"SHOWDOWN OVER BERRIERE"
BY ROY GRINNELL
L/E of 1,250. Signed by Ken Dahlberg.
Size: 24" x 30"
American Fighter Aces
A flight of P-51s from the 353rd Fighter Squadron, operating out of Criqueville, France, was patrolling the skies over Berriere on 29 June, 1944. Newcomer 1st Lt. Kenneth Dahlberg was flying "Beantown Banshee", a P-51B "borrowed" from another 353rd pilot. Shortly after 1400 hours, they encountered a large number of yellow-nosed Focke-Wulf 190s. As the two formations meshed into one swirling mass of Mustangs and Focke-Wulfs, a '190 curved in on the tail of Dahlberg's flight leader. Dahlberg slid in behind the black-crossed figher and fired a burst that caused the German to break off. Dahlberg stayed with his opponent in a twisting, turning combat, each trying to maneuver into a position to get a hit as they spiralled down to almost treetop level. Finally Dahlberg scored a crucial burst and the Focke-Wulf dove into the ground. Lt. Dahlberg later described the German pilot as "my most formidable air opponent of the war".