Thursday, January 1, 2009

Brad's Bar Open Again at Horham Red Feather Club

During the war, young Brad Petrella wore many hats at the 95th BG base at Horham, England. One of these was to tend bar at the Red Feather Club, the non-commissioned officers' watering hole and meeting place on base. With his trusty night stick hanging on the wall just in case, young Petrella kept the men's whistles wet and their spirits up.
Photo above from 'Contrails' shows the original Red Feather Club, though not the bar.
Brad tends the bar, with a little help from fellow enlisted man Philip Mutton. His 'enforcer' hangs on the wall next to the window.

Many years later, when the Red Feather Club had been restored, including the bar, to its former glory, Brad returned and tended the bar once again. The bar has been painstakingly restored to look as close to the original as possible. In these photos taken in 2007, Brad serves up some pints to modern-day re-enactors, including 95th BG Heritage Association James Mutton's son Philip with Brad behind the bar. I had the pleasure of meeting Brad at the Tucson Reunion in March 2008, and also the pleasure of meeting Philip Mutton in England in June. Philip shares his dad's interest in the history of the 8th Air Force and the 95th Bomb Group.

Sadly, Brad Petrella passed away October 5, 2008, but his memory lives on at 'Brad's Bar'. Drop in for a pint next time you're in Horham, England. Tell 'em Brad sent you.
To read more about the life of Brad Petrella, click here.

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