Eric Bradley
Eric Bradley
Royal Naval Air Service - 1915
Collection of Lavinia Bradley, 9-19-06

via email from Jason Bradley, 9-25-05
     My name is Jason Bradley, youngest son of Eric Bradley, who was the 1st World War pilot. My father was never in the RAF, but in the Fleet Air Arm a division of the Royal Navy
     At the end of the 1st War, he had under him a squadron of fighters and a squadron of Newport Bombers. He had initially been able to enlist by saying he was Canadian. Some of his 1st and 2nd World war exploits are very colorful.

via email from Rod Reynolds, 4-24-05
     I believe the Eric Bradley you refer to in your web site might be my uncle who flew in both world wars. He transferred from the RAF to the US Airforce in WW1 and later headed a special group in WW2 to fly into war zones in Europe to examine new weapons captured by the Allies.
     I, also, am interested in obtaining more information on Eric, having so far been unable to locate any of his children. The last known address I have was 82, North Lane, East Preston, Sussex, England. This is from a letter to his sister dated November 24, 1974. At that time he was 80 and married to an English woman, named Lavinia, whose maiden name I think was Thorpe.

via email from Rod Reynolds, 5-4-05
     Eric Thompson Bradley was born July 15, 1894, and grew up in East Haven, Conn., the oldest of two children of Annie and Herbert Bradley. His sister, Lillian (1900-1980), was my mother. Eric married Marion Gray on March 24, 1928. I believe they had two children. They evidently were divorced, but I am so lacking in data on this I would be hesitant in including it in anything you disseminate.
     He did marry a second time: to Lavinia (mentioned before). She was British and I believe they met in the Far East after WW2 when Eric had some sort of job disposing of military aircraft. They had two or three children. They retired to East Preston, Sussex, England where Eric became well known in weaving circles internationally for making Inkle looms.
     I have only one letter from him (to my mother) written in 1974 when he was 80, describing himself to be in good health. I do not know when he died.
     With the exception of the attached newspaper article, my only knowledge of Eric's military activities is based on very sketchy recollections of things told to me during my childhood. At some point before the US entered WW1, Eric apparently went to England and joined the RAF. He transferred to the US Army Airforce when the US came in.
     Otherwise, I have no idea of his activities during WW1 and would hope that you could fill some of that in for me. His activities during WW2 revolved around examining and evaluation of newly captured German weapons, his biggest adventure being the incident described in the attachment. I believe he was stationed in England and flew a small non-military plane into Europe, landing at the site of captured equipment.

via email from Dorothy Wind, 3-13-06
     Eric T. Bradley was my mother's first cousin! His father Herbert and my grandfather Abram Bradley were brothers. I have known of Eric's heroic efforts for some time (see my father's notes below), but had been unsuccessful in locating him or any of this family, so I was most pleased to discover your website, simply doing a search on "eric, bradley and sussex". (I had learned from Social Security records that he had died there.)
     My mother, Elizabeth Bradley (1903-1988) married George Monroe (1903-1969) and it was he who compiled some of the Bradley family history for us. As you may know, the Bradleys were very early (c. 1640) in the New Haven/East Haven area.
     In 1965, he wrote, following some notes on various Bradleys who had served in the Revolution and the Civil War:
"Colonel Eric Bradley, a first cousin of Harriet and Elizabeth Bradley and son of Henry Bradley who was brother of Abram Bradley, served in World War One in the British Air Force prior to the United States entering the war. He then accepted a commission in the U.S. Army. After World War One, he made his home in England. However in World War Two, he was commissioned in the U.S. Army (may have been in the Reserve between the wars). Colonel Bradley was credited with the capture of over 100 Germans near the end of World War Two. He returned to England after his release from service and is still living there as of this date -- September 30, 1965."
     My husband and I visited England for the first time in the fall of 1991, but had no way at that time of knowing where your family was located...and in fact, as we later learned, Eric had died earlier that same year.
     Like Eric, my mother grew up in East Haven, Conn. and lived there for a time after her marriage. My sister was born in the Bradley homestead in 1928.
I would be most interested in hearing more from you.
Dorothy Wind
Englewood, Florida
Editor's Note: I thank Dorothy for sharing this information regarding his story with us. If you can help with more information about his life and career, we would all be very grateful.

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