Berry, Charles J.
Charles Joseph Berry was born on 10 July 1923 at Lorain, Ohio. He graduated from Clearview High School and worked as a truck driver before enlisting in the Marine Corps in October 1941. Following recruit training at Parris Island, South Carolina, Berry was briefly stationed at Quantico, Virgina, before transferring to New River, North Carolina, where he qualified as a parachutist. In June 1942, he was promoted to Private First Class. In the Spring of 1943, he went to the south Pacific with the First Parachute Battalion, participating in the Bougainville Campaign in late 1943 and early 1944. Berry then returned to the United States and was assigned to the Fifth Marine Division. During the Summer of 1944, he was promoted to Corporal and departed for further duty in the Pacific.
With the First Battalion, Twenty-sixth Marines, Fifth Marine Division, Corporal Berry landed on Iwo Jima on 19 February 1945 and took part in nearly two weeks of combat as a machine-gun crew member. On 3 March, when Japanese troops attacked his position with grenades, he threw the the explosive weapons back at to the enemy until one grenade landed in his foxhole. Berry promptly dived on it, sacrificing his life to save others from serious injury. For this "conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life," he was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor. Charles J. Berry is buried at Elmwood Cemetery, Lorain, Ohio.
USS Charles Berry (DE-1035), 1959-1974, was named in honor of Corporal Charles J. Berry, USMC.
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