After basic training at Camp Beale near Yuba City, California, Tech Sgt Raymond Berg was placed with the 93rd Cavalry Reconnaissance Squadron, attached the 13th Armored Division. His 900-strong unit arrived at Le Havre, France, in the fall of 1944. During the advance through Germany, Berg rode in an armored car as radio operator and gunner.
Sometime in early May 1945, he arrived at Berchtesgaden, where he removed the signalman’s flag from Hermann Göring’s abandoned train, and marked it “R.Berg”. The flag remains attached to its original cherry wood bracket. Berg also took a walk up to Hitler’s Berghof, where he snagged “a piece of marble from his staircase and a nozzle from his private firetruck.” His finds were later documented in a newspaper article, which his parents kept in a family scrapbook.
“I saw Hitler’s touring car, a big convertible sedan, the 101st Infantry has it now.”
The chunk of marble was separated from the group some years back, and now sits in the garden of Berg’s old house. Berg passed away on October 10, 2009 in Benton, LA.