Member # 722
Warren H. Berg, 92, died Monday, June 18, 2012 at Santa Marta Retirement Community in Olathe, KS. He leaves his wife of 66 years, Genevieve Fitzgerald Berg, of Olathe; daughter Melissa Harmon (Stephen) of Overland Park; daughter Catherine Frohman of Mequon, WI.; grandchildren, David and Elizabeth Harmon and Stephanie and Sean Frohman; and the large and loving families of his two late brothers, Donald and Kenneth Berg.
Warren was born Nov. 12, 1919, in New Ulm, MN, to Laura Sturm Berg and Edward J. Berg. He grew up in North Mankato, MN. In 1941, he graduated from Mankato State Teachers' College (now Minnesota State University-Mankato) with a bachelor's degree in education, intending to become a college professor. He completed a year of graduate work at the University of Minnesota, but World War II then dramatically altered his career plans.
He enlisted in the U.S. Army Air Corps (now U.S. Air Force) and was called to active duty in November 1942. Warren graduated at the top of his Navigator Training School class at Mather Field in Sacramento, CA, in 1943 and was assigned to the Eighth Air Force, 96th Bomb Group, at Snetterton Heath, England. After 30 bombing missions over Europe, the crew of his B-17, The Reluctant Dragon, developed a reputation for being lucky. The 11 other crews that had reported for combat duty at the same time had been shot down.
Warren and his crew mates signed up for a second tour, eventually leading as many as 1,000 B-17s and B-24s to German targets. But their luck ran out on mission No. 36 on Jan. 13, 1945. They were shot down over Bischofsheim, Germany. Six of 10 crew members bailed out at 24,000 feet and survived, but they were taken prisoner.
On April 29, 1945, Gen. George Patton and his Third Army liberated Stalag 7A near Moosburg, and soon 1st Lieutenant Berg was headed home. He was promoted to Captain and awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross and the Air Medal with six Oak-Leaf Clusters. The experiences of his B-17 crew are among those recounted in the book 'D-Day Bombers: The Veterans' Story' by Stephen Darlow.
Later that year, Warren began a 38- year career with Trans World Airlines in Kansas City when he was hired as a navigation instructor.
He and Genevieve, who he had known since high school, married on April 27, 1946, and spent almost all their married life in Kansas City, North. Warren retired in 1983 as Director of Flight Operations Ground Training for all TWA pilots and flight engineers. He also had supervised the safety training of flight attendants. His various administrative positions over the years necessitated considerable world travel.
He served on the training committee of the International Air Transport Association, wrote numerous training manuals used in the airline industry and audited training procedures for Ethiopian and Saudi Arabian airlines. Upon his retirement, he was honored as a leader in airline training by the Boeing Aircraft Flight Crew Training Center and Delta, American and United Airlines.
In retirement, he maintained strong ties with several former TWA co- workers, who spent monthly lunches reminiscing about the good old days at TWA. He also was a member of the Heart of America Ex-POW Chapter.
Warren was an Eagle Scout and a Scoutmaster. He served on church boards at three different Kansas City, North, parishes: St. Charles, St. Gabriel's and St. Therese. He also served as board chairman at St. Pius X High School, where his wife taught and his two daughters attended. He received the Giuseppe Sarto Award in recognition of outstanding service to the school.
Rest in Peace, Captain Berg
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