FRED T. BERRY, CDR, USN

From USNA Virtual Memorial Hall
Fred Berry '08

Date of birth: November 23, 1887

Date of death: April 4, 1933

Age: 45

Lucky Bag

From the 1908 Lucky Bag:

1908 Berry LB.jpg

FRED THOMAS BERRY

Logan, Iowa

"Freddie"

One of the heavenly twins. Carries an innocent air at all times, but—! Lena's roommate, and just like her—only more so. Short of stature and long on everything non-reg. Fusses whenever he is forced into it, but is by nature a Mike. Social errors his long suit. Will back up a friend with a great deal more than talk.

"Say, I feel like a war horse in the mouth of Septebuary."

"I'm much obliged to meet you."

1908 Berry LB.jpg

FRED THOMAS BERRY

Logan, Iowa

"Freddie"

One of the heavenly twins. Carries an innocent air at all times, but—! Lena's roommate, and just like her—only more so. Short of stature and long on everything non-reg. Fusses whenever he is forced into it, but is by nature a Mike. Social errors his long suit. Will back up a friend with a great deal more than talk.

"Say, I feel like a war horse in the mouth of Septebuary."

"I'm much obliged to meet you."

Loss

1908 Berry 1.jpg

Fred was lost when the airship USS Akron (ZRS 4) crashed off the coast of New Jersey on April 4, 1933.

He was survived by his wife and son (who also graduated the Naval Academy). He is buried in the Naval Academy Cemetery.

Akron's executive officer, LCDR Herbert V. Wiley '15, one of only three survivors, was filmed shortly after the crash:

Biography

He was born 23 November 1887 in Logan, Iowa, was a member of the United States Naval Academy class of 1908. Through much of his early career he specialized in engineering duty, and during World War I commanded McCall (DD-28). He was awarded the Navy Cross for his outstanding performance of duty in this billet.

In 1927, he began training in dirigibles, and later commanded the airship Los Angeles (ZR-3).

Navy Cross

From Hall of Valor:

The President of the United States of America takes pleasure in presenting the Navy Cross to Lieutenant Commander Fred Thomas Berry, United States Navy, for distinguished service in the line of his profession as Commanding Officer of the U.S.S. McCALL, engaged in the important, exacting, and hazardous duty of patrolling the waters infested by enemy submarines and mines, protecting vitally important convoys of troops and supplies through these waters, and in offensive and defensive action, vigorously and unremittingly prosecuted against all forms of enemy naval activity during World War I.

Service: Navy
Division: U.S.S. McCall

Namesakes

USS FRED T. BERRY (DD 858) was named for him; the ship was sponsored by his widow.

Berry Drive, the road to the 9 historic homes of the Shenendoah Historic District on Moffett Field, is named for him.

= Memorial Hall Error

Fred was promoted to Commander in early 1927; Memorial Hall lists him as a Lieutenant Commander.

Navy Directories & Officer Registers

The "Register of Commissioned and Warrant Officers of the United States Navy and Marine Corps" was published annually from 1815 through at least the 1970s; it provided rank, command or station, and occasionally billet until the beginning of World War II when command/station was no longer included. Scanned copies were reviewed and data entered from the mid-1840s through 1922, when more-frequent Navy Directories were available.

The Navy Directory was a publication that provided information on the command, billet, and rank of every active and retired naval officer. Single editions have been found online from January 1915 and March 1918, and then from three to six editions per year from 1923 through 1940; the final edition is from April 1941.

The entries in both series of documents are sometimes cryptic and confusing. They are often inconsistent, even within an edition, with the name of commands; this is especially true for aviation squadrons in the 1920s and early 1930s.

Alumni listed at the same command may or may not have had significant interactions; they could have shared a stateroom or workspace, stood many hours of watch together… or, especially at the larger commands, they might not have known each other at all. The information provides the opportunity to draw connections that are otherwise invisible, though, and gives a fuller view of the professional experiences of these alumni in Memorial Hall.

January 1909
Midshipman, Colorado
January 1910
Midshipman, Colorado

Others at this command:
January 1911
Ensign, Paul Jones
January 1912
Ensign, Paul Jones
January 1913
Ensign, Dale
January 1914
Lieutenant (j.g.), commanding officer, Dale
January 1915
Lieutenant (j.g.), USS Galveston
January 1916
Lieutenant (j.g.), under instruction, Naval Academy

January 1917
Lieutenant, inspection duty, Bureau of Steam Engineering
March 1918
Lieutenant, engineering officer, USS Von Steuben
January 1919
Lieutenant Commander, commanding officer, USS McCall
January 1920
Lieutenant Commander, staff, Destroyer Squadron 4, Pacific Fleet

Others at this command:
January 1921
Lieutenant Commander, USS MacLeish
May 1924
Lieutenant Commander, engineering officer, Destroyer Squadron 12, USS Litchfeld
July 1924
Lieutenant Commander, engineering officer, Destroyer Squadron 12, USS Litchfeld
September 1924
Lieutenant Commander, engineering officer, Destroyer Squadron 12, USS Litchfeld
November 1924
Lieutenant Commander, engineering officer, Destroyer Squadron 12, USS Litchfeld
January 1925
Lieutenant Commander, engineering officer, Destroyer Squadron 12, USS Litchfeld
March 1925
Lieutenant Commander, engineering officer, Destroyer Squadron 12, USS Litchfeld
May 1925
Lieutenant Commander, commanding officer, USS Farquhar
July 1925
Lieutenant Commander, commanding officer, USS Farquhar
October 1925
Lieutenant Commander, commanding officer, USS Farquhar
January 1926
Lieutenant Commander, commanding officer, USS Farquhar

Others at this command:
October 1926
Lieutenant Commander, commanding officer, USS Farquhar

Others at this command:
January 1927
Lieutenant Commander, commanding officer, USS Farquhar

Others at this command:
July 1931
Commander, USS Los Angeles

October 1931
Commander, USS Los Angeles

January 1932
Commander, USS Los Angeles

April 1932
Commander, commanding officer, USS Los Angeles

January 1933
Commander, commanding officer, Rigid Airship Training and Experimental Squadron, USS Akron, and Naval Air Station Lakehurst, New Jersey


Others at or embarked at Naval Air Station Lakehurst, New Jersey:
LCDR David Cummins '18 (Naval Air Station Lakehurst, New Jersey)
LT Joseph Severyns, Jr. '20 (Naval Air Station Lakehurst, New Jersey)
1LT Ralph Forsyth '22 (Marine Barracks)
LTjg Robert Sayre '24 (Naval Air Station Lakehurst, New Jersey)
LTjg Charles Callaway '24 (Naval Air Station Lakehurst, New Jersey)
LTjg Clinton Rounds '27 (Naval Air Station Lakehurst, New Jersey)
April 1933
Commander, commanding officer, Rigid Airship Training and Experimental Squadron, USS Akron, and Naval Air Station Lakehurst, New Jersey


Others at or embarked at Naval Air Station Lakehurst, New Jersey:
LCDR David Cummins '18 (Naval Air Station Lakehurst, New Jersey)
LT Joseph Severyns, Jr. '20 (Naval Air Station Lakehurst, New Jersey)
1LT Ralph Forsyth '22 (Marine Barracks)
LTjg Robert Sayre '24 (Naval Air Station Lakehurst, New Jersey)
LTjg Charles Callaway '24 (Naval Air Station Lakehurst, New Jersey)


Class of 1908

Fred is one of 7 members of the Class of 1908 on Virtual Memorial Hall.

The "category" links below lead to lists of related Honorees; use them to explore further the service and sacrifice of alumni in Memorial Hall.