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Joseph Berry

Victories : 3
-----------------------------
Country : UK
Fought in : WW2
Fought for : Allied
Died : 1st October 1944


Awarded the Distinguished Flying CrossAwarded a Bar to the Distinguished Flying CrossAwarded Two Bars to the Distinguished Flying Cross
Distinguished
Flying Cross
Bar to the
Distinguished
Flying Cross
Two Bars to the
Distinguished
Flying Cross

Joseph Berry was born 28th February 1920. Father was Arthur Joseph and mother Mary Rebecca Charlton. He had a brother and sister, Jack and Ivy. He lived at 55 Ramsey St, Cassop cum Quarrington, Teesdale (12 miles east of Crook, Co Durham). Later he moved to Stampeth Nr Alnwick (Northumberland) where from 1931 to 1936 he attended the Duke Grammar School. Leaving school in 1936 as a 16 year old Joe moved into lodgings in Carlton, Nottingham for his work in the Inland Revenue, two years later he met Joyce who was working at the same branch. Joe enlisted in the RAFVR in August 1940, and in March 1942 Joe and Joyce were married. Little is known of Joseph Berry's early service. On completion of training as a Fighter Pilot he was posted to 256 Squadron at Squires Gate Nr Blackpool, this was a Night Fighter Squadron flying Defiants, on one occasion having to bail out of his stricken aircraft (letter code JT). He was commissioned in March 1942 at Squires Gate, this Squadron was then transferred to Woodvale, South Port flying Beaufighters. Joseph was initially posted to Lyneham in Kent where he and fellow pilot Bryan Wild caught a train to Filton, Bristol to collect their brand new Beaufighters, later flying them to Setif, in the Atlas Mountains. This area in North Africa was a pilot pool, where air crew from the U.K. awaited posting to their various squadrons in the region; Casablanca to Tunisia costal area. After 3 weeks they were called to join 153 Squadron at Maison-Blanche Algiers. 153 Squadron was formed at Ballyhalbert on the 14th October 1941, from A flight of 256 Squadron with Boulton Paul Defiants 1s. It had previously been disbanded following the first world war. It became operational in December 1941 as a night fighter squadron, but it was not until January 1942 that they converted to Beaufighter Mk 1s. Throughout the summer of 1942 the squadron carried out night patrols, and in September their role extended to convoy patrols, in December 1942, 153 Squadron moved to Algiers to become operational on Christmas Day. It retained its role through to July 1943 with the night defence of the Algiers and Bone areas. Gradually, throughout this period, the squadron's role extended to convoy escort work. As the Sicilian campaign got under way, 153 Squadron remained in North Africa carrying out convoy escort work (letter code TB). The main duty of this Night-fighter unit was to repel German aircraft from attacking convoys in the Mediterranean, on the Gibraltar to Suez route. By Jan 1943 he and his observer, a Newcastle man called Ian Watson, were flying Beaufighters as a night fighter pilot with 255 Squadron in the Mediterranean. On the 15th of November the aircraft were flown to Maison Blanche in Algeria. Detachments flew from Bone, Setif, Souk el Arba, Souk el Khemis, and Tingley. August brought a move to Western Sicily, where sorties were flown over the Salerno invasion fleet and beachhead in September. This is where Joseph opened his account; shooting down three enemy aircraft, on the 9th September a Messerschmitt Me210, the 10th September another Me210 over the Salerno area, and on 24th October a Junkers Ju88 over the Naples area, and the second occasion in which he had to bail out of his aircraft (letter code YD). On the 3rd of October 1943 while serving with 255 Squadron in the Mediterranean, Joe was involved in the Great E-Boat Raid at Cos (Greece). 60 aircraft were involved; several Beaufighter and 1 Beafort Squadron attacked the German Invasion Force North of the Allied occupied Island. The German invasion force consisted of several large vessels used as Troop Ships, Destroyers, E-Boats and Landing Barges. The attack had mixed results, due to heavy enemy fire and bad weather with head winds on the return journey; the Squadrons took overall losses of 27%. The Beaufighter had a range of 370 miles, and due to heavy fuel consumption 25 got back, most of the others ditched or were shot down. He was awarded a DFC in March 1944. In June of that year, promoted Flt.Lt., he was posted to the FIU and flying Mosquitos. FIU formed a special flight of Tempests to intercept the V1s which had begun falling on south-east England, this flight operating mainly by night. Over the next two months Joseph was to establish himself as the top-scorer against these robots in Tempest, shooting down 52 and one shared by early August. On 23 July he set the record, claiming seven in one night. Four nights later he pursued one at low level over West Malling airfield, closing to 100 feet in order to ensure he destroyed it before it fell on the base. His own aircraft was damaged in the resultant explosion. To his obvious chagrin on this occasion it was decided that he had to share this success with the crew of a Mosquito who had opened fire from 1,000 yards, and in the opinion of FIU had missed hopelessly. On 16 August 1944 the Tempest flight moved to Manston to reform 501 Squadron, of which Berry became commanding officer. The unit continued to hunt V1s, and he personally accounted for seven more, receiving a Bar to his DFC during September. During the night of 27/28 September, with the V1 threat mainly negated by the Allied advance in France, he led two Tempests on a Ranger sortie over Holland, strafing trains. From Bradwell Bay before dawn at 05-35 on the 1st of October flying his Tempest SD-F he led a Ranger sortie with F/Lt E.L. Willy Williams SD-L and F/Lt C.A. Horry Hansen SD-H to attack ground targets of opportunity between Bad Zwischenhan in Northern Germany, a He111 airfield; and a nearby rail yard where trains transporting V1s to these airfields and launch sites could be found, and any other He111 airfields or enemy targets of opportunity from there to the Rhine. But while flying fast and low to their target; bursts of small arms fire from a German soldier, stationed at the German Radar Site Gazzelle just East of Veendam unluckily struck Joseph's Tempest rupturing his glycol tank, struggling to control his stricken aircraft, eye witness reports say; that he increased his height to 500ft presumably in an attempt to bail out, leaving a glycol vapour trail in his wake; he radioed to his fellow pilots I've had it chaps; you go on. Just over 2 miles to the East of Gazelle Joseph's plane crashed in flames in Kibbelgaarn, a small hamlet 4 ½ miles South of Sheemda. The two other pilots circled the crash site a couple of times to see if their commanding officer had survived the impact, and then carried on their mission. Two inhabitants of Kibblegarrn; Mr A.Jager who was the head teacher of the village junior school that Joseph's airplane had just narrowly missed, and Mr S. de Lange were the first to reach the crash site, they pulled the dead pilot from the blazing wreckage, desperately trying to extinguish the flames from his uniform, the name of the pilot at that time was unknown as his identity tags were destroyed in the blaze. The only clue to his identity was a small metal medicine box and a cigarette case with the initials JB engraved on it. Two hours later the Germans arrived. Joseph was buried in a quiet plot in nearby Scheemda, on the simple wooden cross were written the words, Unknown RAF Pilot. The remaining two pilots returned home safely at 09-25 reporting attacks on four trains, leaving them smoking and steaming. Three trains were reported attacked between the River Gruis and Dummer Lake, and the fourth train attacked 12 miles east of Zwolle. His total of V1s has been put at 60, but recorded claims appear to indicate 59 ½. He was awarded a second Bar to his DFC on the 20th January 1946, back dated to October 1944.

Joseph Berry

Squadrons for : Joseph Berry
A list of all squadrons known to have been served with by Joseph Berry. A profile page is available by clicking the squadron name.
SquadronInfo

No.153 Sqn RAF

Country : UK
Founded : 4th November 1918
Fate : Disbanded 2nd July 1958

Noctividus - Seeing by night

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No.153 Sqn RAF

Full profile not yet available.

No.255 Sqn RAF

Country : UK
Founded : 25th July 1918
Fate : Disbanded 30th April 1946

Ad auroram - To the break of dawn

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No.255 Sqn RAF

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No.256 Sqn RAF

Country : UK
Founded : June 1918
Fate : Disbanded 21st January 1959

Addimus vim viribus - Strength to strength

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No.256 Sqn RAF

Full profile not yet available.

No.501 Sqn RAF

Country : UK
Founded : 14th June 1929
Fate : Disbanded 10th March 1957
County of Gloucester, City of Bristol (Auxiliary)

Nil time - Fear nothing

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No.501 Sqn RAF

Full profile not yet available.
Aircraft for : Joseph Berry
A list of all aircraft associated with Joseph Berry. A profile page including a list of all art prints for the aircraft is available by clicking the aircraft name.
SquadronInfo

Beaufighter



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Manufacturer : Bristol
Production Began : 1940
Number Built : 5564

Beaufighter

BRISTOL BEAUFIGHTER The Bristol Beaufighter was a Torpedo Bomber and had a crew of two. with a maximum speed of 330mph and a ceiling of 29,000 feet. maximum normal range of 1500 miles but could be extended to 1750 miles. The Bristol Beaufighter carried four 20mm cannon in the belly of the aircraft and upto six .303in browning machine guns in the wings. it could also carry eight 3 -inch rockets, 1605 lb torpedo or a bomb load of 1,000 lb. The Bristol Beaufighter first flew in July 1939 and with some modifications entered service with the Royal Air Force in July 1940. In the winter of 1940 - 1941 the Beaufighter was used as a night fighter. and in March 1941 the aircraft was used at Coastal Command as a long range strike aircraft. and in 1941, the Beaufighter arrived in North Africa and used as a forward ground attack aircraft. The Bristol Beaufighter was used also in India, Burma and Australia. A total of 5,564 Beaufighters were built until production in Britain finished in 1945, but a further 364 were built in Australia for the Australian Air Force

Defiant



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Manufacturer : Boulton Paul
Production Began : 1939
Number Built : 1075

Defiant

BOULTON PAUL DEFIANT Built as a fighter, with a crew of two. Maximum speed of 304 mph, and a ceiling of 30,350 feet. armament on the defiant was four .303 browing machine guns in the Boulton Paul Turret. Designed as a intercepter fighter, the Defiant first flew in August 1937. and entered service with the Royal Air Force in October 1939 with no 264 squadron. and first flew in operations in march 1940 the Boulton Paul Defiant was certainly no match for the German Fighters, due to their lack of fire power as the defiant had no wing mounted machine guns. Heavy losses. The aircraft was re deployed as a night -Fighter in the autumn of 1940. This role also being taken over by Bristol Beaufighters in 1941, leaving the defiant for training, target tug, and air-sea rescue roles. A Total of 1075 Boulton Paul Defiant's were built

Mosquito



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Manufacturer : De Havilland
Production Began : 1940
Retired : 1955
Number Built : 7781

Mosquito

Used as a night fighter, fighter bomber, bomber and Photo-reconnaissance, with a crew of two, Maximum speed was 425 mph, at 30,300 feet, 380mph at 17,000ft. and a ceiling of 36,000feet, maximum range 3,500 miles. the Mosquito was armed with four 20mm Hospano cannon in belly and four .303 inch browning machine guns in nose. Coastal strike aircraft had eight 3-inch Rockets under the wings, and one 57mm shell gun in belly. The Mossie at it was known made its first flight on 25th November 1940, and the mosquito made its first operational flight for the Royal Air Force as a reconnaissance unit based at Benson. In early 1942, a modified version (mark II) operated as a night fighter with 157 and 23 squadron's. In April 1943 the first De Haviland Mosquito saw service in the Far east and in 1944 The Mosquito was used at Coastal Command in its strike wings. Bomber Commands offensive against Germany saw many Mosquitos, used as photo Reconnaissance aircraft, Fighter Escorts, and Path Finders. The Mosquito stayed in service with the Royal Air Force until 1955. and a total of 7781 mosquito's were built.

Tempest



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Manufacturer : Hawker
Production Began : 1943
Retired : 1949
Number Built : 1395

Tempest

The Hawker Tempest was a much improved development of the Typhoon and first flew in June 1943. and started service with the RAF in April 1944. mainly serving in the attack role in Europe against ground targets including the V1 Flying Bomb installations. It remained in service after the war until 1949 when it was eventually replaced by the Jet Aircraft. but continued for another 4 years in the Indian and Pakistan air forces. In total no less than 1395 Hawker Tempests were built. Speed: 426mph at 18,500 feet, Crew One. Range 800 miles. Armament: Four 20mm Hispano cannons mounted in the wings and a bomb payload of upto 2,000 lbs.

Known Victory Claims - Joseph Berry

DATE

PILOT

UNIT

JG

CLAIMED

LOCATION

TIME

FRONT

09/09/1943Squadron Leader Joseph BerryNo.255 Sqn RAFMe210Western Front
10/09/1943Squadron Leader Joseph BerryNo.255 Sqn RAFMe210Western Front
24/10/1943Squadron Leader Joseph BerryNo.255 Sqn RAFJu88Western Front

Known Claims : 3
Latest Allied Battle of Britain Artwork Releases !
For nearly a thousand years the white cliffs of southern England had taunted many a foreign army.  These fortress walls of chalk, however, were defended by the moat-like waters of the Channel, and together they had shielded the British from her enemies.  Alongside Drake they had defied the armies of Spain and her great Armada and, in 1805, had halted the march of Napoleon's <i>Grand Armée</i>.  No enemy force since that of William the Conqueror in 1066 had successfully managed to cross the Channel in anger but, in May 1940, one of the most powerful armies the world had ever seen arrived at Calais.  An invasion by Hitler's all-conquering Wehrmacht was imminent - or so it seemed.  To cross the Channel and breach the English defences, the Luftwaffe simply had to gain control of the skies, and with massively superior numbers the outcom seemed inevitable.  The fate of Britain lay in the hands of less than 3,000 young airmen from Fighter Command - Churhill's 'Few'.  By July the most famous air battle in history was underway and, over the next three months under tranquil summer skies, the 'Few' battled to defend their Scpetred Isle.  Impossibly outnumbered and flying daily to the point of exhaustion, by October these courageous young men had snatched victory from the jaws of defeat, emerging defiantly victorious.  The threat of invasion might be over but a terrible price had been paid - during that long battle for the survival of Britain 544 had been killed and 422 wounded; and of those who survived a further 814 would be killed before the end of the war.  This painting pays tribute to the valiant 'Few', portraying a fleeting moment of calm for the pilots of 74 (Tiger) Squadron during the height of the Battle of Britain.  With his commanding officer Sailor Malan (ZP-A) to his right, Acting Flight Lieutenant John Freeborn (ZP-C) takes time to reflect on another day of intense combat while passing over the white cliffs and the familiar lighthouse at Beachy Head, as the squadron cross the English coast to head for home.

This Sceptred Isle by Robert Taylor.
 A lone Spitfire of 266 Squadron is shown above the sunlit haze of London and the Thames, during the Battle of Britian. 266 Squadron was reformed on 30th October 1939 at RAF Sutton Bridge as a fighter squadron. The squadron was one of the Rhodesian gift squadrons and was named 266 (Rhodesia) Squadron in honour of the gift. Originally it was equipped with the Fairey Battle light bomber, but soon after in January 1940 it received the Supermarine Spitfire and became a fighter squadron. It was in action over Dunkirk in early June and fought in the Battle of Britain.

Guardian of Freedom by Timothy OBrien.
The Luftwaffe had done everything in its power to pummel London into submission but they failed. By the end of September 1940 their losses were mounting. For weeks since the early days of September, London had been the main target for the Luftwaffe and during that time Luftwaffe High Command had grown increasingly despondent as their losses steadily mounted. Far from being on the brink of collapse RAF Fighter Command, though vastly outnumbered, had shown an incredible resilience. The fighting had reached a dramatic climax on Sunday 15th September when, bloodied and bruised, the Luftwaffe had lost the upper hand on a day of intense combat that had culminated with a humiliating retreat. Almost every day that had passed since then had seen the Luftwaffe do everything in its power to pummel London and regain the initiative, but the daylight raids were becoming increasingly costly. On Friday 27th September, 80 days after the Battle of Britain had officially begun, the Luftwaffe came once more, this time concentrating on the fastest bombers they had - Ju88s and Bf110s. And they came in force, principally targeting London and Bristol. Anthony Saunders' superb painting depicts one of these raids, this time by bombers from KG77 as they head over the Medway Estuary, east of the City of London, in an attempt to attack the capital's warehouses and docks. Among the many units defending the capital that day was 92 Squadron from Biggin Hill and Anthony portrays the Spitfire of Pilot Officer Geoffrey Wellum in his dramatic piece. With a deft flick of the rudder Wellum banks his fighter away to port seconds after sharing in the destruction of a Ju88. It was just one of more than 50 German aircraft destroyed by the RAF during the day.
Decisive Blow by Anthony Saunders.
 Supermarine Spitfire Mk.1As of No.610 (County of Chester) Sqn RAAF, intercept incoming Heinkel 111H-16s of the 9th Staffel, Kampfgeschwader 53 Legion Condor during the big daylight raids on London of August and September 1940 - the climax of the Battle of Britain.  Spitfire N3029 (DW-K) was shot down by a Bf109 on the 5th of September 1940 and crash-landed near Gravesend, Kent, thankfully without injury to Sgt Willcocks, the pilot.  For the record, N3029 was rebuilt and, following some brief flying in the UK, was sent overseas by convoy to the Middle East.  Ironically, the ship carrying this aircraft was torpedoed en route and both ship and all its cargo were lost.

Close Encounter by Ivan Berryman. (PC)

 Posted to 64 Squadron on 1st July 1940, </a>the tragically short relationship of Sub Lt F Dawson Paul with the Spitfire was crammed with victories.  He immediately shared a Dornier Do17 off Beachy Head and, just four days later claimed a Messerschmitt Bf.109.  Further kills were confirmed over the next two weeks, among them five Bf.110s and another Do.17. His final victory was a Bf.109 on 25th, but on this day he fell to the guns of the German ace Adolf Galland.  Dawson Paul was rescued from the English Channel by a German E-boat, but died of his wounds five days later as a prisoner of war.

The Longest July by Ivan Berryman. (PC)
 Squadron Leader H C Sawyer is depicted here flying his 65 Sqn Spitfire Mk.1a R6799 (YT-D) in the skies above Kent on 31st July 1940 at the height of the Battle of Britain.  Chasing him is Major Hans Trubenbach of 1 Gruppe, Lehrgeschwader 2 in his Messerschmitt Vf109E-3 (Red 12) . The encounter lasted eight minutes with both pilots surviving.

High Pursuit by Ivan Berryman. (PC)
 Hawker Hurricane Mk 1s of No 242 Sqn patrol a glorious September sky as the Battle of Britain reaches its climax in the Summer of 1940. The nearest aircraft is that of Sqn Ldr Douglas Bader, flying V7467 in which he claimed four victories, plus two probables and one destroyed. P/O W L McKnight (LE-A) and P/O D W Crowley-Milling (LE-M) are in close attendance.

High Patrol by Ivan Berryman. (PC)
 Routine, though essential, maintenance is carried out on a 501 Sqn Hurricane at the height of the Battle of Britain during the Summer of 1940.  Hurricane P3059 <i>SD-N</i> in the background is the aircraft of Group Captain Byron Duckenfield.

Ground Force by Ivan Berryman. (PC)

Battle of Britain Timeline of Related Info : 20th November
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