Battle of Britain : Frederick George Berry ,563426 ,DFM , Royal Air Force

Discussion in 'War Grave Photographs' started by CL1, Dec 24, 2009.

  1. CL1

    CL1 116th LAA and 92nd (Loyals) LAA,Royal Artillery Patron

    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.
     

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Sep 1, 2019
  2. Peter Clare

    Peter Clare Very Senior Member

    [​IMG]

    From 'The Battle of France Then And Now' - Cornwell.
     
  3. CL1

    CL1 116th LAA and 92nd (Loyals) LAA,Royal Artillery Patron

    Hello Peter

    thank you for the extra info.

    I came across the grave.
    Thought it might be of interest.
     
  4. Peter Clare

    Peter Clare Very Senior Member

    [​IMG]

    OKL report on operations against Lancastria carried out by KG30.

    'Battle of France Then And Now' - Cornwell
     
  5. CL1

    CL1 116th LAA and 92nd (Loyals) LAA,Royal Artillery Patron

    Peter many thanks for the info

    I was actually getting a photo for Recce Mitch

    When the chap in the cemetery came up and showed me around.

    He told me the story surrounding F Berry .
     
  6. Oldman

    Oldman Very Senior Member

    CLI/Peter
    Thanks for the post most interesting, it seams odd that at times you meet the person who has the local knowledge and is willing to share. It also makes a good topic to share. By the way did you get Recce Mitch his photo?

    Oldman
     
  7. CL1

    CL1 116th LAA and 92nd (Loyals) LAA,Royal Artillery Patron

    Hello Oldman

    thanks

    yes I did get the photo for Recce Mitch

    regards
    Clive
     
  8. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot Patron 1940 Obsessive

    Immediate.

    Gazetted 28.08.1940

    Pilot Air2/9456

    This NCO has been with the squadron since the beginning of the war in September 1939 and has taken part in many of the combats of the squadron. Since the middle of May 1940, when the experienced members of the squadron were replaced by newcomers, he has led Sections on many occasions and often led his Flight on patrols and in combats against the enemy. On 17th June 1940, whilst leading a Section on patrol over St. Nazaire to cover the embarkation of the BEF, he attacked and shot down an enemy bomber which was about to attack one of the troop ships. Another member of his Section also forced down another bomber from the same formation.

    29th June 1940

    Remarks by AOC.

    This NCO, whilst in France in September 1939, upto the evacuation of Dunkirk has led his Section and Flight on many occasions and has accounted for four enemy aircraft. He possesses exceptional qualities as a leader; the Flight he has led has officers aswell as NCO pilots. Owing to the evacuation of the RAF from France and the apparent loss of records, I understand his name so far has not been submitted for an award. I do so now and on account of his high qualities as a leader I recommend the immediate award of the Distinguished Flying Medal.



    Ian Tavender's The Distinguished Flying Medal Register For The Second World War. Vol 1 A-J
     
  9. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot Patron 1940 Obsessive

    Sunday, 1st September 1940

    1 Squadron Northolt

    Hurricane P3276.
    Crashed at Brisley Farm, Ruckinge following combats with Bf 109's 11.30am. Flight Sergeant F G Berry killed.

    Aircraft a write-off.

    A propellor hub recovered September 1981 by Kent Battle of Britain Museum and Brenzett Aeronautical Museum.

    Further information:
    Flight Sergeant F G Berry, DFM, joined the RAF as an apprentice at the age of fifteen. After three years of training as a tradesman, he volunteered and was selected for pilot training. He joined No.43 Squadron as a Sergeant pilot in 1936 at the age of twenty two and was later posted to No.1 Squadron in 1938 with which unit he served with distinction throughout the campaign in France and the Battle of Britain until his death in action near Tonbridge on September 1st, 1940.
    He was buried at Harrow New Cemetery, Middlesex.

    Battle of Britain-Then and Now.
     
    CL1 likes this.
  10. CL1

    CL1 116th LAA and 92nd (Loyals) LAA,Royal Artillery Patron

    Drew

    many thanks for that info
    makes sense
    RAF Northolt is approx 3 miles from where he is buried in Pinner New Cemetery.Plus it looks like he was local to the area,he appears to be buried in a family plot
     
  11. timmo

    timmo WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran

    Can't imagine that this will be read but, since Google just added a bit about Fred Berry under my name, I thought it fun to add to this thread.

    If you want an update, read the News of the World this Sunday.

    70 years have taken their toll, but we can still smile!!

    = best wishes, Tim

    PS Yes - for thing read things!!

    PPS Pinner New Cemetry, Harrow - to be correct. Wonderfully tended by Jim Radband - a local. You've seen the photo?
     

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  12. nicks

    nicks Very Senior Member

    Hello Tim and welcome to the forum.

    I hope you had a good day at Duxford today, for the first time in my live I will be buying a copy of the News of the World tomorrow.

    Regards,

    Nick
     
  13. timmo

    timmo WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran

    Survived, Nick - but it was b****y difficult getting into the Spitfire for family photos after a 3 hour journey!!
    [​IMG]
    http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v164/photo04/RAF2/dux2.jpg

    = Tim

    PS Coverage may not be limited to the NOTW.
     
  14. nicks

    nicks Very Senior Member

    Glad to hear you survived your day at Duxford, did you fly Spitfires as well as the Hurricane?

    Regards,

    Nick
     
  15. drumaneen

    drumaneen Senior Member

    Photo restoration
     

    Attached Files:

    CL1 likes this.
  16. CL1

    CL1 116th LAA and 92nd (Loyals) LAA,Royal Artillery Patron

  17. timmo

    timmo WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran

    Nick - http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v164/photo04/RAF2/flown.jpg

    drumaneen - I know it's Northern Ireland, but that's where Fred's famiy live. A couple of years ago, was in touch with Daughter & G/Daughter through Son's blog. Nearly met but the trail then went dead.

    Just wish it could be reinstated.

    = Tim

    PS Must add here that Fred was only married 2 weeks (months?), so his Daughter never knew him. I was going to tell her what I knew.
     
  18. nicks

    nicks Very Senior Member

    Nick - http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v164/photo04/RAF2/flown.jpg

    drumaneen - I know it's Northern Ireland, but that's where Fred's famiy live. A couple of years ago, was in touch with Daughter & G/Daughter through Son's blog. Nearly met but the trail then went dead.

    Just wish it could be reinstated.

    = Tim

    Tim

    That's an impressive list of types flown, can I ask when/where you had the opportunity to fly the Axis types?

    regards

    Nick
     
  19. Gage

    Gage The Battle of Barking Creek MOD

    Can't imagine that this will be read but, since Google just added a bit about Fred Berry under my name, I thought it fun to add to this thread.

    If you want an update, read the News of the World this Sunday.

    70 years have taken their toll, but we can still smile!!

    = best wishes, Tim

    PS Yes - for thing read things!!

    PPS Pinner New Cemetry, Harrow - to be correct. Wonderfully tended by Jim Radband - a local. You've seen the photo?

    Welcome Tim, great to have you onboard. Tally Ho! Enjoy.
     
  20. CL1

    CL1 116th LAA and 92nd (Loyals) LAA,Royal Artillery Patron

    Warmest Welcome Tim
     

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