John J. Berberich

by Joe Estridge
(Warrensburg, MO)

S/Sgt. John Berberich

S/Sgt. John Berberich

My Grandfather John Berberich was a member of the 515th SQ. At first, when the group was stationed in Benghazi, Libya, he was a ground crew member. Later on when the group moved to Italy, he began flying and served as a waist gunner. He was also the camera operator aboard the aircraft. He flew 50 missions and earned the Purple Heart. He told me a few stories, so I'll tell a couple here. He told me that he earned the Purple Heart when a German fighter attacking his formation shot through the fuselage of his plane. A bullet grazed him on the neck. He said he told them he didn't want the award because it was just a graze, but they gave it to him anyway haha. He also told me about the time his plane was hit badly by flak and they had to make an emergency landing. They couldn't make it back to their base, so they had land at a nearby British base. He said when they touched down, the B-24 veered off the runway from a flat tire and crashed into a bunch of tents. Luckily there was no one in them. The Brits were pretty angry over that he said! After a while, the groups commanding officer Col. K.K. Compton picked the crew up in his personal B-25. On the way, they began going through some bad weather and the plane was bouncing around. My Grandfather started to get sick...he then threw up on the commanders plane! The guys we're making fun of him saying, "what's the matter Whitey, can't take it?!" (They called him Whitey because of his blonde hair). Once they landed, Col. Compton told him, "you're gonna clean that up..." Those are just a couple of stories, nothing too crazy. I wish he wrote a journal of some sort so I could know about more of his experiences. I will tell you that he was my main inspiration for joining the Air Force myself. Everything he told me just amazed me, the things they went through. These guys were truly the Greatest Generation.

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Jun 12, 2014
My Dad
by: Laura Estridge

My Dad would also tell me some of his stories. I was proud to be his daughter. I love you Dad for inspiring Joe to be like you. I love you both.

Jun 11, 2014
Great Story!!!
by: Clark Baldon

Great Story!!! Thanks for sharing it! Thank You Mr. Berberich for your service!

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My Trip to San Pancrazio

October 2019


NOTE change in month !!!

DATES: Oct 12-15, 2023

CITY:Fairfax Co, VA

HOTEL: Westin Dulles hotel

2520 Wasser Terrace, Herndon, VA 20171


Click here to read about the reunion details.

previous reunions

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The Other Doolittle Raid

The Broken Wings of Zlatibor

The Liberandos

Three Crawford Brothers

Liberando: Reflections of a Reluctant Warrior

376th Bomb Group Mission History

The Last Liberator

Full Circle

Shadows of Wings

Ten Men, A "Flying Boxcar," and A War

I Survived Ploesti

A Measure of Life

Shot Down In Yugoslavia

Stories of My Life


Born in Battle

Bombardier's Diary

Lost Airmen

Langdon Liberando