Christopher George Newberger, a retired Irvington postman and decorated World War II bombardier, died of congestive heart failure Sunday at Brightview Assisted Living in Catonsville. The Woodlawn resident was 87.
Born in Baltimore and raised on Monastery Avenue, he was a 1934 graduate of City College.
He was an inventory worker for the old Montgomery Ward mail-order house on Washington Boulevard before enlisting in 1943 in the Army Air Forces. He logged more than 700 hours of flying time over enemy lands in World War II.
A first lieutenant with the 738th bomb squadron, he took part in raids on the Munich Motor Works, the Ploesti Oil Fields in eastern Romania and the Latisana railroad bridge in Italy. He served under the command of Barry Goldwater, later a U.S. senator from Arizona and Republican presidential candidate.
Mr. Newberger, who later went into the Army Reserves and attained the rank of captain, was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross and Distinguished Unit Badge.
After the war, he became a letter carrier and walked an Irvington route until his 1977 retirement. He also flew his Piper Cub from the old Rutherford Field at Windsor Mill and Rolling roads - a site that is now an industrial park.
"He was known as the cigar-smoking mailman," said a son, Joseph J. Newberger of New Freedom, Pa. "He smoked Uncle Willies and King Edwards. He was known all over Southwest Baltimore."
Plans for a funeral Mass were incomplete.
Survivors also include his wife of 54 years, the former Dorothy Loretta Sarsitis, a retired nurse; four other sons, William Newberger of Owings Mills, Timothy A. Newberger of Nyack, N.Y., Thomas J. Newberger of Glen Burnie and James E. Newberger of Bristow, Va.; four daughters, Barbara McGraw of Warfordsburg, Pa., Helen Streett of Clinton Township, Mich., Mary E. Newberger of Catonsville and Kathy M. Roberts of Indianapolis; and 15 grandchildren.
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