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Bradley Field World War II Activities, 1942-1945, Photographs Now Available in Digital Collections Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Posted by aramsey in Archives, digital collections, history.
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The Connecticut State Library has recently completed the digitization of the entire collection, of Bradley Field World War II Activities, 1942-1945 (PG 048) photographs, which is now available in its Digital Collections.

On January 23, 1941, Governor Robert A. Hurley sent a proposal to the Connecticut General Assembly requesting the state buy land to lease to the United States Army for an air base.  In response, the state acquired 1,700 acres most of which was then a tobacco plantation. The tract was purchased and then leased to the federal government for $1.00 a year for twenty-five years.  The field, which at the time was named the Windsor Locks Army Air Base, became ready for airmen and troops early in the summer of 1941.

The air base was later officially renamed “Army Air Base, Bradley Field, Connecticut,” on January 20, 1942, but more familiarly called Bradley Field in honor of Army Air Corps Second Lieutenant Eugene M. Bradley.  Lt. Bradley’s P-40 fighter plane crashed after he went into a routine dive during training and failed to come out on August 21, 1941.  He was the first of many pilots to die in training accidents at the field.  The air base post-World War II was turned over to the State of Connecticut which developed it over time into what we know today as Bradley International Airport.

The Bradley Field World War II Activities, 1942-1945 (PG 048) digital collection presents 217 scanned black-and-white photographs.  Activities represented in the collection include, among others, the Sixth War Loan drive, an open house for the public, redeployment, multiple training exercises, the training of Chinese fighter pilots, day-to-day life, and medal presentations to servicemen or the families of those missing in action.

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