This interview for the Columbus Jewish Historical Society is being recorded
on March 21, 2001, as part of the Columbus Jewish Historical Society Oral
History Project. The interview is being recorded at the law offices of Mr.
Philip Bradley, 1620 E. Broad Street, Columbus, Ohio. My name is Dave Graham and
I am interviewing Mr. Philip Bradley and now we’ll begin.

Bradley: Well as you know David, my name is Philip Bradley. I was born and
raised in Connecticut and I was born and initially raised in New Haven and then
later in a much, much smaller town, Hamden, Connecticut, which is just north of
what used to be called the Boston Post Road. I went to high school initially in
Con- necticut and then my family moved to Ohio because of the continuing,
persistent depth of the Depression in New England, including Connecticut and New
Haven. My father was a carpenter as had his father been, although my grandfather
on my father’s side had been more of a cabinet maker than a construction
carpenter because the place where they’d come from in the Ukraine didn’t
have very many constructed homes as we understand construction. Houses were
built out in the countryside by the sinking of tree trunks in the earth and then
weaving willow branches between the tree trunks and using a high-clay-content
mud with which to make the wall, using of course the woven willow branches as
what would be laths. And the roofs were thatched. All the floors were earthen,
were trod and pounded. My grandfather made window frames and windows and the
door frames and the doors.

Interviewer: Do you know where in the Ukraine?

Bradley: Yes, the District is called the Kominetz Podolsk. It’s not
terribly far from Kiev. The town itself was named or is named Pischan and
recently, my wife and I were out in Salt Lake and we didn’t go there for this
purpose but we were necessarily in Salt Lake so we tried to use the Mormon
Church Genealogy facilities to find the town and perhaps some records of my
father’s family there and the villages. That village is not on the map but I
do have one surviving cousin. She’s a second cousin, that is my father’s
first cousin’s two daughters. And our family name was Braslavsky. But
last names, family names for Jews are really fairly modern; they’re quite
modern in our experience as a people. My name with which I am called to the
reading of the Torah for instance, is Feivel ben David, Philip, son of
David. My brother is Itschak ben David, Isaac, son of David. My daughter
is Lisa bas Feivel. Of course, no one ever refers to anyone in this
fashion but we were required to take family names by the rulers of the nations
where we lived.

Interviewer: (Indistinct)

Bradley: Variously, depending upon which nation and which time, and many of
the rulers imposed terribly degrading names on many of our people. A cow’s
rump, for instance.

Interviewer: Ummm.

Bradley: Many people were named by virtue of their trades and so the
Goldsmiths that one encounters were undoubtedly goldsmiths.

Interviewer: Uh huh.

Bradley: And the Silverman was undoubtedly a craftsman in silver. All the
Schneiders, variously Snyder, however you want to do it, were tailors. And in
any event, my grandfather also made hope chests for the brides, rather the young
girls who wanted to become, who expect to become brides, and these were
principally the daughters of peasants who came to the village each Thursday to
market day. And they made the rounds of the craftsmen including all the rest of
the crafts that were represented in the town, and made their purchases and sold
their truck, if they did truck farming, fruits, whatever.

Interviewer: Let me ask you, how do you know this story?

Bradley: I just grew up hearing it.

Interviewer: From your parents?

Bradley: Parents?

Interviewer: Uh huh.

Bradley: Yeah. I had a whole slew of aunts and uncles. Just talk.

Interviewer: Did you know your grandfather . . . .

Bradley: Oh yes, yes, yes, I knew my grandfather.

Interviewer: What name did he use here in the United States?

Bradley: Well, he wanted to become Americanized and so he adopted the name of
a Jewish family that had become very wealthy in Russia and their name was
Brodsky. So he thought he was doing something to modernize us. So when he came
through Ellis Island, I don’t know whether it was Braslavsky or Brodsky,
I just don’t know and I really don’t care.

Interviewer: Uh huh.

Bradley: But when Sam, my uncle, left home very early. All of the men in my
family had been carpenters. My father came to this country when he was 11 and he
sold newspapers on the street after school. He went to school for two years.

Interviewer: He came with your grandfather?

Bradley: Yes. There were seven children.

Interviewer: About what time . . . .

Bradley: 1906. And my grandfather’s trade was antique. When he arrived, he
didn’t realize that planes, for instance, were made of steel. His planes were
wood with a steel blade. He made his own wooden tools with steel blades. That
which had to be steel was steel; that which could be wood was wood. Carpenter’s
tools in 1906 were modern in the United States and the construction was modern
and everything was modern. Modern for that time. So he had to learn his trade
and his first work was tearing up floors of stables and replacing them with
fresh wood because of course, the urine and the manure rotted out the floors of
stables and a man who he knew from that town spoke some English. His name was
Firestone, and he negotiated the jobs for my grandfather to do because my
grandfather spoke no English but by observing what he was working with, he of
course saw how to build what he saw, what he was involved with. Even though he
had really never done it.

Interviewer: What was your grandfather’s primary language?

Bradley: His primary language was Yiddish.

Interviewer: Uh huh.

Bradley: But of course he knew Russian.

Interviewer: (Indistinct)

Bradley: His name was Josef. And my grandmother’s name was Rose. And she
had a little shop that was adjoining my grandfather’s workshop.

Interviewer: Do you know Rose’s family’s name?

Bradley: No. No. They were first cousins, which was not uncommon.

Interviewer: Uh huh.

Bradley: And there were three sons and four daughters from that marriage of
my grand- parents and my grandmother really didn’t care for my grandfather all
that much and so when the youngest child, my Aunt Dora, had become 18, she left
New Haven and went to join one of my aunts, the other aunts, Mary, out in
California and that simply didn’t happen in Jewish families. It just was
unheard of, at least I never knew of any married people who didn’t live
together ever until quite recently and quite recently being my adulthood. So
anyway, my grandfather lived in New Haven and he became a very prosperous
builder. He and my father and my oldest uncle Louis, actually you might as well
know his real name. It was Lazar, but they, they anglicized it and it
became Louis. But my father’s name David was David. Didn’t have to
anglicize that. So he became ill when he was about 60 odd and he had a cancer.
But I remember him very well indeed. He was something of a scholar. Not in the
way of Tevya who pretended or who aspired to scholarship, but my grandfather was
a scholar. He became very much interested in astronomy. Since he couldn’t
study in English, he had had a good founding in Talmud and there’s a good bit
of astronomy in Talmud and he really relished the mathematics of astronomy. And
he was, I think, a kind of tyrant. He dominated his sons’ lives. He required
that they work for the wages that he was willing to pay, which were not good. He
wasn’t cruel. He was I think very much as other men from that time and place
were. Sons were assets.

Interviewer: Who would you say in your family was the dominant individual in
some fashion? I don’t want to say example or . . . .

Bradley: In my immediate family or . . . .

Interviewer: . . . . between your grandfather and your grandmother?

Bradley: Oh.

Interviewer: . . . . brothers?

Bradley: Well as long as he was capable, I would say my grandfather because
he was such a powerful personality in addition to being part of this culture. It
isn’t peculiar to Jews. It’s very common throughout the world, but in any
event, don’t misunderstand. He wasn’t stingy. What he was was needful of
making his way in this country, in a strange place where he was learning as he
was doing, taking great risks, building buildings and houses speculatively.

Interviewer: Was he alive when the war began?

Bradley: Oh no, he had died when I was 9.

Interviewer: Uh huh.

Bradley: But I remember him extremely well. And I remember my grandmother.
She lived to be quite old. And we saw her quite frequently. She came to
Connecticut and then when we moved, she came to Cleveland. Her name was Rose.
She learned to read and write when she was 72 or 3. She went to school for the
first time.

Interviewer: Is that right?

Bradley: Yes.

Interviewer: And did she stay in Connecticut when you came to . . . .

Bradley: No, no, no. No, she had moved to California.

Interviewer: Because she had been there . . . .

Bradley: And my Uncle Sam had left home quite early. He wasn’t willing to
be a hewer of wood. He was quite young. And he went off someplace and . . . .

Interviewer: Was your father working with your grandfather?

Bradley: Oh always, yes.

Interviewer: Oh, uh huh.

Bradley: Until my grandfather stopped business and then my uncle Louey,
Louis, and my father became partners. They used to be called J. Brodsky and Sons
and then I guess it remained that. But then during the teeth of the Depression,
my Uncle Louey was found to have been stealing and historically Jews did not
have access to courts because to be in the court of the country where our people
lived, we would have to take an oath, which was a Christian oath. So the courts
simply were not available to Jews in most places. And I don’t know what was
available in New Haven in the way of what we could call a rabbinical court. I
imagine there must have been one. But they were really old country’s stuff.
Rabbinical courts had no significant existence in the United States except
amongst the super, super orthodox people. But matters in Europe, matters of
controversy in Europe were ajudicated by a court of three rabbis. And the law of
Torah was applied and of course the court had no authority to enforce its
decrees, no power, but the power of the community was very, very, very strong.
So I don’t know of anyone, perhaps they occurred but I can’t imagine anyone
defying such a court’s decree and adjudication. I just can’t imagine that in
those settings. But in my family’s case, the brothers and sisters gathered in
our living room and my uncle was effectively put on trial by his brothers and
sisters. And each family of us lived in half of a double house side-by-side. So
my cousins and my aunt and uncle lived on one side and we lived on the other. So
he was summoned, he came over. He was tried, he was found guilty and he was
declared charem, outcast. (Literally: for excommunicated, the worst.) So
I was told after that trial, that I must never mention his name or must never
mention the name of his second wife, his first wife having died. I could have no
association with the daughter by that marriage. But I could with the daughters
by his first marriage. I guess they were innocent. His wife was guilty too, not
by association but by her actions as well. And no one spoke about him or to him
and my grandmother went into mourning. In accordance with our tradition, he was
dead. And it is, if one needs to have an education in the values of moral
conduct, one needs to have sat on the top of the stairs listening to this trial
being conducted. He was the eldest and primacy of birth is very important
amongst the sons, not among the daughters, and he was the oldest child and a
son. So I have exaggerated standards that I’ve imparted to my children, I
think in large part because of that experience but in any event, my mother is
from close to the Baltic in what now would be either Lithuania or Byelorussia.
If I could have found it on the maps or whatever over in Salt Lake, I would
know. But I couldn’t so I don’t. It was a very, very tiny village.

Interviewer: What is her full name?

Bradley: My Mother’s name was Leibe.


Interviewer: Leibe?

Bradley: Which means . . . .

Interviewer: L, Leb?

Bradley: It was Leib.

Interviewer: Leib.


Bradley: Leibe. It became Elizabeth. And she was one of seven children
of my grand- mother and grandfather, my grandfather’s first wife having died
and having for himself several children. I’m not sure as to the number but
there were several. So it stands to reason that my grandmother must have been a
poor girl or she wouldn’t have been married to a man so much older than
herself. And I believe she raised her children, some of the children at least of
my grandfather’s first marriage. He was also a carpenter but he spent much of
his time in study and again, in this culture, learning and scholarship is the
most prized of all personal characteristics. Men of great wealth would seek out
a learned son-in-law for a daughter and support that son-in-law for all of his
life, with the son-in-law being a student, just a student. Not becoming a rabbi
but simply learning. And this was. . . . Tevye was an examplar. Although it was
comedic, it exemplifies something that is not particularly comedic. He aspired
to scholarship. Didn’t have it but he wanted to have it.

Interviewer: Uh huh.

Bradley: A man of great wealth who had no learning didn’t have nearly the
respect of a man who was poor but was learned. And this is the culture from
which I spring and which virtually all Jews in the United States are sprung.

Interviewer: Do you know her family name?

Bradley: Yes, my grandmother’s? . . . . Rabinowitch or Rabinovitch
or if you want to bring it to Israel, Rabin.

Interviewer: Okay. Well we’ve got excellent background I think of the
family there. Could we then bring into the time period of the 1930s and maybe
focus on how you entered into the service?

Bradley: Well, I graduated from high school in Cleveland, Glenville High
School, at 17.

Interviewer: Were there other Jews there?

Bradley: About 85% of the student body there was Jewish. It had the highest
scholastic rating of all the high schools in Ohio.

Interviewer: What year did you graduate?

Bradley: 1942.

Interviewer: You graduated in ’42?

Bradley: Yes. And I had worked of course as a youngster and I had worked on
my father’s construction jobs since I was 8, sweeping the floors before it was
laid, carrying the . . . . or whatever the hell, you know, just doing stuff on
the jobs. And I picked vegetables in truck farms and . . . . did various things
to earn a few pennies.

Interviewer: Was the family orthodox or observant or . . . .

Bradley: My father was a socialist and therefore necessarily an atheist
because you can’t be a socialist and not be an atheist.

Interviewer: I wonder how that came about?

Bradley: Sure, he was a worker. It’s really that simple. He was a worker.

Interviewer: . . . .

Bradley: No, no, no, in New Haven.

Interviewer: In New Haven, huh?

Bradley: See, he was apprenticed at the age of 13 and he’d only gone to
school for two years. But he had never learned to write. He learned to read and
he was a voracious reader. When I was teaching at Urbana University, I had
accumulated a giant library and I was a source of books for him and it was
pretty dense stuff. I was teaching political science and legal philosophy.

Interviewer: And what school was that, you said?

Bradley: Urbana.

Interviewer: Urbana?

Bradley: Umm.

Interviewer: Is that in Illinois?

Bradley: No, no – right, just over here.

Interviewer: Urbana, Ohio?

Bradley: Right. Small school.

Interviewer: Is that where you went from high school?

Bradley: No, no, no. I went to Ohio State. I taught there.

Interviewer: You taught.

Bradley: I taught there for 13 years.

Interviewer: Oh, I see.

Bradley: As an adjunct.

Interviewer: Did you go to Hebrew school?

Bradley: Sure.

Interviewer: But he was an atheist?

Bradley: Yes. Of course our home was an observant orthodox home. My mother
was totally observant. You have to understand, this was not the culture you were
raised in. The wife-mother dominates the household. The father-husband dominates
outside the household. That’s the division. That has been historically ours
for God knows how many generations.

Interviewer: Okay.

Bradley: Are we back on?

Interviewer: Yeah.

Bradley: I had never eaten food outside of our home or the home of a relative
until I got a job . . . . on a ship.

Interviewer: Before the war?

Bradley: Oh yeah.

Interviewer: Yeah.

Bradley: Yeah. I was 16. I got a job . . . .

Interviewer: Yeah.

Bradley: as a seaman.

Interviewer: Was this a summer job, or?

Bradley: Yeah. A summer job, right.

Interviewer: Okay.

Bradley: I’d never eaten non-kosher food, ever. Ever. And it isn’t just
food. It’s a whole way of life. And it was mine.

Interviewer: All right. Now . . .

Bradley: Now keep in mind, my father never, never, never denigrated my mother’s
running of our home, our household. Never, ever. It was politics. We were . . .
socialists. You understand the difference between socialism and communism. There’s
a huge difference?

Interviewer: Uh huh.

Bradley: Sweden is a socialist country. Britain was, is often called. . . . .

Interviewer: Uh huh, you were not communists?

Bradley: Well no. There were communists in our town. There were a bunch of
New Haveners who were from that town.

Interviewer: How does this do with the war before your entry in it, do you
recall?

Bradley: Sure, my father was a fiercely patriotic American. Yeah.

Interviewer: He fully supported your entry into it?

Bradley: He was fearful for me when I came home to Cleveland after I had
volunteered in; I volunteered in in January of ’43. The first part of January
was very cold and I was to be inducted, as it turned out, in March. I
volunteered, as I recall, in the first part of January and when I came home to
visit, I told my parents that I had done this and my mother was just aghast. She
could never understand why I couldn’t wait to be drafted. But my father took
me aside and I think I told you this on the phone, and he said, “This is,
this country is the country where Jews have had opportunity and . . . . equality
and this is a country for which Jews should fight, and if need be, die.”

Interviewer: Uh huh.

Bradley: He didn’t want to see me die, you understand. But I told my
parents I had volunteered for a combat branch.

Interviewer: Did you have other relatives who had entered into service before
you?

Bradley: Yes, all the older cousins. I’m amongst the youngest. Yes. Every
one of my cousins was in the service.

Interviewer: Uh huh.

Bradley: One wasn’t. One was not that I can recall. All the rest were.
Virtually all were commissioned. No, not virtually all, I don’t want to say
that.

Interviewer: . . . .

Bradley: The majority were.

Interviewer: . . . . sisters that you had?

Bradley: I have one brother, one sister.

Interviewer: Un huh.

Bradley: My brother wasn’t. He was an engineer and he was working in what
was called a defense plant, and was declared essential and when the war was just
about at its end, he volunteered to go to the Navy. And then his wife gave birth
to a child and that was the end of that . . .

Interviewer: What’s his name?

Bradley: His name is Irving.

Interviewer: Irving. And your sister’s name?

Bradley: Sylvia.

Interviewer: Sylvia. Are they Columbus residents?

Bradley: No, no. My sister lives in San Diego, La Jolla. My brother lives in
the Cleveland area. He’s retired from General Electric.

Interviewer: I think you told me on the phone that you enrolled at Ohio
State?

Bradley: Yes.

Interviewer: You joined a Jewish fraternity.?

Bradley: Yes.

Interviewer: What was the name of that fraternity?

Bradley: Phi Epsilon Pi.

Interviewer: And you had a friend who also joined and . . . .

Bradley: . . . . I had been a camp counselor at the end of that summer at a
Jewish boys’ camp and I met some guys who were Ohio State students and they
convinced me I should go to college. I had had no thought of ever going to
college. That was just the farthest thought from my mind. I’d never even given
it a moment’s thought. My father was very poor.

Interviewer: Uh huh.

Bradley: My father was punctilious about the work that he did and he did it
the way he felt he should do it and that is perfectly, the best quality, and he
cut no corners and he couldn’t compete without cutting the price that he
charged. But he couldn’t cut the value of what he was giving regardless of the
price and so he was poor. And we were poor. We were dirt poor.

Interviewer: Now when you joined, did you have some buddies or friends that
said, “Hey let’s go,” or was this . . . .

Bradley: These guys.

Interviewer: All by yourself ?

Bradley: You mean when I went into the Army?

Interviewer: Uh huh.

Bradley: No, just me. I told you my mother and my father read the Jewish
newspaper.

Interviewer: Uh huh.

Bradley: It was printed in Yiddish. And the Holocaust was well known.

Interviewer: Uh huh.

Bradley: I think, I don’t want to say anything that I don’t actually
recall. I believe that it was known in the Jewish press, it was published in the
Jewish press before my mother told me about it. Must have been known before
January of ’43. I just have a feeling that I learned what my mother told me,
not for the first time, that Jews were being murdered. But you mustn’t think
that there is a single motive for deciding to fight a war. I don’t think there
ever can be really. I’m an American. I told you I served an additional twenty
years. I volunteered in as a reservist.

Interviewer: Uh huh.

Bradley: Every day of every year that I was a reservist, I was subject to
being called up. I had a mortgage. I practiced law. My pay as an Army officer
wouldn’t have paid my life insurance premiums. I had children. I had
obligations, responsibilities. But we were doing something really wrong when
under Dulles, whose misbegotten notion of a bigger bang for a buck, reliance on
an atomic weapon as deterrents to war and it was so obviously flawed in the eyes
of everyone who had fought a ground war. It was just so obvious that this notion
was bankrupt.

Interviewer: Were your twenty years within the artillery?

Bradley: No, no, no, no. I was commissioned in the Judge Advocate General’s
Corps.

Interviewer: Oh . . . .

Bradley: I was a lawyer.

Interviewer: Oh, not as a lawyer?

Bradley: Yeah. But I never actually served as a Judge Advocate except for I
think a year and a half or so. All of the time that I served, I had a non-Judge
Advocate assignment. It was not in the very early days of my reserve career, but
as time went on, there were relatively few of us who had had combat experience.
And I had had, you see I wasn’t an infantryman. I was an artilleryman who was
with an infantry unit. Always. But I knew what was happening on our battalion
front. I had to know all the time; I had to know. Riflemen didn’t know beans
about what was happening except right in their immediate front and six feet on
either side. Now I’m exaggerating obviously, but they didn’t know why they
were any particular place. Lots of company commanders didn’t know why they
were where they were.

Interviewer: . . . . How did you get picked for the job as a forward
observer? Might be a . . . . does it take a volunteer or is it . . . .

Bradley: No.

Interviewer: certain skills . . . .

Bradley: No.

Interviewer: as a forward observer?

Bradley: Everyone was tried out on everything. I was tried out as a — see we
took basic training as a division . . . .

Interviewer: With the 75th infantry?

Bradley: Yes, we were the first division to be trained as a division with
what were called fillers. And I was a filler. Right out of the reception center.
My military education consisted of how to put on an Army overcoat. I had not yet
learned to put on the leggings that I had been issued, the canvas leggings.

Interviewer: (Scoffs)

Bradley: I knew nothing about soldiering, but I had been on the rifle team in
high school. Anyway, so I knew generally that a bullet came out of a particular
end of a firearm. But everytone was tried out for everything in the unit and we
went through basic and advanced unit in these various stages of training. And I
apparently was a good artillery shot. I knew I was a good shot. And so I became
what was known as a firing NCO, a firing non-commissioned officer. And we
attended every service practice, that is the firing of our guns as the officers
directed the fire. We were also required to follow the commissioned officer’s
fire directions as he was giving them and they were transmitted to the guns. We
saw how there were screw-ups and we saw how there were good shots and we saw
why. And once in a while, we got to fire the 105s, our field piece, a hundred
five millimeter gun howitzer and we did . . . . We were exposed to every aspect
of . . . .

Interviewer: Was this in Fort Sill . . . .

Bradley: No, it was in Fort Leonard Wood . . . .

Interviewer: Fort Leonard Wood?

Bradley: Missouri. Then, well principally when we had a service practice, the
NCOs, we were firing what was called sub-calibers, or 37 millimeter. It was
mounted on the tube of a 105 and we fired the 37s. But the difference was simply
the amount of smoke from the round that we were firing and we did lots of firing
and we were good. Our battalion had the highest grade ever made, ever made on
the ground forces artillery test. We were good.

Interviewer: That was the two . . . .

Bradley: That was in the 897th Field Artillery.

Interviewer: The 897th Field Artillery?

Bradley: Yeah. I was with the 289th Infantry.

Interviewer: Were there any other Jews in the battalion?

Bradley: Now this is a matter for grave, grave emotional distress on my part.
I’m sure there were lots. We, as a religious group, far outnumbered our
percentage of the population. Probably because we’re healthier. Part of
Judaism is sanitation. It’s an active part of our religion. Our . . . laws
require sanitation, cleanliness. Don’t eat until you’ve washed your hands
and there’s a whole bunch of laws. If you read the books of Exodus and
Deuteronomy, you’ll find them. We tend to be healthier. I don’t really know
the reason.

Interviewer: So there were lots of Jews. . . . . .

Bradley: There were also lots of Jews in the forward echelon and when it
became known generally that amongst us our life expectancy in combat was very
short, some of the Jews along with lots of the non-Jews tried to get out. And
some of them did.

Interviewer: Of that artillery unit?

Bradley: No, no, no, just out of the forward echelon. The forward echelon.
You were with the Infantry and you’re directing fire. And your life expectancy
is much shorter than that of a rifleman. Much shorter. Because for us to do what
we need to do, we need to see the enemy. You don’t actually see him very
often. They don’t stand up and wave. But you need to know where he is.

Interviewer: Uh huh.

Bradley: And you need to see your rounds land. You need to see, you just
sense them. You need to adjust. Because obviously the guns don’t see the
enemy. We’re the eyes.

Interviewer: Uh huh.

Bradley: And it’s a, it’s a . . . . complex process. But. . . .

Interviewer: Uh huh.

Bradley: vision . . . . Well if you can see him, he can see you. You can’t
put your head down. So our life expectancies are very short. And everyone knows
that the person you most want to kill is the artillery or mortar observer. He is
your most deadly enemy. ‘Cause he can put lots of fire on you whereas a
rifleman can shoot one bullet at a time.

Interviewer: Ummmm. So this happened during the training then? Men left?

Bradley: A few did. Not many.

Interviewer: Of the Jews?

Bradley: So I called a meeting of all the Jews. And I said, “The
anti-Semitism in this outfit is rampant without anybody trying to get out of
this chicken-shit assignment. But if anyone else tries to get out, life for the
rest of us is going to be unbearable and life for all of us is going to be
unbearable because nobody talks about the goyim.” That’s the word
I use. It’s not a pejorative word. It’s simply a non-Jew. You’re a goy
and I certainly don’t think of you in a deprecating fashion. Lots of goyim have
gotten out. No one gives a damn. Only with a Jew. Everyone knew this of course.
And one of the guys said, “Look, I’m married and I have a child.”
And I told him, “Your ass is no more precious than mine. It’s just one
ass. One life. You have no greater rights than us.” And he stayed. And
which one of us was the first one of us to be killed? Him.

Interviewer: Is that right?

Bradley: Yeah. The second day.

Interviewer: Do you remember his name?

Bradley: I think it was Rothenberg but I’m not really sure. But I showed it
to my wife. His name appears on a plaque over at Valley Forge.

Interviewer: The second day?

Bradley: Yeah. So this guy might well have gotten out . . . .

Interviewer: Uh huh.

Bradley: and he would be sitting here with you.

Interviewer: Ummm, well.

Bradley: But he’s dead.

Interviewer: Uh huh.

Bradley: And you see I was really arrogant. See, I thought that I had the
right to tell someone else how to lead their lives. That is conceit in
excellsius.


Interviewer: Well he could just as well be dead in whatever assignment he
had.

Bradley: That’s a poor rock to crawl under.

Interviewer: Yeah.

Bradley: No, I put pressure on everyone there.

Interviewer: Uh huh. What caused you to take the lead on that, do you know?

Bradley: I’ve learned since that I am a leader.

Interviewer: Uh huh.

Bradley: In every sense. Just am.

Interviewer: Hmmm. It’s an interesting development there in your training.

Bradley: It wasn’t training.

Interviewer: It wasn’t training at that time?

Bradley: It was my life.

Interviewer: Uh huh.

Bradley: We were being trained but this was an arrogant, a terrible thing.
Listen, I’ve killed people in war time. I know I have and it doesn’t bother
me a bit. But this man’s death has haunted me all these years.

Interviewer: Hmmm. That one in particular?

Bradley: Yeah.

Interviewer: I suppose you might have had influence on any number of people’s
lives. You might call in a target in error. That happens.

Bradley: We did. Just war.

Interviewer: Was that any less or more . . . .

Bradley: Doesn’t mean anything. It’s part of war.

Interviewer: Uh huh.

Bradley: We did fire on our own troops. I know we did. You spoke to Joe
McClure. We fired on him.

Interviewer: Yeah.

Bradley: We fired on his platoon. We didn’t know they were there.

Interviewer: Hmmm.

Bradley: But don’t expect for one second that there will ever be a war in
which friendly fire doesn’t kill your own people. It’s not possible. It’s
simply not possible. Not in war. It’s not precise. You know the best battle
plan survives until the first shot is fired. That’s not my expression.

Interviewer: (Indistinct)

Bradley: It’s age-old . . . .

Interviewer: Ummmm.

Bradley: wisdom if you will. Things get totally screwed up. Colonel Fluck who
I told you is my hero, along with my father. One night in Germany, we were in a
church so we had candles and we had light and we were in this church and there
were candles there and he said, “You know why we’re winning this
war?” A bunch of us there. He’s our commander and of course we all wanted
to hear what he had to say. And he said, “Because we’re so f—-d up that
they can’t figure us out.”

Interviewer: Did you agree?

Bradley: I knew we were screwed up. I didn’t see it the way he did. I knew
that we made lots of mistakes. But then . . . . the fellow on the other side of
that field or that town or whatever the hell, he doesn’t tell you what he
intends to do, he doesn’t come over.

Interviewer: Now we have a book here from the 75th division where there is a
small passage where you contributed. And I wanted to ask you was this event or
these circum- stances that you were in, is that the, I use some words “the
most significant”, the most life-threatening, was that . . . .

Bradley: No.

Interviewer: How did that stay in your . . . .

Bradley: Nothing in particular. Perhaps the most significant in terms of the
war, not my life, but the war, was the night of the 27th, 28th of December, ’44.
We had our, . . . . section had gone forward and we were ahead of the infantry
in reaching the Third Armored Division.

Interviewer: Third Armored. Right. Very, very widely dispersed.

Bradley: They didn’t even have anything that resembled a defensive
capability. They were just so scattered. And back then, we were doing what we
were supposed to have done: we were scouting for gun positions in advance of the
arrival of the firing batteries. Well that stopped right away. That was never
our work any longer but anyway we did that. We didn’t know where we were going
to be but we needed to look at the land, we being Captain Kastenbader, my boss.
And we were a captain, a sergeant, a corporal (me), a radio operator, one driver
who was also a wireman. The sergeant was the other driver. For two jeeps. And we
had a trailer. And we did a reconnaissance and I recall reconnaissance being on
relatively level ground, not level but just rolling. In any event, the infantry
came up and we advanced until we met strong resistance. And then we went into a
defensive position within the narrow, deep valleys of the Ardennes. First
Battalion was . . . . I don’t remember other than there was a gap on our left.
And I don’t remember who was on the other side of the gap. Whoever it was,
second or third battalion. I just can’t recall. We were not in a coherent
line, that’s for sure. When the battalion first met heavy resistance, we were
in the classic two-up-one-back formation. Two companies up, one company in
reserve and there was no way that we could ever occupy the land that we were
assigned to. Assigned being that’s where we had to stop because resistance was
too strong for us to go forward. And so the old man (battalion commander, age
32) moved B company, Baker company, off to the left and Charley company slid in.
Or maybe it was the other way around. But I know I had been with A or Able
company that day and in any event, we were three companies on the line. Major
Fluck and his command group were still doing things the way we did them in the
States which also went very quickly. We tried to use wire for communications.
Anyway, we went back to receive the regimental order, and our regimental
commander, Colonel Douglas Smith, gave the order and told us that there was a
city behind us. Its name was Marche. And I remember as vividly as I see your
face now, hearing, “There’s nothing behind us, no reserve on which we
could call. And the city behind us, this Marche, and there are five roads and
there were railroads and that is the German objective and if they take Marche,
there is nothing to stop them from reaching Antwerp. And if they reach Antwerp,
then the British and the Canadians will be separated from us, First and Ninth
Army. They may even win the war,” or words to that effect. I don’t know
if anyone knew that much about what would have happened ’cause who the hell
knows what’s going to happen . . . .Interviewer: (indistinct)

Bradley: . . . . in a war.

Interviewer: (indistinct)

Bradley: This wasn’t a comment. This was the regimental order.

Interviewer: . . . . at this point?

Bradley: Oh, I’m sorry.

Interviewer: Your unit had just entered combat?

Bradley: Yes.

Interviewer: Correct?

Bradley: Yes, yes.

Interviewer: You had no experience with war. Is that correct?

Bradley: Yeah, three days.

Interviewer: And you’re put into this . . . .

Bradley: I would think that the . . . .

Interviewer: (Indistinct)

Bradley: I don’t think that the brass at SHAEF (Supreme Headquarters Allied
Expeditionary Force) had any thought that they could hold. I think we were
simply to delay the Germans until troops could be brought up behind us. We were
not committed as a division. We were committed as separate regimental combat
teams. Now this is terribly, terribly disadvantageous. You see, we had the best
artillery in the world. I, as one shooter, could fire every gun in a corps
rapidly if a gunnery officer from my battalion contacted the gunnery officer at
division artillery and they agreed that I could get all the guns of the whole
division, four battalions, I’d get them. I didn’t often get them.

Interviewer: Uh huh.

Bradley: Very seldom did I get more than a battery. Sometimes two batteries.

Interviewer: Four guns?

Bradley: Four guns per battery.

Interviewer: Right.

Bradley: And there was also a cannon company. They have six guns. They belong
to the regiment. The cannon company commander of 289th Infantry trained his own
fire direction center and they were tied into our fire direction center by wire
and radio so we could sometimes direct the fire of their guns too. As far as I
know, we were the only ones who had that capability. We were the only artillery
battalion that had that, but that was only because their CO had swiped, swapped,
whatever the hell, the necessary equipment so as to be able to do it. And those
six guns added 50% to our potential fire power.

Interviewer: Now how much fire power did you have this, this event you are
describing?

Bradley: That night? Only one battalion, the 897th.

Interviewer: Yeah.

Bradley: It varied later but our battalion fired four thousand rounds in
three hours.

Interviewer: That night?

Bradley: That night.

Interviewer: Well what transpired that night that caused all that firing?

Bradley: What transpired the day before was that we were probed and the
Germans rolled to the right. They pushed a platoon of Charley company back. They
then fell back, the Germans did . . . . the second S. S. Panzer division and
then Charley company retook the ground that they had given up. I think I’m
going to talk about anti-Semitism for a moment.

Interviewer: Okay.

Bradley: I was decorated. I had a decoration. It’s the same one that
another guy had. His name was Abraham Matza. He was also Jewish. He was a BAR
man . His platoon had to withdraw during those probes. Well, they did withdraw.
He’d been wounded, I don’t believe critically but in any event, wounded. He
refused to withdraw with the platoon. He volunteered to stay behind and to cover
their withdrawal. Now I’ve heard this described by guys who been in that
platoon. He stayed behind knowing he was going to be killed and his platoon
withdrew because he stayed behind. Now he was a BAR man, and I say again, that’s
a Browning automatic rifle. It’s a fully automatic rifle, one per squad. He
too was given the Bronze Star.

Interviewer: The Bronze Star?

Bradley: Yeah. Jews are now starting to say, “Hey, we’re under
decorated,” because . . . .

Interviewer: Did he survive that engagement?

Bradley: Oh no, he was killed. He knew he’d be killed.

Interviewer: Now starting Side B.

Bradley: Yeah a Bronze Star was given, well in some units, it was if you were
in combat at all, you got a Bronze Star at the end of the war. It eventually
became handed out that way.

Interviewer: Yeah.

Bradley: Yeah. So there was a hell of a lot of anti-Semitism . . . . .

Interviewer: . . . . personal.

Bradley: Sure.

Interviewer: You know . . . .

Bradley: No, no, no. Nothing like that. Nothing like that.

Interviewer: How did it manifest itself?

Bradley: (deep sigh.) You drew lots and lots of shit details. The Jews were
disproportion- ately represented in the forward echelon.

Interviewer: Is that by an assignment?

Bradley: Was I assigned?

Interviewer: No, were they an assignment that they just . . . .

Bradley: We just happened to be.

Interviewer: Oh. Was not volunteer or was it . . . .

Bradley: No, no, no, no, no. No, no, no, you, you were deemed to have the
ability to be forward. We saw that Jewish officers were rarely promoted, rarely
. . . .

Interviewer: Hmmm.

Bradley: once they reached our outfit.

Interviewer: Hmmm.

Bradley: Jewish enlisted men were rarely promoted.

Interviewer: Did you have the opportunity to attend services or was there a
rabbi while you were in Europe let’s say, for example?

Bradley: Oh sure. there was a chaplain someplace. But combat isn’t, there
are no time outs. You’re a combat soldier twenty-four hours a day, seven days
a week. There’s no surcease. Andy Rooney was on the air the other night you
know, talking about the Air Force and he was saying that he felt that while the
physical dangers might have been high on the ground amongst the infantrymen,
that the emotional stresses were far greater amongst the flyers. Well I don’t
know about the emotional stresses. But I do know that if you’re exposed to
enemy fire for twenty minutes, you’re stressed. I also know that if you’re
under enemy fire where at any second, at any minute, 24 hours a day, the next
thing that you hear is your own death, you’re fairly stressed.

Interviewer: And how many days did you have that situation?

Bradley: Every day.

Interviewer: Every day?

Bradley: Except when I was chosen one of two guys from our battalion to go to
Paris.

Interviewer: Huh! So you got . . . . pass?

Bradley: For three days, yeah.

Interviewer: What did you think of that?

Bradley: I got laid. I had been a virgin. My mother told me it was wrong to
have inter- course. Therefore it was wrong. But I knew I wasn’t going to live.
I knew I could not survive the war. There was no way in the world that I could
survive. I knew it. And I didn’t want to die without having known a woman. So
I did. I knew a woman. I didn’t die. Pretty good, huh?

Interviewer: Hmmm. Was that after this night engagement . . . . .

Bradley: Oh yes, well after that.

Interviewer: It was well after that?

Bradley: So anyway, Charley company folded up. And as you know, Joe McClure’s
platoon was still fighting . . . .

Interviewer: Joe is mentioned in this book by the 75th . . . . record on
tape.

Bradley: Yeah, I didn’t know Joe. Anyway his platoon was still fighting and
two of the other rifle platoons had faded off.

Interviewer: Where were you at this time? This puts you right there on the
battlefield.

Bradley: Yes. I don’t know exactly where Joe was. But I would say of the
man on the extreme right of Joe’s platoon, I might have been thirty-forty feet
from that man, at the most.

Interviewer: Were you in a fox hole?

Bradley: Fox hole, sure.

Interviewer: Anyone with you?

Bradley: At that time, Captain Kastenbader. And next to us was Major Fluck
and a lieutenant who I believe was killed that night. I believe that was the
night he was killed, that particular lieutenant. They folded up. The Germans
knew Charley company was weak when they probed them. The fact that the company
commander and the executive officer of Charley company deserted the company,
they wouldn’t know. The fact the first sergeant had deserted the company wasn’t
known. But they knew they were weak. And they poured through and we brought the
fire in closer and closer to our front. Keep in mind the whole regiment was
under attack. But by far the greatest strength of the attack was on Charley
company, first battalion, 289th.

Interviewer: Was this a forested area or open field or . . . .

Bradley: We were in a tree line and they were within a tree line across a
meadow from us. They came from a tree line just opposite. They held the high
ground.

Interviewer: Was there land between you?

Bradley: A meadow. You’ll see it. See it’s not far. I mean it isn’t a
great distance at all. And they came through and we poured the fire in front of
us. Kept bringing it in and bringing it in. It was very tough. We called it a
problem. A very tough fire mission because the guns were way off near our flank.
It was very, very tough to shoot but Kastenbader was a wizard shot.

Interviewer: You know what village the guns were near or, it could be as far
as ten miles back, is that correct?

Bradley: Oh no, not ten miles. No, no, no, not our guns. . . . .

Interviewer: No.

Bradley: Not our guns, no, no. No, we usually would fire at a range of five
thousand yards. That’s quite a distance there. Anyway we had a full load of
ammunition at the time. We pulled the fire on Fluck’s order right into where
Charley company had been. We felt or he felt none of Charley company was
effective.

Interviewer: How much time had Charley company been there? Was it they just
moved in and then moved out or had there been time to dig in?

Bradley: We were all dug in, all three rifle companies and heavy weapons
company of First Battalion were dug in.

Interviewer: All dug in?

Bradley: We were all dug in.

Interviewer: Uh huh.

Bradley: Sure, that’s what saved Joe’s butt. They were dug in and the
Germans weren’t. You see when we pulled the fire in on our own line, we were
getting tree bursts. Shells were bursting as they struck the trees.

Interviewer: Now this was night time. You could not see the enemy or could
you see?

Bradley: Could make out shapes, just shapes. And they came in waves. That
sounds like an exaggeration but it is not.

Interviewer: Well the book says there were 500 bodies counted on that hill.

Bradley: That’s what a Belgian man told us. Now that next day, next dawn, I
was up. Kastenbader had told me to go over and try to find, we call it Baker
company in those days. Tried to find Baker company. We had to know where our
people were. The artillery must know where the infantry is or we’d kill our
people. We too don’t wave our hands around saying, “Hey, I’m over
here.” They have to tell us and if they’re not telling us, we have to
find them. And I went over and found them, I went through the forest, of course.
There were still Germans on the other side of that meadow. They’d withdrawn,
those who could. And I walked through the forest and I saw bodies. The forest
floor was littered with bodies. There were also a good many that got through the
forest and down into . . . . and . . . . down to Briscol.

Interviewer: Now these were SS, were they?

Bradley: Yes. On the left sleeve there was a black band with a “Das
Reich” in gold.

Interviewer: Second SS Panzer?

Bradley: Second SS Panzer.

Interviewer: Panzers?

Bradley: Yes.

Interviewer: Did you know at the time they were SS?

Bradley: We knew. When they murdered five guys they had captured from Charley
company. They were shot in the back of the head, each one.

Interviewer: Were there dead Americans mixed in with these . . . .

Bradley: No.

Interviewer: Germans as you . . . .

Bradley: No, no, no. Not that I saw. Keep in mind, I wasn’t in a stroll in
the park.

Interviewer: No.

Bradley: I was to get across and find Baker company. I wasn’t there to
sight-see.

Interviewer: But there might have been wounded or . . . .

Bradley: Germans?

Interviewer: lightly uh, slightly-injured Germans?

Bradley: I don’t . . . .

Interviewer: Armed?

Bradley: I didn’t know or care. I had to go from the left flank of A
company to the right flank of B company. That was my job and it didn’t make a
patoot if anyone was alive or not. You can rest assured I would have killed his
ass. Just move.

Interviewer: What was your weapon?

Bradley: A carbine. 30 caliber carbine.

Interviewer: So what happened then . . . .

Bradley: I found Baker company. I knew where they were and I came back. What
happened the rest of the war? We fought.

Interviewer: (laughs) This is an incident then when you’d called in your
own artillery that might . . . .

Bradley: We . . . . a bunch of Baker company people too.

Interviewer: Oh.

Bradley: You see our longitudinal dispersement became our lateral
dispersement because of the position of our guns in relation to the line. And
artillery pieces then and now have a far greater dispersion longitudinally than
they have laterally. Therefore, because we were shooting parallel to our line,
not perpendicular to us, our guns were fired roughly parallel but not actually
parallel, close to a 45 degree angle. We had to adjust each, we had to make two
adjustments and they had to be right on the money both as to longitude and
latitude if you will. And of course, we had dispersion, we had range dispersion.
It wasn’t just Charley company that caught shit from us. I was 30-40 feet from
them. It came in on us too. We knew that.

Interviewer: What was that like, to have . . . .

Bradley: We knew we were in a war. There seems to be this romance with the
idea that it’s possible to be in a war without killing your own people. It’s
not. It’s not.

Interviewer: And you had tree bursts over your position?

Bradley: Sure, we were in the forest edge.

Interviewer: How long were you at this spot?

Bradley: The whole night. When did we first come in there?

Interviewer: Well I mean the duration, was that evening and then the . . . .

Bradley: No, it was at night.

Interviewer: At night, uh huh.

Bradley: Roughly midnight as I recall it. I can’t be sure of that. From
about midnight to three in the morning, roughly.

Interviewer: When did you leave that position then?

Bradley: Oh probably the day after that.

Interviewer: The duration of this battle, I guess is what we’re saying. Was
that the end of the battle?

Bradley: It was the end of the, no, it wasn’t the end of the battle. It was
at the end of that attack.

Interviewer: Oh.

Bradley: There was still movement. They were still punching at us. But
nothing like that night. Nothing even remotely like it. The Germans knew too.
There was no secret of the fact that Marche was the critical objective. Keep in
mind, Bastogne is in the midst of these very, very narrow, long, deep valleys.
Virtually every valley having a stream at the bottom of it. And the roads are
narrow, the trees are densely planted, these are planted forests. It’s not
tank ground at all. There’s the occasional field and meadow, of course. But
the trees and the valleys are a very effective barrier. And just below Briscol,
what – a thousand yards, twelve hundred yards? Something like that, the land
becomes rolling. We could not possibly have held had we been a thousand yards
below. Not a snowball’s chance . . . .

Interviewer: Below that position?

Bradley: Not a snowball’s chance in hell. And they would have reached
Marche because there was nothing behind us. Every K.P., every cook, every driver
was on the line.

Interviewer: Now I’ve read that within a day or so some paratroopers came
into that area. Did you see any of the paratroopers?

Bradley: Yes.

Interviewer: Uh huh.

Bradley: Yeah, yeah, they were brought up. The Germans were isolated. Behind
us. They couldn’t go forward, they couldn’t go back. They were swept up.
They were killed, most of them.

Interviewer: Now your unit did what after this . . . .

Bradley: We were swung around..

Interviewer: . . . .

Bradley: We were swung around to some place (laughs). I don’t know where.

Interviewer: Uh huh.

Bradley: And we went on the attack. And we stayed on the attack until we
reached the village named . . . . Braunlauf, very, very close to the German
border. B-r-a-u-n- l-a-u-f. By that time, the battalion was down to something
over 200.

Interviewer: Staying with that infantry . . . .

Bradley: The battalion.

Interviewer: The battalion?

Bradley: Yes, yes.

Interviewer: The artillery battalion?

Bradley: No, no.

Interviewer: The infantry battalion?

Bradley: Right. You see, when the guys at the guns were hit by enemy
artillery fire, there were medics there right now.

Interviewer: Uh huh.

Bradley: A litter was loaded onto a jeep and they were evacuated. They were
brought to the aid station. They didn’t die of shock. The infantry died of
shock as well as the wounds themselves. Many, many, many non-lethal wounds were
deadly because of the cold, shock. And it takes more time. You know if four guys
are going to carry a man out for a considerable distance, it takes time. And
there aren’t many men around to carry them out. When they walk the wounded,
lots of guys just don’t get evacuated. It ain’t like M-A-S-H.

Interviewer: Now this little village that was nearby, this one called Sadzot.
. .

Bradley: Sadzot.

Interviewer: Did you see it?

Bradley: Sure.

Interviewer: Was it visible to you at that time?

Bradley: Oh yeah.

Interviewer: Was it burning or anything?

Bradley: No, no, no, no.

Interviewer: Was it a place where you could take refuge or get a hot meal or
anything?

Bradley: The outfit tried to feed once and drew fire. And that was the last,
the first and only time that food was brought up to the line.

Interviewer: Uh huh.

Bradley: The only time. Once. We made noise.

Interviewer: Now was there snow on the ground at that . . . .

Bradley: No.

Interviewer: time and . . . .

Bradley: Not until two days later as I recall.

Interviewer: Uh huh.

Bradley: As I recall it.

Interviewer: . . . .

Bradley: . . . . There was fog, dense fog.

Interviewer: Did you have to be out in some of that blizzard-type weather
eventually then when you . . . .

Bradley: Yes.

Interviewer: were in combat?

Bradley: Sure. Yes.

Interviewer: Were you able to survive that without frozen feet or . . . .

Bradley: No my, no my feet are frozen.

Interviewer: They were frozen?

Bradley: Severely.

Interviewer: Severely?

Bradley: Very severely.

Interviewer: Did they turn black and then red or . . . .

Bradley: No, no, they . . . . They were deep purple.

Interviewer: Do you get any disability benefits for that now?

Bradley: No. I thought about applying for it but if I were to receive a
monetary benefit as I do on account of a post-war injury, but service-connected,
it’s deducted from my retired pay.

Interviewer: Huh.

Bradley: I spent 23 years wearing Uncle’s clothes and I’m retired from
the Army. Three years of active and twenty of reserve duty and I receive retired
pay. But my 10% disability on account of an injury as I said that’s not
combat-related, is deducted from my retirement. Now cold injuries are being
awarded the Purple Heart and disability benefits, just recently. And actually,
there were three artillerymen left with the First Battalion at that time. That’s
three out of 13 who were there with the battalion. We’d taken some pretty
severe losses amongst the artillery and the infantry with the First Battalion.
And Lieutenant Dale, Charley Dale, was the only firing officer. There might have
been some other enlisted men who were shooting. But anyway, I was with Dale who
was with Fluck. We were with Fluck. And we got up in the morning and we both had
lost sensation in our legs and feet. I had gone to our battalion C.P. for
something the night before and I didn’t have overshoes. Ah, there’s an
example. Somehow or another, our supply sergeant was never able to find
overshoes for me. So I wore leather shoes and canvas leggings in snow up to my
ass.

Interviewer: Now did you have to spend the night out in this . . . .

Bradley: Of course.

Interviewer: Yeah.

Bradley: Yeah.

Interviewer: And that’s . . . .

Bradley: Yeah and my shoes were wet and I slept with them against my chest
and I wrapped a towel around my feet and one guy slept and the other guy was
awake, of course. So we put one raincoat down and one overcoat down and then one
raincoat over. And the guy who was up didn’t have an overcoat because he wasn’t
sleeping. But that particular night there was no need us to go two-on, two-off.
There was no need for it because of where we were. We were in a German fox hole.
My driver had chosen it and it was short. But I don’t think I reached him
until maybe midnight. Eleven o’clock. I’m not sure but anyway it was late
night. I had been in the hole. I was gone maybe to get batteries for the radio.
I don’t really recall but anyway I found him late at night and I got into the
hole and I slept of course. I was just too tired to take my shoes off and go
through the drill. I changed my sox. I did do that. But my socks were wet and I
put those next to my skin of course. But I got up and I had no feeling, I had no
sensation. And Dale had overshoes so I kind of attributed all of this to the
fact that Sergeant Brough, our supply sergeant, never could find five-buckle
arctics for me somehow. Now keep in mind, I had looked at every stiff there was
for somebody with feet the size of mine. But for my generation, I’m unusually
tall and now keep in mind I didn’t have a hell of a lot of time to search the
stiffs. You’re very busy. It’s a full-time job.

Interviewer: Huh.

Bradley: So anyway, Dale and I were stomping around. We were up. We were
hungry. We hadn’t eaten for a long time. We were rolling German stiffs for
food.

Interviewer: Is that right?

Bradley: No big deal. These guys were dead and the best we could come up with
was lard which each one of them had. They had little cans of lard that looked
like snuff cans. But their bread was so frozen that we couldn’t bite it. So
anyway we kept waiting and waiting for the word to move out and neither one of
us had any sensation in our feet. And I knew I was frozen. Hell, it didn’t
take a genius to know that. But I didn’t have pain. Whereas every minute of
every day before that of course, I was in all the pain that goes with cold. And
it’s very painful. And I was really kind of glad that I didn’t have the
pain. Anyway we didn’t attack and that was very, very unusual that we weren’t
on the attack that day. And finally we were told that we were to be pinched out
of that position. Then we withdrew from that area and fell back to a village,
Besch, which had been an objective not too long before then but we had taken it.
Anyway, I got into a house and there was a stove. I knew from the training that
you shouldn’t try to thaw yourself out too quickly. And there was a great big
living room and I sat in a chair for a long, long time until the pain started to
come. And I was thawing out and my feet were, I mean really painful . . . . Not
that I didn’t have pain before but this was also pain and I had sensation. I
didn’t go to the medics. It didn’t make any sense to go to the medics. See,
guys didn’t get off that line, at least as far as I could see until they were
so incapacitated by their frozen feet that they couldn’t stand another second.
Now I often felt that way but you see there weren’t a hell of a lot of us to
go around. You don’t train someone to be a shooter by sending him up to the
line. One of the battery commanders sent two cooks up to us as a punishment
because they were drinking booze. They were both killed.

Interviewer: . . . .

Bradley: Yeah, right away. They didn’t know how to be soldiers. They were
cooks. They were supposed to know how to be soldiers. They sure as hell didn’t
know how to live on the line. They were punished. Keep in mind, “Now you
get the . . . .” They were punished and we were doing that job as our duty.
These guys were sent up to be with us as punishment.

Interviewer: . . . .

Bradley: That’s what a shit detail we were on.

Interviewer: Uh huh . . . . That’s your daily job.

Bradley: Yeah.

Interviewer: Yeah. Do you recall an extremely close call? I mean, of course
this night with the artillery . . . .

Bradley: It was a constant fact of life. Artillery and mortar fire.

Interviewer: Anything . . . .

Bradley: This was an artillery war. To be sure, the infantry fired rifles.

Interviewer: I mean, did you . . . .

Bradley: . . . .

Interviewer: come under small arms fire at any time?

Bradley: Of course, of course, of course. Yeah, sure. Yeah, we were with
rifle platoons. I kind of enjoyed street fighting. Does that tell you something
about me? It’s really a challenge, you know. It’s one-on-one. We weren’t
supposed to ever get involved in street fighting. Ever, we artillerymen.

Interviewer: You mean hand-to-hand?

Bradley: No, no, no, no, no, no.

Interviewer: . . . . . in the city.

Bradley: In the city. Right. By fighting in the streets. They’re in the
upper stories. We’re on the ground. We’re moving. We try to see them as they
shoot to kill us. But there’s something about it that has a certain romance to
it.

Interviewer: Where was the 75th involved in street fighting?

Bradley: France and Germany.

Interviewer: . . . .

Bradley: France.

Interviewer: Did you have that house-to-house kind of . . . .

Bradley: Yeah.

Interviewer: situation?

Bradley: In the streets. And you’re pushing them back. You can’t use
artillery fire. Not because you’re trying to save lives, you just can’t fire
so that it comes in and kills them and not you.

Interviewer: Well in that situation were you firing your . . . .

Bradley: My carbine? Sure.

Interviewer: At targets . . . .

Bradley: You know, you see a window that might be and you just fire some
bullets. You see a window in a basement that might be . . . . And please don’t
lecture me about there could be civilians there. I know it. But civilians were
shooting at us too. And even if they weren’t, don’t ever let anyone ever
deceive you by saying, “Oh gee, I would never do that.” That’s
bullshit. Because the next window of a basement could be the last window you
ever see for all of your life. This is not a game.

Interviewer: . . . .

Bradley: Where the guys go to the bar and drink a Bud afterwards.

Interviewer: Yeah.

Bradley: You know. You were dead.

Interviewer: Well the Germans were very good in training their snipers, as
you . . . .

Bradley: Not particularly.

Interviewer: . . . . any snipers?

Bradley: Yes, but we misuse the word in the popular literature. Every
rifleman is a sniper. “He was picked off by a sniper.” Well gee whiz,
where was he? Well he was in a church belfry. What are you shooting? Carbine 98
probably. Any kind of a rifle shot can shoot 500 yards and hit a man. Not his
head, but it can hit him. 250 yards for a dead bang sure.

Interviewer: It’s quite common in street fighting . . . .

Bradley: Houses.

Interviewer: Hmmm.

Bradley: Houses. It’s very hard to get out of a belfry.

Interviewer: Uh huh.

Bradley: It’s pretty stupid to get up there in the first place. It’s slow
and hard to get out of. And there might be someone at the bottom who thinks that
your death is his most ardent desire. (laughs)

Interviewer: Now your unit was in Alsace.

Bradley: Alsace. Excuse me for correcting you but . . . .

Interviewer: Alsace.

Bradley: see the Alsacians would sour their wine if they heard you pronounce
it Alsace.

Interviewer: Was there some difficult fighting there for your . . . .

Bradley: Yeah, sure. Yeah. But the weather had moderated. We didn’t have
that freezing, bitter cold. I’ll give you a notion. The infantry had stopped
at a tree line, a forest. We were very close to the Dortmund Ems Canal at . . .
. and Smith had come up. I had gone out on a reconnaisance, my driver and I, to
replace a shot-up forward section. His name was Roberto Cobla from Los Angeles.
He refused to go forward. It was night and this village was just being pummeled
with artillery fire. And he was in the ditch. And I went back. I thought he had
been hit and killed, whatever. And he refused to go forward with me. And I told
him I’d kill him. Now there. That’s not a good person, huh? And he said, he
used to call me “Bradlix” for whatever reason. “Bradlix, you
crazy son of a bitch. You would do it.” Yes, Cobla. You come with me and
maybe you get killed. You don’t come with me, you die.”

Interviewer: Huh.

Bradley: He was not a coward. But one of our F.O. crews had been wiped out
and we had to take their place.

Interviewer: Yeah. Did he make it through the war then?

Bradley: Yeah. He did fine. He did just fine. Of course, he was almost always
behind the line ’cause he was a driver.

Interviewer: And you told me outside of the interview that you had witnessed
some French troops?

Bradley: Lots of them.

Interviewer: In combat?

Bradley: Lots of them. Yeah. I’m going to be with them week after next.

Interviewer: Ah, yeah. Did they actually serve in conjunction with your rifle
. . . .

Bradley: No.

Interviewer: unit?

Bradley: No they drifted. We’re supposed to have boundaries, huh? Supposed
to know where the hell everyone is. But you didn’t know where the French were
because they drifted. And they got intermingled with us but not by design. On
the other hand, we rode French tanks in at least one attack that I remember
against a village, Appenwher. They were a bunch of junk that we had given to the
French, these little light tanks that mounted a 37mm gun. Ran into mines and
they started blowing.

Interviewer: Did you ever come under tank fire?

Bradley: Yes.

Interviewer: German tanks?

Bradley: Yeah. Yep. There were very few tigers notwithstanding the myths to
the contrary.

Interviewer: Uh huh.

Bradley: The panther was the common tank.

Interviewer: Ah, the panther.

Bradley: Yeah. They mounted a 76mm gun I think.

Interviewer: Uh huh.

Bradley: It doesn’t matter how big the gun is. When you’re a foot
soldier, it doesn’t matter how big the gun or the tank is.

Interviewer: Did you ever have any contact with say German prisoners?

Bradley: Oh sure.

Interviewer: You did?

Bradley: Oh, we took zillions of them.

Interviewer: Yeah?

Bradley: Sure, lots of them. Yes, I came very, very close to killing a man
who was a prisoner.

Interviewer: Why is that?

Bradley: It was a terrible event. It was really stupid. Our regimental
commander dreamed up a plan that was doomed. He was a West Pointer and as dumb
as a rock. He commanded 289th infantry regiment. He came up with the idea of
taking this village Besch, in Belgium, which was very, very strongly defended. A
strong point of the German defense. And it was in an ideal defensive position.
His idea was that we would do a double envelopment. So one battalion was to take
the high ground on the left of Besch and the other was to take the high ground
on the right. First Battalion was in reserve. We would do the envelopment. We’d
make the classic infantry tactic. We’d make the village untenable. They would
with- draw. We would win the fight. Great. The problem was that it was at night
and we were going to do it. We all had terrible diarrhea. The food which we did
have was frozen and frozen food, for some reason or other, causes diarrhea or
some- thing else. I don’t know, but we were just, you could follow our troops
by the poop along in the snow. And we were to make the approach. To the I.P, it’s
called, through the forest. Anyway, you know, it’s was very thickly planted.
We were to reach a river. We were to cross the river at night on bridges that
our engineers were to have erected and they did do that . . . . and this running
river, the SalmRiver. And we were to cross the river on these foot bridges. Keep
in mind each bridge then becomes a choke point, huh. Men concentrate. You lose,
you don’t get across the river. And concentrating troops in one place is like
suicide. You don’t do that unless there’s no choice in the world. So,
Colonel Fluck, when we were at the Washington reunion, maybe in 1950. I was
there and he had a bunch of us from his command group and I was there. And I
asked him, “Why was General Prickett relieved as our division commander,
and why did we make that stupid effort at the double envelopment of Besch?”
And he said, “It’s interesting that you asked the two questions together
because one precipitated the other and General Ridgeway relieved Prickett
because of that double envelopment and what happened there.” And he said,
“I fought that plan all the way up to Division. Of course, he went over his
own commander’s head which is not the thing to do in the military. But he
did,” he said, “but Prickett bought it.” Second and third
battalion had drifted during the night on the approach. But the real genius of
this whole plan was that 50 caliber machine guns belonging to the artillery were
sited on the heights above us as we made the approach. And . . . . they were
firing so as to give us a constant line of attack so we wouldn’t get lost. Now
getting lost in this forest is not difficult. You had a compass and whatever.
But to maintain control of a bunch of men who are working their way in and out
of trees is not a picnic. And we were good by that time. It was shortly after
the start of our war. But we were good. But we weren’t, no one’s that good.
No one on earth is that good. So these 50s were firing these friggin’ tracers
over us as if the Germans couldn’t tell that something strange was happening
amongst the Americans on the other side of that river. Add to it the fact that
there had to have been spies amongst the Belgian populace. There had to have
been. There always is in war. Always . . . . who knew there were bridges being
put up. Anyway, the second and third battalions had drifted to the left and
right and we reached the riverbank at first light. And they were firing mortars.
And they pinned us down with machine gun fire. And we crossed that God damned
river on those frozen God damned bridges and got to the railroad tracks on the
other side. And you asked for around . . . . exactly where we crossed. It will
show you. We got out of the shelter of this railroad embankment. There’s this
railroad cut. The whole battalion got over there. Kastenbader lost it. He was on
the road bordering the river. He was pounding his helmet into the snow. He was
seated. And he was crying. Two of our men I know for sure deserted that day.
They didn’t desert and run far away. They just didn’t happen to make it over
the river. McGooch was killed right away. He had one of the radios.

Interviewer: Who was McGooch?

Bradley: Just one of our guys.

Interviewer: And he was in the service?

Bradley: He was a radio operator, I think, or a wireman. He wasn’t a
shooter.

Interviewer: Oh.

Bradley: Anyway, it happened to have been his birthday.

Interviewer: Oh. Birthday?

Bradley: Yeah, the night before he showed us a picture that his fiancee had
sent him. A picture of her in a frame. Can you imagine a man, a foot soldier,
carrying a framed picture? Where the hell do you put a framed picture? (laughs)
Anyway McGooch . . . .

Interviewer: . . . .

Bradley: I found McGooch and I found half of his radio later. The other half
had a hole in it. And I thought McGooch was just laying there. But he had a hole
right at the base of his skull.

Interviewer: You found his body?

Bradley: Yeah, sure.

Interviewer: In . . .

Bradley: Yeah, and McClelland, he came down. His face was just streaming
blood. Some sort of scalp wound, I guess. I can’t remember where the other
guy, oh, a guy named Woods also went mad that day. Woods was made into a
permanent K.P. Anyway . . . .

Interviewer: One thing about McGooch. How old was he?

Bradley: I believe he was 20 or 21 that day. One or the other.

Interviewer: His birthday?

Bradley: Yeah, yeah. It was his birthday.

Interviewer: Party the night before?

Bradley: Party? A party would have been to be in a house with a stove and
fuel–so you could heat water so as to warm your C rations. That would have been
a fine party. War is 60 seconds per minute, sixty minutes per hour and 24 hours
a day. There is no surcease–no time outs–none.

Interviewer: Or . . . .

Bradley: We were in a building when it happened. The Chateau Saint Marie. You
might want to make a note of it. The Chateau Saint Marie.

Interviewer: Chateau Saint Marie?

Bradley: It was the first battalion forward C.P. Just in case you have an
interest, we had a German wounded guy. And whatever the nature of his wound was,
the doc said he couldn’t be moved and he had to remain upright. So he was
strapped to a litter. Sometime during the time we were at the Chateau Saint
Marie, we were very close to Besch. And . . . . will know exactly where it is.
Anyway, in the doorway of the kitchen, this German was there and somehow or
another, he reached into his boot and he pulled out a grenade. Now keep in mind,
he’s in a battalion forward C.P. and he pulled out that grenade and he was
going to blow it. But someone got to him. So you never knew. Huh? He was a
wounded prisoner Anyway, we had exhausted, or nearly exhausted, our artillery
ammunition and we were attacking into a meadow, a high meadow. And Dale and I
got up and left our radio operator Vandervort down where there had been a
machine gun crew. The machine gunners had all been killed but they had excavated
a little depression.

Interviewer: You saw them?

Bradley: Who?

Interviewer: These dead soldiers?

Bradley: Sure. There’s dead soldiers all over the place all the time.
Stiffs are just as common as dirt.

Interviewer: . . . . heavy casualties, then, this . . . .

Bradley: Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah.

Interviewer: Very heavy casualties?

Bradley: That day? Ho. Fierce. Fierce. A company had had about 130 men when
they started. 150. Something like that. They had 60 that night at officers’
call that evening. Anyway, we . . . .

Interviewer: . . . . machine gun . . . .

Bradley: Anyway we couldn’t get out of there. We couldn’t rise up any
way. Dale and I crept up and he was a crack shot, Charley Dale was. He was a
second lieutenant and I think he was the best shot in the battalion but anyway,
he was good. And we knew we had very little ammunition, very little artillery
ammunition available. Now this is the battalion ammo train that’s in with the
very front artillery unit. Our ammo train was going all the way to Le Havre to
pick up ammunition. Hundreds of miles to pick up ammunition because all our
forward ammo dumps had been captured. So he registered with two rounds on the
German-held ridge and that is well nigh impossible. But the second round was
smack on a little brow of the forest that came over this hill and that’s where
the German observer had to have been. He had to have been there. We knew it.
Couldn’t see him but we knew. That’s where we’d be. It’s the only place
we would be if we were on that side. So we tried to fire on him and I called
down for fire for effect. And I asked for battery two rounds or three rounds,
something like that. And Vandervort yelled up at me, “Captain Schooley
wants you.” And so I came down to where Vandy was and I got on the radio
with Schooley and he asked me, “Can you see Germans?” And I said,
“No, I can’t see Germans.” Keep in mind, there was one time a
non-forward observer artillery officer came up to us. Once. And no other
non-forward observer came again. Schooley had never been off his ass the entire
time that he was in the army. He was our assistant S3, assistant gunnery
officer. His job was at the fire direction center to be sure. But he didn’t
know what the hell the war was about.

Interviewer: Uh huh.

Bradley: So he asked me if I could see Germans.. And I said, “No we can’t
see Germans. They don’t get up. No, I don’t see Germans.” And he said,
“Well, you don’t shoot. There’s a corps order. You can only shoot if
you can see them.” And I told him, I said, “You never see
Germans.” But he refused to fire. So I yelled up to Dale that they won’t
shoot. He said, “Ask for WP.” White phosphorous And if we could blind
them, it’s just as good, huh? As long as they can’t shoot so we can get the
hell up and attack. Keep in mind, there was never a thought of breaking off the
attack. Did you notice? Never even a thought of withdrawing from that absolutely
untenable position. And they refused to fire and I argued with Schooley and I
was a Corporal. I said, “We have a full compliment of WP. We’ve never
fired a round of WP. We have it. We can shoot it. Give us 5 rounds of WP. Six
rounds of WP.” “No,” corps order. I told Dale. He told me to tell
Fluck. I went down. Dale didn’t have the balls to tell Fluck himself. And he
was a gutsy guy, believe you me. And he didn’t have the balls to face Fluck
and tell him we weren’t going to shoot for him. He told me to go down and I
did. And Fluck used to carry a carbine. Oh he was in an enlisted man’s
overcoat. He didn’t want to appear to be an officer, believe you me, boy. You
know, get your ass shot fast. So anyway he always carried a carbine with him
with the barrel down. Some guys thought you know, you keep the barrel dry, keep
it from being plugged with snow, whatever. And he lifted it up and he stuck it
right in my belly. And he just cursed at me really good and proper. He said,
“God damned artillerymen. Hang around, hang around, hang around until you
need ’em. Then what God damned good are they?” And that man walked up and
he got up on the brow of this cut and he said, “Follow me.” And that
God damned battalion rose up and followed him. And they cut us down like wheat .
. . . at harvest time. And we took that God damned hill. And let me tell you
those deaths were absolutely, utterly unnecessary. They were unforgiveable. I
don’t know what happened to Prickett after General Ridgeway relieved him.
Smith remained our regimental commander. The men knew he was incompetent.

Interviewer: . . . . (sound fades out and is not understandable for a few
minutes)

Bradley: . . . . Besch. The village of Besch.

Interviewer: Did you even make it to the village or . . . .

Bradley: No, we never got into the village. No, no, no, no. Once you take the
heights, the place does become untenable. The cost in lives was horrible.
Horrible.

Interviewer: Was it machine gun fire or . . . .

Bradley: Mortar fire.

Interviewer: . . . .

Bradley: Mortar and machine guns.

Interviewer: . . . .

Bradley: You see, in this hilly ground, mortar does the most . . . .

Interviewer: Can you hear the mortar shell coming in, the rounds coming in or
you can’t?

Bradley: Depends upon whether you’re dead or not. Yes, you hear it. It’s
low. You hear it. But you also hear the artillery coming in and you soon became,
you’re able to know whether it’s enemy artillery or our artillery.

Interviewer: Uh huh. Were you advancing with the riflemen? With the colonel?

Bradley: You don’t seem to have heard me.

Interviewer: . . . .

Bradley: We were with him . . . .

Interviewer: Uh huh.

Bradley: all of the time. We never left his side.

Interviewer: Uh huh.

Bradley: There was a small group he called “the command group”.

Interviewer: Uh huh.

Bradley: We were with him 24 hours a day, including two litter teams.

Interviewer: Hmmm.

Bradley: He said, “I don’t want to hear somebody scream out ‘medic’
and not see a litter team go get that injured man.”

Interviewer: . . . . across this area, there . . . . casualties. The men were
mown down.

Bradley: Well we were getting hit . . . .

Interviewer: . . . .

Bradley: We were getting hit . . . .

Interviewer: . . . . somehow?

Bradley: What . . . .

Interviewer: This loss of life?

Bradley: Yeah when we took the hill.

Interviewer: When you took the hill?

Bradley: If I’m not mistaken it was up the crest of that hill where my feet
were frozen because Dale and I were together. Yeah, it was at the crest of that
hill.

Interviewer: So you spent some time . . . .

Bradley: I had gone back to the rear to get batteries, I know. Now I
remember. And I wouldn’t have remembered were we not to be talking now. It was
that night.

Interviewer: It was that place?

Bradley: Yeah. That night. I didn’t get back up to the line until quite
late. Actually what happened was I’d gotten down to the C.P., down to the
fire-direction center. I had decided I was going to kill Schooley. Yes, I had
decided I was going to kill Schooley. And I got down into the basement of a
house and there was a Sibley stove, you know, a military little stove that
burned, I don’t know what the hell it burned. And it was warm down there. The
stove was red hot, I remember. And I got down there and I had a pistol and my
carbine and I confronted Schooley on account of his having failed to shoot for
us and particularly the W.P. And he told me I had to think with the mind of an
artilleryman and not think like an infantryman. And I told him we didn’t have
braid on our caps up there. We’re all men. And I quote myself precisely and I
said, “These men died because you refused to shoot the W.P.” And I, my
pistol cleared the holster and Jude Schifflet, a guy from Texas, a teacher in a
school someplace in Texas, I think Paris, Texas. I’m not sure though. That’s
maybe the place he was from, grabbed me and . . . . He was our survey sergeant.
And he and I were friends. And he grabbed me and he wrestled me away. And I was
brought to Colonel Johnson and he wanted me to lay down in his bed roll and
rest. And he told me, “Then go draw some clean long johns from the supply
sergeant.” And I tried to find Schooley one time after that. I contacted a
guy in New York who I thought might know where Schooley lived, so I could kill
him.

Interviewer: Did you have close friends that were killed in that . . . .

Bradley: Of course I did. Off course.

Interviewer: Who was killed?

Bradley: A guy. An infantryman. A scout. One of the scouts . . . . Yeah, he
got splattered all over me.

Interviewer: But he was close to you when a round came in, huh?

Bradley: During that screwed-up effort at the double envelopment, there were
rounds coming in all over the place. Huh. There were rounds all over the place.
You could walk where you saw the mortar shells had burst. You could go from one
burst there, one there, one there, one there . . . . I’m telling you that’s
what they were doing.

Interviewer: And you were just advancing, standing . . .

Bradley: Running.

Interviewer: Running?

Bradley: Running, falling, running, falling. Or, but when we went up that
hill, it was just running. Broken-field running in the snow. Deep snow.

Interviewer: Huh.

Bradley: I remember one man along a fence row. And he was begging for help.
And he had his arm upright. And Tom Leaman, who was an artist and my friend,
over in Massachusetts, drew something, he was with A company. He drew a picture
for one of the outfits to use in a booklet of theirs. And it showed, I swear it
was this guy. Tom said he didn’t draw this guy from memory. But Tom was right
behind us. He with weapons platoon of A company. He must have seen that same
guy. Must have. It must have been in his mind but out of it. But anyway this guy
was begging for help. Not that that was all that unusual but I just happened to
remember it particularly.

Interviewer: What was King’s first name?

Bradley: I don’t know.

Interviewer: The rifleman that you knew?

Bradley: Yeah, he was a scout.

Interviewer: Oh.

Bradley: Not a Boy Scout.

Interviewer: No, no. They led. Yeah.

Bradley: No, no.

Interviewer: They went first?

Bradley: No, no. They did reconnaisance.

Interviewer: Uh huh.

Bradley: They did patrols.

Interviewer: Uh huh.

Bradley: Oh yeah, I understand. That other use of the word “scout”.
Yes, no, no. He was in the I and R platoon (Intelligence and Reconnaisance).

Philip Bradley Part 2

Interviewer: . . . . experience um . . . . visit Besch.

Bradley: There’s a nice little bar.

Interviewer: You’ve been back?

Bradley: Yes. Florent Lambert and I had a beer there. Carol doesn’t like
beer. I don’t like beer either, really. But we had wandered around on one side
and then the other side of the river. And now there’s this steel bridge across
the river. The Salm River is not wide.

Interviewer: Uh huh.

Bradley: But it was very fast-flowing then. It was really fast. Not that we
waded it. The engineers waded it . . . . with that river . . . . those . . . .
bridges in. They must have made noise.

Interviewer: You have to ask, “Why are you with the unit if you’re not
allowed to call in artillery support?”

Bradley: We didn’t have the ammunition. We didn’t have the ammunition.

Interviewer: Was this a common situation?

Bradley: It never was again. Our resupply, you know, this was the Bulge. This
was the . . . . . offensive. Our forward ammunition dumps had been captured.
They’d been overrun. Our trucks went all the way to LeHavre, clear across half
of France. More than half of France. Of the length of France. It’s a hell of a
run. On crowded roads. Troops trying to, the big guy trying to move troops up.

Interviewer: Did you ever drive a vehicle?

Bradley: A jeep?

Interviewer: Yeah.

Bradley: Sure. I had a driver . . . .

Interviewer: I was thinking, you know . . . .

Bradley: But, but . . . .

Interviewer: In that position, you’d need to have some mobility.

Bradley: But we were rarely in vehicles. We were on foot.

Interviewer: Uh huh.

Bradley: The vehicles followed us.

Interviewer: Uh huh.

Bradley: Our vehicles followed us. Or we left them. And then someone went
back and got them and brought them up. Say at night or whenever the hell.

Interviewer: Let’s take a place like crossing the Rhine on a pontoon
bridge. Did you walk across on one of the bridges or you had to cross the river?

Bradley: We crossed the Rhine on a bridge. The British had crossed ahead of
us.

Interviewer: Did you walk over or . . . .

Bradley: No. In our jeeps.

Interviewer: Uh huh.

Bradley: We, from our O.P., honest to goodness, it was still on the bank of
the Rhine. It was the biggest artillery shoot of War II. There were three or
four, I’m not sure, at least three general officers there when the shoot
started. We’d been registering on the German side. We were just opposite
Duisberg, D-U-I-S- and we’d been registering there for days. Our Pipers, our
Stinsons were up in the air shooting, registering on the more distant targets.
And we had 240s behind us and we had 8-inchers too. I had never seen an 8-incher
before. But we’d gotten replacements and we were withdrawn from the O.P. We,
my little team and I, were withdrawn from the O.P. And I was assigned to the
infantry company commanders to conduct “company in attack” problems.
‘Cause the replacements could be integrated into the unit not in an immediate
combat situation. They were behind the line a couple thousand yards which, for
the infantry, is very, very, very deep rear. For infantrymen, a rifle company,
the rear is 250 yards. That’s pretty deep rear. Anyway, I was running those
and we were back in the artillery positions and I saw the 8-inchers and man, I
was really impressed. I’d seen our 155 rifles and of course I’d seen the 155
howitzers. We had those. We had the howitzers, not the rifles. But I’d seen
the rifles. But I’d never seen this 8-inch howitzer and it was a really
impressive piece of artillery and I didn’t see the 240s but we fired
everything that could fire on Duisberg. And a very close friend of mine, his
office was in this room, his name was Adolph Haas. His wife lived in Duisberg.
And one night in their home, we were talking about the war time and she was a
German Catholic woman. Adolph was Jewish and he had survived six years in
concentration camp and we were talking about it. She was talking about the
artillery that came and I said, “When?” She told me and I said,
“That was us.” And she said, “It was the worst time of the war.
When the airplanes came over and bombed, it was over and done. But you didn’t
stop. And you didn’t stop and you didn’t stop, and you didn’t stop. And
you kept firing and firing. Why did you keep firing?” And I told her what
we had later learned and I didn’t know it at the time, of course. They didn’t
tell us what the hell the strategy was. No, we were “no need to know”
and more importantly, if we were captured and if we talked about what we knew,
that in itself was a catastrophy in the making. So anyway, we didn’t know. And
we later learned that we were masking the attack of the British, who were on our
left.

Interviewer: . . . . line crossing then?

Bradley: Yeah.

Interviewer: . . . . Montgomery.

Bradley: Yeah. We were under his command at that time.

Interviewer: Uh huh.

Bradley: But this was a feint. The artillery shoot was a feint even though as
we were later told, it was the biggest artillery shoot of the war.

Interviewer: Uh huh? Now did the Germans have any aircraft up at that time .
. . .

Bradley: Yeah, they had . . . .

Interviewer: that you . . . .

Bradley: They had Bedcheck Charlie, of course.

Interviewer: Did you see any . . . .

Bradley: Yes, I saw the first jet.

Interviewer: You saw one?

Bradley: Yeah, yeah, right along the Rhine, right along the Rhine.

Interviewer: Did it get away without getting . . . .

Bradley: Oh yeah.

Interviewer: shot at?

Bradley: Yeah, some jerks would try to shoot a water-cooled 30. I happened to
be in a house at the moment where there was a water-cooled 30. It was in a room,
a high room on the riverbank someplace and we saw it and some jerk was trying to
shoot it with his 30 . . . . but anyway . . . .

Interviewer: Did you ever see any personalities like Eisenhower? Patton
wouldn’t be in your area I don’t think. He was . . . .

Bradley: No.

Interviewer: commanding armies further south.

Bradley: . . . . no big deals ever came near us.

Interviewer: No?

Bradley: It was very dangerous.

Interviewer: Oh.

Bradley: When they said they went to the front, they maybe got as close as an
artillery rear, as an infantry regimental rear.

Interviewer: Uh huh.

Bradley: Maybe, maybe. Great big fat maybe.

Interviewer: Uh huh.

Bradley: It was very dangerous. We never saw a correspondent. We never saw
anyone . . . . .

Interviewer: Hmmmm.

Bradley: who didn’t have to be there.

Interviewer: Now you were at risk of not only being hit but captured. Did you
wear your dog tags?

Bradley: Yes.

Interviewer: Did the dog tags . . . .

Bradley: Had an “H” on it, yes.

Interviewer: What did you think about that? Wasn’t that . . . .

Bradley: Yes.

Interviewer: . . . .

Bradley: No way I would pretend to be anyone but who I am. Ever.

Interviewer: Did you carry any memorabilia with you or any religious items .
. . .

Bradley: No.

Interviewer: other than . . . .

Bradley: I’d been given a little prayer book . . . .

Interviewer: Uh huh.

Bradley: by the Jewish Publication Society I think it was called, or
something like that, but I don’t know what I did with it. I surely didn’t
read it and pray.

Interviewer: During the time period you were there in combat there was
Passover. Do you recall that?

Bradley: I went to a Seder.

Interviewer: You went to a Seder?

Bradley: There were so many Jews, or guys pretending to be Jews. I couldn’t
quite tell.

Interviewer: Do you recall where that was? What village?

Bradley: No, in Germany.

Interviewer: No?

Bradley: It was in a theater. Great, huge theater. And it was after dark of
course. We’d never congregate this many guys in daylight. And guys were in
line of course and guys were saying, “You keep your helmet on, you take
your helmet off?” Some you know, “I’m Reformed. I’m
Orthodox.” Then back-and-forth, guys were talking about that. “You
musn’t carry your rifle into a house of prayer.” “This isn’t a
house of prayer, it’s a theater” “Doesn’t make any difference.
Tonight, it’s a house of prayer,” and guys just . . .

Interviewer: (laughs)

Bradley: just bantering back and forth. But mostly, it was, “Are you
Jewish?” “Yeah, I’m Jewish.” “Come on, are you really
Jewish?” “Yeah I’m really Jewish.” See, guys didn’t want to
be known as Jews.

Interviewer: Oh yeah.

Bradley: It was very tough to be a Jew.

Interviewer: Hmmmm.

Bradley: As we say in Yiddish, we don’t, they do, “Ist shver tzu
zien a Yid
.”

Interviewer: What does that mean?

Bradley: It’s very difficult to be Jewish.

Interviewer: Uh huh. So you had this participation opportunity?

Bradley: Yeah, it was a Seder. Well we were in theater seats. We weren’t
around . . . .

Interviewer: Yeah.

Bradley: a dining room table. The Rabbi conducted the Seder. We were given a
prayer book of some sort. We were each given a little packet as we came in. It
contained some matzos and I don’t know what else.

Interviewer: Oh yeah.

Bradley: I know some matzos. Yeah, that was really great. That really was.
That was really like, it was a piece of home.

Interviewer: Did you pray during combat?

Bradley: No, no. The Jews see prayer quite differently from the way you
Christians do. It’s not really seemly to ask for something for yourself. It’s
quite unseemly to do that.

Interviewer: Hmmm.

Bradley: In our religion and in our culture.

Interviewer: Not even to see you through a . . . .

Bradley: Just never. Our prayers, if you read our prayer book, praise and
glorify God.

Interviewer: But you don’t ask for . . . .

Bradley: It’s unseemly.

Interviewer: Uh huh. Did you see other men praying or hear them perhaps
during combat, Christians?

Bradley: Yeah, yeah. There were guys because there was the occasional, very,
very occasional Christian service . . . . there was.

Interviewer: Hummm. Now being with your unit that’s out ahead of things,
did you come across any of those camps, part of the Holocaust or prisoners of
war camps or . . . . .

Bradley: Prisoner of war camps and slave labor camps.

Interviewer: Uh huh.

Bradley: I read a recent statistic that there were 17,000,000 slaves in
Germany.

Interviewer: Hmmmm.

Bradley: We had been told 5,000,000 while we were there in the army of
ococupation. And then later, I read 8,000,000. Now the most recent figure
released by the German government is 17,000,000. Since then, the Germans have
revised the number to 20,000,000.

Interviewer: Hmmmm.

Bradley: Seventeen million . . . .

Interviewer: Uh huh.

Bradley: Slaves.

Interviewer: Uh huh. Did you have any contact with German civilians?

Bradley: Lots.

Interviewer: How did that go? Did they know you were Jewish at any time? Did
you let them know?

Bradley: It just wasn’t a thought in my head.

Interviewer: Uh.

Bradley: I, I’m an American My identity as a Jew was my personal identity.
The color of my uniform identified me as an American. I don’t remember a
single time, oh I do. A town, I’ll think of the name in a second, Attendorn,
the county seat, Kreis Attendorn. I speak French and I learned very quickly that
the Yiddish that I had heard growing up is so like German that I picked up the
German very readily. And I was able to converse with the prisoners of war and
slave laborers in German, ’cause they had picked up German. And of course,
with the French troops and with the French prisoners of war, I spoke French.
Educated people in Europe at that time anyway, were educated to know some French
. . . . in eastern Europe, no matter where. So I was able to use the French a
lot. And anyway, another guy and I were given the job of taking care of all
these, what we called displaced persons. And they had been rounded up by us. Not
he and me but us generally had herded allied people and gotten them off the
roads. And the camps weren’t, some of them had been camps but most of them
were, were uninhabitable. They were so full of lice and there was typhus there.
And we used schools and whatever else we could use for housing. Factory
buildings. And he and I ended up with 32,000 people to care for, which is a
bunch of people. Now, we had labor. We had Soviet prisoners of war as labor and
we had vehicles and we had food that we drew from Dortmund, from German army
stocks mostly, and our own. But mostly from German army stock. And we had a
regular ration breakdown and he and I, we did our best to try to get clothing
for them in anticipation of the winter and . . . . Anyway, in the very beginning
of this, it was at Attendorn and I had become deeply, profoundly saddened by the
fact that I had discovered that Russians hated Ukranians and Ukranians hated
Russians and Flemish Belgians hated French Belgians and French Belgians hated
Flemish Belgians, and everyone . . . . in Germany, victims of the Germans, hated
each other. And the Poles hated Russians and Ukranians, particularly Ukranians,
and the Ukranians hated Poles and they were killing each other. And it was
really bad. So I decided that I was going to create a camp made up of people
whom I had forbidden to express hatred. I had this awesome power. So I just
decided on a particular factory building and I brought in some Flemish Belgians
and some French Belgians . . . some Poles, some Ukranians, some Russians, some
of everybody. And I just picked them up in trucks and I carted them off and I
told them to pack up their bundles. They didn’t have much anyway. There was a
Belgian former medical student who I appointed a Lagerfuehrer, Chief, the
commandant if you will of this camp . . . . but they were almost always a
military guy and always a ranking guy from whatever country it might have been.
Anyway, I moved them in and I explained to them that they were to live
peaceably. And this Belgian made a giant balance beam scale, huge thing. And he
weighed out each person’s rations every day so that everyone in this camp
could see the rations being weighed out so that everyone knew there was no
favoritism in the camp. There was a Polish woman who delivered a baby there.

Interviewer: Huh.

Bradley: And I needed to find diapers. I didn’t know the word for diaper in
any language. But I went into the Kreishaus, the governmental building. And I
asked and I did a little sign language and no one understood me. I tried
English. I tried French. I tried . . . . a little bit of German and no one. And
a woman was waiting for me as it turned out outside, and I came out and she
said, “Walk with me.” And I walked with her. She said in really good
French, “They all understand you, but they won’t help you. And they won’t
help a Polish woman.”

Interviewer: Hmmm.

Bradley: She invited me to her home. I met her husband whose legs were
obscenely crooked. He had been an artist and apparently a well-recognized artist
in Germany and in 1938, with the introduction of . . . . foodstuffs rationing,
he had put out and sent out a New Year’s card to their friends which had a
cannon shooting the New Year’s baby out of the cannon’s mouth holding a . .
. . card, a ration card. In other words, war is coming. He was put in a
concentration camp and in the process of being there, they had broken his legs
and not allowed them to set. Not set them but the bones had set without the ends
being opposed. She bribed him out of the camp because the Germans were highly
susceptible to bribery. She got him out and they got out of their city, whatever
it was, and they took refuge in this city. The French guys told me that what she
had told me was true, that she had smuggled food into them. And I told her that
I was Jewish. But regardless of that, she told me that we must stay there until
everyone who is now born, dies. Because everyone in this country is infected by
a horrible disease and it will not be cured. She was a very nice lady.

Interviewer: That was a rather unusual duty that you had to take care of
those people.

Bradley: There was an officer. Lieutenant or Captain Chitwood. I’ve
forgotten his rank. But he was drunk all the time.

Interviewer: Uh huh.

Bradley: I don’t think I ever saw him, ever laid eyes on him during the
entire time that Ed Godfrey and I were doing this, either in this Kreis or the
next Kreis, where we went into a longer occupation. . . . . He was also the
officer we were to respond to but I never, ever saw him, I never laid eyes on
him, he was just drunk.

Interviewer: Now soldiers brought back souvenirs quite often. Did you have
any souvenirs that you . . . .

Bradley: I had a few. My father gave them to my nephew.

Interviewer: What in particular? Do you remember anything that you . . . .

Bradley: Yes.

Interviewer: acquired?

Bradley: Yes, I took an iron cross from a guy.

Interviewer: Uh huh.

Bradley: I have a pair of field glasses I took from a German colonel I
captured, a field artillery colonel.

Interviewer: Oh.

Bradley: I still have them

Interviewer: Oh.

Bradley: I had a pistol that I took from someone. It was stolen from the
office here.

Interviewer: Hmmm.

Bradley: I had it really well hidden too.

Interviewer: Hmmm.

Bradley: . . . .

Interviewer: Was it a Luger or something like that?

Bradley: No, it was a PPK.

Interviewer: Oh yeah.

Bradley: I got it from a fairly high-ranking officer.

Interviewer: Hmmm.

Bradley: It wasn’t that colonel. My driver got his P38 or Luger. I’ve
forgotten. He also got his watch. I got this colonel and his map case.

Interviewer: Uh huh. Did you receive letters from home during . . . .

Bradley: Oh sure. My mother wrote. My father, as I said, did not know how to
write.

Interviewer: Did you have any girlfriends that you corresponded with?

Bradley: Yes, at the start of the war. I mean start of army duty. Yeah. Very
nice lady. The Society of Friends. We met here in school.

Interviewer: Hmmm.

Bradley: A Quaker girl.

Interviewer: Hmmm.

Bradley: Very nice, very nice young lady. It kind of drifted off some place.

Interviewer: Uh huh.

Bradley: Then I met a girl in Jefferson City, Missouri. I gave her my
fraternity pin.

Interviewer: Oh yeah?

Bradley: Yeah.

Interviewer: Huh. No “dear John” letters though. You didn’t
suffer any of that?

Bradley: No.

Interviewer: That sort of thing?

Bradley: No.

Interviewer: Can be quite devastating, I know that, to soldiers. Now let’s
sort of step through the release from service, back entry into civilian life and
big events such as how did you transition into normal civilian life, meet a . .
. .

Bradley: With some difficulty.

Interviewer: . . . . meet a young lady? Get married? That . . . .

Bradley: Yeah.

Interviewer: That sort of thing?

Bradley: Yeah, yeah I did that. But the transition was not an easy one. I had
repetitive combat dreams which were . . . .

Interviewer: You did?

Bradley: Yeah, every night. And it was tough.

Interviewer: That’s what they call “post-traumatic stress” or
something. Or . . . .

Bradley: Still have it.

Interviewer: You still have the same dreams?

Bradley: No, no, no, no. In the winter here if I look out the window and if
the weather is just right, I am right back in Belgium. Right smack in Belgium.

Interviewer: So you’re not waking up and? Did you have dreams or . . . .

Bradley: I did.

Interviewer: You had the dreams?

Bradley: I was in, the VA sent me to see a psychiatrist for a year.

Interviewer: Is that right?

Bradley: Yeah.

Interviewer: Was there any particular event that you kept recalling?

Bradley: No, it was a non-event.

Interviewer: The dream?

Bradley: Yeah, it never happened. That event never happened. But it was a
combat dream.

Interviewer: Same one all the time?

Bradley: Same, same, same dream.

Interviewer: Which hadn’t happened?

Bradley: Which had not happened.

Interviewer: Was it a particularly disturbing dream?

Bradley: Well, you try it out. You’re in a fox hole. It’s night. The
enemy is rushing at you, very much as it was above Sadzot. But this particular
soldier who’s coming for you has his bayonet fixed and he has his rifle raised
like this. And he’s going to impale you with his bayonet, of course. Your only
weapon is your pistol. You wait. And you have to experience this. I want you to
experience it. You wait. You know about a pistol. You’ve fired this thing a
zillion times in the States. This pistol is as much a part of you as your hands
are. There isn’t a single part of that pistol that isn’t intimately known to
you so that you don’t have to think about doing anything. You know the safety’s
off. You know there’s a shell in the chamber. And you wait until he’s very
close so you can’t miss. You pull the trigger. The slide comes back which
means of course that the pistol has fired, but it hasn’t. And that’s when he
reaches you and his bayonet is coming for you. In that instant, you wake up and
you’re screaning.

Interviewer: Hmmm.

Bradley: How do you like that one?

Interviewer: Hmmm.

Bradley: Night after night and you’re terrified of going to sleep ’cause
you know that’s what’s going to happen tonight and the next night and the
next night and the next night..

Interviewer: Humm. That’s tough.

Bradley: Same dream. And you know you’ve had the dream before, but it doesn’t
matter. Later, I’ve had “terror dreams” very often which I can’t
remember, and I still have them.

Interviewer: Had you seen a bayonet charge or something?

Bradley: No. Oh yeah. One company commander lost his mind I think. He was
really fruitcakes. He was really a nut. And he ordered his men to fix bayonets
and they fixed bayonets and they ran like a bunch of fools.

Interviewer: Hmmm.

Bradley: Takes all kinds.

Interviewer: So you’d seen our side use it?

Bradley: They didn’t use it actually. I guess he thought that the enemy was
going to run, going to get right out of the way, he thought.

Interviewer: From the bayonet charge?

Bradley: It was just a silly thing to do.

Interviewer: How did you meet your wife?

Bradley: My present wife?

Interviewer: Well after, when you left Europe and headed back home and made
the transition back somewhere, you . . . .

Bradley: Her roommate was someone who would . . . . girl, we called them
“girls” then, who was the housemate of my roommate in my fraternity
house. That’s how we met. Anyhow, he said, “Why don’t you ask
her,” to whatever the function was. I don’t know. Something. And I did.

Interviewer: And what was her name?

Bradley: Jean Lichtenstein.

Interviewer: From Columbus, or . . . .

Bradley: From Augusta, Georgia.

Interviewer: Uh huh. So this was the start of something?

Bradley: We were married.

Interviewer: Uh huh.

Bradley: We had three children. Four children.

Interviewer: Uh huh.

Bradley: Four children.

Interviewer: Their names?

Bradley: Two of my sons have died and I really don’t want to talk about
that.

Interviewer: Okay. All right. You began the practice of law. You must have
gone to law school somewhere?

Bradley: I must have.

Interviewer: (laughs)

Bradley: Either that or I’m a very successful fraud. I started here. Stayed
here. Jean and I owned a refrigerator and I didn’t have the money with which
to buy another refrigerator. The one I bought was at an auction house for $35. I
didn’t have another $35 to buy another used refrigerator and I didn’t have
the money to move the refrigerator. And Jews couldn’t find a job anyplace, at
all, ever. There wasn’t even a thought of finding a job. Don’t look so
perplexed young man. There were no jobs for Jews in private practice. There were
jobs in government service.

Interviewer: Uh huh.

Bradley: The fellow here in town who had been the Grand Kleebo or whatever it
is, anyway the Chief Klansman here in town took me into his office and let me
work there without paying me. But gave me office space in exchange for my doing
work. Can you imagine me working for a Klansman?

Interviewer: There were Klan yeah, there was a Klan.

Bradley: Oh yeah.

Interviewer: Yeah, yeah.

Bradley: There was a big, big, big Klan here.

Interviewer: Uh huh.

Bradley: His name was Waldo Sheldon Marshall, W. Sheldon Marshall.

Interviewer: Hmmm.

Bradley: He wouldn’t believe that I had been decorated until I just showed
him the decoration.

Interviewer: You know, I wanted to touch on that . . . .

Bradley: He said, “Jews wouldn’t fight.” He didn’t believe that
my wife was Jewish because she was freckled. He believed Jews could not be
freckled. He had every conceivable misconception that one can have and a whole
bunch that no one would ever have dreamed of. He hated everyone.

Interviewer: What did he do for a living?

Bradley: He was a lawyer.

Interviewer: (scoffs) A lawyer.

Bradley: But when the time came for him to hire a lawyer, after I had left
him, and he brought his soon-to-be-widow with him, ‘cause he was ill. He said,
“You’re going to need a lawyer and you’re to come to Philip Bradley
because you can trust him. Always you can trust him.”

Interviewer: Hmmm.

Bradley: This man who hated Jews, just hated Jews. But it’s in the nature
of prejudice to be illogical, isn’t it?

Interviewer: Uh huh. Did you go to law school at Ohio State?

Bradley: Yes.

Interviewer: Uh huh.

Bradley: That’s why I ended up here.

Interviewer: When did you graduate?

Bradley: 1950.

Interviewer: And are you currently married?

Bradley: Yup. Carol Michaelson Bradley.

Interviewer: Uh huh.

Bradley: A Bexley native.

Interviewer: Uh huh. And you live in Columbus?

Bradley: Yes, in Berwick.

Interviewer: Always in this part of town?

Bradley: No. First married, I lived up near the University because I was in
law school.

Interviewer: Uh huh.

Bradley: And at some point up on the edge of Westerville. Other than that,
yes, on the East side of town.

Interviewer: You have been a trial lawyer?

Bradley: Yes.

Interviewer: Actually standing before the judge and the jury, trying the
case?

Bradley: Innumerable cases. I couldn’t begin to count the cases I’ve
tried.

Interviewer: Just for the interest of our archive, would there be any
particular case that you have as your most significant achievement here?

Bradley: Probably.

Interviewer: Could you share that with us?

Bradley: Yeah. A woman named Madalyn, commonly called Madge Huff, walked into
a hospital. She’d been referred to a surgeon by her family doc. The surgeon
was at Grant, another surgeon. She never moved another aspect of her body except
for some very slight motion of one arm. A highly-reputable neurosurgeon said
that the surgery was unnecessary. One of their witnesses on the other side of
the case, not his witness, but the witness of another defendant said the surgery
was impossible to have been performed. The surgeon admitted he hadn’t seen the
X-rays that he’d ordered taken before he started the surgery. The lawyer
defending the surgeon managed to so effectively manipulate the other defendants,
one of which was the anesthesia, the group, the other, the hospital, that the
attending physician who had been I believe, I’m not sure of this, her family
doctor, had been Chief of Staff. I’m not sure of that but I seem to recall
that, led him to testify about she would have been immobilized by arthritis in
the normal course of events within two years in any event. So she would have
been immobile and wheelchair bound. And he so testified when they took his
discovery deposition.

Interviewer: Huh.

Bradley: The lawyer for the surgeon called me on a Saturday before the Monday
of the start of trial and made an offer which I rejected. Of course, I called my
clients, her husband and her, and they agreed that I would reject it. He then
told me that I would be responsible for them losing the case and it would be on
my shoulders that I had done this. I suggested he try his case and I’d try
mine and we’d see what the jury would do. Then he told me that all of the
defendants were admitting liability so no one on the jury would hear how
egregiously the surgeon and the anesthesia group, when she was being rotated,
because he did an anterior approach, that is from the back, to the cervical
spine and the neck. She was rotated so forcibly that the nasal gastric tube and
all the tape was pulled off her face. All this was after she had been paralyzed,
of course, which was necessary as part of the preparation for the surgery. And
they all were going to admit liability and the case would go to the jury on the
issue of damages only. That takes a good bit of the impact of the case away but
you deal with what you have. So I grabbed a $20 tape recorder and a . . . . and
a three-for-a-dollar cassette which I happened to have in my car and I called
the doctor who happened to have office hours and I went out to see him and I
told him all the defendants have admitted liabililty. And I said to the doctor
who said she’d be wheelchair-bound and I asked him and he said, “Oh, I
didn’t mean that she’d be bound to a wheelchair.” He said, “What I
meant was that she would have to, or she would be helped if she had a wheelchair
if she walked from one end of a big mall to the other, it would be good if she
could get to the car in a wheelchair.” “Could she navigate
steps?” “Oh yes, at the very worst with a cane. But she, she’d be
fine.”

Interviewer: Hmmm.

Bradley: He had perjured himself.

Interviewer: Yeah.

Bradley: Yeah. At the behest of the hospital and the anesthesia group. And
the defendant surgeon. I don’t know who but someone persuaded him. So I called
him as my first witness, my very first witness. And I asked him what he had
previously said and what he was saying now and he testified and he testified
truly. The lawyer on the other side accused me of underhanded tactics by calling
his witness as mine as if he owned him. As if he owned him. How do you like
that, huh?

Interviewer: (chuckles)

Bradley: As if he owned him.

Interviewer: Right.

Bradley: Huh? He’d written up on the blackboard in his opening statement
the word “Greed” and I let the jury dwell on that word during closing
argument, a lot. Oh yes, another defense of his was that she had arthritis of
the lungs and he told me this all on Saturday. He didn’t tell me about
arthritis of the lungs but on Saturday he told me that I needn’t bring my
expert witness, the other neurosurgeon to Columbus to testify because they were
admitting liability. And that’s when I told him, “You try your case, I’ll
try mine.” This guy was, let’s say, less than totally honorable.

Interviewer: Huh.

Bradley: In my view. So I had this fellow. We heard about arthritis of the
lungs for the very first time on opening statement. There was no physician going
to testify for the defendant other than the defendant surgeon. No other
physician available to testify. And this neurosurgeon was going to be testifying
that she had arthritis of the lungs. So I met my expert witness in the bar at
what’s the hotel downtown?

Interviewer: Be the Neil House?

Bradley: No, no, right downtown. Um . . .

Interviewer: Southern . . . .

Bradley: The Southern. . . .

Interviewer: Southern?

Bradley: Yeah. And I brought the woman’s chest X-rays which had been taken
at Grant and I showed them. And he looked at them up at the ceiling where the
lights are up above and I said, “What do you see?” His name was Gary
Lustgarten. “What do you see, Gary?” “I see pneumonia. What do
you want me to see?” he said. I said, “Just tell me what you
see.” He said, “Well what the hell you showing me these
run-of-the-line, routine chest films for? She has pneumonia. She probably had an
aspiration pneumonia. It’s common as could be amongst, quadraplegics.”
“So now look at this set.” And he said, “Ah, she’s getting
better. Who treated her?” “Dr. So-and-So, her family doctor.”
“Gee, she’s doing nicely here.” “How about this set?”
“Why she’s nearly home free. She’s doing great.” “How about
this set?” “She’s clean.” Have you ever heard of arthritis of
the lungs?

Interviewer: (laughs)

Bradley: “Arthritis of the lungs? Arthritis of the lungs?” he said.
“No” he said, “You know that I’m a neurosurgeon?”
“Yeah, but you went to medical school. You had to, ” . . . . And he
said, “Arthritis, oh, Goldberger’s Disease. My father told me about
that.” His father was a doc. “My father told me about that. It’s
really rare. Let me look at those X-rays again.” And he looked at it and he
said, “This is not that.” “How do you know?” “Because
Goldberger’s Disease is always bilateral.”

(Phone rings and Bradley answers and there is related conversation with his
secretary.)

Interviewer: In one lung?

Bradley: Yeah.

Interviewer: Oh.

Bradley: (laughs) Oh golly. I did a death penalty case in Lawrence County.

(Change tape sides)

Bradley: Well we were frying people regularly.

Interviewer: Yeah.

Bradley: Uh huh. Yeah. Every juror had perjured him or herself in order to
get on the jury so as to put this guy to death. How’s that sound? And now you’re
going to say, “How would you know that?”

Interviewer: Must have been a bad guy.

Bradley: No, so why would I say that? How would I know that the jurors had
perjured themselves?

Interviewer: Yeah.

Bradley: Because they admitted to each other in the restaurant in Ironton,
with my co-council’s secretary sitting right behind them, that they all had.
How’s that?

Interviewer: In the restaurant?

Bradley: Yeah. They all confided with each other that they’d all lied in
order to get on the jury so as to put Billie Joe to death.

Interviewer: Ummmm. Jurors?

Bradley: Yeah.

Interviewer: So that was uh dismissed or what?

Bradley: No.

Interviewer: . . . .

Bradley: No it went to trial. We tried it and we saved his life. And
twenty-six years later, Billie Joe showed up at the courthouse. He’d come here
then he went down to the courthouse walking. Came to the courthouse, waiting for
me outside a courtroom during a recess. I came out. I saw him. I recognized him.
He recognized me. He walked up and he said, “I want to thank you for saving
my life Mr. Bradley.”

Interviewer: Wow.

Bradley: I said, “You’re welcome, Billie Joe.”

Interviewer: Close call for that guy. This has been quite an afternoon.

Bradley: There’s no better way to earn your bread than lawyering.

Interviewer: (laughs)

Bradley: Than lawyering.

Interviewer: Oh boy. You’ve had quite a career, hum?

Bradley: Hey man, I’m still in my career.

Interviewer: You’re having quite a career?

Bradley: Yes.

Interviewer: Well the Historical Society requests a formal legal document
here of signing these . . . .

Bradley: (laughs)

Interviewer: How’s that for a wrap-up? You sign please down here as the
donor and the . . . .

Bradley: I read before I sign.

Interviewer: (laughs) Go ahead and sign it.

Bradley: Nah.