Melvin Bradley

Memorial Service

3:00 pm - 4:00 pm
Saturday, May 18, 2019
Holloway Funeral Home - Salisbury
501 Snow Hill Road
Salisbury, Maryland, United States
(410) 742-5141

Obituary of Melvin James Bradley

Major Melvin James Bradley, USAF, Ret. ("Brad", "Skippy"), at age 98, passed away peacefully into the loving arms of Jesus at his Salisbury residence on the morning of Friday, April 26th, 2019 (National Arbor Day).  Born, March 6th, 1921, in Mardela Springs, he graduated from Mardela High School in 1938.  He attended Salisbury State College from 1938 to 1940 before enrolling at the University of Maryland College Park, as a junior in 1940.  He graduated with honors with a Bachelor's degree in Science in 1942.  His studies included horticulture, he enjoyed cultivating trees, shrubs and a garden variety of flowers and tomatoes. He completed the primary and advanced flying training programs at the Brinkerhoff Flying School located in College Park and received a pilot's license in 1941.

Immediately upon graduation from college, Melvin, began pilot training in the United States Army Corps and received a commission as a 2nd Lieutenant and pilot's wings in 1943.  His entire military career was primarily involved with flying fighter aircraft, both conventional and jet.  Military assignments took Melvin to the Far East (Japan & Korea), Europe (France &Germany) and to Africa (Libya).  He served his country during WW11, Korea and Vietnam.

While serving in WWII, he received a left lower leg compound fracture.  During the Korean War (Dec. 1950) while flying over the Manchuiun Border in North Korea, Melvin's F-80 aircraft was badly shot up.  Dumping his fuel, figuring out how far he needed to glide his plane so not to be in enemy territory and having not far to walk back to his base. One bullet went through his window, hitting his flight jacket, injury to his left lower leg. The bullet landing in the floor board of his plane. He dug the bullet out of the floorboard and walked home. Not wanting to be grounded, the injury known to a buddy was never reported.   He flew another mission the following day.  A "Purple Heart" was never received.

His awards and decorations included; The Distinguished Flying Cross, The Air Medal with Seven Oak Leaf Clusters, The Presidential Unit Citation with Two Oak Leaf Clusters, The Republic of Korea Presidential Unit Citation, The Korean Service Medal with Five Battle Stars and The Army of Occupation Medals for Japan and Germany.  Melvin, flew 102 combat missions in P-51 and F-80 jet aircraft while in Korea in 1950 and 1951.  

While in Korea, he served as a Flight Commander.  In Las Vegas, he was involved in the Atomic Bomb testing.  Later, he was an Operations Officer and Squadron Commander. He was granted an emergency retirement in 1964, from Dover, DE, AFB with 22 years of active duty with the Rank of Major and rated as a Command Pilot.

After retirement from the USAF, he was employed by the State of Maryland until retiring in 1981 after 17 years.  While employed, he was awarded the "Governor's Citation" by his Excellency, The late Governor of Maryland, Harry Hughes.

Since retirement in 1981, he was extensively involved  with family research and was a member of several patriotic and military organizations, including: The National Association of Atomic Veterans, The Order of Founders and Patriots of America, The Society of Colonial Wars in the State of Maryland, The War of 1812 in Maryland, The Sons of American Revolution, The Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War, The P-40 Warhawks Association, The P-51 Mustang Pilots Association, and The F-86 Sabre Pilots Association, all of which he was a lifetime member.  He was also a life member of the Disabled American Veterans, The American Legion and the VFW.

Melvin, was also an avid traveler, having visited over 175 countries and the 5 continents while in the service and after retirement.  "My favorite, USA always first and foremost, then Italy and Spain.  Fortunate to make three around the world "adventures".

In 1959, he was married to his beloved, Ann Whitney Morgan.  Major Milton Donald Britton, who was a military advisor to the Maryland Air National Guard in 1959, was the best man at the wedding held in Baltimore, MD.  Major Britton was killed in Vietnam in 1962, the 36th person to die in the Vietnam War.  He and his wife were also close friends of the Jimmy Doolittle’s family.  In fact, that is how "Brad and Ann" met.

Melvin was the son of the late James Monroe and Effa Belle Phillips Bradley.  His siblings passed before he was born. His loving wife, passed 19 years ago shortly after Christmas.  In addition, his friend of many years, Lydia Phillips Maxwell preceded him.  

Brad will be missed by many friends and family. He touched so many lives along his life's journey.  He left a legacy of wit and humor.  His smile and his blue eyes are remembered by all from the very young up.  He touched so many hearts, PRMC: Cardiac Nurses, Mended Hearts, Special friends, Paul and the late Fay Rossley of Waquoit, (Cape Cod), MA, Rebecca Rothwell of Cattonsville, MD, Hattie Miller of Princess Anne, MD, and his church, Calvary Baptist Tabernacle. He is also survived by several cousins.

A memorial service with military honors will be held on Saturday, May 18th, 2019 (Armed Forces Day) at 3:00 pm at Holloway Funeral Home in Salisbury with Pastor Lou Bradley officiating.  Interment at Arlington National Cemetery in Virginia.

In Lieu of Flowers, contributions may be made in his memory to any of the following or of a charity of your choosing:

ST LABRE Indian School

PO Box 216 

Ashland, MT  59003-9989


Bay Area Center for Independent Living

909 Progress Circle, Ste 300

Salisbury, MD 21804

Therapeutic Pool Fund

Nursing Home Outreach


Costal Hospice,

PO Box 1733

Salisbury, MD  21802


Humane Society-WIC County

513 Citation Drive

Salisbury, MD  21804


Arbor Day Foundation
Gift Planning
211 N 12th St.
Lincoln, NE 68508


Calvary Baptist Tabernacle c/o Pastor Lou Bradley

337 Thilghman Rd

Salisbury, MD  21804


MAC, Incorporated

Atten: Donation

909 Progress Circle

Meals on Wheels

Senior Center SBY/WIC County


Mended Hearts (Salisbury local Chapter)

Atten:  Pam Caldwell


Salisbury, MD  21804


Salvation Army Lower Eastern Shore

407 Oak St.

Salisbury, MD

Youth programs


The American Cancer Society

Local Chapter

1138 Parsons Rd

Salisbury, MD  21801


The American Heart Association

Local Chapter

Salisbury, MD


PRMC's Stoke Support Group

Local Chapter associated with the National Stroke Association

Peninsula Regional Medical Center

Salisbury, MD


Cardiac Rehab

PRMC: Foundation

Peninsula Regional Medical Center


Westside Historical Society

Attend Sylvia Bradley

P.O. Box 194

Mardella Springs, MD. 21837


Edward H. Nabb Research Center

Salisbury University

1101 Camden Ave

Salisbury, MD 21801



Arrangements are in the care of Holloway Funeral Home, PA, 501 Snow Hill Road, Salisbury, MD 21804.  Please visit to express condolences.

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