News: Gypsy tart originated from the Isle of Sheppey
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.

Author Topic: Flight Sergeant R. G. Bradley  (Read 26866 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Lady Castlemaine

  • Guest
Re: Flight Sergeant R. G. Bradley
« Reply #69 on: January 26, 2013, 22:40:23 »
John Hendricks,
Vis-a-vis nothing, after e-mailing you I decided to go back to my Dad's postings and found you there as well. I would be so interested in hearing your Uncle's thoughts about the short time he was in the U.K. Perhaps we can share them here or on e-mails or phone calls. Bless Steve for putting us in touch!

Offline kyn

  • Administrator
  • Established Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 7430
  • Appreciation 425
    • Sheppey History
Re: Flight Sergeant R. G. Bradley
« Reply #68 on: December 26, 2012, 20:17:28 »
Thank you for your post John Hendricks  :)

John Hendricks

  • Guest
Re: Flight Sergeant R. G. Bradley
« Reply #67 on: December 26, 2012, 17:31:53 »
Dear Lady Castlemaine and other readers,
My name is John Hendricks.  I am an American, residing in Vero Beach, Florida.
I am the nephew of 1st Lt. Laird W. Hendricks, USAAC, who was killed in the same accident as your father.
"Uncle Laird," as I refer to him, was a graduate of "West Point," the US Military Academy, in the late 1930s.
He yearned to be a pilot, and was sent to bases in the Western part of the US for pilot training, especially in connection with the B17.
He received orders to transfer to the UK in July 1941, and transited to the UK via Canada.  (I believe this was because of the secrecy associated with the Lend Lease programs.)
Upon arrival in the UK, he was sent to RAF Polebrook.  I have his diary from this journey, which contains exactly three diary entries:  July 25, 26 and 27, 1941.
He was killed on July 28, 1941.  Information which I obtained from US Military Records departments listed only "airplane accident" as cause of death.
As I believe you know, a training airfield in Florida was named after him during the War, inasmuch as he was the first Floridian to be killed in the War.
I have appreciated reading your posts and wish you all the best.
John Hendricks

Lady Castlemaine

  • Guest
Re: Flight Sergeant R. G. Bradley
« Reply #66 on: June 07, 2012, 13:21:52 »
7 Home Close
Wootton Road
Sandleigh, Berks
2.7.41
My Dear Mother & Dad,
   Just a few lines to thank you for the very lovely time you gave us on our flying visit to Chatham, it was very nice to see you both again.
   All being well we shall be home again at the end of August, provisionally the 24th to the 30th inclusive. We had a very good run home here; leaving Gravesend at 5 o'clock we were at Bob's at 8 o'clock. Spent a couple of hours with them and back here at 11.00 pm.
   No doubt Bob told you that he received his papers to report to the R.A.F. reporting centre in Wales. Apparently they are short of Air Vice Marshalls. Doris is having an Army Officer and his wife to stay with her.
   The vegetable garden is looking grand now and it should not be long before we are eating our own produce. Thank you very much for your help in the petrol situation. During my total mileage on leave, about 270 miles, I averaged over 20 m.p.g. which, all things considered, I am quite satisfied with.
   Well there is not a lot of news to tell you. We are all fit and hope this finds you both the same.
      Ever your loving son
                     Gilbert

Lady Castlemaine

  • Guest
Re: Flight Sergeant R. G. Bradley
« Reply #65 on: June 05, 2012, 22:02:27 »
 Hello from Lady Castlemaine,
   The next letter I post is the last letter my father wrote to his parents before he was killed. If anyone is interested I have some more photographs that I can share with you; they can be posted, after this coming weekend, when my son gets back from vacation. (I don't know the procedure!) I also have some photographs of the Memorial Service held in the Church of St Botolph, Stoke Albany, 18th May 2007 if anyone is interested.
   Thanks once again to all the people who had a hand in replacing my Father's headstone. I am extremely grateful. I will be over in Kent in late September and will visit the Cemetery then. I am also hoping to make the trip to London to see the new Bomber Command Memorial.
Regards,
Lady C.

Lady Castlemaine

  • Guest
Re: Flight Sergeant R. G. Bradley
« Reply #64 on: June 05, 2012, 21:47:39 »
7 Home Close,
Wootton Road
Sandleigh
Abingdon, Berks
My Dear Mother & Dad,
   I do hope Betty is well again now. I expect she has left you by now and you are on your own again. Christine is quite well again now and her usual saucy self. Elsie has been very poorly but is feeling a little better; she is completely run down and has had a cold on top of it. The Doctor has given her a tonic of some kind and she is taking halibut oil as well.
   I arrived back at the camp  to find a new syllabus of training was starting that day, to turn out just twice as many trainees as previously and, up to the present, the scheme is turning out just about 4 times as many. I had a chat to the Squadron Leader, Dad, reference the lecture and although he is very keen about anything like that he advised against it, pointing out that after the trainees have got up at 5.30 am in the morning and had lectures and floss all day, when they have finished at 6.00 pm all they want is a meal and bed.
   There is really not a lot of news to tell you. I manage to keep busy, getting home from camp about 6.30 pm and have just started getting the vegetable and flower garden into shape. I am ever so pleased that barrage did not affect any of you at home. We have heard from the Gravesend folk and they must have had it pretty much the same, I think. Well we thoroughly enjoyed ourselves with you both, Bob & Doris and John & Betty and you may be sure that we did not like the idea of leaving at all.
   Here's hoping you like the proofs, Dad, I think they are very good for amateur pictures - hope you like them too.
    Heaps and heaps of love to you both.
                                We three

Lady Castlemaine

  • Guest
Re: Flight Sergeant R. G. Bradley
« Reply #63 on: June 03, 2012, 13:31:24 »
152 Cumnor Road
Lower Wootton, Boars Hill
Oxford
20.1.41
Dear Mother, Dad & Betty,
   Just a few lines to let you we are still in the land of the living. I would have written sooner but have only last evening squared up all the things that accumulated whilst I was away. I was ever so pleased to know that you are preparing to use 24 in the event of 93 being damaged, it would certainly do it good to be lived in and there are most things for use there.
My report from Manby came through last week and I copied it out thinking you might like to see it. Quote " a very good type of N.C.O. Although very inexperienced, as he has been screened instructor at O.T.U. since finishing his training. His traning in civil life as an electrical engineer is very useful to him, and he has a thorough knowledge of bombing equipment. His knowledge of bombing theory is good, as also is his practical work. A good instructor with the knack of putting things simply to his class. He took an active part in discussions and, during the course wrote a very good paper on the requirements of a bombing leader - copy of which is being forwarded with the report on the course. It is considered that he will make a good Bombing Leader when he has had operational experience" End of report.  It looks very much as if I shall have to be bumped off before I am  Bombing Leader.
   Meat and coal are very scarce here, the only way we manage to keep a little is by me fetching it in the car. Am becoming quite a night haulage contractor We had a very nice weekend with Bob and Doris last weekend, we got there for tea on Frday and I left on Monday morning. Elsie coming along later with Bob on his way to Abingdon. Bob and I spent an enjoyable Sunday getting his own car running as he intends to tax it again soon. We nearly had as much trouble as with mine, Dad, which, touch wood, is still doind good service. My new battery is a great joy Dad, had I had one sooner I think I should have had much more trouble free motoring.
   Things are still quiet here, lots and lots of snow which is only just beginning to clear with a heavy rainfall. Christine is still as saucy as ever and is a great joy; she is really funny and as happy as the day is long. She thinks quite a lot of her Dad and I believe looks forward to my coming in. Is Betty still with you? If so please give her our love. It must be very lovely, for you both, to have her with you and more difficult than ever to let her go off again. We owe her a letter and will reply to it soon. Am spending my day off, this week, sawing up logs to help the coal shortage. Mr Cook at the "Greyhound" has told me I can have as much as I like to cut up.
   Have exhausted all the news, so with lots and lots of love to you all from we three.
                                                                         Elsie, Gilbert and Christine

Lady Castlemaine

  • Guest
Re: Flight Sergeant R. G. Bradley
« Reply #62 on: June 03, 2012, 12:56:20 »
Manby
17.11.40
My Dear Mother & Dad,
   Just a few lines to let you know I am still in the land of the living. I have not headed this with my address because I don't think there will be time for you to write back and I am leaving here on Saturday for Abingdon and, I hope, leaving Abingdon on Tuesday, to come to you and hope to arrive in time for tea. Will tell you all about this experience of mine when I see you. I am thoroughly enjoying myself and hope to pass the course satisfactorily. I have learned a great deal and it has been a most interesting and instructive course. On the first Wednesday evening here I had to lecture to 110 officers and 36 n.c.o.'s in a massive great lecture hall. My knees felt very weak before I got started but as soon as I got started I quietened down and, by the remarks afterwards I must have put it over alright. The lecture was Traning at a Whitley O.T.U. Have given two since and am to give two next week.
   Another little surprise for you. I have today had dinner with Aunt Jenny at Saltfleet and seen them all. Naturally they were very surprised to see me and thought that I looked like my Dad. I caught the last bus back at 4.30 pm.
   Well, must finish now and getting thrilled at the thought of seeing you both again.
                                        Tons of love to you both, your loving son                 Gilbert
p.s. Have got another souvenir for you Dad.

Lady Castlemaine

  • Guest
Re: Flight Sergeant R. G. Bradley
« Reply #61 on: June 02, 2012, 19:26:53 »
There appear to be pages missing from this letter. The first portion is written by Elsie.
    Things have been very quiet here this last week and there isn't a lot of news. We do hope you are not getting very bad raids at Chatham, and that you get good nights which is most important. I can't really think of anything else to say just now, but I know Gilbert wants to add a few lines so I'll leave it for him.
             All love from we three, as always, yours lovingly Gilbert, Elsie and Christine

Monday 4.11.40
Dear Mother & Dad,
   Must add my few lines as usual. I am very pleased to know you are both keeping well. We are both looking forward very much to seeing you both again aroung the 24th. Our little bit of news I know you will both be pleased to hear. I have heard today that my rank has been confirmed so am now a full blown Sergeant. I am leaving here on Friday for a special course at Manby, lasting a fortnight and when I come back, go straight on leave.
   Shall be posted to an operational Squadron in February, in fact the posting and the last paragraph go together but for the moment I want to be all secret about it. If it should come off I shall have gained my ambition in the Service. Thank you very much for the drawings, although they have not arrived yet. No doubt they will be here in a post or so.
   Thank you Mother for seeing Mrs. C. for me. I was rather concerned that she had written and it had got mislaid in the post. I have since heard from her. The weather is holding up training rather, just now, but even so if I do get home early I only get my text books out, as soon as the table is cleared, so it is as broad as it is long. It is really surprising how things change in a war, the instruction syllabus is altered nearly every day as new methods are found and, when one has things nicely buttoned up - so it is revised. Still the main thing is we are winning the war and no one is more keen to do their bit than I.
   Well, have exhausted all the news, will write again soon and three weeks today I hope to be with you both. It will certainly do me good to see the old town and my folks again.
          Tons and tons of love to you both,               Gilbert

Lady Castlemaine

  • Guest
Re: Flight Sergeant R. G. Bradley
« Reply #60 on: June 01, 2012, 19:47:02 »
152 Cumnor Road
Lower Wootton, Boars Hill
Oxford
Sat 18.10.40
My Dear Mother & Dad,
   Thank you very much for your letter; you certainly are getting it pretty hot in your area aren't you. Never mind you will be okay in your "Retreat". Have written twice this week but having your letter yesterday I thought I had better answer it and keep you up to date. Have had a day off today and to give you an idea of how I have settled down here. Have been doing all sorts of odd jobs about the house, oiling doors and catches, chopping bits off them. The garage come greenhouse door always annoyed me, having to kick and bang it to get it open, it works "okey doke" now and I have enjoyed doing it.
   The three of us have been for a nice walk this afternoon, we intended going in to Oxford but, after waiting a few minutes for a bus.........found that it did not run on Saturdays and the next was too late for Christine's bedtime. Yes, Mother, we got Betty's letter, sent to the old address. I wrote to her just a few days previously to Moorlands and Elsie wrote a lovely long newsy letter to Betty, at Lawnside, when we received hers. I should think that parcel for me was probably a sample Xmas book from the Service Press of Bristol and it is just as well that it has been returned. I was not expecting it and knew nothing of it. We are all very well here and hope you both are too. We send lots and lots of love to you both and think of you often. Am looking forward to coming home for a day or so soon.
                        All our love     Elsie, Gilbert and Christine

Lady Castlemaine

  • Guest
Re: Flight Sergeant R. G. Bradley
« Reply #59 on: May 30, 2012, 14:51:56 »
152 Cumnor Road
Lower Wootton, Boars Hill
Oxford
10th October 1940
My Dear Dad,
I wrote to you both last evening but attached letter was not ready so sent the letter without it. I thought it wise, under the cicumstances, to send attached letter and if you agree with the text will you please pop it in the post, retaining copy for your own reference.
   What do you think of my typing Dad, I do all the office typing, have recently got to the very efficient stage of using three fingers, so if I can't get a job after the war please can I be your office boy. O.B.E.  Leave is now officially back on the menu at the camp so when all the "big boys" have had theirs, and by that time there is not a flap on, I will be seeing you.
   I am going to post this now, otherwise I shall have to wait until I get to the office to address the enclosed envelope and I know you won't mind just popping it in your typewriter.
   No more for now, lots of love, we think of you often and hope to have some news of you soon.
                                            Your ever-loving son,
                                                      Gilbert

Offline Sylvaticus

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 195
  • Appreciation 10
Re: Flight Sergeant R. G. Bradley
« Reply #58 on: May 29, 2012, 23:14:05 »
  .... I also treated myself to a super R/C radio, as we feel lost without the news and a bit of music now and again ....

Does anyone know what a R/C radio is? Hardly radio control for models, or radio communication (private transmitters were impounded when the war began). The sense of the letter is a standard home receiver for news and music broadcasts.

Thanks

Lady Castlemaine

  • Guest
Re: Flight Sergeant R. G. Bradley
« Reply #57 on: May 29, 2012, 17:55:34 »
152 Cumnor Road
Lower Wootton, Boars Hill
Oxford
Wednesday 9.10.40
My Dear Mother & Dad,
   There is very little news to tell you both.Did you get our letter last week? We wrote a week tonight and were wondering if it had bombed on the way. I have been home quite early in the evening for the past week as the weather, most days, has been unfavourable for full traning programme so I have been able to get all my correspondence up to date. Have written to Betty, John, Bob & Doris and Aunty Alice.
   Things are still very quiet here, just a few bombs here and there, they still can't find us or they think it better to let us train our aircrews so that they can bump them off in the air. It has been rumoured that they are leaving Oxford  alone so that they will be able to educate themselves when they have wiped us out. I went into Oxford last Saturday and had a scrounge round, on my own, and came back like we Bradleys usually do, full of parcels all tied at various places , on my bike. I also treated myself to a super R/C radio, as we feel lost without the news and a bit of music now and again. We have only been out once since we came here, which was last Thursday when Mrs Woodfield looked after Christine for us. We went to the pictures in Abingdon and met Councillor and Mrs Phillips, with their son Jack, who is completing his training here as a Whitley pilot. We afterwards joined them for supper and a pint at the" Red Lion" for old times sake.
   I had a very enjoyable night trip last week during which I reached and passed my 200 hours as an observer, so now can consider myself one of the old hands.
   Well, how are you both, both fit and bearing up I hope, according to the news you are still having it pretty hot and strong there. Christine is very fit and full of mischief. I am afraid she is getting very  spoiled, she twists her Daddy round her little finger. One dare not rattle a paper bag in her hearing. She loves half a toffee, in fact she always wants something to eat. She talks beautifully and will stand for several seconds before she decides she cannot walk yet. I am eventually having the bungalow on the phone. I say eventually because, for things to take their normal course, it will take 2 months to connect me. I am writing to the Div. Signals Offices Air Ministry to see if he can give me priority. Well I know Elsie wants to add a few lines so will end hoping you are both happy and well, with tons of love from we three.

Hello Mother & Dad,
   I do hope you are both ever so well, we are all very fit here, and have settled down in our new home. Gilbert seems to have told you all the news, but thought I would like  to add a few lines. The weather has been very blustery here today and it has rained  on and off all day, I bet it will be real cold here when winter comes. I'm busy knitting Christine some more vests, I've just finished a pair of "jobs" for myself - they turned out quite well.
No more for this time, I am cooking chips for supper, they smell as if they want turning.
Lots of love to you      xxx from Gilbert, Elsie & Christine
(*There seems to be another page missing here.....we go from page 5 to page 7)
   I wrote enclosing 2/6 worth of stamps asking her to forward the rent to this address so if everything is alright will you please give this message to her. My letter seems a mass of wants! I wonder, Dad, if sometime you would pop into "24" and let me have any post that is there, and I would appreciate it if you would do likewise around round the 2nd or 3rd of each month.
   There is one more thing Dad. I know you are a busy man: I am giving a lecture to twelve Senior Armament Officers under training, on the "Principals of the I.C. Engine" and would appreciate any sectional diagrams, dates and any  other useful "gen".  You will appreciate that I have absolutely nothing here in this respect, all of my own "gen" being at "24". There is no terrific hurry for this Dad, I just want to get it buttoned up in plenty of time as I have tons of similar things on my mind.
   I have made arrangements, as far as possible, for accommodation for the Phillips, over the weekend. I think Mrs Cook at the "Greyhound is going to fix them up. Rooms and accommodation are rather a problem in this district. Things are very much the same at the aerodrome these days; training is being hindered rather by the weather. It certainly gives me more time at home in the evening, for study, of which I still have plenty to do.
My leave, providing there is not another blitz in the meantime, has been provisionally arranged for Nov.24th to Dec. 1st but it is very early days to be sure of it. We are looking very much to seeing you both soon, lots of love to you both.
       Your ever-loving son,  Gilbert.    xxxx

Lady Castlemaine

  • Guest
Re: Flight Sergeant R. G. Bradley
« Reply #56 on: May 27, 2012, 16:48:44 »
152 Cumnor Road
Lower Wootton, Boars Hill
Oxford
2.10.40
My Dear Mother & Dad,
   Thank you ever so much for sending the things so promptly and also your letter. Elsie and I are both very eager  to know what is in the other parcel that is waiting to be collected. I hope it is something good. You will be pleased to know that we are all well and Christine is her old self again, full of mischief, beans and joy, she is such a happy little girl, even when she is woken up, when we go to bed, to do a little job for herself. She speaks so beautifully that baby talk is beyond her and one has to call things by their proper names.
   I am having the telephone put in here for service reasons but unfortunately they are not paying for it. All living out crews have to be on the telephone now in case we should be needed at short notice. Still it will be useful to talk to one another sometimes providing there is not, as usual, an "indefinite delay". My bombing figures for last month were a wonderful record being 162 bombs more than the best month since the station started 12 months ago. There is only one station dropping more than us and I am out to beat their record. One of my pupils dropped a stick of bombs, 8, from 10,000 ft last week with an average error of 11.5 yards. I have had a large reproduction photograph made and stick it on my office wall as an example to others.
   I had a very pleasant night flight on Monday evening as check navigator. It was the first night flying I have done for about a month. I managed to get 14 hours flying in last month, on instruction, and have just passed my 200 hours as an observer.  No Mother we are quite a lot further away from the 'Drome than before. If you can remember the lay of the land we are about one half to three quarters of a mile along the right fork of the roads at the "Bystander" but it only takes me another 5 minutes on the journey, but that is plenty, complete with rifle, tin hat and respirator. We are very comfortable here and feel very happy here and we only have ourselves to please here. Apart from being very comfortable it is the prettiest bungalw on the road.
   I have written to Betty and will try to find time to write to John and Bob soon, it always takes me such a long time to write a letter and I never feel like getting started. Apart from that I want to keep up my study as I am hoping to be sent on a Senior Armament instruction course soon and, given the opportunity, I should hate to muff it. What are you Pop? A secret service agent or something. You might have just given us an idea what you are. Keeping us in sunshine where we are conjuring up thoughts of long journeys on dark nights with secret documents sewn in the lining of your collar, giving you a stiff neck and you bearing it gallantly for the good of your country. At any rate I do hope you get some leave at Xmas, I won't. Well I know Elsie wants to enclose a few lines so will end hoping you are both fit and well.
    Lots of love to you both, from us all.    xxxxx
 (* There does not seem to be anything from Elsie attached to this letter).

Lady Castlemaine

  • Guest
Re: Flight Sergeant R. G. Bradley
« Reply #55 on: May 25, 2012, 12:07:23 »

This picture was taken during the King's visit. The King has a small "x" above his head. My Father is on the far right.


 

BloQcs design by Bloc
SMF 2.0.11 | SMF © 2015, Simple Machines