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Autobiographical Sketch of Ora Berkman (1890)
V.c.2. Arie (Ora) Berkman     zoon van V.c.
* Oost-en West-Barendrecht NL 9-19-1890.
X (1e mar.) 1920 Hallie SWANK * 1900 Cheney KS † 6-15-1929.
X (2e mar.) 1934 Mildred CROSBY.

Moved from Ind. to Chicago in 1915 then traveled west to Colorado where he worked as a cowboy on ranches around Parker Colorado.

Enlisted in 4th Division Engineers, US Army April 1917. Saw Foreign Service from 1917 t0 1918. He was gassed in Argonne Forest -near Verdun France- and was discharged in 1919.
Fourth, 4th Division (Regulars)
Nickname: Ivy Division
- 39th, 47th, 58th, 59th Infantry (Inf.)
- 13th, 16th, 77th Artillery (Art.)
- 10th, 11th, 12th Machine Gun (M. G.)
- 4th Engineers (Eng.) Major Generals Commanding: John L. Hines, M. L. Hersey.
Engaged: Chateau Thierry, Ourcq Heights, Vesle, Argonne, Rhine.

Shoulder Sleeve Insignia
Description: On a light khaki square with one angle up, four green ivy leaves arranged per cross issuing from a small open circle (one leaf in each angle of the square and the vertical and horizontal axes) all within a light khaki border.
Symbolism: The four leaves allude to the numerical designation of the division, while the word "Ivy" as pronounced suggests the characters used in the formation of the Roman numeral "IV." Ivy leaves are symbolic of fidelity and tenacity.


 Click to view enlarged images.

Returned to Colorado in 1920 where he met and married Hallie Swank.

Moved back to Goshen Indiana in 1926 because of economic conditions. Lived in and around Indiana and Michigan from 1926 until his wife died in 1929.

In as much he was a member of the Veterans of Foreigh War, he was to able to have his children entered into the Veterans of Foreign Wars National Home at Eaton Rapids Michigan in 1929. He worked at the VFW National Home as a farm hand during 1929 and 1930.

During the later part of 1930 or first part of 1931 he moved back to Colorado where he worked at different ranches around Parker and Castlerock Area. This continued until 1934 when he married Milfred Crosby from Denver. The purchased a farm home in the Castlewood area, which is east of Englewood, Colorado.

Starting in 1934 through the depression years he worked for the WPA (Works Project Administration) wich was initated to give employment to the unemployed at that time.

In 1938 he bought his 5 children from the VFW National Home to live with him.
From 1938 through 1943 he proudle saw for of his five children volunteer for the Armed Forces, wich was participating in the Second World War.

During the years 1944 and 1945 he worked for Arapahoe County Public Works Department in Colorado. Several times during this period he was hospitalized in Fitzimmons General Hospital wich a section for Veterans.

It was at the hospital he died in December of 1945 at the age of 53 from heart condition. He now lies at rest in the Veterans Portion of Fairmont Cementry in Denver, Colorado.

Although he never a great mark in life and his name never appear in the Annals of great men, he was proud to be an American and loved his adopted country.

Hans and Adrie Berkman (VII.c.) with their son Kuindert visited the Memorial American de Romagne sous Montfaucon
Meuse Argonne in October 2006.

                  This monument, a 180 foot high Greek column surmounted by a figure representing Liberty, is the largest of the US war memorials in Europe. It commemorates the victory of the US First Army in the Meuse-Argonne offensive of 26 September to 11 November 1918 and the actions of the French Army on this part of the front. The hill on which it is sited, Hill 336, overlooks the ground over which the Americans advanced, and was captured on 27 September 1918.
The memorial is maintained by the American Battle Monuments Commission who were not allowing access to the  observation platform on that day. It is surrounded  by the ruins of an ancient monastery and village. The Germans had  previously occupied and fortified the hill, and the remains of many bunkers can be seen in the ruins.

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