While working for General Motors
in the '30s,
Dave saved every cent to take flying lessons and buy his first airplane, a 40 HP Taylorcraft
. He enlisted in the U.S. Navy as an "old man" at age 30 in 1942. Already an experienced flying instructor, he was made a check pilot and instructor for the "90 day wonders" at Pensacola
(FL) early in the war. He figures he's flown 210 serial numbers of the Navy's N3N trainer
. He also flew Navy Transcontinental (mainly N.Y. - Oakland) DC-3
routes. Dave achieved the rank of Lieutenant Commander and worked as a test pilot before returning to civilian life in 1947.
Although born in Indiana, Dave moved to Wisconsin in 1914 (age 2), and has lived in Manawa since 1950, running his own hardware store until 1977. He still has his World War II flight logs and uniforms.
Dave and his friend, Norma Kennedy (a J-3 Cub
pilot), are regulars at 68C. Dave occasionally will wear his Navy uniform to airport gatherings (It still fits fine!).