Mark E. Bradley

Picture of Mark Bradley MARK E. BRADLEY, born Clemson, South Carolina, December 10, 1907. Dad was professor of English at Clemson over 50 years. He attended Clemson two years and then 1926 accepted appointment to West Point. Graduated Class of 1930 and immediately went to Brooks Field to learn to fly, graduating from Kelly 1931 as Pursuit Pilot (latest . nomenclature - Fighter Pilot).

First served with 1st Pursuit Group, Selfridge Field, Michigan and with 18th Group in Hawaii. 1937 Went to Wright Field to attend Air Corps Engineering School, graduating 1938. After year as test pilot in Flight Test Section, became Project Officer - P-40 airplane program, Which began production in 1939.

Wartime assignments: P-40 and P-47 Project Officer; Chief of Fighter Branch; Chief of Flight Test Section. January 1943 sent to England to assist in introduction into combat of P-47. June 1943 returned to Wright Field and most of next year spent extending range of war time fighters, particularly P-51. Chief, Flight Test Section to end of 1944.

Late 1944 went to 1st Tactical AF (Prov) France and flew 4 combat missions; 2 - B-26; 2-P-47 with Tipton's 358th Fighter Group. June 1945 to Phillippines to join 5th AF. Flew one combat mission in B-24. At war's end in Okinawa. From October 145 to February 1946 Chief of Staff 5th AF in Japan and Commander - 301st Fighter Wing in Okinawa.

After war was instructor Armed Forces Staff College a year. April 1948 back to Wright Field and aircraft production. Promoted to Brigadier General 1950. Headed aircraft production and procurement program 1951-1953. Major Generel 1952. 1953 to Wiesbaden and Vice Commander, USAFE until 1956. Back to Pentagon 1956; appointed Deputy Chief of Staff, Materiel. Lieutenant General 1959. Appointed General and Commander - Logistics Command 1962 and retired 1965.

Awards: DSM with Oak Leaf Cluster, Legion of Merit, Bronze Star Medal with one Oak Leaf Cluster, Air Medal (8000 plus flying hours) and French Croix de Guerre. Moved to California 1965 and became assistant to President, The Garrett corporation; then Senior Executive Vice President. Second retirement seven years ago since then Consultant to the Garrett Corporation. Married the former Alice Cecilia Newman July 7, 1934; two children, Cece and Mark III.

List of all p51 Pilots:
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Pilot Name Biography Summary
Asa A. Adair He returned to the States in August of 1944 after participating in the invasion "D" Day. He flew P-63's, P-51's, F-80's, T-33's, F-84's, T-38's, P-47's in numerous assignments during the following twenty years in in, Japan, U.S.A. and Europe before retiring after twenty-six years of Active Duty.
John C. Anderson After P-47 transition he was assigned to the 406th Fighter Group, 512th Fighter Squadron. (E.T .0.) He flew 56 missions through January, 1945 destroying supply routes, bridges, and railroads; he also flew close support missions with the ground forces, with attacks on tanks, artillery and enemy positions.
W.B. 'Tex' Badger Eight and Ninth Air Force in WWII. B-l7's, P-51's and P-47's. Fifth Air Force in Korea, F80's and F86's. WWII and Korea, Flew 156 missions. Tactical units served in with the USAAF and USAF were: 305th BG , 368th Fighter Group, 4th Fighter Group, 49th Fighter Group, 12th Fighter Wing, 506th Fighter Wing.
Robert T. (Bob) Bagby He trained in P47's at Cross City and Dale Mabry Fields, Florida and then joined the 341st FS Black Jack Squadron), 348th FG of the 5th AF in Brisbane, Australia in June 1943. Bob flew 78 combat missions in New Guinea (Port Moresby, Finchafen, Sador, Wakde and Biak) primarily as wingman to squadron CO's John Campbell and John Moore. Also privileged to fly wing to Neil Kirby on several occasions.
Frank Baker After brief stops at Stone and Atcham, England he joined the 313th Fighter Squadron of the 50th Fighter Group in France. He flew 90 missions through V.E. Day. Most of the missions were close support attacks on various ground targets with a few B-26 escort missions thrown in. All of the missions took place in eastern France and southern Germany. He was awarded the Air Medal with 11 oak leaf clusters.
John M. Balason To relieve the boredom, Balason went down on the deck and blew up a locomotive he had observed at altitude. A few seconds after making his strafing pass he received a hit in his left wing tank and a fire started immediately in the cockpit. The paralyzing effect of the intense heat made climbing out of the cockpit impossible.
Albert W. Barlow, Jr. He flew 69 escort and ground support missions. Destroyed one E/A (ME-I09). Was shot down on Sept. 8, 1944, and evaded enemy ground forces for 8 days. Was picked up by an American Recon. Unit behind the German lines. Was hospitalized until Feb. 1948, when he was medically retired with the rank of Capt. Awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross, Air Medal with four Oak Leaf Clusters, and Purple Heart.
William T. Beckler In July, 1944 Beckler exchanged his P-40 for a P-47N Thunderbolt. Missions in the Jug covered Northern Italy and Southern France. These included escorting medium bombers. The Bombers, based in Southern Italy, would be escorted to France by Thunderbolts based on Corsica. Shortly before target the Jugs would pull ahead of the bombers and bomb the enemy gun positions. Beckler's activities while participation in three major campaigns earned him the DFC, two Air Medals and two Presidential citations.
Herbert R. Benson After training in P-47 Thunderbolts at bases in North Carolina, Virginia, and Delaware, he was assigned to the European Theatre of operations and joined the 48th Fighter Group 493rd Fighter Squadron at St. Trond, Belgium. After flying 44 combat missions, he was awarded the Air Medal with 4 Oak Leaf clusters.
Marvin C. Bigelow Training in the Southeast Training Command with the class of 44C, he graduated and was commissioned a Second Lieutenant single engine pilot at Marianna, Florida with the class of 44D. After checking out in the P-40 at Marianna, he transitioned in the P-47 in the Northeast Defense Command and after gunnery at Dover, Delaware was shipped on the Queen Mary to England.
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