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
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.
A photograph of my father, Ernest Anders Erickson when he was a Cadet preparing for a flight with an instructor during his Primary Flight Training for the Air Corps. He is in the front seat of a P-19 on Curtis Field in Brady, Texas in April of 1943. Ernest would soon be soaring over the Texas flatlands.
After the Japanese Attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941, the need for pilots, bombardiers, and navigators resulted in the rapid expansion of the United States Army Air Corps and the Advanced Flying School at Kelly Airfield where Ernestwould next be training. Night flying was added to the school program and the amount of training time doubled.
Between January 1939 and March 1943, over 6,800 men graduated from Kelly’s Advanced Flying School and approximately 1,700 additional pilots graduated from various other courses in the Instructor's School. In order to house the rapidly growing pilot trainee population, a "tent city" sprang up as it had in World War I.
By the summer of 1942, there were four flying fields - Duncan, Kelly, Brooks and Stinson and flying became dangerous. Consequently, in March 1943, Kelly and Duncan were reunited under the name of Kelly Field.
Besides supplying the Air Corps with pilots, bombardiers and navigators, Kelly ground crew workers overhauled, repaired, modified aircraft and their engines.
My father eventually graduated from Blackland Airfield and received his wings and became a B-17 pilot. He would be stationed at Horham Airfield in England with the 95th Bomb Group. He flew thirty five missions over German occupied Europe with the 334th Squadron.
The 2nd image below, cut from one of Ernest's Air Corps manuals with his hand-written text. This sheet was placed in a letter dated September 1943 to his folks and accompanied by a dozen photographs of my father that were taken during his Flight Training.
A short note accompanied, wriiten on the sheet. Ernest writes: "This is the ship like I flew at Primary, the same kind as one in enclosed pictures. Ernie"
Below is also a photograph where one can see a line of P-19s at Kelly Field in Texas. The P-19 was the first plane my father ever flew solo aboard. The blue and yellow, a beautiful visual stand-out image against the blue sky above.
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