GOLDBERG, David Squadron Leader, No.417 Squadron, J4242 Distinguished Flying Cross RCAF Personnel Awards 1939-1949
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GOLDBERG, S/L David (J4242) - Distinguished Flying Cross - No.417 Squadron - Award effective 12 March 1945 as per London Gazette dated 20 March 1945 and AFRO 721/45 dated 27 April 1945. Born 20 March 1917 in Hamilton, Ontario (birth date on MI.9 report); home there. Educated at Boston University (College of Business, 1939) and served in COTC. Enlisted 20 July 1940 in Hamilton. To No.1 Manning Depot, 16 August 1940. To No.12 EFTS (non-flying duty), 12 October 1940; to No.2 ITS, 31 August 1940; graduated and promoted LAC, 12 October 1940; when posted to No.12 EFTS; graduated 10 December 1940 when posted to No.4 SFTS; graduated and promoted Sergeant, 21 February 1941; commissioned 22 February 1941. Attended Central Flying School, Trenton before going on to instruct at No.6 SFTS, Dunnville, 30 April 1941. Promoted Flying Officer, 22 February 1942. Promoted Flight Lieutenant, 1 June 1942. To “Y” Depot, 28 December 1942. To RAF overseas, 2 February 1943. Further trained at Ternhill; and No.57 OTU (Eshott); subsequently served with Nos. 416 and 403 Squadrons. Missing 8 March 1944; evaded capture and returned safely. Leave in Canada followed by posting “Y” Depot, 20 July 1944; taken on strength of No.3 PRC, 3 August 1944; promoted Squadron Leader, 12 November 1944 when in Italy, to command No.417 Squadron. Repatriated 7 August 1945. Retired 24 September 1945. On discharge attended Osgoode Law School; called to Ontario Bar in 1949. Appointed Queens Counsel, 1960. Also an RCAF Auxiliary officer, commanding the Wing at Hamilton; retired 1958 as Group Captain. Died in Hamilton, 19 September 2006 as per Legion Magazine of May/June 2007. RCAF photo PL-28757 (ex UK-10184 dated 1 May 1944) shows him. RCAF photo PL-45072 (ex UK-22639 dated 12 July 1945) is captioned as follows: “Squadron Leader Dave Goldberg, DFC of 28 Kent Street, Hamilton, Ontario is forcibly fed a Dagwood sandwich during the final social event of the City of Windsor Spitfire squadron, Canada’s crack fighter-bomber unit in the Mediterranean theatre. Guests of honour at the all-ranks party were the CO, S/L Goldberg and YMCA Supervisor W.L. Craig of 752 Adelaide Street, London, Ontario.” RCAF photo PL-60347 (ex UK-19993 dated 6 April 1945) taken as Commanding Officer of No.417 Squadron. Photo PL-60682 (ex UK-21966 dated 7 June 1945) shows him taking a water taxi in Venice on a date. PL-60683 (ex UK-21967) shows him as his attractive date points out sights of the Lido beach resort (weed grown and deserted since the Germans fortified it). PL-60685 (ex UK-21999 dated 7 June 1945) shows several members of No.417 Squadron with their dates for a day, starting a water taxi tour in Venice; clockwise, from 7 o’clock to 5 o’clock they are F/O D.J. Love (Winnipeg), F/O B.F. Johnston (Montreal), F/O Al Marshall (Peterborough), F/L L.J. Doucet (Vancouver, adjutant), F/O D.W. Lambie (Montreal), F/L R.W. Nickerson (Moncton), S/L Dave Goldberg (Windsor, Ontario) and F/O C.E. “Chuck” Holdway (Montreal). PL-60741 (ex UK-21528 dated 19 May 1945) shows Mr. P.S. Conroy (Chief Executive Assistant to Minister of National Defence for Air) visiting No.417 Squadron, talking to S/L Dave Goldberg and S/L W.J. Murphy (Windsor and Toronto, Officer Commanding Rome Liaison Bureau of RCAF District Headquarters in Italy. PL-60742 shows Conroy and Goldberg. Squadron Leader Goldberg has completed many successful operations, a number of which have been low level attacks against ground targets. On several of these missions his aircraft has been damaged by anti-aircraft fire. He became flight and later squadron commander, in which capacities he displayed unfailing energy and efficiency. His enthusiasm and gallantry have done much to improve the operational effectiveness of the squadron. NOTE: Public Records Office Air 2/9150 has recommendation dated 27 January 1945 when he had flown 163 operational sorties (224 hours 55 minutes) including 85 sorties (94 hours 35 minutes) on the present tour; total career flying hours were 1,675. Squadron Leader Goldberg commenced operations in Northwestern Europe in June 1943. Between then and March 1944 he was continuously engaged on offensive operations, completing 80 sorties and 132:25 hours operational flying. Many of these sorties were low level attacks against ground targets, and Squadron leader Goldberg was several times hit by flak. On the 8th of March 1944 he was shot down by flak and crashed in enemy territory. Despite the fact that his aircraft caught fire and turned over, he evaded capture, reaching Gibraltar two months later. On 27th August 1944 he joined No.417 Squadron, was quickly given command of a flight, and later, in November, took command of the squadron. During his 3 ½ months service with this Wing [No.244 Wing, Desert Air Force] he has shown outstanding courage and skill as a fighter-bomber leader. He took command of the squadron at a time when it was very deficient of experienced leaders, and by his magnificent example, enthusiasm, gallantry and cheerfulness has kept the squadron operational record on the top line. He has personally completed 78 fighter-bomber sorties since August, practically always in the face of considerable flak opposition, which, in spite of his previous bad experience, he cooly ignores in pressing home his attack. I strongly recommend Squadron Leader Goldberg for the non-immediate award of the Distinguished Flying Cross. FURTHER NOTE: In January 1997 the Royal Air Forces Escaping Society (Canadian Branch) presented to the National Aviation Museum a "dossier" (actually more like an album) with extended autobiographical notes on members (catalogued in the museum as D.805 C3 L96 1995 NMM). This included much information on Goldberg, including the following excerpts: Shot down by ground flak while engaged in low flying sortie over airport near St.Andre, France. Crash landed and fortunately evaded capture by German troops ostensibly sent out to find me. After a few days made contact with French civilians who put me in touch with the underground and after moving from place to place in the country was finally taken to Paris where I met up with Gord Crosby (a Typhoon pilot who had been shot down prior to me). After spending a few weeks in Paris we joined up with five other aircrew and travelled by train to Toulouse where he stayed for about ten days in the foothills of the Pyrenees. We started out on out trip across the Pyrenees with a larger group of assorted persons trying to get back to the UK. The trip was aggravated by bad weather and a guide who disappeared after going off for assistance. With the aid of a lad assisting our guide seven of us decided to move on after having been driven into a cave by bad weather, lack of food and many of our party being in extremely bad shape since a number of them were on their second trip over the Pyrenees after having been ambushed on a previous try with some having been on the loose for up to nine months. We were lucky and made arrangements to contact the British consulate in Barcelona and after a week in Barcelona we were taken to the British embassy in Madrid from where we were taken to Gibraltar and subsequently flew back to England. Public Record Office WO 208/3319 has MI.9 report based on interview of 6 May 1944. I was pilot of a Spitfire aircraft which left Friston on 8 March 1944 at 1600 hours to carry out a lowlevel sweep near Paris. On the outward journey when somewhere south of Evreux (Northwest Europe, 1:250,000, Sheet 7, R 16) I was hot by flak and tried to crash-land, but crashed about three kilometres southwest of Champigny-la-Futelaye ( R 2850) at about 1630 hours. I found myself in the aircraft upside down. I managed to get out, but had to leave my parachute and harness in the machine, which was smouldering. I immediately started to run towards a clearing, throwing off my Mae West into the trees. I went in a northerly direction, gradually heading west until I reached a forest. As I saw some Germans in the neighbourhood, I decided to lie in a ditch until dusk. I actually stayed until 2200 hours. I then started to move west, and walked until 0530 hours (9 March) when I again lay low in a forest, in which I stayed until 2130 hours. I then continued for another hour, when I saw a farmhouse and, having looked into the window, decided to enter and make my identity known. I was given food and shelter for the night. My host went out and returned in a couple of fours looking pleased with himself, but told me nothing that night. I was kept here and given food and shelter all next day (10 March), and at about 1800 hours four men turned up. From this point my journey was arranged for me.