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Earl Austin Bradbury died for his country!

Husband of Daphne Dale McColloch
Abt. 1918 ~ 1945

Pfc Earl Austin Bradbury Marine, dies on Okinawa

Transcription of Clipping:

Pfc. Earl Austin Bradbury
Marine, Dies on Okinawa

A telegram has been received from the War Department stating that PFC. EARL AUSTIN BRADBURY had died June 1 from wounds received in battle on the Island of Okinawa. Born and reared here, he was graduated from the Picher High school and joined the Marines in 1943. After nine months in San Diego, Calif., he was sent to Honolulu for an additional nine months training. He fought in the battles of Guam, Saipan and Okinawa and had many citations.

Prior to his entry into the armed forces, he was employed by the Cameron Henderson mine, the Davis Big Chief mine and the Tennessee Valley authority for one year. He was a member of the Union church of this city.

Pfc. Bradbury was married to Mrs. Daphne Davis in March, 1942, and she with his parents, Mr. and Mrs. D. Bradbury; one stepson, Jackie Lee Davis; three brothers, Clyde, Ray and Sam; two sisters, Mrs. Vera Porter, Tucson, Ariz., and June Bradbury of this city; his grandmother, Mrs. Jim Bradbury, and an uncle, Sam Bradbury, both of Picher survive him.

Thus another Picher boy has given his life for his Country and the Tribune joins with their many friends in extending sympathy to his loved ones.
arl Bradbury was born about 1918, in Ottawa Co., Picher, Oklahoma, and raised in Picher, Oklahoma, the son of Evlyn and Emma Bradbury. In March of 1942, Earl married Mrs. Daphne Dale (McColloch) Davis, widowed, born September, 1889, Jasper Co., Missouri, the daughter of James McHenry McColloch, and Mary Alice Wharton, both of whom were born and raised in Ohio Co., West Virginia.

Daphne had been married previously to her first husband John N. (Jack) Davis of Missouri. Mr. Davis died August 18, 1939, at home in Picher, leaving Daphne and her six year old son Jackie Lee at home and three other grown children surviving. She had lost her 16 year old daughter Esther Ruth to pneumonia only nine months before Mr. Davis died.

Earl, was an extraordinary man for one of his young age. Daphne's family remembers him as a man whose love and instincts helped Daphne and her young son Jackie recover from the deaths of her daughter and husband.

In January of 1945, Mrs. Hester Alice Shogren, Daphne's 34 year old daughter, died of a heart ailment. Then on June 1, 1945, Earl was killed in battle on the Island of Okinawa. Earl, and a fellow soldier (buddy) were wiring caves for explosives so they could be collapsed. They entered a cave and there were two or three enemy soldiers in the cave. They killed the soldiers, but during the skirmish Earl, was slightly wounded but unable to walk. Earl's buddy put him over his shoulder with Earls legs on his chest and his head down over his back and was carrying him towards an aid station when a sniper in a tree shot Earl in the head. Earl was buried Ottawa Co., Miami, Oklahoma.

It has been said that Earl was a hero by saving the life of his buddy who was with him wiring the caves. I have been told by family members that the soldier who's life he saved visited Daphne to tell her of the circumstances of his death and to give her his last words. What I do not know is if the Master Sergeant who accompanied Earl's body home was this soldier or if he came to see her when the war ended.

In a letter to her daughter Leila, who was unable to attend the funeral, she describes Earl's funeral:

I had the funeral at the Union Church. Mott did the preaching, Sybil did the singing. A Master Sgt. brought him home and presented me with the big flag at the grave. I buried Earl at Miami.

About Don. The day I rec'd your telegram I got the one about Earl. It made me sick, but I went to the train. It came in on time, but it was bitter cold and I didn't see Don. We got out and went to open door, but didn't see him, we were sorry. We didn't go next eve as I was down in bed.

I have neglected writing to you but Jack has been down since Jan 1 and I had everything to do, about so much trouble. By By Darling. Always I love you all.


The above paragraphs are only a few from the text of the letter. The referenced Don in the letter is the husband of her daughter Leila. Daphne, went on with her life in spite of the loss of so many loved ones in such a relatively short period of time. She died August 30, 1949, Ottawa Co., Miami Baptist Hospital, Miami, Oklahoma, leaving Jackie Lee age 16 still at home to be raised by his brother Jim, age 34. She is buried in Baxter Springs, Kansas.


       1930 CENSUS, Ottawa Co., Quapaw TWP, Picher City, Oklahoma, 
       April 17, 1930, Sheet 18a:
       Address: 400 Connell 
       BRADBURY, Ulyles, Head/R/I5 -, N/M/W/35/M/21/MO/NY/TX,
       -, 66 -,-,-,-, Y/Miner/Zinc Mine/78V6/W/Y -, N -,-
       BRADBURY, Emma, Wife H, -,-,-, V/F/W/32/M/18/MO/MO/MO,
       -, 66 -,-,-,-, Y/None -,-,-,-,-, No
       BRADBURY, Earl, Son -,-,-, V/M/W/12/S -, Y/Y/OK/MO/MO,
       -, 86 -,-,-,-, Y/None -,-,-,-,-, No
       BRADBURY, Vera, Daughter -,-,-, V/F/W/10 or 9/S -, Y/N/OK/MO/MO
       -, 86 -,-,-,-, Y/None -,-,-,-,-, No
       BRADBURY, Ray, Son -,-,-, V/M/W/7/S -, N/N/OK/MO/MO,
       -, 86 -,-,-,-, Y/None -,-,-,-,-, No
       BRADBURY, Clyde, Son -,-,-, V/M/W/4/S -, N/N/OK/MO/MO,
       -, 86 -,-,-,-, Y/None -,-,-,-,-, No
       BRADBURY, June, Daughter -,-,-, V/F/W/2/S -, N/N/OK/MO/MO,
       -, 86 -,-,-,-, Y/None -,-,-,-,-, No
       BRADBURY, Samuel, Son -,-,-, V/M/W/4 mos./S -, N/N/OK/MO/MO,
       -, 86 -,-,-,-, Y/None -,-,-,-,-, No

       I have been trying to find out if it was customary that a soldier
       always accompanied the bodies of the brave who gave their lives for
       their country, to their home and final resting place. I certainly hope so.
       World War II ended August 15, 1945 and I was born September 14,

I have discovered in my research that the battle on the island of Okinawa get's the least publicity but was the biggest and costliest battles of the war in terms of the high number of both military and civilian lives lost, as well as the amount of ships and armaments expended by the U. S. military in the Pacific during WW II. To find out more about the battle on the Island of Okinawa check the following links as these short articles are well worth reading:

Battle of Okinawa on
Military History On Line - Battle of Okinawa
By: Liz (Frankel) Gunderson

Newspaper clipping from: Diggin' Up Oakies in Ottawa Co.

Earl Austin Bradbury and Daphne Dale (McColloch) Davis in tree . . .

Last Updated  ~  March 14, 2014

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