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Omar Nelson "Brad" Bradley Passes Away

Today in Masonic History Omar Nelson "Brad" Bradley passes away in 1981.

Omar Nelson "Brad" Bradley was an American soldier.

Bradley was born into poverty in Missouri. When Bradley was 15 his father passed away and his mother moved the family to Moberly, Missouri and remarried. Bradley graduated from Moberly High School in 1910. He considered Moberly his home for the rest of his life no matter where he traveled with the Army.

After graduation, Bradley took the West Point entrance exam. He came in second on the exam and when the first place entrant could not attend, Bradley accepted the appointment.

Bradley graduated in 1915 from the Academy. His class has been nicknamed "the class the stars fell on" because of the number of generals made from the graduating class. The class included Dwight D. Eisenhower, who like Bradley attained the rank of General of the Army.

Bradley had a variety of duties prior to World War II. He served during World War I, although he saw no combat, the armistice was signed before his unit was deployed.

During World War II Bradley got his first front-line command in 1943. He was sent to North Africa to work under Eisenhower revamping the troop deployments there. Patton requested Bradley come work for him in his efforts in North Africa as well. Despite being part of Patton's command, Bradley retained the right to represent Eisenhower in the theatre.

In 1944, Bradley moved to London to take charge of the US First Army in preparation for the Normandy invasion. After the landing, Bradley was in charge of several operations including Operation Cobra. The purpose of Operation Cobra was to break the German lines with a large number of smaller bombs so the craters did not impede the advance of the allies. Bradley was horrified when 77 of the bombers dropped their bombs short killing many of the allied troops including General Lesley Mcnair. Of the event Bradley said:

"The ground belched, shook and spewed dirt to the sky. Scores of our troops were hit, their bodies flung from slit trenches. Doughboys were dazed and frightened....A bomb landed squarely on McNair in a slit trench and threw his body sixty feet and mangled it beyond recognition except for the three stars on his collar."

At the Battle of the Bulge Bradley's command took the brunt of the initial battle. When Eisenhower ordered some of Bradley's troops to moved under the command of Field Marshal Montgomery a heated argument ensued between Bradley and Eisenhower. The disagreement did not affect the two men's relationship though.

After World War II Bradley became Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Head of the Veterans Administration (which he is recognized as being a major influence on) and was the senior military commander at the start of the Korean War.

Bradley passed away April 8th, 1981.

Bradley became a member of West Point Lodge No. 887 in Highland Falls, New York. He remained a member there his entire life.

This article provided by Brother Eric C. Steele.