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.
This three page letter was written by father, Lt. Ernest Anders Erickson on June 6th,1944 to his folks and four year old sister Dian (Dinny) in Bismarck, North Dakota. In its own simple manner it becomes an important piece of history.
It was written late in the morning at Horham Airfield in England hours after my father and crew of the "Lili of the Lamplight" (44-6085) had completed their 22nd mission early that day over Boulogne-sur-Mer and Calais, France.
Ernest Anders had survived two intense missions over Berlin, April 29th (his 11th) and May 24th (his 15th) and inevitably would complete thirty five by the end of September of 1944, while stationed in England. In fact, he made it through all thirty five of his combat assignments without so much as a scratch. He always said he was lucky that way. Luck or not, he experienced more than most would ever want to live on sheer luck.
My father mentioned quite a few memorable flights he and the crew had undertaken, speaking often about the Air Corps support in the D-Day Invasion when hundreds of thousands of Allied forces invaded “Hitler's Europe” en-masse on June 6, 1944. The 8th bombed German fortifications inland from the French coast. Ernest’s recollection of that day was not so much recalling the bombing done by his squadron, but the incredible number of ships packing the English Channel in support of the invasion forces, which he had viewed from the cockpit. “Ships dotted the Channel as far as you could see," he would say after going silent rethinking his memories of that morning.
Heading back to base at Horham, my father and the crew viewed from above the invasion in-progress, the fighting on the beaches and of course the countless ships heading across the English Channel to mainland Europe.
When he wrote this letter on a day that had suddenly become historical,
Ernest began summing up the feelings he was experiencing of the war
and of the simpler things. Thinking about life back home in the Dakotas
and thoughts about his future he put pen to paper and wrote:
h o m e