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John A. Berry


Airman's Medal

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Awarded for actions during the Peace Time Awards

The President of the United States of America, authorized by Act of Congress, July 2, 1926, takes pleasure in presenting the Airman's Medal to Senior Airman John A. Berry, United States Air Force, for heroism involving voluntary risk of life on Via Domitiana, kilometer marker 37, near Parco Perna, Pinetamare, Italy, on 27 May 1995. On that day, Airman Berry without hesitation and with total disregard for his own personal safety, freed a United States Navy Petty Officer who was trapped in her burning vehicle as a result of a serious traffic accident. Arriving at the scene, Airman Berry immediately assessed the situation, and took control of the rescue effort. Using physical strength alone, and after repeated attempts, he managed to release her jammed seatbelt mechanism and then free her trapped left leg. Minutes after helping her to safety, the vehicle exploded showering the immediate area with flaming debris injuring several Naval Support Activity security personnel who were assisting. Airman Berry then rendered aid to those suffering blast injuries. By his selfless act of courage, Airman Berry saved the drive, bystanders, and himself from serious injury and possible death. The exemplary courage and heroism displayed by Airman Berry reflect great credit upon himself and the United States Air Force.

General Orders: Department of the Air Force, Special Orders GB-884 (August 16, 1996)

Action Date: May 27, 1995

Service: Air Force

Rank: Senior Airman