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THE ARMY MEDICAL BULLETIN, Volume 51 (January 1940)

Alfred Eugene Bradley

Brigadier General , Medical Corps , U. S. Army

Alfred Eugene Bradley (Nov. 25, 1864 - Dec. 17, 1922), Brigadier General, Medical Corps, U. S. Army, was born in Jamestown , New York , the son of Arthur A. and Jane (Parsons) Bradley. He spent his youth in the nearby village of Frewsburg where he was graduated from the Union School . He obtained his medical education at Jefferson Medical College , Philadelphia , where he graduated in 1887. Following a year of internship at the Philadelphia Hospital he was appointed an assistant surgeon in the army on October 29, 1888, and ordered to duty at David’s Island , New York . In November 1889 he was trans­ferred to Fort Omaha and a year later was assigned to the post of attending surgeon at the headquarters of the Department of the Platte at Omaha . From this duty he was sent to the Pine Ridge Agency in January 1891 for service with the division hos­pital and later served with the 1st Infantry at the same place. In December 1892 he was transferred from Omaha to Fort Sully , S. D., where he served for two years and where he was promoted to captain on October 29, 1893. He served successively at Fort Custer , Montana (1894-95), and Fort Yellowstone , Wyoming (1895-98). While in the latter post he took part in field duty with the 6th Cavalry and with the 4th Cavalry.

Following the outbreak of the Spanish-American War he was appointed a major and brigade surgeon of the volunteer forces on June 4, 1898, and ordered to duty at Camp Alger , Va. , from whence he was transferred in June to the hospital ship Relief. On September 17, he succeeded Major George H. Torney in command of the ship and held this post until August 20, 1899. The ship, after making four trips to Cuba and Porto Rico, sailed from New York to Manila by way of the Suez Canal, and, after a term of service as a floating hospital at Manila , sailed by way of Japan and Honolulu to San Francisco . Leaving the Relief he returned to Fort Yellowstone in August 1899 and in October was transferred to Fort Snelling . He was discharged from his volunteer commission on November 10, 1899, and was promoted to major on the regular list on January 1, 1902. From Fort Snelling he went to San Francisco and sailed in April 1902 for Manila where he was assigned to the command of the base hospital at Malabang in Mindanao . In October he was transferred to Manila to the post of attending surgeon to the headquarters of the Department of the Philippines . The remainder of his three year tour was spent in busy attention upon the officers and their families in Manila . He returned to San Francisco on the transport Thomas in May 1905 and was assigned to Fort Sheridan , Illinois . In March 1907 he was transferred to Jefferson Barracks, at St. Louis , where he served until May 1910. He was promoted to the grade of lieutenant colonel on January 28, 1910. From Jefferson Barracks he went again to the Philippines in August 1910, where again he took up the work of attending surgeon, to be transferred to command of the division hospital on January 1, 1911. From this duty he returned to San Francisco in May 1913 and was assigned to duty at Governors Island , New York , as chief surgeon, 1st Division, and sanitary inspector at the headquarters of the Eastern Department. It was while on this duty that he received orders on May 20, 1916, attaching him to the American Embassy in London as military observer with the British Army. He was still on this duty when the United States entered the World War and on May 28, 1917, he was appointed chief surgeon of the United States forces in Europe . He joined General Pershing’s party upon its arrival in London on June 9, and accompanied it to Paris where headquarters were first established. Then began the organization of that vast medical service which was built up to serve the immense army which was finally sent over. Colonel Bradley, who had reached that grade on July 1, 1916, was advanced to the grade of brigadier general in the National Army on August 5, 1917. His term of duty as chief surgeon was marked by much ill health, which occasioned his relief from the position on April 30, 1918, and the appointment of General Merritte W. Ireland.

In June General Bradley was invalided home from France and on June 20 he was discharged from his temporary grade. Arrived in New York he was sent to the station hospital at Fort Totten , New York , where he underwent an operation for a lung abscess. His health failing to improve he was given a long leave of absence and later ordered to General Hospital No. 12 at Biltmore, N. C., for treatment. Following a sick leave of six months spent in Yellowstone Park he was ordered before a retiring board in January 1920 and retired on March 31 of that year. He took up his residence in Highland Park , Illinois , but survived only until December 17, 1922, when he passed away in Montgomery , Alabama . His remains were sent to Arlington Cemetery for burial.

General Bradley’s first interest throughout his army career was the practice of medicine. He was a talented clinician and a skillful operator. His frequent assignments as attending sur­geon shows his interest in medical practice and the appreciation of higher authority of his abilities in that line. Even while assigned to administrative duties as the command of a large hos­pital or a hospital ship he found time and opportunity for the exercise of his medical and surgical skill. He was an early member of the Association of Military Surgeons and read a paper on The military use of the ski before the New York meeting in 1900. He was a member of the American Medical Association and of the American Public Health Association and a fellow of the American College of Surgeons. In 1919 he was awarded the Distinguished Service Medal for his service as chief surgeon of the American Expeditionary Forces. In addition to occas­ional articles in medical periodicals he contributed the article on Hospital ships of the United States Army to the second edi­tion of the Reference Handbook of the Medical Sciences.

Following his graduation in medicine and before his en­trance to the army he married on October 8, 1887, Letitia M. Follett of St. Louis , Missouri . Two children were born to them, a son and a daughter. The son, Follett, graduated from the Naval Academy , transferred to the army, and is now a high ranking officer of the Air Service.

(Who’s Who in America , 1918-19.  J. A. M. A., 1923. Reports of the Sur­geon General of the Army, 1898 to 1918. Army Register, 1921. American Decorations 1862-1926, Wash. , 1927.)

James M. Phalen,
Colonel , U. S. Army, Retired.

Distinguished Service Medal


As chief surgeon, A. E. F., he gave his utmost energy and individual devotion to the duty of planning and organizing the work of the Medical Department in France during a period fraught with untold difficulties. To his foresight was largely due the successful operations of that department when it was called upon to meet the demands that were subsequently made upon it.  War Department, General Order No. 12, 17 January 1919.