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94-year-old Grant Erickson of Santa Cruz, CA appears on episode #415 of Hometown Heroes, debuting April 16, 2016. A native of Del Rey, CA, Erickson served aboard the battleship USS New Mexico (BB-40) during World War II.
The tenth of eleven children growing up on a farm, Grant was one of five brothers to serve in World War II. If you want to hear his younger brother Cal’s experiences as a B-26 pilot, listen to episode #414 of Hometown Heroes.
Grant was able to finish his degree at Fresno State six weeks early in 1943, and headed to Northwestern University for midshipman’s school. You’ll hear Erickson take us back to his first night there, sharing a pretty comical memory that did not endear him to his bunkmates. Battleship training came in Norfolk, VA aboard the USS New York. By October of 1943, he had been assigned to “The Queen,” the battleship USS New Mexico.