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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.
Standing in front of my grandfather Frank Gustaf Severin Erickson's car with his daughter, my aunt Dian Marcella and her brother Lt. Ernest Anders Erickson as they pose with their game after a pheasant hunt. They had returned from along the Missouri River near Bismarck, North Dakota in the Fall of 1944.
My father was on leave visiting his family after spending most of 1944 stationed at Horham Airfield with the 95th Bomb Group. He had completed his 35 missions as a pilot of a B-17 and at the time of this photograph was a pilot instructor at a base near Miami. He would serve out his time in the Air Corps throughout the war and would be heading back to Bismarck by train in the Summer of 1945.
His return home to Bismarck was an enormous relief to his mother Clara, who had never been comfortable with my father’s decision to fly bombers. He spent time with the family, getting reacquainted with his four year-old sister Dian, who was just a baby when he left for the Air Corps in 1942.
While winter descended on the Great Plains in late 1945, Ernest and a close friend who had served in the Pacific during the war, hit the road in a converted Plymouth station-wagon, embarking on a "Jack Kerouac and Neil Cassidy On The Road” trek across the U.S. Traveling around the country, the two had time to reflect on their days in the service, and wind down a bit from the stresses of warfare.
They returned to Bismarck in the late Spring of 1946, where my father lived till 1948 when he enrolled at the University of Colorado at Boulder to study aeronautics and jet design. His future began at Colorado that would eventually take him to Southern California where for 45 years he world work for Lockheed Aircraft and eventually become an integral part of their top secret outfit, the Skunks Works.
Lt. Ernest Anders Erickson's Air Corps Biography
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