m a r k e r i c k s o n p a i n t i n g s Lt. Ernest Anders Erickson Air Corps 1942 - 1945 Photographs * Articles * Letters
Click to view Lt. Ernest Anders Erickson's complete thirty five mission list and twelve B-17 Flying Fortresses flown between March 27th thru August 26th, 1944 out of Horham Airfield, England.Click to View Lt. Ernest Anders Erickson's Biography:
Time holds still in our memory, and if we pay attention, the days we spend with our families will provide stories we can hold onto from childhood through adulthood.
The life we lead reflects the lessons held in these memories. They push us forward-- legends in our minds which over time become truths upon which we rely, and upon which we base our life’s most important decisions. “When the legend becomes fact, print the legend,” suggested the newspaper reporter in the film “The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance,” one of my father's favorite westerns. We reflect on past adventures, even as they become part of our future. For my father, like most others of his generation, memories of his experiences in World War II formed the truths upon which he based the important decisions of his life. He shared many of these memories with me during his lifetime, and these shared memories have helped define my life, as they had my father’s.
Since his death in 2013, I have learned more about his wartime experiences piloting a B-17 bomber by looking through his memorabilia, reading about the experiences of his contemporaries, and corresponding with other researchers. The more I have learned, the more I have come to appreciate the extraordinary challenges he and his wartime companions faced, and the extraordinary courage they demonstrated.
My father, Ernest Anders Erickson-- known to his wartime buddies as “Lindy” and to his colleagues at Lockheed Aircraft as “E Squared” (E2), was born in Painted Woods, North Dakota. That place on the edge of the river in the Dakotas became a mythical land in my mind as I was growing up; a land filled with Indian lore and western cowboy tales. In my imagination I visited the Missouri plains both before and after Lewis and Clark journeyed into the land of the Arikara, Chippewa, Lakota and Dakota Sioux.
Raised on their family farm on the banks of the Missouri River, Ernest was the son of Swedish born parents-- my grandmother Clara Amelia (Nelson) and grandfather Frank Severin GustafErickson; and brother to my aunt Dian (Erickson) Boutrous.>
Ernest enjoyed fishing, hunting and living life outdoors. When my dad was fourteen, the family moved to Bismarck. Growing up during the Depression, Ernest watched the skies for airplanes as he walked home from school each day. He enjoyed going with his father Frank to see the barnstorming flyers who put on exhibitions in the area. His childhood hero was Charles Lindbergh, and he kept a keen eye on Lindbergh in the news. It was almost prophetic that he too would one day join the Army Air Corps.