John Henry Bradley was born at Antigo, Wisconsin, on 10 July 1923. The family moved to Appleton, Wisconsin when John was a boy. He graduated from Appleton High School in 1941. Apprenticed to a funeral director, Bradley had just completed the necessary 18-months' apprenticeship course when he enlisted in the Navy on 13 January 1943. Following boot camp at Farragut, Idaho, Seaman Bradley was assigned to the Hospital Corps School there. Upon the completion of that course, he was transferred to the Naval Hospital at Oakland, California. Assigned to the Fleet Marine Force in January 1944, Pharmacist's Mate Bradley attended Field Medical School - standard training for corpsmen prior to serving with the Marines.

Assigned to the 28th Marines of the 5th Marine Division, he joined the regiment on 15 April 1944. Iwo Jima was his first and only campaign. He landed with the regiment on 19 February and just two days later earned the Nation's second highest award, the Navy Cross, for "extraordinary heroism as a Hospital Corpsman in action against enemy Japanese forces on Iwo Jima." Bradley rushed to the aid of a wounded Marine, under intense fire bandaged his wounds, and then pulled the Marine 30 yards through heavy enemy fire to a position of safety. He served until wounded in both legs on 12 March by an enemy mortar shell, but refused evacuation until rendering aid to two other wounded Marines. He was evacuated by plane the next day and finally was flown to the Naval Hospital at Bethesda, Maryland. There, Pharmacist's Mate Bradley was presented the Purple Heart on 10 July 1945. He was medically discharged, 13 November 1945.

Bradley's awards include the Navy Cross, Purple Heart, Presidential Unit Citation with one star (for Iwo Jima), American Campaign Medal, Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal with one star (for Iwo Jima), and the World War II Victory Medal.

The longest surviving member of the six who raised the second flag on Iwo Jima, Bradley died at the age of 70 on 11 January 1994 in his home town of Antigo, Wisconsin.

Marine Corps University