m  a  r  k    e  r  i  c  k  s  o  n    p  a  i  n  t  i  n  g  s

Frank Severin Erickson
Ernest Julius Erickson
Andrew Anders Sebran Erickson
American Expeditionary Force 1918 - 1919
Out West & North Dakota

Number 121 typed on the list of a piece of paper from the "Headquarters Port of Embarkation, Hoboken, New Jersey," is my grandfather, Frank Gustaf Severin Erickson's embarkation information on his transport on-board the Steamer Nestor out of the Brooklyn (NYC) Port. The "Notify in Case of Emergency" is fittingly listed as his mother, my great grandmother Christine Britta (Olson-Anderson) Erickson of Wilton, North Dakota.

For some comic relief before things get serious and a coincidence or two, here goes. Frank was born on December 12th, 1892 in Sudsvalle, Sweden. He came to the states with his family in 1903 at the age of eleven years old and settled onto a farm in Painted Woods, North Dakota. My grandfather shares the birthday with Frank Sinatra who was born on December 12th, 1915 in Hoboken, New Jersey. The paperwork header states Hoboken, New Jersey.

So maybe a three year old Frank Sinatra was watching the ships pull out of the harbor on August 8th, 1918 and viewed in the mass of men the face of a twenty six year old Private Frank Erickson on-board heading into the Atlantic toward Europe to face combat. Maybe or maybe not, but still the both of them always did it their way and lived for the Summer wind.

Frank was serving with American Expeditionary Force in the 308th Infantry - 77th Division - Company H. He started his military training at Camp Upton in Yaphank (Long Island) in Suffolk County, New York. The Division eventually shipped out to France on August 8th, 1918 where Frank would serve on the Western Front.

Frank was a surviving member of what later would be referred to as "The Lost Battalion." What entailed in the Argonne Forest was a serious and brutal battle that began on October 2nd when the Division was surrounded by the Germans and ended October 8th when a handful of survivors were able to escape.

The Lost Battalion, the name given to the nine companies of the United States 77th Division of the American Expeditionary Force, consisted of 554 men that were surrounded by German forces in the Argonne Forest in France between October 2nd through the 8th of 1918. Roughly 197 were killed in battle and approximately 150 went missing in action and or were taken prisoner. Only 194 remaining men walked out alive.

The Meuse-Argonne Offensive, also known as the Battle of the Argonne Forest, was a major part of the final Allied offensive of World War I that stretched along the entire Western Front. It was fought from September 26, 1918, until the Armistice on November 11th, 1918, a total of 47 days.

The Meuse-Argonne Offensive was the largest in United States military history, involving 1.2 million American soldiers, and was one of a series of Allied attacks known as the Hundred Days Offensive, which brought the war to an end. The battle cost 28,000 German lives and 26,277 American lives, making it the largest and bloodiest operation of World War I for the American Expeditionary Force (AEF), which was commanded by General John J. Pershing.

77th Brigade - 308th Infantry Regiment

Lost Battalion

Meuse-Argonne Offensive

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