Fighter pilot to talk teamwork at Memorial Day event

by Jim Boyle


Lt. Col. Lyle Bradley, who flew fighter planes launched from aircraft carriers in both WWII and the Korean War, will talk about teamwork in a Memorial Day address on Monday at Lions Park in Elk River.

Photos xx Lt. Col. Lyle Bradley flew Corsairs in both WWII and the Korean War.
Lt. Col. Lyle Bradley flew Corsairs in both WWII and the Korean War.

Bradley credits teamwork  — not only on the battlefields and in the skies, where he and other pilots shot down enemy planes, but also back at home, where people were pressed into service in various forms — with winning WWII.

“Farmers and factory workers were as much veterans of WWII as those in the war,” he said from his Andover home. “If it wouldn’t have been for teamwork, we wouldn’t have won the war.”

The Dubuque, Iowa, native logged more than 1,000 hours on Corsairs to provide support over the Pacific Ocean in WWII and ground support over the Chosin Reservoir in the Korean War. But the retired high school science teacher who taught for five decades at Anoka High School walks the talk when it comes to teamwork.

“War is not all bleak,” he said. “Some very good things come of it. Most of it’s not good, of course.”

Bradley will likely tell of a  Japanese fighter pilot turned medical doctor he befriended after the war, despite the fact that he had shot down the same fighter pilot’s friend during the war.

“War is war,” he said of his friend he came to know as Dr. K. “Things change.”

Memorial Day  celebration  at Lions Park

10 a.m., Monday, May 27

•Emcee, Curt Swanson senior master sergeant, USAF (Ret), commander VFW Post 5518 and Mike Beyer, Legion commander, Post 112

•Memorial Day address by Lyle Bradley, lt. col., USMC, Marine combat pilot during WWII and Korea

•Awards by Legion Auxiliary, VFW Auxiliary, Legion Post 112, VFW Post 5518

•An Honor Guard rifle salute will be performed, following the benediction, at the base of the Lions Park flagpole to honor those deceased veterans in the air, on land and at sea.

•The local German Band will provide entertainment at the American Legion Post after the ceremony.

•Roll call of deceased for 14 veterans from the local area to inlcude Lloyd Bennett, Kenton LeFebvre, Larry Braun, Henry Malinowski, Joseph N. Corrow, Darrel Noyes, James Goinbs, Harold Roach, Curtis Johnson, James Schmitz, Robert Kelley, Robert Umbarger, Fredrick Labandz and Harold Warneke