Plymouth County

Duane A. Berner

 

 

MORE PICTURES CAN BE USED FOR GLOBE-POST HONOR ROLL

[Front page grouping of servicemen photographs, includes a photo of Duane A. Berner]

Source: LeMars Globe-Post, June 19, 1944

SGT. BERNER’S PLANE SHOT FULL OF HOLES; CREW THREW OUT EVERYTHING TO SAVE SHIP
When Guns and Flak Suits Had To Be Thrown Into Sea

Staff Sergeant Duane Berner, son of Mr. and Mrs. Ray Berner of Stanton township, recently sent a letter to his parents telling them of a “thriller” experience he had on April 30, in enemy territory over Corsica, where he is stationed.

They had just returned from rest stop after a series of missions. He says they had completed a double mission “to hit No. 30” on the day before he wrote this letter. He wrote that “Sunday, April 30, we started out on a mission and we had just about reached the target when we got into trouble.

“We got rid of our bombs, but couldn’t make it back. We had lost so much altitude we were below the mountains and our only way out was to go through a pass out to sea by ourselves, or bail out. We stuck with it, made the pass, got the devil shot out of us by the flak over a couple of towns, but made it out to sea.”

“We expected any second for fighters to come up and finish us off, but they never came. We were losing altitude all the time so we knew we would never make friendly territory before we crashed.”

“So we took a chance and threw everything we could overboard—guns, flak suits, kits, etc., and the plane held on. We radioed to Corsica and they were standing by with crash equipment.”

“We had gas lines shot away, hydraulic line cut. We were in sad shape. As we touched the ground and the brakes held, we fell into each other’s arms and just cried for JOY. Boy, we all prayed up there. No one was ashamed to admit it.”

“Lt. Wood is going to get the Distinguished Flying Cross for it. Boy, he sure earned it. To make matters worse that day, Lt. Chrisman had left his parachute on the ground. He would sure have been out of luck if we had had to bail out.”

Sgt. Berner received his first oak leaf cluster two weeks ago, for completing 13 successful missions, and now has received his second oak leaf cluster for thirty missions accomplished successfully.

Source: LeMars Globe-Post, July 6, 1944

Twelve More Plymouth Countians in Armed Services

[Group photos of county servicemen, includes a photograph of Donald Berkenpas]

Source: LeMars Globe-Post, October 2, 1944