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From a Wisconsin dairy farm to the battlefields of World War II from starting a small post-war business to running an international company Ken Dahlberg's life follows the arc of the "Greatest Generation." He milked cows and shot squirrels as a kid joined the Army Air Corps at 24 flew cover for the D-Day invasion of Normandy and shot down 15 German planes to become one of America's few triple aces. He also was shot down three times escaped twice and ended the war in a POW camp in Moosburg Germany.
The French couple whose estate he parachuted into the first time he was shot down called him "a charming American aviator." They fêted him in liberated Paris and went on to become life-long friends. The tank driver who rescued him the second time reappeared in his life in most unusual circumstances during the Watergate years.
He returned from the war to start a career in the electronics industry that would lead to the founding of the Miracle Ear hearing aid company. A devotee of capitalism and the free-enterprise system he is the epitome of the successful entrepreneur. But he says "you have to have a little luck too."
The stories he tells in One Step Forward with the help of writers Al Zdon and Warren Mack capture the drive--and the luck--behind this quintessentially American life.
Al Zdon is a Minnesota writer and newspaper editor. The author of War Stories Accounts of Minnesotans Who Defended Their Nation he is working on a book about the life of Minnesota pioneer editor and Civil War hero William Colvill. Zdon has his BA in Journalism and his MA in Liberal Studies from the University of Minnesota. He is the editor of the Minnesota Legionnaire newspaper. He presently serves on the Minnesota News Council.
Mr. Zdon lives in Moundsview MN.
"This book is outstanding coverage of a pilot who is a very good friend of mine - very outstanding book." - Chuck Yeager Brig. Gen. USAF (ret.) Chairman General Chuck Yeager Foundation www.chuckyeager.com
"One Step Forward presents a remarkable portrait of a Minnesotan who became an American hero. I think of Ken as the protagonist of the Greatest Generation. This book gives us authentic insight into one man's life as he was shaped by monumental events and contributed to the transformation of American life in the 20th century." - Nina Archabal Director Minnesota Historical Society
"Ken Dahlberg is one of the most remarkable people I've ever known. From his humble beginnings to WW II flying ace to entrepreneur extraordinaire his is an amazing story and an inspiration to readers to pursue the American dream." - Harvey Mackay author of the New York Times #1 bestseller Swim With The Sharks Without Being Eaten Alive
"I finished One Step Forward today and was awed. Ken's commitment to the core values of trust and honesty and his combination of courage ideas and dreams have led him to be a successful entrepreneur as well as a wonderful man. He is a remarkable person who may be measured by both his deeds and his years - a life well lived." - Bonnie Dunbar President & CEO The Museum of Flight and retired astronaut
"Reading One Step Forward is like taking a walk through a true American dream. To read this book is to understand all that is good about America." - Bob MacDonald author and founder of LifeUSA