Welcome to Combat Pilots – then and now portraits of pilots I photographed and interviewed who saw action in times of war. So far I have met 28 pilots in eight countries. I started doing this in 2007 and hope to continue with it for the next few decades.
At present I am focussing on WWII, but I have also met and photographed pilots who saw combat in Korea, Vietnam and the African bush wars. In time I shall add more recent conflicts including the Falkland Islands, Iraq and Afghanistan.
I am also building sections that include other things about pilots I have not met, but who have interesting stories to tell.
I am the son of a pilot who saw action flying Mosquitoes and Beaufighters in the RAF during WWII. My dad is one of the pilots in my project – Johnny Bradley. I grew up around pilots and am still as much in awe of them today as I was when I was a little boy. To me these men and women were and are giants and heroes. This site is intended to pay respect to their guts and determination, regardless of which side they flew on – to me they all come from the same mould.
If you know a pilot who has seen combat and you think might agree to be in my project, I would be very pleased to chat with you – please feel free to email me directly John Bradley.