Dave Dahlberg, B-17 (& B-24) Flight Engineer

David B. Dahlberg, T/Sgt., B-17G (& B-24) Flight Engineer & Top Turret Gunner, U.S. Army Air Forces, Eighth Air Force, 487th Bomb Group (H), 837th Squadron, ("Picadilly Lilley", #43-38044 and others) Station 137, Lavenham Airbase, Suffolk, UK. Flew 35 missions
Dave Dahlberg at the Feb. 9, 2011 8th AFHS-Mn Luncheon.
Knights of Columbus Hall, Bloomington, Mn. Photo: Kevin Callahan
(Above Photo may be freely reproduced)
An excerpt from Air Expo 2010 Heroes & Legends:
      "I wondered what combat would be like. On Christmas Eve 1944 I found out. General Castle was leading the Eighth Air Force from our group, the 487th Bomb Group. Germans attacked killing the General, shooting down 7 B-17's from our group and losing 13 fighters, German and American. Now I had an idea what the war was about. And I knew I had 34 more missions before I completed my tour. I was a flight engineer on B-24's, but when we arrived in England, we were changed over to B-17's. We went to all the major targets, including Berlin a couple of times. They didn't call us the "Lucky Bastards" for nothing. It was said you could only live through 14 missions, but that didn't help when you were going to fly 35."
Dave Dahlberg is a Past President of the 8th AFHS-Mn.
From the 487th Bomb Group website:
Picadilly Lilley, #43-38044 - B-17 of the 837th Squadron
T/Sgt David Dahlberg, Flight Engineer in photo.
The aircraft was lost 6-Feb-45
(photo taken by Elzylee Gibson)
Station 137 - Lavenham, Suffolk, UK
22-Sep-43 to 7-Nov-45
(Note: This Picadilly Lilley  is not the Piccadilly Lilly II featured in the
It had good airplane footage, especially of Piccadilly Lilly II.
From Norma Ley's donated table display prepared by high school students who interviewed Dave.
Dave is front row, second from the left. Source: 487th BG Website.
(Below) Photos of Dave at Air Expo 2011 on Sunday July 17, 2011.
(Photo: K. Callahan)
Liz Strohfus and Dave Dahlberg at the 8th AFHS-Mn booth at the Wings of the North's Air Expo 2011.
(Below) Dave at last year's Air Expo July 17, 2010
 "I talked to Dave at an 8th AFHS-Mn luncheon for about half an hour one time in early 2011. He usually sat at the next table directly in front of me and I always liked his flight jacket that he wore--the old one. He was a bit hard of hearing then, but his eyes lit up when he understood the question and he started talking. He had quite a good memory about the war. He said he went to something like 35 different bases when he was in the service, especially during training. He was a flight engineer and a top turret gunner. During training he caught pneumonia and this separated him from the original group he was training with and he went on a long odyssey to bases across the country after that. When he first arrived in England he had been trained on the B-24 and then had to switch over to the B-17. His first mission was on December 24th, 1944 and he went on 35 missions. On that first mission General Castle, who was killed, got a Medal of Honor, but Dave was suspicious if he deserved that medal and he thought the story sounded made up.  Dave said he personally never shot down another plane. He told me an interesting story about a bombardier who was elbowed and the bombs dropped --unintentionally. Being in the 8th AF, he was, of course, stationed in England but landed in France at an airfield once during a mission. He said there were no "milk runs" and people died even on the "milk runs."  He drew circles on the throwaway paper tablecloth to illustrate how the navigators tried to go around known flak batteries on their routes across France and Germany. Dave said his gunnery training was at Las Vegas Gunnery School in 1942. He had a good memory and I greatly enjoyed talking to him. He was like a 20 year old again when he got talking and he will be missed by his friends at the 8th AFHS-Mn luncheons. I asked if I could take his photo that day and the picture appears above as the first photo on the webpage. Sometime I would like to see the video interview that Jon Cermin did with Dave. He may also have talked to the WWII History RoundTable, which would be on DVD." -Kevin Callahan 
According to Dave's family, Dave passed away on the morning of Wednesday, July 20, 2011.
Dave's funeral will be on Monday, July 24, 2011 at 10:00am
 CrossPoint Church
9801 France Avenue South
Bloomington, MN 55431
Visitation will begin at 9am.
Lunch will be served at the church followed by an honor guard at Fort Snelling at 12:45pm
Star Tribune Obituary

Dahlberg, David B. Died peacefully at age 88, on July 20, 2011. Preceded in death by his loving wife, Marjorie, parents, four brothers and two sisters. In WWII Dave flew on 35 missions over Europe as flight engineer and top turret gunner in B-17's. Dave was very active the MN 8th Air Force Historical Society being its president from 1992-1994. He is survived by two sons, David and Paul (Beverly) Dahlberg; three grandchildren, Marybethe (Thomas) McArthur, Janette (Jeff) Smrcka, Rachel Dahlberg; six great-grandchildren; and brother, John Dahlberg, all of whom he loved dearly. Visitation Monday 9AM and Funeral 10AM at CrossPoint Church, 9801 France Ave So, Bloomington, MN 55431. Interment at Fort Snelling Cemetery. Memorials preferred to Mark Litysnski Benefit Fund c/o TCF Bank. Mark is a veteran who was disabled in the Afghanistan war.
Published in Star Tribune on July 24, 2011
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