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.
Lt. Robert L. Rathgeber was a Bombardier with the 95th Bomb Group and the 335th Squadron stationed at Horham Airfield, England. Robert's son Bob wrote this article below about his experience flying in a B-17, titled 'The Bombardiers View.' The article was published on February 3rd, 2011 in the South Lee/North Naples - The News-Press.
Lt. Robert L. Rathgeber pictured below receives the Distinguished Flying Cross awarded to him by Major General Karl Truesdell Jr. at Horham in August of 1944.
Lt. Rathgeber flew as a Bombardier with the 335th, 336th and the 412th Squadrons. He ended up completing 27 missions between March 27th, 1944 (my father's first mission) aboard the B-17 Haard Luck (42-97334) over Cazaux, France. His last mission was over Zeitz, Germany on August 16th 1944 aboard Paisano (42-102450).
Lt. Rathgeber often accompanied my father on leaves to London. The two palled around the local English villages of Eye, Ipswich, Horham and downed more than the occasional pint at the Red Feather Club at the Airfield.
Between the two of them in their time of combat flying they rode out rough missions over Berlin, Schweinfurt, Augsburg, Frankfurt, Munich and multiple missions over France before and during the Normandy Invasion in early June of 1944.
The writing on the back of the photograph of Lt. Rathgeber's photograph was written by Lt. Ernest Anders Erickson is also below.
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