Units : 453rd Bomb Squadron 323rd, Bomb Group, 9th Air Force
United States Army Air Corp T-139-263
Rank - Flight Officer B-26 B-17 A-20-K Bombers, Communications Officer
David G. Schulenberg,
U.S. Army Air Corp
Navigator 1034, B 26 Heavy Bomber, B-17 Heavy Bomber, A-20-K Reconnaissance
Decorations Citations - American Campaign Medal, European African Middle East Campaign Medal, Army of Occupation Medal, World War Good Conduct Medal, National Defense
Training Facilities - Basic training Miami Beach, Fla., Oct. 31 to Dec. 6, 1943; Syracuse University - Dec. 6, 1943 to May 20, 1944; Maxwell Field, Ala. (pre-flight), May 20, 1944 to Sept. 2, 1944; Selman Field, La., Navigation School, Sept. 2, 1944 to Dec. 23, 1944
Completed Flight Navigation School Dec. 23, 1944 at Selman Field, Monroe, La.
Received Flight Officer rank Dec. 23, 1944.
First contact with the enemy on April 11, 1945 over Bernburg, Germany. He took heavy enemy anti-aircraft flack.
TAOR (total area operational responsibility) - England, Valenciennes, France; Maastricht Holland; Rosieres, France; Chelveston, England; St. Trond, Belgium; Lechfeld, Germany; Tripoli, North Africa.
Bombing Missions Registered - Bernburg April 11, B-26; Gunzenhausen April 16, B-26; Kempten April 16, A-20-K; Magdeburg April 18, A-20-K; Nordlingen April 20, B-26; Erding April 25, B-26
Embarked from Port Miles Standish, Boston, Mass. on March 6,1945. Then on the USS Mount Vernon sailed to Liverpool, England. Then it proceeded to Bremerhaven, Germany. Then on July 25, 1946 sailed the USS Pomona victory to New York Staten Island.
Married Marilynn (Long) at her parents' home located at 200 Franklin Ave. Dunkirk.
Children: Sandra Wollert, husband Larry; Carol Hood and husband Jack.
Grandchildren: Larry Wollert II, Lynette Hodgden, Jessica (Nelson) Wendzel and Amanda (Nelson).
Great Grandchildren: Tristan Hodgden, Blythe Hodgden, Alyssa Wendzel, Tyler Wendzel.
David G. Schulenberg was born in Dunkirk on Dec. 14, 1920, to William and Gladys (Dean) Schulenberg. His first homestead was 228 King St. He lived with his brothers Frank and Robert and his sister Dolores (Heath).
The family stayed close to each other always enjoying each other's company and loved playing cards. With the neighbors being so close and friendly many times in the summer months the families would get together and party all weekend.
The children would run and play while the adults played cards. David's father, William, worked as an engineer on the Dunkirk Alleghany Valley Railroad. The railroad ran from Dunkirk to Titusville, Pa. with the main line going from New York City to Cleveland, Ohio.
While growing up as a child on King Street, David attended elementary school at Dunkirk's old School 3.
At his elementary school, the years seemed like they would never end.
Schulenberg enjoyed hanging out with the local kids and doing whatever the nights would bring. While attending Dunkirk High School, David was looking for excitement in his last four years of high school. He found it by joining the stamp club, drama club, English club and the business club. David's tall and skinny stature made him a standout track star and earned him the nickname Lank. David was undefeated in the 1/2 mile in 1938 and continued until the later months of 1939. During his junior year, the Olympics were being boycotted because of Germany's world activities. The U.S. Olympic Team was touring the country and putting demonstrations on at local high school facilities. When Cardinal Mindszenty Field was chosen for a demonstration of America's best, David, being our area's standout, was invited to participate in the run, one of the highlights of his life.
With school over, David landed work as a clerk in a corner store on King and Doughty streets. Next came jobs working with the local dairies delivering milk for NS Briggs and Sons. David later claimed it was because he was one of the few in our area that actually received a valid driver's license. Later Schulenberg landed a position with the New York Central Railroad.
In 1942 he decided to apply and enlist in the U.S. Navy as a cadet. He took the bus to the induction center in Buffalo. He passed all the tests that were required, but at the end of the day was given the bad news.
The bad news was that the Navy was over its quota of the number of cadet applications it could retain. Schulenberg was told to go back home and retry. This rejection hit him hard and his hopes and plans to be a cadet were now on hold or possibly gone for good. Upon returning home David and Marilynn decided to get married on Feb. 12, 1942.
On Sept. 27, 1943, he enlisted in the Army Air Corp and was given the chance to be assigned to the B-26 bomber group as a cadet and communications flight officer. While away on duty for his country David's wife, Marilynn stayed in Buffalo until he returned from the war in 1946.
His new home was now on 20 Franklin Ave. in Dunkirk, the upper apartment above his parents. He returned to work at the (DAV) Dunkirk Alleghany Valley Railroad during the winter months. In the summer he worked on New York Central's Main Line from Buffalo to Cleveland. The new duties given this war hero were brakeman with a later promotion to conductor, a job David held from 1946 to 1980. Retirement came and he built a new home on Bucknor Street.
With retirement came golf, square dancing, and horseshoes in which Schulenberg became quite a champ. In 1980, the Schulenbergs became snowbirds and in the winter months enjoyed the nice, sunny Sarasota days. They enjoyed walking out to the driveway to get the morning paper, doing yardwork, and growing the best roses around.
The Schulenbergs also loved camping in the warmer months. He was a charter member of the grape bunch camping club, a 63-year member of the American Legion and a member of the Lakeside Club.
Schulenberg was another kid from Dunkirk who grew up and played in his youth along the DAV railroad.
He used makeshift ball fields and played games in the streets. All while still too young to worry about work and the big war that most felt was the war to end all wars, with never any chance of any more wars demanding America's young men to fight again.
Being still too young to land a man's job and be an adult all came to a halt with World War II coming that December day on an island in Hawaii named Oahu.
Little did Schulenberg know that he would go from delivering milk one day to delivering 500-pound bombs over Germany in a world war. Yet, he did and he did it well.
Six combat missions in the B-17 and B-26 bomber. Missions that recorded enemy hits and craft receiving extensive enemy flack.
New men train for war, they learn fast and they learn right. They at times learn so well that they can do their job in their sleep. Then, when the time comes, they do their jobs in a war that could never compare to what they trained for.
These servicemen learned and learned well, they did and did well, then on that one day after they declared the war over, these men like David were told to go home. Going home and on with their lives as if nothing had happened.
And that's what David did. He came home, and was blessed to still have sister Dolores who also proudly served in the Navy as a Yeoman, and brother Frank who spent time in the Pacific. Frank landed on Okinawa as a communications man and brother Robert who later served in Korea as a gunner on a B-29 and survived wounds received in combat Dec. 6, 1950.
Schulenberg went to work.
He raised his family and retired. David Schulenberg is a hero.
His is another story that needs to be told to let people know what it took to make America the country we are today.
David Schulenberg is our hero of the week.
- This story was related to John Fedyszyn by Mr. Schulenberg's two daughters.