Charles Berry was born and raised in Lorain, Ohio. After graduating from high school, he joined the Marine Corps in October 1941. Berry went through parachute training, and after receiving his jump wings he joined the 1st Parachute Battalion. After fighting on Bougainville, Berry returned to the United States, where he was assigned to the 5th Marine Division.
Berry landed on Iwo Jima with the First Battalion, Twenty-Sixth Marines on February 19, 1945, as a member of a machine gun crew. On the 13th day of fierce fighting, Berry and his crew were overrun by a Japanese attack just after midnight on March 3. During the fight, Berry sacrificed himself to save his fellow Marines when he threw himself on a grenade. Corporal Charles Berry was 21 years old.