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Willis W. Bradley, Jr.

Captain Willis Bradley
Forman, ND

Military Service

Highest Military Rank: Captain
Branch of Service: Navy
Company / Ship / Flight or equivalent: USS Pittsburgh
Conflicts Served: World War I

For extraordinary heroism and devotion to duty while serving on the U.S.S. Pittsburgh, at the time of an accidental explosion of ammunition on that vessel. On 23 July 1917, some saluting cartridge cases were being reloaded in the after casemate: through an accident an explosion occurred. Comdr. 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.

Born on June 28, 1954 in Ransomville, New York, Bradley moved with his parents to Milnor, North Dakota, in July 1884 and to Forman, North Dakota, in 1891.

Bradley died in Santa Barbara, California, August 27, 1954. He was interred in Fort Rosecrans National Cemetery, San Diego, California. The USS Bradley (FF-1041), was named in his honor.

Medals and Honors

Medal of Honor - July 23, 1917