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.
One of the earliest portraits of my father, Ernest Anders Erickson, when he was a Cadet training to be a pilot at Kelly Field (Aviation Cadet Center) in late 1942.
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. 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 graduated from Blackland Airfield and received his wings and became a B-17 pilot. After one unsuccessful flight over North Atlantic route in 1943 heading to the UK, Lt. Erickson landed in Scotland in January of 1944. He was eventually stationed at Horham Airfield in England with the 95th Bomb Group (Heavy) and the 334th Squadron.
Lt. Erickson and the crew flew thirty five missions aboard twelve different B-17s between March 31st and August 26th, 1944. Afterwards he put in a transfer to fly the B-29 Super Fortress in September and awaited word at Horham.
In the mean time he test flew repaired and new B-17s until early October of 1944. By late September my father had received orders to head home, and on October 2nd, 1944 he landed in Bismarck to visit his very relieved family. Lt. Erickson still awaited his orders on what his next assignment was to be.
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