PEOPLE--UNITED STATES

Captain Willis W. Bradley, Jr., USN (Retired), (1884-1954)

Willis Winter Bradley, Jr. was born on 28 June 1884 in Ransomville, New York. Appointed from North Dakota to the U.S. Naval Academy, he graduated in September 1906. For his two-year Midshipman duty, he served on board USS Virginia. Commissioned an Ensign in September 1908, he reported to USS Culgoa, where he transferred in succession to USS Perkins, USS Hancock, and USS South Carolina. In September 1911, he was promoted to Lieutenant Junior Grade. A year later, commanded both USS Biddle and the Reserve Torpedo Group at Annapolis, Maryland. Remaining in the area, he was promoted to Lieutenant in July 1913 and completed an Ordnance Course at the Naval Postgraduate School as well as graduating with a Masters of Science degree from George Washington University at Washington, D.C. In July 1915, he assumed command of USS Stewart, then transferred to command USS Hull. A year later, he served on board USS San Diego.

During World War I, Bradley received orders to USS Pittsburgh. On 23 July 1917, an accidental explosion of saluting cartridges in the after casemate left him unconscious. Regaining composure, though still dazed, he crawled into the casemate and extinguished multiple fires, preventing further explosions. For his "extraordinary heroism" on this occasion, he was awarded the Medal of Honor. That August, he was temporarily promoted to Lieutenant Commander. Returning to the U.S., he served at the Bureau of Ordnance, Washington, D.C., where he was temporarily promoted to Commander. After a brief tour at Naval Torpedo Station, Keyport, Washington, he was assigned to USS Texas, then transferred to USS California. In the spring of 1922, after his promotion to Commander became permanent, he returned to the Naval Torpedo Station at Keyport as the Naval Inspector of Ordnance in Charge. In 1924, he commanded USS Gold Star and returned two years later to the Bureau of Ordnance.

In June 1929, Bradley was appointed as Naval Governor and Commander, Naval Station of Guam. In May 1931, he commanded USS Bridge. In July 1933, he was promoted to Captain and became Captain of the Yard at the Pearl Harbor Navy Yard, then Territory of Hawaii. In June 1935, he commanded USS Portland. After attending the Naval War College at Newport, Rhode Island, in May 1938, he was assigned as a Member of the Board of Inspection and Survey, Pacific Coast Section, located out of Long Beach, California. A year later, he became Destroyer Squadron Thirty-One, serving on flagship USS MacLeish. In the summer of 1940, he returned to the Board of Inspection and Survey. In August 1946, he retired and was placed on the retired list. During 1947-1949, Bradley was elected as a Representative of the Eighteenth District of California as a Member of the Eightieth Congress of the United States. Willis W. Bradley died on 27 August 1954 and is buried at Fort Rosecrans National Cemetery, San Diego, California.

USS Bradley (FF 1041), 1965-1988, was named in honor of Captain Willis W. Bradley.

This page features, and provides links to, selected views concerning Captain Willis W. Bradley, USN.

For images of Willis W. Bradley, Jr., receiving the Medal of Honor see:

Photo #: NH 105301

Lieutenant Willis W. Bradley, Jr., USN


Halftone reproduction of a photograph, copied from the official publication "Medal of Honor, 1861-1949, The Navy", page 114.
He received the medal for "extraordinary heroism" following an ammunition explosion and fire on board USS Pittsburgh (Armored Cruiser #4), 23 July 1917.

U.S. Naval History and Heritage Command Photograph

Online Image: 56KB; 590 x 765 pixels

 
Photo #: NH 2765

Commander Willis W. Bradley, Jr., USN,

(second from right)
(Naval Governor and Commander, Naval Station, Guam)

Pictured with Naval Aides on Guam, circa 1929-1931

U.S. Naval History and Heritage Command Photograph

Online Image: 62KB; 550 x 765 pixels

 
Photo #: NH 982

Commander Willis W. Bradley, Jr., USN,
(center)
(Naval Governor and Commander, Naval Station, Guam)

Pictured with his staff in front of the Padre Palomo School with school personnel, circa 1930.

U.S. Naval History and Heritage Command Photograph

Online Image: 94KB; 740 x 545 pixels

 
Photo #: NH 983

Commander Willis W. Bradley, Jr., USN,
(center)
(Naval Governor and Commander, Naval Station, Guam)

Speaking to Navy Band members, staff, and school personnel at Padre Palomo School, Guam, circa 1930.

U.S. Naval History and Heritage Command Photograph

Online Image: 86KB; 740 x 550 pixels

 
Photo #: NH 985

Commander Willis W. Bradley, Jr., USN,
(center)
(Naval Governor and Commander, Naval Station, Guam)

Gathers with his official staff and Guam natives on grounds of William J. Maxwell School, circa 1930.

U.S. Naval History and Heritage Command Photograph

Online Image: 99KB; 740 x 535 pixels

 
Photo #: NH 986

Commander Willis W. Bradley, Jr., USN,
(center)
(Naval Governor and Commander, Naval Station, Guam)

Pictured with his staff and students of Seaton Schrodder Junior High School, Guam, circa 1930.

U.S. Naval History and Heritage Command Photograph

Online Image: 72KB; 740 x 540 pixels

 
Photo #: NH 987

Commander Willis W. Bradley, Jr., USN,
(center)
(Naval Governor and Commander, Naval Station, Guam)

Pictured on the steps of the Adelbert-Althouse School with aides and the school's staff, Guam, circa 1930.

U.S. Naval History and Heritage Command Photograph

Online Image: 75KB; 740 x 540 pixels

 
Photo #: NH 988

Commander Willis W. Bradley, Jr., USN,

(Seated in first chair)
(Naval Governor and Commander, Naval Station, Guam)

Pictured during Arbor Day Exercises at the Governor's Palace, Agana, Guam, circa 1930.

U.S. Naval History and Heritage Command Photograph

Online Image: 83KB; 740 x 575 pixels

 
Photo #: NH 989

Commander Willis W. Bradley, Jr., USN,

(standing in white suit)
(Naval Governor and Commander, Naval Station, Guam)

Pictured with Navy Band and personnel of the Henry B. Price school on the school grounds, Guam, circa 1930.

U.S. Naval History and Heritage Command Photograph

Online Image: 96KB; 740 x 575 pixels

 
Photo #: NH 990

Commander Willis W. Bradley, Jr., USN,

(standing in white suit)
(Naval Governor and Commander, Naval Station, Guam)

Pictured at Arbor Day Exercises at the Governor's Palace, Agana, Guam, circa 1930.

U.S. Naval History and Heritage Command Photograph

Online Image: 106KB; 740 x 575 pixels

 


Medal of Honor citation of Lieutenant Willis Winter Bradley, Jr., USN (as printed in the official publication "Medal of Honor, 1861-1949, The Navy", page 114):

"For extraordinary heroism and devotion to duty while serving on the U.S.S. Pittsburgh, at the time of an accidential explosion of ammunition on that vessel. On 23 July 1917, some saluting cartridge cases were being reloaded in the after casemate; through an accidential explosion occurred. Commander Bradley (then Lieutenant), who was about to enter the casemate, was blown back by the explosion and rendered momentarily unconscious, but while still dazed, crawled into the casemate to extinguish burning materials in dangerous proximity to a considerable amount of powder, thus preventing further explosions."


For higher resolution images see: Obtaining Photographic Reproductions

To the best of our knowledge, the pictures referenced here are all in the Public Domain, and can therefore be freely downloaded and used for any purpose.



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