William G. Bradford, 83, a career Foreign Service officer who served as U.S. ambassador to Chad from 1976 to 1979 and later operated an international consulting firm, died July 16 of lung cancer at Inova Fairfax Hospital. He lived in McLean.
Mr. Bradford was born in Chicago and served in the Army during World War II. After graduating from Indiana University, he entered the State Department's Foreign Service.
He had early assignments in Berlin and Naples during the 1950s before being posted to Vietnam in 1962. Later, after the fall of Saigon in 1975, he was executive officer of a federal task force coordinating efforts to resettle Vietnamese refugees.
As a diplomat in Zaire from 1964 to 1966, Mr. Bradford supervised air evacuations after the so-called Stanleyville massacre, in which Congolese rebels captured 1,300 Westerners and executed 33, including two Americans. Mr. Bradford helped arrange for Americans and other Westerners to flee the region.