Class Of 1964 USAF Academy

Dave's History

Gone But Not Forgotten

DiefenbachSm.jpg Captain David E. Diefenbach, United States Air Force Academy Class of 1964, died in a test flight of a B-57 at Edwards AFB, CA on 23 June 1971. Dave was a favorite son of Anna, Illinois, where shops were closed, streets were lined with flags and the entire community mourned as “Dief” was laid to rest in Anna. Memorial services were held at the USAF Academy on 28 June 1971.

Although small in stature and humble in spirit, Dief was a true superstar. Six semesters on the Superintendent's List and a Distinguished Graduate, he married his hometown sweetheart, Barb Walton, and they set out for the stars with Dave's goal of being a test pilot and an astronaut. Graduating from pilot training a year later, he won the Daedalian Trophy as the top student of all 8 UPT bases in Class 66-B and got a coveted F-104 assignment to Eglin AFB, FL. He subsequently checked out in the F-100, went to Vietnam as a Misty FAC and then to England where he flew F-100s at RAF Woodbridge. Selected for the Test Pilot School at Edwards AFB, CA, Dief again graduated number one with a follow-on assignment as a test pilot at Edwards. The ultimate goal of being an astronaut was tragically cut short, but there is no doubt that Dief is in the stars of God's eternal heaven as he professed Jesus Christ as his Lord and Savior.

Barb returned to Anna with their only son, David, where she resides to this day at historic Walton Farm. A most gracious woman of great faith, she has borne more than her fair share of sorrows with the loss of her son David in a car accident in 1988.

(Kris Mineau, '64 classmate, UPT class mate, fellow fighter pilot and lifelong friend)
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