Bill Bradford, Jr.
Specialist E-5
U. S. Army
, 1st Infantry Division

Willie Bradford was born in 1941 in Shreveport, Louisiana to Clementine and Willie Bradford, Sr. He grew up in Allendale near Mt. Canaan Baptist Church but did not attend there because he was a Catholic. Bill grew up during segregation and says that downtown Shreveport had nothing for them. They had to go to the Colored section to watch the movies or to buy a ticket for the bus and had to use the `Colored' water fountains. He attended Our Lady of The Blessed Sacrament and then, after graduating from eighth grade, went to Lafayette to attend the Holy Rosary Institute. As a young man, Bill joined the NAACP Youth Council and worked with Pastor Blake and Dr. C. O. Simpkins. He participated in about forty or fifty rallies, sit-ins and marches in Shreveport, Baton Rouge, New Orleans, Jackson, Mississippi and Florida and participated in the Freedom Highway Project in North Carolina which was a rally against the Howard Johnson Motel chains all along Route 66 because of their open segregation. He has been detained and arrested twenty-eight times. The most important part of it all, to him, was getting the Voting Rights Act passed. He does believe that race relations have changed and that some people have mellowed. When Bill was twenty-seven and working at Parks Job Corps Center in Pleasanton, California, he was drafted into the Army and sent to Vietnam serving in the 1st Infantry Division. He returned home early due to an injury sustained when his jeep hit a land mine and at the end of his tour was Honorably discharged as a Specialist 5 class. Bill thinks we should never have been in Vietnam unless we were willing to win the war. Back in Shreveport he was employed as the Director of Recreation at the Caddo Community Action Agency and worked at KOKA as a reporter, assistant manager and manager. He was also employed at Roundtree Olds-Cadillac and at Horseshoe Casino. In 1970 he married Linda Ruth Williams and he and Linda have one daughter, Regina Elizabeth Bradford