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A Twist of Fate Leads Berger to Early Role in Space Program
BY LARRY TEITELBAUM
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For a brief time 61 years ago, the Honorable Harold Berger EE48 L51, a former judge on the Court of Common Pleas of Philadelphia led a life swathed in secrecy.

Berger, senior partner and managing principal of Berger and Montague in Philadelphia, tested the V2 rockets that were used as boosters in the infancy of the U.S. space program. A member of a special Army unit of engineers and physicists who worked with German scientist and future NASA official Werhner von Braun, Berger monitored the trajectory and path of these missiles fired on the White Sands Proving Grounds in New Mexico.

Only the intrusion of fate, however, allowed Berger to participate in the top secret program in 1945. His unit was sent to fight in the infamous Battle of the Bulge. Right before he was to join them, Berger contracted a near-fatal case of spinal meningitis during the latter stages of basic training at Camp Blanding in Florida.
 
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