Baseball in Wartime

Baseball's Greatest Sacrifice

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Neil Berry

Date and Place of Birth: January 11, 1922, Kalamazoo, MI

Baseball Experience: Major League

Military Unit: 83rd Air Base Squadron, US Army Air Force

Area Served: United States


A graduate of the Western College of Education at Kalamazoo, Michigan, Cornelius J. Berry had played one season in the Tigers farm system when he entered military service in October 1942. He attended physical training school at Miami Beach, Florida, and served with the 83rd Air Base Squadron at Midland Army Air Field, Texas. In 1945, he was at gunnery school in Fort Myers, Florida, learning to become a Central Fire Control gunner (CFC) on a Boeing B-29 Superfortress. Due to be shipped out to Australia, orders were cancelled when Japan surrendered, and he was discharged as a staff sergeant. Berry made his major league debut in April 1948 and played more than 400 games over seven seasons. After baseball, Berry worked in the sporting goods business, and as a carpenter.

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