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Berry, Joseph

Date of birth:
February 28th, 1920 (Cassop/County Durham, Great Britain)
Date of death:
October 2nd, 1944 (Kibbelgaarn/Groningen, the Netherlands)
Buried on:
Commonwealth War Grave Protestant Cemetery Scheemda
Nationality:
British (1801-present, Kingdom)

Biography

Service number 118435, Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve. Served in No. 256, 153, 255 and 501 Squadron and in FUI.

Joseph Berry was born on 28th February 1920 as son of Arthur Joseph Berry and Mary Rebecca Charlton end raised in Teesdale. After moving to Hampeth he attended the Duke Grammar School. At 16 year's he started working with the Civil Service.

He joined the RAF Volunteer Reserves in August 1940 and was selected for pilot training. After his training he joined No. 256 Squadron. No. 256 Squadron was stationed at Squires Gate near Blackpool, flying the Boulton Paul Defiant. He married Joyce in March 1942. On 25th November 1942 he qualified for night fighting as Flying Officer. Meanwhile he transferred to the Bristol Beaufighter. He was transferred to No. 153 Squadron on 30th Januari 1943, stationed in North Africa. Besides the night fighter role, the unit was pressed into escort duties over the Mediterranean. 8th May 1943 he transferred to No. 255 Squadron, also flying over North Africa and the Mediterranean.
He was transferred to the Fighter Interception Unit on 25th June 1944 as Flight Lieutenant, stationed in Enlang and flying the DeHavilland Mosquito and later the Hawker Tempest, for the defence against the V-1 Flying Bomb.
He became Squadron Commander of No. 501 Squadron on 10th August 1944, also flying against the V-1, with the Hawker Tempest.
Flying over the Netherlands on 2nd October 1944, his plane was hit by small arms fire and crashed near Kibbelgaarn,near Scheemda, Groningen, the Netherlands and was killed.

Joseph Berry was buried at the Scheemda Protestant Cemetery, Plot 2, Row 5, Grave 1.

Promotions:
14th March 1942: Pilot Officer (probation).

Victories:
With No. 255 Squadron, Bristol Beaufighter V1f
9th September 1943: Junkers Ju 88;
10th September 1943: Messerschmitt Me 210;
24th October 1943: Junkers Ju 88;
With Fighter Interception Unit, Hawker Tempest
28th June 1944: 2 V-1's;
29th June 1944: V-1;
30th June 1944: 3 V-1s (night);
2nd July 1944: V-1;
3rd July 1944: V-1;
5th July 1944: 2 V-1's;
6th July 1944: 4 V-1's (night)
8th July 1944: 3 V-1's (night)
9th July 1944: V-1;
17th July 1944: 2 V-1's (night);
19th July 1944: 4 V-1's;
21st July 1944: V-1;
23rd July 1944: 7 V-1's (night);
25th July 1944: 4 V-1's (night);
27th July 1944: 1/2 V-1;
29th July 1944: 2 V-1's;
3rd August 1944: 5 V-1's (night);
5th August 1944: 5 V-1's;
7th August 1944: 4 V-1's;
With No. 501 Squadron, Hawker Tempest
12th August 1944: 2 V-1's (night);
13th August 1944: V-1 (night);
15th August 1944: 2 V-1's (night);
20th August 1944: V-1;
31st August 1944: V-1;

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Period:
Second World War (1939-1945)
Rank:
Flying Officer
Unit:
No. 255 Squadron, Royal Air Force
Awarded on:
March 3rd, 1944
Action:
Citation:
"This officer is an exceptionally capable pilot who has destroyed three enemy aircraft in the course of a long and strenuous tour of duty. During operations at Salerno in September, 1943, he shot a Junkers 88 down in flames, and on the following night destroyed a Messerschmitt 210 over the Italian coast. His third victory took place over Naples in October 1943 when he shot down another Junkers 88. Flying Officer Berry has been forced to abandon his aircraft on two occasions and has operated with coolness and courage in the face of heavy enemy action."
Distinguished Flying Cross (DFC)
Period:
Second World War (1939-1945)
Rank:
Flight Lieutenant
Unit:
Fighter Interception Unit
Awarded on:
September 1st, 1944
Distinguished Flying Cross (DFC)
Action:
Citation:
"Flight Lieutenant Berry is a highly skilled and resolute pilot. He has completed a number of sorties and throughout his keennes and devotion to duty have been exceptional. This officer has, within a short period, destroyed numerous flying bombs."
Details:
Second award received as a bar for on the ribbon of the first DFC.
Period:
Second World War (1939-1945)
Rank:
Acting Squadron Leader
Unit:
No. 501 (County of Gloucester) Squadron, Royal Air Force
Awarded on:
January 20th, 1946
Distinguished Flying Cross (DFC)
Action:
Citation:
"Since the award of the Distinguished Flying Cross, this officer has flown on many operational sorties and has destroyed a further 41 flying bombs bringing his total to 58 bombs destroyed at night. On several occasions his aircraft has been damaged by the explosion of the bombs. As Squadron Commander, Squadron Leader Berry has displayed courage and devotion to duty of a high order and under his inspiring leadership the squadron has attained many successes."
Details:
Awarded posthumously.
Third decoration received as a second bar for on the ribbon of the first DFC.
Period:
Second World War (1939-1945)
Details:
Received with the bar "FRANCE AND GERMANY".
Air Crew Europe Star
Period:
Second World War (1939-1945)
Details:
Received with "NORTH AFRICA 1942 43" clasp.
Africa Star

Sources

  • Photo 1: Graham Berry/Martin Shilton
  • Photo 2: Anneke Moerenhout
  • Photo: Graham Berry/Martin Shilton
  • - The London Gazette of Tuesday 28th April 1942, Issue 35541
    - Fourth Supplement to The London Gazette of Tuesday 29th February 1944, Issue 36406, dated 3rd March 1944
    - Fourth Supplement to The London Gazette of Tuesday 29th August 1944, Issue 36682, dated 1st September 1944
    - The Hawker Tempest Page
    - The Hawker Tempest Page
    - The Commonwealth Wargraves Commission