Bradley J. Hartsell spent 10 years in the United States Marine Corps honorably discharged with the rank of Staff Sergeant. While serving with the 1 Marine Air Wing and the 3 Force Service Support Group in Okinawa, Japan, he began to formally study the Japanese language. He also developed a serious avocation for the history of and the exploration/excavation of Pacific WWII battle sites including Okinawa and Iwo Jima.
Hartsell excavated tunnel systems, retrieved rare artifacts, and mummified human remains. He was personally invited by the Japanese Health and Welfare Ministry (Koseisho) to work with them, Japanese survivors of the Battle for Iwo Jima, and next of kin of soldiers who perished in the battle. He has appeared on television in Japan and in the pilot episode of War Stories with Oliver North entitled, “The Battle for Iwo Jima”, as well as subsequent episodes. Hartsell served as a historical consultant on Japanese military history for the film, “The Great Raid” and the HBO series, “The Pacific”.
Mr. Hartsell also mounted a traveling exhibit and regularly gave lectures about his exploits and findings during the tunnel excavations. On Sunday March 1 2020, Mr. Hartsell will present one final lecture with the artifacts from his traveling exhibit at 9 a.m. at Donley Auctions facility in Union, IL. Following the lecture, all the artifacts from the traveling exhibit will be auctioned off. Among the highlights of the auction, is the personal fountain pen of General Tadamichi Kuribayashi, the Commander of Japanese forces on Iwo Jima who was killed in the battle. This event is part of the two day Gun & Military Auction at Donley Auctions located at 8512 S. Union Road, Union, IL 60180. For more information about the auction visit www.DonleyAuctions.com or contact them direct at 815.923.7000.