BRADBURN, David Denison, Major General USAF (Ret.) passed away peacefully after a long illness on 18 October 2008. He was born in Hollywood, CA on 27 May 1925 to Clarence Earl Bradburn and Florence Lyle Easton. David graduated from West Point in 1946 and piloted B-26 aircraft in Korea. He subsequently became a pioneer in space surveillance, developing secret Corona satellites in the 1960's, and eventually becoming Director of Special Projects for the Air Force. He later helped negotiate space weaponry provisions of the SALT II treaty with the USSR. He was President Emeritus of the Beach Cities Symphony in Redondo Beach, an avid photographer, and a world traveler. A devoted and loving family man, he is survived by his wife of fifty-one years Bertha, four children, eleven grandchildren, and four great-grandchildren. Services will be held at Manhattan Beach Community Church, 303 S. Peck Avenue on Monday, 27 October 2008 at 1:00pm. The family requests that donations be made to the David D. Bradburn Memorial Fund through the church.

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  1. I last saw Dave at the 1995 Corona celebration in DC and we shared WDD SAMOS and my later at Itek Corona stories

  2. Then Colonel Bradburn was “the boss” when Neil Ferryman and I went to Germany and then again, as “the General”, he was our boss when we were in Denver. I remember that “Vienna, City of my Dreams” was a special song for he and Bertha. At Neil’s outdoor retirement ceremony, General Bradburn presided. The two of them were “trooping the line” inspecting the troops and the Cheyenne Mt Air Force Band broke into “Vienna, City of my Dreams” and I stood in ranks with tears running down my cheeks. It wasn’t planned. It turned out that the song was part of the band’s traditional ceremonial repetoire. — A very memorable moment of two very dear friends and mentors. I will certainly miss him. — My thoughts and best wishes to Bertha. Jan Molvar

  3. Dear Bertha and family I worked with Dave at TRW. Dave became a special friend and advisor to me, on TRW program management issues and in personal areas. Dave was especially helpful to me when my favorite uncle was killed when piloting his private plane. Dave was a true gentleman who had my highest respect. Your son David worked for me at TFS in Berkerly, like his father, David was a special person. My sincerely regards and blessings to all of you. Chuck and Sue Shorter

  4. Dear Bertha and Family, We are so sorry to hear of your loss. Please accept our condolences and know that we are with you in prayer, even though we are currently out of the state. God bless you, Donna, Tom, Michael, and Ryan Thorpe

  5. Dear Bertha, Please accept our heartfelt sorrow and sympathy. David was such a special person to all who knew him. He was a friend and colleague with whom I spent some of the best times of my life. We miss his presence. Bob and Darlene Hermann

  6. Dear Bertha, Our thoughts are with you and your wonderful family in this time of celebration of Dave’s fabulous LIFE. He was, as you know, an inspiration to so many, and especially to the four who worked on the History book in the 1990s; Ray Potts died several years ago, and John Copely is ill. I feel now to be “the only one left.” Warm regards, Roger and Jane Thayer

  7. To the Bradburn Family: Please accept condolences from Gen Bradburn’s family here at the National Reconnaissance Office. Gen Bradburn was a hero and led many efforts that cannot be acknowledged. He left his mark on operational and intelligence efforts over several decades. Our country is safer because of him. Please know you and your family are in our prayers and that a grateful nation mourns with you. Very Respectfully, Alan D. Davis, Col, USAF Deputy Director, NRO Office of Space Launch

  8. Dear Bertha: My sincere condolences to you and the children on the death of your husband. I first came to know Brad during the 1980s when we worked on a SIGINT history for the NRO. Honest, forthright, fairminded, and more, he was a pleasure to work for and with. We stayed in touch until his illness. God Bless you and the family, Cargill

  9. Dear Carol, Susan, David, and Bob: I’m sorry to find that your parents have both passed away. I found this out while looking for Bob. We were friends at Hanscom AFB before my father retired and we moved to Colorado. I would love to re-establish contact with Bob! One of my fondest memories ever is praying in Bob’s room with you and David Milam down the street. I sure appreciated your courage in calling him, and all of us, to faithfulness. I also enjoyed playing with your Dad’s reel-to-reel in your basement; that was high tech and hi-fi. How are you doing, my brother?! By the grace of God I walk with him, along with my wife of 29+ years, and 6 children (11-27yrs old). Please contact me at the email below if you like. “No worries” if you’d rather not, …unless that’s because you are not walking in faith. (Then you absolutely must contact me so I can kick your butt. ; ) Because He lives, Brian

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