Clarence M. "Erick" Erickson, a decorated Korean War Navy flier and retired defense worker, died May 25 of complications from dementia at Madonna Heritage, a Jarrettsville assisted-living facility. He was 94.
The son of farmers, Clarence Merlin Erickson was born and raised in Rhame, N.D. After graduating from Rhame High School in 1936, Mr. Erickson joined the Civilian Conservation Corps.
Mr. Erickson enlisted in the Navy in 1944 and graduated from ordnance school. He entered flight school, from which he graduated in 1947.
He was discharged from the Navy in 1947 and was recalled to active duty during the Korean War. A night fighter pilot, he was assigned to Flight Squadron 3 aboard the carrier USS Essex in the Pacific, which launched attacks on Korea.
Mr. Erickson, who attained the rank of lieutenant, was discharged from the Navy in 1952. His decorations included the Distinguished Flying Cross, Korean Service Medal with one star and the United Nations Ribbon.
He later served in the Army Reserve.
He went to work as a draftsman for the old Glenn L. Martin Co. in Middle River and later worked for Bendix Corp. in Towson. After leaving Bendix, he worked for several other defense contractors before retiring in 1986 from E.I.L. Instruments in Sparks.
The longtime Monkton resident, who lived in recent years in Parkton, was a talented guitarist and fiddler who enjoyed playing country and gospel music throughout Baltimore, Harford and Carroll counties and Pennsylvania.
"His guitar and fiddle were never far from his reach," said a daughter, Patty Erickson of Street.
Mr. Erickson was an active member of Hereford Baptist Church and the Jarrettsville Veterans of Foreign Wars Post.
His first wife of 40 years, the former Dorothy Harrington, died in 1992.
Plans for a memorial gathering are incomplete.
In addition to his daughter, Mr. Erickson is survived by his wife of 18 years, the former Virginia Danmyer; two other daughters, Linda Olson of Tucson, Ariz., and Shirley "Lee" Owen of Orlando, Fla.; a stepson, Dave Danmyer of North Carolina; a stepdaughter, Jean Francis of Manchester, Pa.; a sister, Esther Fish of Rhame; and 10 grandchildren.Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun