Corps family values

The Battle of Cassino Pass, the first large-scale battle of World War II between the U.S. Army and the German Army, began on a miserably cold, rain-soaked Friday in February 1943.
As Germans advanced, Lt. Jerry Berry, a platoon leader in the 19th Engineer Regiment Combat, and his men – armed with dump trucks and engineering equipment – faced the daunting task of holding back the German forces, led by Gen. Erwin Rommel.


The horrendous three-day battle in Tunisia left the 19th Engineers with 128 casualties, including Berry’s driver, Pvt. Clarence O. Fulton, who lost his life as he manned a 50-caliber machine gun in a foxhole on the line with Berry. Berry went on to serve in major battles in Sicily and Italy, and was wounded at the Battle of Monte Casino.

“I had a deep belief in our country, freedoms we had, and I felt an obligation to do my part.&#8221

Like many veterans of World War II, Berry, CE’49, didn’t share war stories or his photograph collection with his family when he returned home. He stayed in the Army Reserves for more than 20 years before retiring with the rank of major. But it took an additional 35 years for his son, Bob Berry, CE’72, to convince him to share some of those memories. Bob Berry completed the final draft of Crossings, a book detailing his father’s life, shortly before Jerry Berry died in 2005.
“As he would tell me the stories, several really got to him and he would tear up,” Bob Berry recalls. “The 19th Engineer Regiment Combat enabled the U.S. Army to cross minefields, rivers, mountains and deserts all while fighting as infantry when the need arose. Fifty-nine soldiers of the 19th died along the way, including four
of his close friends.”
Growing up, Bob Berry remembers seeing his father go one weekend a month to Reserve meetings or spending a family vacation with his father’s unit for “summer camp.”
“One of my most vivid memories as a kid was going to the Officer’s Club at Fort Leonard Wood on special occasions,” he says. “I not only got a kick out of seeing Army trainees in action, but the best part was eating the biggest hamburgers I’d ever seen. But still, there were no war stories.”
Jerry Berry didn’t need to talk about his military experiences to instill a sense of duty in his son. When Bob graduated high school in 1967, the Vietnam War was on everyone’s mind, including his own.
“I had a deep belief in our country, freedoms we had, and I felt an obligation to do my part,” explains Bob Berry. “I went to ROTC for the first two years of school at Rolla and decided to go all the way with it.”
After four years of military service stationed with an engineer battalion in West Germany, Bob Berry joined Burns & McDonnell as a project engineer and manager, eventually retiring as vice president and general manager for the company’s St. Louis operations. But his military way of life never fully left him.
“There are a lot of lessons you’re taught in the military that you still abide by in business. You have to react pretty fast and follow your chain of command. And when the general tells you to tell others to dig latrines, you take yourself and go dig latrines.”

Around the Puck

“Forged in Gold: Missouri S&T’s First 150 Years”

In the 1870s, Rolla seemed an unlikely location for a new college. There were only about 1,400 residents in a community with more saloons than houses of worship. There were no paved streets, sewers or water mains. To visitors, there seemed to be as many dogs, hogs, horses, ducks and geese as humans walking the dusty streets.

[Read More...]

By the numbers: Fall/Winter 2019

[Read More...]

Bringing clean water to South America

Assessing water quality, surveying mountaintop locations and building systems to catch rainwater — that’s how members of S&T’s chapter of Engineers Without Borders spent their summer break.

[Read More...]

Geothermal goals exceeded

After five years of operation, Missouri S&T’s geothermal energy system continues to outperform expectations. S&T facilities operations staff originally predicted the geothermal system would reduce campus water usage by over 10% — roughly 10 million gallons per year. The system, which went online in May 2014, cut actual water usage by 18 million to 20 […]

[Read More...]

What happens in Vegas…may appear in print

In his latest volume of Las Vegas lore, historian Larry Gragg says it was deliberate publicity strategies that changed the perception of Sin City from a regional tourist destination where one could legally gamble and access legalized prostitution just outside the city limits, to a family vacation spot filled with entertainment options and surrounded by […]

[Read More...]