Hometown Heroes
16
APR
2016

Close Call with Kamikaze

Comments : 2



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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.

Grant during his Navy training. For more photos, visit the Hometown Heroes facebook page.

Grant during his Navy training. For more photos, visit the Hometown Heroes facebook page.


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's scrapbook features photos of his four brothers who also served in World War II.

Grant’s scrapbook features photos of his four brothers who also served in World War II.


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.

  1. Roy Pope Reply

    Do you have a copy of the life-changing letter his father sent to him?

  2. Keith Lenocker Reply

    Very proud to be a member of the Lenocker/Erickson family! Hometown Heroes has shared the WWII stories of two of my Great Uncles in the last weeks. Both Cal and Grant are true American Heroes!

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