Personal Histories

Robert T. Berling TM2/c

Bob Berling was born in Connersville, Indiana January 18, 1922. He moved to Chicago and attended Holy Name Cathedral School. When old enough to work, he worked as a pest exterminator until the Pearl Harbor attack on 7 December 1941.

He enlisted in the Navy on 8 December 1941, the day after Pearl Harbor, and was sent to Great lakes Naval Training Center for “Boot Camp” and further training. Included in his training was Fleet Torpedo School, from which he was assigned to Destroyers.

He was a “Plank owner” on three Destroyers:
USS Isherwood (DD 520)
USS Glennon (DD 620)
USS Hadley (DD 774)

Bob wears the Purple Heart for wounds suffered on Hadley during a fierce air-sea battle at Okinawa on 11 May 1945. During the battle Hadley shot down 23 Japanese Kamikazes including the three that hit the Hadley, one with a 500lb bomb exploded beneath the ship, the combination of which all but sunk the HADLEY. For this record setting battle Hadley was awarded the Presidential Unit Citation, the ribbon for which all the crew members proudly wear.

Bob was sent back to the US on a Navy transport ship to enter the US Naval Hospital, Treasure Island, at San Francisco, CA. He received a Medical Discharge on 7 December 1945.

During a home leave he married “Ronnie” in September 1944, and at this writing , they have been married over 56 years Their children are : Linda (21 June 1946), Cheryl (10 January 1950), Robert (9 January 1952), and Patricia (6 December 1960). There are now ten grand children and five great-grandchildren.

In the years after the war Bob worked as a sheet metal mechanic for a heating and air conditioning company. He has been active in the Disabled American Veterans, and is a Past Commander of Chapter #28. Bob and “Ronnie” enjoy their retirement in Westford, MA.

Webmaster’s note: Bob passed on 3 May 01.