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 recent find of a handful of photographic gems sent to me by my cousin Michael Boutrous came along at the perfect time, just as the WWII Memorial link below will attest. Lynn 'Lenny' Nicola, our mutual cousin, as for me, Lenny is related through the marriage of my dad's sister, Dian Marcella Erickson to Floyd Nick Boutrous. Dian's entrance into the Attiyeh Family, consisting of the various families: Nassif, Boutrous, Nicola, Nemer, Skaff and Saba solidified the Swedes with a great family, many of whom were originally from Lebanon. Lenny was the son of Lottie (Skaff) and Salem Nicola (Attiyeh).
Lynn 'Lenny' Nicola served in the Air Corps from 1943 through 1945 and was born in Bismarck, North Dakota on December 16th, 1916. As you will see below, the fantastic photograph of Lenny was taken aboard a B-17, when he was stationed in Lucera, Italy with the 15th Air Force.
Lenny joined the U.S Army Air Corps in 1943 in Los Angeles, California, where he was working at the time as a bartender at Musso & Franks in Hollywood. Lenny's active service began on June 12th, 1943.
Nicola received his Armament training at Lowery Field in Aurora and Denver, Colorado and his Gunnery training at Kingman Army Air Force Gunnery School in the Mohave Desert in Arizona in 1943 and 1944. Nicola attained the rank of Sergeant in mid 1944, and continued his training as a gunner on Heavy Bombers, specifically the B-17.
Sgt. Nicola was assigned to the 15th Air Force in the Province of Foggia, Italy at Lucera Airfield in January of 1945. He began as a Belly Turret Gunner on a B-17 and eventually switched to the Waist Gunner position. Sgt. Nicola and crew (photograph below) served with the 301st Bombardment Group and flew their combat missions with the 32nd Squadron. In 1944 - 1945, the 301st BG supported ground forces in the Anzio and Cassino areas during the invasion of Southern France, and knocked out targets to assist the Russian advance in the Balkans. The 301st also aided the Allied drive through the Po Valley.
Lenny completed his tour of combat flying in July of 1945, and was awarded for his time in the Air Corps with an Air Medal, the European African Middle Eastern Campaign Ribbon, the American Theater Campaign Medal, the World War II Victory Medal and the Good Conduct Medal. Sgt. Lynn 'Lenny' Nicola was honorably discharged from the Air Corps on November 27th, 1945. He returned to his hometown of Bismarck, North Dakota.
After the war, Lenny was involved in numerous business's in Bismarck, including a Bar, a breakfast joint, 'The Nicola Cafe,' and a bowling alley. Later he transitioned into the field of Real Estate, where he was a broker, and developed land around the Bismarck area.
The second photograph is of Lenny with a buddy on leave in Marseilles, France in 1945.
The last image is a menu from Lenny's "Nicola Cafe' from the 1950s/1960s. It will give you an idea of the prices of the day. Coffee for a nickel.
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