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The Lt. Col. Jack Bradley Collection, no. 4 - Ninth Air Force Combat Film

Jack Bradley

Silent | 1943-1945

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  •  Mission briefing 
  •  Loading a bomb onto a fighter plane 
  •  Fighters lift off 
  •  Shots from the gun cams 
  •  Fighters return to base 
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This Ninth Air Force Combat Film, photographed by the 4th Combat Camera Unit, details a fighter pilot's mission from preflight preparation to return to base and debriefing. While footage includes scenes such as systems check, arming of the plane and mission briefing, the film's emphasis is on the combat portion of the mission, with the majority of the footage likely being captured by wing-mounted gun cameras. This film came to TAMI as part of Lt. Col. Jack Bradley's personal collection.

Lt. Col. Jack T. Bradley was born and raised in the north central Texas town of Brownwood. While attending Howard Payne College he joined the Civilian Pilot training program, and in 1941 he enlisted in the Army Air Corps Cadet program in Dallas. From fall, 1942 to May, 1945, he served in the 353 Squadron, 354 Fighter Group, piloting a P-51 Mustang fighter plane in the European theater of WWII. After a twenty-year distinguished military career, Lt. Col. Bradley retired in Brownwood, TX.

Images of Lt. Col. Bradley and his squadron were captured by "gun cameras" affixed to the wings of their planes and set to start filming when the pilot fired. Surviving footage provides an excellent view of the maneuvers performed by the planes on which they were mounted, though the vibration created by the guns often resulted in poor image quality.