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:

Dear Dad, Mom & Dinny,      June 6, 1944 England

Today was the big day. The Invasion finally came off!
Imagine there’s a lot of forecasting and talk back there?

We never got to go on that seven day flak pass. Was
supposed to leave today, but I guess we won’t get it now.

However, I guess if we can make it any easier on the
ground, it’s worth giving up. The Air Corps been in the war
for a couple years, so I guess it’s their turn now, but we hope
for their sake that it’s short. The ground forces are going to
have it rough. Dad probably realizes that. But we are glad
someone besides the Air Corps is getting into this deal!

I hope the day soon comes that we can land at the airports
near the cities that we’ve been bombing.

I’m listening to Fred Waring and his Pennsylvanians. You
remember I used to listen to them ‘back home? The mail
situation has been very poor lately. No one is getting much
mail. That’s the way it goes!

Give the folks my regards. How are they? Tell Grandma that
she’s going to have to quit getting drunk every Saturday night!
How’s Grandpa?

It was four months the ninth of this month that I left for
overseas, so will be glad to see N.Y.C. again.

I now have 22 missions. Not bad! I imagine the papers are
full of the Invasion? I got a pretty good view of it.

Love Ernie

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