Flight Sergeant (Pilot) BERRY, FREDERICK GEORGE Service Number 563426 Died 01/09/1940 1 Sqdn. Royal Air Force D F M Buried at PINNER CEMETERY Location: Middlesex, United Kingdom Number of casualties: 65 Cemetery/memorial reference: Sec. G.5. Grave 92. Berry joined No 1 Squadron on August 29 1939 and went with it to France at the outbreak of war. Promoted to Flight Sergeant on April 1 1940, he was with the squadron throughout the fighting in May and June. On No 1's final operational patrol in France on June 17 Berry was leading a section over the docks at St Nazaire, when He 111 s came in at low level to attack troopships loading there. Berry led his section to attack but could not stop the leading bomber from scoring direct hits on the “Lancastria", setting it on fire and causing it to sink later with heavy casualties to the 4000 troops on board. Berry shot the He 111 down in flames into the river. For this action he was awarded the DFM(20.8.40). On September 1 1940 Berry was shot down in combat with Bf 109s and killed when his Hurricane, P 3276, crashed at Brisley Farm, Ruckinge. ( Kent ). I also believe he assisted Tim Elkington who was shot down in mid August 1940 " The next day he was "Top Weaver", (Tim Elkington)flying back and forth over the rest of the squadron to provide an early warning of enemy fighters, when they encountered 100 German aircraft. In the ensuing melée, he never saw the aircraft that riddled his plane with cannon shells - although, amazingly, his mother did. From nearby Hayling Island and quite unaware that her son was involved, she watched the lone Hurricane pursued by three Me. 109s. Tim's fuel tank exploded, peppering him with shrapnel. Perhaps not what most people would think of as good luck. Yet his luck did hold. Unconscious as he drifted seawards in his parachute, he would certainly have drowned. Then his flight leader, Sergeant Berry*, achieved the extraordinary feat of blowing him back over land with his aircraft's slipstream. " Flt Sergeant Berry plunged to the ground on September 1, before Tim could even thank him.