Corpsman John Bradley
Here was a man. The epitome of the Combat Corpsman. A quiet, private man who eschewed the
fame and glory that his service rendered unto him. He was, first and foremost, a patriotic American, husband
and father. He was genuine in his personal feeling that he was not a hero. He believed that the real heroes
were the men who gave their all and did not come home. He was always reluctant to talk of his wartime service.
fact, it was only after his death in January of 1994 that his family uncovered
a box of memorabilia hidden deep in his closet.
It was then that the full scope of his heroics became known even to his
family. They discovered that John had
been awarded the Navy Cross for heroism at
“ For extraordinary heroism in action against the enemy at
Iwo Jima, on 21 February 1945 as a hospital corpsman attached to a Marine rifle
platoon. During a furious assault by his
company on a strongly defended enemy zone at the base of
With complete disregard for his own safety, he ran through intense fire to the side of the fallen Marine, examined his wounds and ascertained that an immediate administration of plasma was necessary to save the man’s life. Unwillingly to subject any of his comrades to the danger to which he had so valiantly exposed himself, he signaled would-be assistants to remain where they were. Placing himself in a position to shield the wounded man, he tied a plasma unit to a rifle planted upright in the sand and continued his life saving mission.
Marine’s wounds bandaged and the condition of shock relieved by the plasma,
Bradley pulled the man thirty yards through intense enemy fire to a position of
safety. His indomitable spirit,
dauntless initiative, and heroic devotion to duty were an inspiration to those
with whom he served and were in keeping with the highest tradition
Several days later in that month, Bradley can be seen in the famous photograph of the flag raising on top of
who was out of water. Selflessly, he allowed his Marine to slake his thirst at the expense of his own needs.
This indeed was a man! We see these qualities in all our Corpsman.