Hamilton County


Paul Elving Erickson





CHICAGO—Paul E. Erickson, S 1/c, of Webster City, Iowa, had the distinction of serving on the USS Keokuk, a ship which navy records have disclosed had probably a more varied career and a longer one than almost any ship of the fleet.

The Keokuk is a survivor of two world wars, with continuous service beginning in 1914 when she was built for peaceful commercial trade. During the recently ended Pacific conflict, she went back to the wars to see the capitulation of Japan after suffering her first damage due to enemy action, an aerial bomb hit at Iwo Jima. In that operation she became known affectionately as “struggle buggy” because she was the oldest auxiliary in the campaign, if not the very eldest vessel present.

Acquired by the navy July 28, 1941, the ex-merchantman had a career as a cruiser-minelayer, taking part in virtually all of the Atlantic and European campaigns. Then, as a net layer, she saw service inn most of the Pacific “hotspots,” including Okinawa.

During World War I, the ship served as a train ferry, transporting box cars to Europe.

Source: Webster City Freeman, Webster City, IA - Nov. 21, 1945

Paul Elving Erickson was born Oct. 12, 1910 to Victor A. and Katrina Erickson. He died Jan. 18, 1978 and is buried in Bethlehem Lutheran Cemetery, Fergus Falls, MN.

Petty Officer Erickson served with the U.S. Navy in World War II aboard the USS Keokuk (AKN-4).

Source: ancestry.com