forces and the German forces advanced westward and the danger of a Nazi invasion of Palestine passed, it was decided that Yehoshua’s unit take part in the invasion of Italy. The unit was transferred to Alexandria in Egypt where it received new supplies and equipment, including new vehicles.
On April 29, 1943, after Passover, a convoy of about 30 ships embarked from Alexandria in Egypt, destined for the island of Malta. At the head of the convoy was the ship "Erinpura" and on board were soldiers of the 462nd General Transport Company, which included Yehoshua.
On May 1, 1943 (27 Nissan, 5703), during the course of the trip, the convoy was spotted by a German reconnaissance plane. Towards evening the convoy was bombed by German fighter planes. "Erinpura" was sunk by a direct hit. 140 soldiers from Yehoshua’s Palestine unit were killed at sea, among them Yehoshua. He was 32 when he died. The exact spot where they went down has never been found.
Yehoshua was memorialized in the book “Remembering Them Forever”, written in memory of the members of Etzel who died. A monument in memory of Yehoshua and his friends was erected on Mt. Herzl in Jerusalem. It is in the shape of a ship set in a corner of a shallow pool representing the sea. On the periphery of the pool there are 137 plaques with the names of the fallen soldiers, one on each plaque.
Both of Yehoshua’s brothers, Meir Rachmiel and Solomon, served in the Latvian Army. Solomon was killed in 1942 during his service. Meir Rachmiel was injured a number of times and died later on in Riga. Their mother most probably lost her life in the Holocaust.
The partial details of Yehoshua Adari's life appear on the website "Yizkor" of the Israeli Ministry of Defense.
His story was completed in 2017 by researchers of “Giving a Face to the Fallen”.