Bradfield enlisted in the Royal Air Force as an aircraft-hand prior to becoming a Ground Gunner when that trade was established. He was part of No.721 Defence Squadron. On the formation of the RAF Regiment on 1 Feb 1942 this became No.2721 Squadron RAF Regiment.
Throughout the period of the Italy Campaign his Squadron was under the command of the Eighth Army. As the NCO in charge of signals he displayed very great endurance under exceptionally hard conditions in the mountains when operating south of Ravenna and later on the River Lamone with a Canadian Armoured Brigade. During the period 19-30 Nov 1944 covering the attack and occupation of the enemy strong-point known as the sugar factory at Classe Fuori he showed great bravery in going out to repair broken communication lines which were continually swept by enemy mortar fire. On one occasion he was pinned down for over an hour by very accurate mortar fire, but carried on and completed his task. It was for this action he was awarded the Military Medal. Furthermore he was later awarded a Mention in Dispatches for distinguished service in Italy.