Born: United States of America
Primarily active in: United States of America
Capt. Frank A. Erickson, USCG (Ret.) was the first Coast Guard helicopter pilot and first to fly a mercy-mission for that service in a rotary-wing aircraft. An AHS member since 1944 and an Honorary Fellow since 1945 (elected with Arthur Young), Erickson made his home in recent years in Honquil City, Tex.
Erickson's life-saving mission was flown in a Sikorsky R-4 and came within months of his training at Sikorsky's plant in Bridgeport, Conn., and his designation as the Coast Guard's first helicopter pilot.
Erickson was a native of Oregaon and a 1931 graduate of the Coast Guard Academy. During World War II he served on a joint Anglo-American project studying the use of helicopters on ships. He also helped develop slight stabilization equipment for helicopters and inflatable pontoons permitting water landing.
He served in Washington during the '50s. He was USCG liaison officer with NATC for two years, worked at Coast Guard Headquarters from 1951 to 1952, then was assigned to the Air Development Board of the CAA for a year.
He retired in July, 1954, as operations officer of the Third USCG District, based in New York City. He was an Honorary Fellow of the AHS, elected in 1945.
Erickson passed away on Dec. 17, 1978 in Nassau Bay, Texas.
AHS Update: VERTIFLITE March/April 1979