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David B Dahlberg


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 from 24 Dec 1944 to 8 Apr 1945. First mission Christmas Eve 1944, when the 487th BG led by Gen. Castle led the 8th AF in support of the Battle of the Bulge. Flew on 'Piccadilly Lily' (There is a photo of him standing in front of it and a crew photo) and "Queen of Hearts."

Air Medal with 5/Oak Leaf Cluster

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 was a Past President of the 8th AFHS-Mn.

Picadilly Lilley, #43-38044 - B-17 of the 837th Squadron
" "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. Dave said he personally never shot down another plane. 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" -Kevin Callahan


Units served with

  • 487th Bomb Group

    487th Bomb Group

    The 487th Bomb Group began operations as preparations for D-Day were reaching their crescendo and played their part by bombing airfields in northern France. Like the 486th Bomb Group, the 487th switched to B-17 Flying Fortress for missions from 1...

  • 837th Bomb Squadron


  • 43-38044 Piccadilly Lilley

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Cheyenne 19/6/44; Kearney 29/6/44; Dow Fd 13/7/44; Assigned 323BS/91BG [OR-L] Bassingbourn 13/7/44; transferred 837BS/487BG [4F-D] Lavenham 14/7/44; Missing in Action Chemnitz 6/2/45 with Cecil Parker, Tom Floyd, Leroy Enders, Floyd Pointon,...

Associated Place

  • Lavenham

    Military site : airfield
    Lavenham was built as a standard USAAF bomber airfield, with fifty hardstandings, T2 hangars and 2,000 and 1,400 feet runways. John Laing and Son Ltd. carried out the work in 1943, and the airfield opened in April 1944. The 487th Bomb Group occupied...


Event Location Date
Born Minnesota
Died 20 July 2011


Date Contributor Update
20 December 2014 12:34:15 call0031 Changes to biography

Date Contributor Update
20 December 2014 12:32:50 call0031 Changes to biography

Date Contributor Update
20 December 2014 12:31:21 call0031 Changes to nickname, biography and awards

Date Contributor Update
20 December 2014 12:25:43 call0031 Changes to biography

Date Contributor Update
20 December 2014 12:18:56 call0031 Changes to biography and place associations

Date Contributor Update
27 September 2014 18:06:59 AAM AAM ingest

Drawn from the records of the National Museum of the Mighty Eighth Air Force, Savannah, Georgia / Unit Roster / ,