Willis Winter Bradley, Jr., born in Ransomville, N.Y., on 28 June 1884, was appointed to the Naval Academy in 1903. He graduated on 12 September 1906 and went to sea in Virginia (Battleship No. 13). After two years at sea as a passed midshipman, he received his commission as an ensign on 13 September 1908. Successively, Bradley served in Culgoa from the fall of 1908 to October 1910, helped to fit out and commission Perkins (Torpedo Boat Destroyer No. 26), and served in her until March of 1911. From then until September of 1912, he saw duty, first in the transport Hancock and then in South Carolina (Battleship No. 26). Next, he commanded Biddle (Torpedo Boat No. 26) and the Reserve Torpedo Group at Annapolis, Md.
Beginning in September 1913, Bradley studied ordnance and explosives at the Naval Postgraduate School in Annapolis, Md., and then at George Washington University in Washington, D.C. He continued his studies at the Naval Proving Ground in Indian Head, Md., at the Bausch & Lomb, and at the Midvale Steel Co. in Pittsburgh, Pa. In July 1915, Bradley returned to sea in command of Stewart (Destroyer No. 13). That December, he was transferred to command of Hull (Destroyer No. 7) and of the Reserve Torpedo Division, Pacific Fleet. After service in San Diego (Armored Cruiser No. 6) between September 1916 and February 1917, Bradley became gunnery officer in Pittsburgh (Armored Cruiser No. 4). In that capacity, he earned the Medal of Honor on 23 July 1917 during a powder explosion in one of the ship's casemates. Though temporarily stunned, he entered the compartment, saved a man's life, and then reentered the casemate to extinguish burning gunpowder.
Bradley moved ashore again in January 1918 to head the Explosives, Fuses, and Primers Section of the Bureau of Ordnance. From there, he went to the Naval Torpedo Station in Keyport, Wash., in August 1919 to serve as a naval inspector. Returning to sea in June 1920, Bradley served as gunnery officer in Texas (BB-35) until May 1921. At that time, he reported to the Mare Island Navy Yard to assist in fitting out and commissioning California (BB-44). After the battleship went into commission on 10 August, he served as her gunnery officer.
Bradley returned to Keyport in May 1922 for two years of duty at the Naval Torpedo Station as the Naval Inspector in Charge. From July 1924 to November 1926, he commanded Gold Star (AK-12), the station ship at Guam in the Mariana Islands. Between late 1926 and the middle of 1929, Bradley served in the Naval Reserve Section in the Bureau of Navigation. Following that tour of duty, he became governor of Guam in June 1929. Bradley resumed sea duty in July 1931 in command of Bridge (AF-1). Two years later, he became Captain of the Yard at the Pearl Harbor Navy Yard. After six months, however, he was transferred to command of Portland (CA-33).
That assignment lasted until June 1937 at which time he was reassigned to the Naval War College as a student. After a year of duty with the Pacific coast section of the Board of Inspection and Survey beginning in May 1938, Capt. Bradley commanded Destroyer Squadron (DesRon) 31, Battle Force, based in San Diego for a year. At the conclusion of that assignment, he resumed duty with the Board of Inspection and Survey on the west coast. He continued in that billet through the end of World War II and until his retirement on 1 August 1946. Between 1947 and 1949, Bradley represented California’s 18th Congressional District in the United States House of Representatives. He died at Santa Barbara, Calif., on 27 August 1954.
(DE-1041: dp. 2,620; l. 414½'; b. 44 1/6'; dr. 24'; s. 27 k.; cpl. 247; a. 2 5", ASROC, DASH, 6 12.75" tt.; cl. Garcia)
Bradley (DE-1041) was laid down on 17 January 1963 at San Francisco Calif., by the Bethlehem Steel Co.; launched on 26 March 1964; sponsored by Mrs. Willis W. Bradley; and commissioned on 15 May 1965, Comdr. Robert H. Robeson in command.
The ocean escort spent the first 14 months of her career operating off the west coast of the United States. During the summer of 1965, she outfitted and conducted her shakedown cruise. After post-shakedown availability at Hunters' Point Naval Shipyard, Bradley began normal training evolutions in the waters along the west coast. On 2 July 1966, however, the warship embarked upon her first deployment to the western Pacific. For about four months, she operated with units of the 7th Fleet along the coast of Vietnam and in the Gulf of Tonkin. The ocean escort provided antisubmarine warfare (ASW) and plane-guard services to the carriers of Task Force (TF) 77 and spent two periods of time performing gunfire support duties nearer the Vietnamese coast. Bradley concluded her first Far Eastern deployment at San Diego on 21 December.
Post-deployment and holiday standdown followed by some training missions occupied her time through late February 1967. At that time, she entered the Long Beach Naval Shipyard for the installation of the Sea Sparrow missile system, a surface-to-air modification of the Sparrow air-to-air missile system. Over the next several months, Bradley completed the installation and tested the system. In September, the system was removed, and the ocean escort resumed normal operations along the west coast.
Those operations lasted until late December. On the 28th, the warship embarked upon her second deployment to the western Pacific. While she was en route to the Far East, the North Koreans captured Pueblo (AGER-2) on the high seas. Consequently, Bradley’s task organization received orders diverting it to the Sea of Japan to participate in the show of force that followed in the wake of that incident. In March, she resumed duty in the Gulf of Tonkin and along the Vietnamese coast escorting TF 77 carriers and performing gunfire support missions. That assignment occupied her until the summer of 1968. Bradley returned to San Diego on 5 July 1968. In October, the warship entered the Long Beach Naval Shipyard for her first regular oyerhaul. She completed repairs in May 1969, conducted a post-overhaul shakedown cruise, and then resumed local operations.
On 5 January 1970, the ocean escort stood out of San Diego on her way back to the western Pacific. By early February, she was off the coast of Vietnam providing gunfire support for the troops ashore. During the ensuing months, she divided her time between shore bombardment missions, carrier escort duties, and port visits. On 9 June, Bradley completed her final line period off Vietnam. After stops at Subic Bay, Guam, Midway, and Pearl Harbor, she arrived back in San Diego on 2 July. Following post-deployment standdown, the warship took up normal operations along the west coast in August. That employment occupied her through the end of 1970 and the first two months of 1971.
On 2 March 1971, Bradley steamed out of San Diego and shaped a course for the western Pacific. After a stop at Yokosuka, the ocean escort rendezvoused with elements of TF 77 at Yankee Station on 1 April. For four months, she provided antisubmarine and plane guard services for the fast carriers, taking occasional breaks for port visits and upkeep. On 8 August, she completed her last tour with the carriers and, following a brief stop at Yokosuka, headed back to the United States. Bradley reentered San Diego on 24 August and commenced a month of leave and upkeep. Following several weeks of normal operations, she entered Long Beach Naval Shipyard for her second regular overhaul.
Repairs continued through Independence Day 1972. Bradley resumed operations along the west coast, including post-overhaul refresher training until mid-November. On the 15th, she got underway to rejoin the 7th Fleet in the Far East. The warship arrived in Subic Bay on 1 December; but, by the 7th, she was steaming with units of TF 77 on Dixie Station in the Gulf of Tonkin. Again carrier escort, plane guard, and gunfire support missions dominated her line periods during this tour of duty.
It was during this deployment on 27 January 1973, that the parties involved in the conflict concluded a cease fire that allowed United States forces to begin withdrawing from Vietnam. The agreement, however, stipulated that the Navy sweep the mines it had sown in North Vietnamese waters. Bradley and other Navy ships, therefore, continued to operate in the Gulf of Tonkin covering the minesweeping force. Her participation in that operation lasted until late in April 1973. After visits to Keelung on Taiwan and the Japanese towns of Sasebo, Beppu, and Yokosuka, Bradley got underway to return to the United States on 11 May. She arrived back in San Diego on 25 May.
The ocean escort remained in port until early September when she put to sea for some tests. A material casualty to her boilers, however, forced her back to San Diego and into an extended repair period. She did not complete repairs until early March 1974. On 9 April 1974, Bradley stood out of San Diego bound for the western Pacific. She arrived in Subic Bay on 5 May and, for the next three months, conducted exercises in the South China Sea and in the Philippines.
On 9 August, the warship and her task group, then operating in the South China Sea, set a course for Vietnamese waters. On 10 August, the task group reestablished Dixie Station off Vietnam to monitor the deterioration of South Vietnam. The mission there ended two days later, however, and the task group visited Hong Kong. After that, she resumed her former occupation until late September. On the 29th, Bradley departed Subic Bay for the United States. The warship arrived in San Diego on 18 October and commenced a month of leave and upkeep. She remained in port for the remainder of the year.
Bradley spent the first half of 1975 either in port at San Diego or conducting exercises in the southern California operating area. On 28 June, the ocean escort began a regular overhaul at the Long Beach Naval Shipyard. Two days later, she was reclassified a frigate and redesignated FF-1041. The repair period lasted nearly a year and was not declared complete until 21 May 1976. Following refresher training, the frigate resumed normal operations in the southern California operating area for the rest of the year and into 1977. On 17 February 1977, she put to sea to participate in a major fleet exercise, RIMPAC 1-77. At the conclusion of the exercise, she headed for the western Pacific and arrived in Subic Bay on 19 March.
After about seven weeks of operations out of Subic Bay, Bradley embarked upon a tour of duty in the Indian Ocean on 3 May. During that assignment, she visited such diverse ports as Bunbury, Australia; Mombasa, Kenya; Bandar Abbas, Iran; and Penang, Malaysia. She also conducted exercises in passing with units of the French Navy and with the American LaSalle (AGF-3). She made her last Indian Ocean port call at Penang between 10 and 14 July. After a stop at Singapore from 15 to 19 July, Bradley headed back to Subic Bay where she arrived on the 23d. Following repairs, the warship resumed exercises out of Subic Bay. On 17 September, she headed back to the United States, arriving in San Diego on 6 October. After post-deployment standdown, Bradley took up normal operations out of San Diego for the rest of the year.
The frigate spent the first nine weeks of 1978 in a restricted availability at San Diego. She completed the availability on 8 March and, after a series of sea trials, resumed normal operations out of San Diego in mid-April. That employment lasted through the summer and into the fall. On 29 September, Bradley stood out of San Diego on her way to the western Pacific. She arrived in Subic Bay on 28 October. On 10 November, the warship put to sea bound for the Indian Ocean. After participating in the CENTO exercise Operation "MIDLINK 1 78" and a three-day visit to Karachi, Pakistan, she moved into the Arabian Sea on 7 December for possible contingency operations in response to political unrest in Iran.
That assignment lasted through the end of 1978 and for the first two weeks of 1979. On 14 January 1979, the frigate shaped a course for Subic Bay, arriving there on the 25th. After a visit to Hong Kong during the latter half of February and a weekend stop at Manila, Bradley returned to Subic Bay on 7 March. She remained there until the 18th when she began the voyage back to the United States. Stopping along the way at Guam and Pearl Harbor, the warship reentered San Diego on 8 April. Leave and upkeep occupied the month from 8 April to 8 May. She resumed normal operations until 9 July, at which time she entered the Bethlehem Steel Shipyard at Long Beach.
Bradley completed the yard phase of the overhaul on 30 July 1980 and put to sea that same day to begin post-overhaul sea trials which occupied the month of August. After more than three weeks in port at San Diego, the warship resumed normal operations along the west coast. That employment continued into the spring of 1981. On 21 April 1981, she stood out of San Diego on her way to the Far East. She arrived in the Sea of Japan in mid-May and conducted exercises with units of the Japanese Maritime Self-Defense Force before visiting Kure, Japan, from 27 to 30 May. Over the next four months, the frigate participated in a series of exercises and goodwill visits to a number of western Paci£ic ports. On 6 October, Bradley departed Yokosuka, Japan, bound for San Diego. She made a brief stop at Pearl Harbor on the 14th and arrived at her destination on the 21st. Except for two very brief periods at sea, Bradley remained in San Diego for the rest of 1981.
The frigate spent the first 10 months of 1982 engaged in normal operations out of San Diego. On 30 October 1982, she embarked upon another tour of duty with the 7th Fleet and arrived in Subic Bay on 24 November. Again, Bradley participated in a series of exercises with units of the United States Navy and with units of friendly navies. Those exercises took her from the Philippines to the Sea of Japan and to the South China Sea. In the process of executing those exercises, the warship visited such places as Buckner Bay at Okinawa, Pohang and Pusan in South Korea, and Singapore. On 25 April 1983, she departed Subic Bay on her way back to the United States. Bradley made an overnight stop at Pearl Harbor on 7 and 8 May and arrived in San Diego on the 14th. Following post-deployment standdown, the frigate began preparations for her regular overhaul. On 16 July 1983, she entered the Long Beach Naval Shipyard for regular overhaul.
The repair period lasted just a few days short of a year. Bradley left the Long Beach Naval Shipyard on 11 July 1984 and began a series of inspections and certifications in preparation for refresher training. She spent the remainder of 1984 completing post-overhaul refresher training and various tests.
Updates for 1984 through 1988 pending.
Bradley was decommissioned on 30 September 1988. She was transferred to Brazil under the Security Assistance Program on 24 January 2001.
14 December 2005