Thomas Erickson served as a Navy co-pilot in the PV-1 Ventura bomber/recon plane in 1943-44. He primarily flew missions from the base on Attu to the Kurile Islands of Japan. Flights were hazardous with heavy enemy fire and fighter attacks over the Kurile Islands and weather. Operating on the edge of fuel limits in the 9+ hour round trip flight to the Kurile’s left little room for mistakes. Erickson flew on Grange McKinney’s crew. Thomas’ written account describes the missions flown, crew losses and life in the Aleutians.
Did You Know?
At Dutch Harbor, some Marines enjoyed the Bachelor Officers Quarters (BOQ) of the Naval Operating Base. The BOQ was the officers' club, holding a long bar, nice lounge area and fire place. In the center of the floor laid a terrazzo symbol of the Alaskan Sector Command (ALSEC). This terrazzo symbol was designed by Armand Rizan, and was laid in 1943. Today, it is located at the Museum of the Aleutians.