KANE - Now the family knows the whole story.
Relatives of Army Cpl. Ralph E. â€śDutchâ€ť Bradybaugh of Kane knew this soldier was killed in action during the â€śBattle of the Bulgeâ€ť in Bastogne, Belgium on Jan. 3, 1945â€”just four months before Germany surrendered to end World War II.
What they didnâ€™t know until 66 years later is that Bradybaugh died as a hero by saving the life of his best friend and fellow soldier, Alfred M. Percival of Milan, Ohio.
This revelation surfaced last summer when Al Percival Jr. of Berlin Heights, Ohio made contact with Joan Bizzak of Kane. Bradybaugh was her uncle.
â€śI am so glad that I was able to contact you,â€ť Percival said in an email to Bizzak. â€śI believe it was by Divine Providence.â€ť
â€śMy dad was with your uncle when he was killed,â€ť Percival said. â€śYou uncle saved my dadâ€™s life.â€ť
Percival said his father and Bradybaugh were members of the 501 Parachute Infantry Regiment of the 101st Airborne Division.
He said his father â€śtold me about what had happenedâ€ť when Bradybaugh was killed.