Berkey, Russell Stanley, ADM

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Last Rank
Primary Unit
1950-1950, Commander Naval Forces Far East (COMNAVFE)
Service Years
1916 - 1950

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This Military Service Page was created/owned by Michael D. Withers (Mike), OSCS to remember Berkey, Russell Stanley, ADM.

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Contact Info
Home Town
Last Address
Tulsa, Okla.

Date of Passing
Sep 30, 1985
Location of Interment
Not Specified
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Awarded for actions during the World War II

The President of the United States of America takes pleasure in presenting the Navy Cross to Rear Admiral Russell Stanley Berkey (NSN: 0-9670), United States Navy, for extraordinary heroism and distinguished service in the line of his profession as Right Flank Commander, Allied Support Force, in action against enemy Japanese forces at Surigao Strait during the Battle for Leyte Gulf in the Philippine Islands on the night of 24 - 25 October 1944. On board the U.S.S. PHOENIX (CL-46), Rear Admiral Berkey led his ships against the enemy battle-line in a conspicuously heroic manner. By his courage and determination he gave encouragement to his force in a manner that caused his action to be largely instrumental in the success of a most difficult operation. This successful attack contributed in large measure to eliminating an imminent and dangerous threat to our transports and other ships in Leyte Gulf. Rear Admiral Berkey's high professional skill, forceful leadership, and gallant devotion to duty were in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service.
Service: Navy
Rank: Rear Admiral (Upper Half)
Commander 7th Fleet: Serial 13680 (December 7, 1944)

Awarded for actions during the World War II

The President of the United States of America takes pleasure in presenting the Legion of Merit with Combat "V" to Rear Admiral Russell Stanley Berkey (NSN: 0-9670), United States Navy, for exceptionally meritorious conduct in the performance of outstanding services to the Government of the United States as Commander Cruiser Division FIFTEEN in the Southwest Pacific Area from 6 December 1943 to 25 September 1944. Rear Admiral Berkey thoroughly trained officers and men assigned to his command. His foresighted planning and efficient maintenance of his force in a state of readiness enabled him to lead his ships in almost continuous operations against the enemy. He ably planned and directed the bombardment and fire support for the invasion of the Admiralty Islands on 29 February 1944. For a week afterward he bombarded the coast in support of our troops. By bombardment and fire support he neutralized the Japanese defenses for the occupation by our forces of Humboldt Bay and Tanahmerah Bay on 22 April 1944 and of Aitape on 23 April 1944. His planning and direction contributed greatly to the success of this important operation. Cruisers and destroyers under his command provided fire support for our landings at Wakde-Toem on 17 May 1944 and ten days later bombarded Biak in preparation for assault on that island. Following the Biak operation his force repelled day and night air attacks and drove off a group of enemy ships attempting to reinforce the enemy forces ashore. On 2 July 1944 he directed the bombardment of Noemfoor Island to assure the success of our landings. Rear Admiral Berkey ably advised and assisted in the planning and execution of the important amphibious assault on Morotai on 15 September 1944. During the entire period he planned and directed a great number of bombardments and anti-barge operations along the coast of New Guinea. Rear Admiral Berkey's excellent planning, skillful direction and inspiring leadership in the performance of duty were in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service. (Rear Admiral Berkey is authorized to wear the Combat "V".)
General Orders: Commander 7th Fleet: Serial 02621 (May 16, 1945)
Action Date: December 6, 1943 - September 25, 1944
Service: Navy
Rank: Rear Admiral
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World War II/Asiatic-Pacific Theater/Luzon Campaign (1944-45)
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On December 15, 1944, landings against minimal resistance were made on the southern beaches of the island of Mindoro, a key location in the planned Lingayen Gulf operations, in support of major landings scheduled on Luzon. On January 9, 1945, on the south shore of Lingayen Gulf on the western coast of Luzon, General Krueger's Sixth Army landed his first units. Almost 175,000 men followed across the twenty-mile (32 km) beachhead within a few days. With heavy air support, Army units pushed inland, taking Clark Field, 40 miles (64 km) northwest of Manila, in the last week of January.

Two more major landings followed, one to cut off the Bataan Peninsula, and another, that included a parachute drop, south of Manila. Pincers closed on the city and, on February 3, 1945, elements of the U.S. 1st Cavalry Division pushed into the northern outskirts of Manila and the 8th Cavalry Regiment (organized as infantry) passed through the northern suburbs and into the city itself.

As the advance on Manila continued from the north and the south, the Bataan Peninsula was rapidly secured. On February 16, paratroopers and amphibious units simultaneously assaulted the islet of Corregidor. It was necessary to take this stronghold because troops there can block the entrance of Manila Bay. The Americans needed to establish a major harbor base at Manila Bay to support the expected invasion of Japan, planned to begin on November 1, 1945. Resistance on Corregidor ended on February 27, and then all resistance by the Japanese Empire ceased on August 15, 1945, obviating the need for an invasion of the Japanese Home Islands.

Despite initial optimism, fighting in Manila was harsh. It took until March 3 to clear the city of all Japanese troops, and the Japanese Marines, who fought on stubbornly and refused to either surrender or to evacuate as the Japanese Army had done. Fort Drum, a fortified island in Manila Bay near Corregidor, held out until 13 April, when a team of Army troops went ashore and pumped 3,000 gallons of diesel fuel into the fort, then set off incendiary charges. No Japanese soldiers in Fort Drum survived the blast and fire.

In all, ten U.S. divisions and five independent regiments battled on Luzon, making it the largest American campaign of the Pacific war, involving more troops than the United States had used in North Africa, Italy, or southern France.
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  424 Also There at This Battle:
  • Albanesi, Thomas, PO1, (1943-1946)
  • Bagby, Henry Lawton, CAPT, (1941-1970)
  • Beckwith, John Edward, S1c, (1942-1945)
  • Block, Charles John, CPO, (1938-1945)
  • Bolmgren, Mary
  • Booth, Robert Douglas, PO2, (1943-1945)
  • Brewster, Donald, PO3, (1943-1946)
  • Campbell, Donald Christenberry, ENS, (1943-1945)
  • Coggins, Royal Joseph, S1c, (1942-1946)
  • Colvin, Victor Morgan, F1c, (1944-1945)
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