Russell Allen Berg

media-25359.jpeg UPL 25359 Col Russell Berg - Commanding Officer 10th PRG Furth Germany 1945
Standing next to his newly acquired Benz staff car Val Svoboda

Val Svoboda Collection

Object Number - UPL 25359 - Col Russell Berg - Commanding Officer 10th PRG Furth Germany 1945 Standing next to his newly acquired Benz staff car

Russell Berg served as a Spitfire pilot with No. 610 Squadron before joining the 10th Photo Recon Group. He became the group's Commanding Officer on 20 June 1944, at age 27

In Germany, he met Val Svoboda, a Latvian who was working as a house keeper for the 10th PRG while they were stationed at Furth Airfield near Nuremberg.[connection unknown]

Berg stayed in the Air Force after the war and commanded the 67th Tactical Reconnaissance Wing during the Korean War. He flew 52 combat missions in jet reconnaissance aircraft and returned to the United States in August 1953 for headquarters duty.

In the later 50's, he was assigned to SHAPE [Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe] Nato, in Fontainbleau, France, for 3 years, just prior to NATO moving to Belgium.

Berg's career segued into a number of US space systems projects, based in California, including being a leader of the MOL [Manned Orbiting Laboratory] program which was cancelled by Congress in 1969 before launching its astronauts into space. Later, he was instrumental in the satellite reconnaissance program which took its place.

After his WW2 service in Europe, Berg spent well over 30 years more in the USAF, his experience and career largely devoted to reconnaissance and keeping an 'eye in and on our skies'.


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Units served with


  • Aircraft Type: Spitfire
  • Unit: 67th Observation Group 12th Tactical Reconnaissance Squadron



Event Location Date Description


Chicago, IL, USA 6 January 1917


Retired from the US Air Force

1 August 1970


24 January 2002



San Antonio, TX, USA At the Fort Sam Houston National Cemetery


Date13 Dec 2021 02:14:21
ChangesChanges to middlename, service number and awards

NARA files verified LOM with 1 oak leaf cluster, DFC, BSM, AM with 7 oak leaf clusters (official bio reflects 8), yet BG Berg served 30 years and undoubtedly earned the ADSM, ACM, EAME with at least one bronze service star, WWII Victory Medal, Korean Service Medal, United Nations Service Medal for service in Korea, NDSM, and the AFLSA with 6 oak leaf clusters. His files reflect 0-25328 on the BSM and AM Cards, 0-235328 on the DFC Card, and 4376A on both LOM Cards. Both LOMs were awarded in the 1950s. His retirement documents would hopefully clarify all decorations and awards for his 30 years of service.

Date27 Jul 2019 19:37:33
ContributorMarilee Berg
ChangesChanges to biography

Russell Berg's daughter provided some additional information in his biography.

Date27 Jul 2019 19:35:46
ContributorMarilee Berg
ChangesChanges to nickname and biography

Additional information provided by Russell Berg's daughter.

Date16 Dec 2016 23:05:27
ChangesChanges to awards
Date13 Dec 2016 11:21:16
ContributorLucy May
ChangesCreated entry with surname, middlename, firstname, nationality, highest rank, role, biography, events, unit associations, place associations, aircraft associations and media associations

Russell Allen Berg: Gallery (7 items)