As I write this on June 18th, my father Lt. Ernest Anders Erickson, completed his 23rd mission
on June 18th, 1944 over Hanover, Germany. On June 20th, 1944 he would complete his 24th mission
over Fallersleben, Germany. He kept most things from his days in the Air Corps as a pilot with
the 95th Bomb Group. This photo captures a nice mix of my fatherís and my grandfatherís
(Frank Severin Erickson) Air Corps and American Expeditionary Force paraphernalia respectively.
Included items here are Ernestís 8th Air Corps - 95th BG - 334th Squadron, wings, pins, assorted
ribbons and coins. I include some of my grandfatherís collection, as he was the influence on both
my father and myself in collecting and holding onto important family items. Frank's pocket watch
and a pocket watch from his father, Anders, his World War I compass, a bullet inscribed
ďFrank Erickson Lost Battalion France 1918,Ē his hand-made hunting knife, assorted rounds
and casings are mixed in with my fatherís keep-sakes.
Of particular interest to me as a kid, are my fatherís two Indian arrowheads he found on the
plains where he grew up in Painted Woods, North Dakota, along the Missouri River. Next to
those are three pieces of flak he dug out from around his pilotís seat on the B-17, the
"Lily of the Lamplight," (44-6085). A sizable chunk of concrete from the air field at Horham
Air Field in England rounds out the photograph nicely.
Thanks to the generosity and kindness of my buddy, Jim "John" Barnes
(his dad, Lt. John Robert Barnes of the 95th Bomb Group flew as a navigator
with the 335th Squadron abroad the "Spirit of Martinez (44-6838). Also a big
thanks to James Mutton of the 95th in England in the added help with one
of contents of this photograph.