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Thread: F. C. Bradley in Finland

  1. #1
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    Default F. C. Bradley in Finland

    Hello,

    I’m looking for information on a Captain (?) F. C. Bradley, who served as a volunteer in Finland in early 1940 possibly with the Finnish Air Bureau (he isn’t included among the British volunteers in the records kept by Finnish War Archive).
    By 20 May 1940 he had returned to UK to Newcastle-on-Tyne. He (re-?)joined the RAF in July 1940.
    He received a gold caterpillar for supposedly saving his life with parachute in Finland on 9 January 1940 (according the family while parachuting from a Gladiator – the date is engraved on the back of the pin). This was the first of 4 occasions during the war when he “earned” a gold caterpillar.

    No Finnish air craft was lost on 9 January. The Finnish Gladiators was assembled in Sweden and flown to Finland by Finnish pilots in January and they became operation on 18 January. To my knowledge no Gladiators were lost prior delivery (no Hurricanes either).

    The whole thing is quite mysterious but there exists a letter from the Finnish Aid Bureau, dated 20 May 1940 thanking his for his service in Finland.

    Anyone with some info on this mysterious Bradley?

    Best wishes/Håkan
    WWII Biplane Fighter Aces
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    Hakan - good to hear you

    Is this Francis Charles BRADLEY (82382) Commissioned 18 Jul 1940, then Transferred to the Technical Branch?

    HTH

    Peter Davies
    Meteorology is a science; good meteorology is an art!
    We might not know - but we might know who does!

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    Hello,
    From some years ago when I did a little research on the Finnish Gladiator, Hurricane and Blenheim aircraft I seem to recall that one Hurricane was in fact never delivered, and at least two were destroyed on delivery flights( I remember photos of these).
    On the old(?) Finnish Air Force Forum, there were several threads on Gladiators and pilots of all volunteer nations including British, if I recall correctly.
    Alex

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    Hello Peter,

    Thanks for a quick reply!
    Yes, it is possible that this is the right Bradley.

    He is a mysterious guy and I've been trying to find out what he did in Finland since I received a photo on him back in early 2000, which I have on my desk since then....
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    Hello Alex,

    The Hurricanes was delivered starting on 25 February by Finnish pilots with the route Edinburg-Wick-Stavanger-Oslo-Västerås (Swe).
    I can only find that HU461 and HU462 were damaged (Finnish pilots) during the delivery.

    It can of course be an Blenheim. which is out of my normal research/interest and I thus don't have muchinfo on them. The only that possivbly fit according to Warner is BL-127 which was lost during delivery on 18 January with two of the crew killed (no names but probably Finnish crews).

    Best wishes/Håkan
    WWII Biplane Fighter Aces
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    Bradley he is real mystery to me as well there is an article on him from 1939/1940 one of the newspapers at British Newspaper Archives

    However I will keep my own council on this

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    Hello,
    One Hurricane was lost en route to Scotland. The other two came down during delivery iirc on small islands, ferry pilots were safe.
    The second delivery I understand was by ship to southern port in Finland.
    Gladiators from Sweden were there in Finland about the same time as those from Britain were arriving.
    Alex Crawford's book gives details as does Iimavoimat talvisodassa by Keskinen & Stenman, which gives dates /a/c serial/pilot claimed/losses.
    First Gladiator loss was listed as Swedish "B" 23/01/1940, pilot Sjokvist.
    First Finnish loss was 12/02/1940 GL251, pilot Siirila.
    Alex

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    Hello,
    Blenheim losses for the period in question were -
    BL-110 , three crew killed - 01/12/1939
    BL-112, three crew killed - 06/01/1940
    BL-127, 18/01/1940,two crew killed (was there a third crew member ?)
    BL-121, three crew killed - 19/01/1940
    BL-108, three crew killed - 28/01/1940

    Blenheim's Damaged in the same time frame were -
    09/12/1939 - BL105
    14/12/1939 - BL111
    05/01/1940 - BL108
    06/01/1940 - BL114
    26/01/1940 - BL125

    Alex
    Last edited by Alex Smart; 6th May 2017 at 00:55.

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