William George Berry

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William George Berry
Personal Information
Date of Birth 12 Jun 1905
Place of Birth Fremantle, Western Australia
Death 1 May 1999, aged 93
Place of Death Bentley, Western Australia
Age at Enlistment 34 years, 5 months
Description 6'0½" (1.84m) tall ; ; dark complexion ; brown eyes ; light brown hair
Occupation clerk
Religion Church of England
Address Fifth Road, Armadale
Next of Kin Wife , Mrs Mabel Elsie Ray Berry
Military Information
Reg Number F 2356
Date of Enlistment 15 Nov 1939
Rank Engine Room Artificer Class III
Unit/Formation HMAS Latrobe
Ships Served On
Ship Name HMAS Gunbar
Tour Dates 4 Dec 1940 ‒ 30 Apr 1942
Ship Name HMAS Latrobe
Tour Dates 6 Nov 1942 ‒ 6 Jul 1943
Post War Details
Fate Returned to Australia (Medical)
Medals 1939-45 Star
Pacific Star
War Medal 1939-45
Australian Service Medal 1939-45

Pre War

During 1938 Bill married Mabel Elsie Ray Bollard (1914 - 2001) in Perth. Mabel died 11 Jan 2001 in Bentley.

War Service

Enlisted in Fremantle, and was posted to HMAS Cerberus V (the Naval Reserve Depot) in Fremantle. He was still with them on 1 Aug 1940 when the base was renamed HMAS Leeuwin. On 4 Dec 1940 he was posted to HMAS Penguin in Sydney as a member of the HMAS Gunbar, an auxiliary minesweeper that had been requisitioned by the Navy and which was commissioned on 18 Dec 1940. HMAS Gunbar relocated to operate out of Fremantle from March 1941 and on 19 Feb 1942 she was in Darwin harbour when it was strafed and bombed during a Japanese air raid. One of her crew was killed in the attack, and it was later said to have had an impact on Bill's health.

On 1 May 1942 Bill was transferred to HMAS Cerberus in Victoria, and a month later he was transferred to HMAS Penguin in Sydney where he remained until 6 Nov 1942 when he joined the crew of HMAS Latrobe a Bathurst class Corvette. On 15 Nov 1942 he was granted a Good Conduct Badge and reclassified as an ERA III (Engine Room Artificer Class 3). On 1 Jan 1943 the Latrobe relocated to Magnetic Island, and on 19 Feb 1943 to Melville Island in the Northern Territory.

On 14 Aug 1943 Bill had returned to the HMAS Leeuwin in Fremantle as an interim Medical Report dated 16 Jul 1943 indicated that he was suffering with 'Anxiety Neurosis' and Nervous Exhaustion. This followed the attacks on HMAS Latrobe and perhaps built on anxiety caused during the earlier episode in Darwin. Granted a month's leave with reassessment on his return. On 7 Jan 1944 a Medical Board approved his discharge on medical grounds from 6 Feb 1944.

Post War

Electoral Roll entries: 1954 - 1980 at 154 Forrest street, East Fremantle, health inspector.


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