Kent Wonders Remembers LZ Margo (continued)

The Death of Corporal Bradford

A second indelible vignette was during a lull between medevacs. I saw a Marine carrying someone in his arms. As he got close he said, “Lt. Wonders, please help; it is Corporal Bradford.” 

 

Sergeant Hill was a new platoon sergeant for Fox Co., 2nd Plt. I did not know Sgt Hill very well, but he held out the limp body and put it into my arms. He then immediately turned and walked away without another word. I walked a few steps to get out of the landing area; I laid Cpl Bradford down, and felt the carotid artery for a pulse.

 

A corpsman came by shortly and confirmed what I knew. I had known him well, promoted him, made him a squad leader, counseled him, and verbally disciplined him.

Cpl Rodney Bradford FAM (familiarization) firing the M-16 at A3 with others from Fox Company in June 1968. Photo courtesy of Kent Wonders.

Later at dusk, I filled out his evacuation card and signed the positive ID tag. I watched as a corpsman prepared the body, placing one of his dog tags between the teeth and finally helping to place the body into the body bag.

 

The scene all around the LZ left no time to say “good-by” even though he had been a subordinate for seven months.

(c) 2019, DMZ Rats of Battalion Landing Team 2/26. All rights reserved.