Acquisition No.: 2021-23
Title: Book; “Citizen Soldiers”, Stephen E. Ambrose,
Item History:

Citizen Soldiers.

In the 1997 book “Citizen Soldiers”, Stephen E. Ambrose, in his masterful style, concisely describes all aspects of the life of the WWII soldier. In Chapter 13 (“Medics, Nurses, and Doctors”) Ambrose describes the experiences of the “Aid Men” or Medics. His interview with Robert Bell Bradley of near Bonneauville enriched the content of the chapter. See pages 318-319.

I personally had the opportunity to speak with Mr. Bradley several times before his death in 2009. Robert was a lifelong lover of poetry. He had won competitions worldwide for his writings. Bradley was known as “The Poet of WWII”. He even managed to obtain the nub of a pencil and to write some of his works on delaminated scraps of cardboard boxes while being a German POW. Many of his works are described elsewhere in this catalog file. (See Cat. Nos, 2005-01 through 2005-09 and 2005-02).

Karl Orndorff


Robert Bell Bradley Obituary. Gettysburg Times.

“Robert Bell Bradley, 88, 800 Granite Station Road, Gettysburg, died November 19, 2009 at the Gettysburg Hospital.

He was born March 2, 1921 in Cadillac, Mich., the son of the late Gordon and Rena Lundell Bradley. Mr. Bradley is survived by his wife Marjorie June Bradley.

Mr. Bradley graduated from Central High School, Washington, D.C. He enlisted in the U. S. Army during World War II as a combat medic. He landed at Omaha Beach on D-Day plus 2. He was captured during the battle of Mortain and was held at Stalag 3-C until the camp was liberated. He was one of only a few American POW’s who made it out of Eastern Europe as the Soviets pushed west.

After WWII he graduated from the University of Maryland and George Washington University. He worked at the National Institutes of Health involved with such things as early MRI units, until his retirement in early 1977. He moved to Gettysburg, where he started a small greenhouse business. He wrote much about his war experiences and published much of his memoirs and poetry. He loved nature and towards the end of his life he trusted in Jesus alone for his salvation. He will be missed very much.

In addition to his wife he is survived by three children, Anita Karen Loeb and her husband Dr. Daniel Loeb of Madison, Wisc., Eric L. Bradley of Gettysburg, Calvin L. Bradley of Gettysburg, and a grandson, Nathaniel Loeb.

A memorial service will be held Friday, November 27, at 11:00 a.m. from Monahan Funeral Home in Gettysburg. The family will receive friends Friday morning from 10:00 a.m. until the time of the service.”

A Different Way of Touring Europe; One Aid Man's Journey Across Europe During World War II Abstract.

Abigail M. Currier Gettysburg College Class of 2017.

“Robert Bell Bradley enlisted in the United States Army in October of 1942 as an aid man. He spent several months training to be a first responder on the front lines of combat and learning how to deal with a variety of issues. He was then attached to the 30th Infantry Division and sent to England in preparation for operation OVERLORD and the D-Day Invasion. Two months later, he was captured by the Germans and this event began a year long journey filled with death and near misses.[1] While Bradley’s experiences cannot speak for all prisoner of war narratives, his tale represents a unique story in which he traversed nearly all of Europe and became a part of several key events of World War II. Several characters make periodic appearances in Bradley’s narrative, including Arley Goodenkauf, a fellow prisoner in Stalag III C, who plays a key role in said POW camp. As more and more veterans die, it has become increasingly important to share their stories so they are not lost. For such a prolific writer as Bradley, this is doubly important as he has recorded his memoirs for future generations but has left it up to historians to contextualize and interpret them. What follows is a first attempt at such an interpretation.”

[1] Robert B. Bradley, “The Lost Battalion,” “The Lost Battalion and Vermont Poems ( n.p. 1993), Musselman Library Special Collections; Robert B. Bradley, Aid Man! (New York: Vantage Press, 1970), Musselman Library Special Collections, 14-104.

Photograph: Image