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Willis W. Bradley


Picture of Willis W. Bradley
Naval Historical Center
Date Party Office Votes Result
11-05-1946 Republican CD-18 67363 Win
11-02-1948 Republican CD-18 92721 Loss
11-04-1952 Republican AD-70 46190 Win

Candidate Biography:

Born: June 28, 1884 in Ransomville, New York
Married: Sue Worthington Cox (in 1907)
Child: Sue Worthington Bradley*, Elizabeth, Anne, and Josephine
Military Service: USN (Cuban Occupation, Mexican Expedition, WWI, WWII)
Died (in office): August 27, 1954 in Santa Barbara, CA

1902-1903: Deputy Registrant of Deeds, Sargent County [North Dakota]
1917-1919: Gunnery Officer & Chief of the Explosives Section, Bureau of Ordnance, Navy Department
1929-1931: Military Governor of Guam
1933-1935: Captain, Pearl Harbor Navy Yard

  • AWARD: Medal of Honor (1917)
  • High Rank: Captain (United States Navy)
  • The USS Bradley (DE 1041), a Garcia Class Destroyer Escort, was named to honor the Medal of Honor awardee.
  • Bradley's daughter, Sue, married Rear-Admiral Bruce McCandless in 1936. In 1942, McCandless was awarded the Medal of Honor for his actions on the USS San Francisco during Battle of Guadalcanal. Bruce McCandless II, son of Sue and Bruce McCandless, was a naval aviator who later served in NASA as Capsule Communicator (radio call sign "Houston") for the EVA portion of the Apollo 11 mission and was a Mission Specialist on two space shuttle missions, during which he made the first untethered space walk.
  • Bradley's daughter Josephine married Guy O. De Young, Jr, who retired as an Army Colonel after serving in World War II, Korea and Vietnam.
  • According to Guampedia, "Governor Bradley recommended to the U.S. Congress that the Chamorro people be granted U.S. citizenship and when he didn’t hear back from American officials in Washington D.C. he proclaimed the people of Guam to be citizens of Guam. Bradley also dissolved the 1st Guam Congress (which he didn’t believe was functioning as a representative body), and held a general election for the first time in the U.S. Naval Era." 
  • Capitol Connection: In 1921, Bradley assisted in the commissioning USS California (BB-44) at the Mare Island Navy Yard. The bell from the USS California is now located near the trout pond in Capitol Park in Sacramento.
  • Bradley, Chairman of the Assembly Committee on Oil and Mining, had a heart attack and became ill during a lunchtime recess of a hearing of the State Senate Interim Committee on Oil Development that was being held in Santa Barbara. Bradley was rushed to Cottage Hospital, where he died four hours later.
  • From the Memorial Resolution: "Captain Bradley was a blunt-spoken but kindly man aggressively devoted to the causes he espoused but tolerant of the opinions of others."

Source: California Blue Book (1954)
Source: "Armistice Holiday Observed Quietly", Los Angeles Times; Nov 12, 1953; Page A1
Source: "Assemblyman Bradley Dies of Heart Attack", Los Angeles Times; Aug 28, 1954; Page 6
Source: "Biographical Directory of the United States Congress, 1774-Present" (U.S. Library of Congress) []
Source: "Heart Attack Kills State Assemblyman at Meeting," San Bernardino County Sun (8/28/1954)
Source: Assembly Concurrent Resulution 15 (Res Chap. 21, Stats of 1955) - Relative to the death of Captain Willis W. Bradley.