Bataan Project

1st Lt. Ray Wyath Bradford

Born: 23 January 1910 - Saint Joseph, Missouri
Parents: Pearl A. & Lena M. Bradford
Siblings: 1 sister

Hometown: St. Joseph, Missouri
Married: Melba Inez Nauman - 31 July 1932
Children: 3 daughters

Enlisted: Missouri National Guard

    - 30 August 1926 - Private

        - rose in rank to first sergeant 

    - 10 February 1941 - commissioned: Second Lieutenant


    - U. S. Army

        - 10 February 1941 -St. Joseph, Missouri
            - B Company, 194th Tank Battalion
            - reassigned to C Company
Tank Crew:

    - Known Members
        - Sgt. Frank Muther
            - radioman
        - Pfc. Gene Stahl
            - radioman/gunner


    - Fort Lewis, Washington
Note: The decision for this move -  which had been made on August 15, 1941 - was the result of an event that took place in the summer of 1941.  A squadron of American fighters was flying over Lingayen Gulf, in the Philippines, when one of the pilots, who was flying at a lower altitude, noticed something odd.  He took his plane down and identified a flagged buoy in the water and saw another in the distance.  He came upon more buoys that lined up, in a straight line for 30 miles to the northwest, in the direction of an Japanese occupied island which was hundred of miles away.  The island had a large radio transmitter.  The squadron continued its flight plan south to Mariveles and returned to Clark Field.
     When the planes landed, it was too late to do anything that day.  The next day, when another squadron was sent to the area, the buoys had been picked up by a fishing boat - with a tarp on its deck - which was seen making its way to shore.   Since communication between the Air Corps and Navy was difficult, the boat escaped.  It was at that time the decision was made to build up the American military presence in the Philippines.
Overseas Duty:
    - rode train to Ft. Mason, San Francisco, California
        - Arrived: 7:30 A.M. - 6 September 1941
    - ferried on U.S.A.T. General Frank M. Coxe to Angel Island
        - given physicals and inoculated by battalion's medical detachment
        - men with medical conditions replaced
    - Ship: S.S. President Calvin Coolidge
        - Boarded: Monday - 8 September 1941 - 3:00 P.M.
        - Sailed: 9:00 P.M. - same day
        - Arrived: Honolulu, Hawaii - Saturday - 13 September 1941 - 7:00 A.M.
        - Sailed: 5:00 P.M. - same day
            - sailed south away from main shipping lanes
            - escorted by the heavy cruiser , U.S.S. Astoria, and unknown destroyer
                - smoke seen on horizon several times
                -  cruiser intercepted ships
                - ships from friendly countries
        - Arrived: Manila - Friday - 26 September 1941
            - disembark ship - 3:00 P.M.
            - taken by bus to Fort Stostenburg
    - Stationed:
        - Ft. Stotsenburg
            - lived in tents until barracks completed - 15 November 1941 
            - 1 December 1941
                - tanks ordered to perimeter of Clark Field
                - 194th guarded north end of airfield with 192nd guarding south portion
                - two crew members of each tank and half-track remained with vehicle at all times
                    - meals served by food trucks
                - those not assigned to a tank or half-track remained at command post


    - Battle of Luzon

        - 8 December 1941 - 6 January 1942
            - 8 December 1942

                - Clark Field
                    - tankers informed of Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor
                        - tank crews brought up to full strength

                    - attack took place ten hours after Pearl Harbor
                    - watched attack from inside his tank
                    - most Japanese planes ignored the tanks
                    - few that went after tanks dropped their bombs between tanks

        - 13 December 1941
                - sent to southern Luzon
                - Japanese landing troops
    - 15 December 1941
        - holding Tagaytay Ridge
        - attempted to catch Fifth Columnist who were sending up flares at night
            - 24 December 1941 - 1st Lieutenant
    - 25 December 1941
        - withdrew over Taal Road to Santo Tomas and bivouacked near San Paolo
        - assisted in operations at Lucena-Pagbilao-Lucban area
    - 31 December 1941
        - rejoined battalion
        - covered withdrawal of Philippine Army Divisions south of Route 3
    - 2 January 1942
        - both tank battalions ordered to withdrawal to Lyac Junction and cover
            - 194th withdrew there on Highway 7
    - 5 January 1942
        - C Company & A Company, 192nd, withdrew to Guagua-Poraline Line
        - took position on the road between Sexmoan and Lubao with five SPMs
        - ambushed a Japanese force of 750 to 800 attempting to cut the highway

            - Japanese lost half their force
            - Labao was burning when tanks left withdrew   

        - Remedios - established new line along dried creek bed
    - 6 January 1942
        - 1:50 A.M. - Japanese attempted to infiltrate
            - bright moonlight made them easy to see
            - tanks opened fire
            - Japanese lay down smoke which blew back into them
        - 3:00 A.M. - Japanese broke off engagement
            - suffered 50% casualties
    - 6/7 January 1942
        - 194th, covered by 192nd, crosses Culis Creek into Bataan
        - both battalions bivouacked south of Aubucay-Hacienda Road
        - rations cut in half
    - Battle of Bataan
        - 7 January 1942 - 9 April 1942

            - 7 January 1942

                - 2:30 A.M. - attacked in force by Japanese using smoke screen
                - 5:00 A.M. - Japanese broke off attack because of heavy casualties and sunrise
                    - C Company losses - Lt. Petrie from wounds, Pvt. Martella killed attempting to shield Petrie

                    - tank platoons reduced to three tanks each

General Weaver also issued the following orders to the tank battalions around this time , "Tanks will execute maximum delay, staying in position and firing at visible enemy until further delay will jeopardize withdrawal.  If a tank is immobilized, it will be fought until the close approach of the enemy, then destroyed; the crew previously taking positions outside and continuing to fight with the salvaged and personal weapons. Considerations of personal safety and expediency will not interfere with accomplishing the greatest possible delay."
            - 8 January 1942

                - composite tank company made up of tanks from the 192nd and 194th sent to protect East Coast Road north of Hermosa
                - their job was to keep the East Road open  north of Hermosa and prevent the  Japanese from driving into Bataan before the main

                  battle line had been formed

                - remainder of tanks ordered to bivouac for night south of Aubucay-Hacienda Road

                - tankers had been fighting for a month without a rest

                - tanks also needed overdue maintenance

                - 17th Ordnance
            - all tank companies reduced to ten tanks
                - three per tank platoon

            - sent to reopen Moron Road so General Segunda's forces could withdraw

            - tanks knock out an anti-tank gun

            - two tanks disabled by landmines but recovered

            - mission abandoned

            - Gen. Segunda's troops escaped using beach but lost their heavy equipment

        - 12 January 1942

            - C Company, with D Company, 192nd, sent to Cadre Road

                - forward position with little alert time

        - 13 January 1942

            - mines planted by ordnance prevented them from reaching Cadre Road

            - returned to battalion

        - 16 January 1942 - Bagac
            - sent to open Moron Road so General Segunda's forces could move south
                - at the Moron Road and Road Junction 59 the tanks moved forward knocking out an anti-tank gun
                - two tanks were lost to landmines but towed out
                    - mission abandoned
                    - Segunda's forces escaped along beach losing its heavy equipment
        - 20 January 1942
                -west of Bani Bani Road - tanks were sent to save the 31st Infantrycommand post     
        - 24 January 1942
            - tanks order to Hacienda Road
            - landmines planted by ordnance prevented them from reaching road
        - 25/26 January 1942
            - battalion holding a position a kilometer north of Pilar-Bagac Road

                - four SPMs with the battalion
                - warned by Filipino a large Japanese force was coming
                -  when the enemy appeared they opened up with all the battalion had

                    - Japanese withdraw

                        - estimated they lost 500 of 1800 men
        - 28 January 1942
                - 194th tanks given beach duty protecting southern beaches
                - April 1942
                    - tanks sent into various sectors in attempt to stop Japanese advance
        - 31 January 1942
            - half-tracks patrol roads

        - March 1942
            - each tank battalion's gas ration is cut to 15 gallons a day
            - food ration also cut
        - 4 April 1942
            - Japanese launched major offensive
            - tanks sent into various sectors to stop Japanese advance
        - 6 April 1942
            - four tanks sent to support 45th Philippine Infantry and 75th Infantry,
              Philippine Scouts
            - one tank knocked out by anti-tank fire
            - other tanks covered withdraw
        - 3rd Platoon sent up west coast road
            - near Mount Samat ran into heavy Japanese force
            - the tanks withdrew to Marivales

            - C Company attached to 192nd Tank Battalion

    - 7 April 1942  
        - C Company supporting 45th Infantry attempted to aide 57th Infantry,
           Philippine Scouts
        - Anti-tank guns at junction of Trails 8 & 6 blasted lead tank off road
            - tank hit five times
            - tank commander knocked out
                - private took command of tank
            - units withdraw

        - C Company attached to 192nd Tank Battalion
    - 8 April 1942
        - fighting on East Coast Road at Cabcaban

        - Gen. King made decision to negotiate a surrender - 10:30 P.M.
            - at daybreak officers would meet Japanese under white flag
    - 9 April 1942
        - tankers received order "crash" at 6:45 A.M.
        - destroyed their equipment and tanks
        - 7:00 A.M. - order issued to cease all hostilities
Prisoner of War: 

     - 9 April 1942
            - order "crash" sent to tank crews to destroy tanks
    - 10 April 1942

        - Death March

            - Mariveles - POWs start march at southern tip of Bataan
            - POWs ran past Japanese artillery firing at Corregidor
                - Americans on Corregidor returned fire


   - Tablets of the Missing - American Military Cemetery - Manila, Philippine Islands

Note: In his scrapbook, James McComas, of A Company, had Ray Bradford dying on the death march on April 11, 1942, from American artillery fire.  According to the document, Bradford was buried near Cabcaban Airfield.  Bernard Fitzpatrick, in his book, also stated Bradford was killed by "Friendly Fire" from Corregidor.

     In addition, Lt. William Gentry, of C Company, 192nd Tank Battalion, stated that Bradford was killed by in-coming fire from Corregidor.  He also reported that Bradford was buried next to 1st Lt. Kenneth Bloomfield, A Company, 192nd Tank Battalion, near the Barrio of Orion, Bataan, Philippine Islands . This was confirmed by a sworn affidavit given by Capt. Donald Hanes, 192nd Tank Battalion.  Finally, the death report kept at Bilibid shows Bradford dying on the march at Orion. 

Died:  11 April 1942.


    - American Military Cemetery

        - remains could not be positively identified after the war

        - buried as an "Unknown" at the cemetery







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