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:


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

Namesake

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

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: MIDN Thalbert Alford '09.

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

Others at this command: LTjg Franklin Van Valkenburgh '09 and LTjg Mervyn Bennion '10.

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: CDR John Wilcox, Jr. '05.

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: ENS William France '24.

October 1926

Lieutenant Commander, commanding officer, USS Farquhar

Others at this command: ENS William France '24.

January 1927

Lieutenant Commander, commanding officer, USS Farquhar

Others at this command: ENS William France '24.

July 1929

Commander, under instruction, Naval Air Station Lakehurst, New Jersey

Others at this command: LCDR Frank McCord '11, LT Joseph Severyns, Jr. '20, LTjg Herbert Wescoat '23, LTjg Hammond Dugan '24, LTjg Adolph Hede '25, ENS Morgan Redfield '26, ENS Wilfred Bushnell '26, and ENS Clinton Rounds '27.

January 1930

Commander, under instruction, Naval Air Station Lakehurst, New Jersey

Others at this command: LCDR Frank McCord '11, LT Joseph Severyns, Jr. '20, LTjg Herbert Wescoat '23, LTjg Hammond Dugan '24, LTjg Charles Miller '25, LTjg Morgan Redfield '26, LTjg Wilfred Bushnell '26, and ENS Clinton Rounds '27.

July 1931

Commander, USS Los Angeles

Others at this command: LT George Calnan '20 and LTjg Clinton Rounds '27.

October 1931

Commander, USS Los Angeles

Others at this command: CDR Frank McCord '11, LT George Calnan '20, and LTjg Clinton Rounds '27.

January 1932

Commander, USS Los Angeles

Others at this command: CDR Frank McCord '11, LT George Calnan '20, and LTjg Clinton Rounds '27.

April 1932

Commander, commanding officer, USS Los Angeles

Others at this command: CDR Frank McCord '11, LT George Calnan '20, and LTjg Clinton Rounds '27.

January 1933

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

Others at this command: CDR Frank McCord '11, LCDR Harold MacLellan '18, LT George Calnan '20, LT Richard Cross, Jr. '21, LT Herbert Wescoat '23, LTjg Hammond Dugan '24, LTjg Robert Larson '24, LTjg Charles Miller '25, LTjg Morgan Redfield '26, LTjg Wilfred Bushnell '26, and LTjg Cyrus Clendening '27.

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 Charles Callaway '24 (Naval Air Station Lakehurst, New Jersey), LTjg Robert Sayre '24 (Naval Air Station Lakehurst, New Jersey), and 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 this command: CDR Frank McCord '11, LCDR Harold MacLellan '18, LT George Calnan '20, LT Richard Cross, Jr. '21, LT Herbert Wescoat '23, LTjg Hammond Dugan '24, LTjg Robert Larson '24, LTjg Charles Miller '25, LTjg Morgan Redfield '26, LTjg Wilfred Bushnell '26, and LTjg Cyrus Clendening '27.

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 Charles Callaway '24 (Naval Air Station Lakehurst, New Jersey), and LTjg Robert Sayre '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.