William O. Eareckson

Military Person from United States of America

Colonel William "Eric" Olmstead Eareckson (May 30, 1900 – October 26, 1966) was an U.S. Army Air Force combat commander during the World War II Battle of the Aleutian Islands. Eareckson enlisted in the Army at age 17 and fought in France during World War I, where he was wounded. After the war he remained in the Army and received a presidential appointment to West Point. While at West Point he composed a fight song for the football team titled "Gridiron Grenadiers". After graduation in 1924, he attended pilot training, but washed out. He then applied to the become a balloon pilot and was successful. In 1928, then-Lieutenant Eareckson, together with Captain William E. Kepner, won the National Balloon Elimination Race and the accompanying Paul W. Litchfield Trophy. It was only two years later, at the relatively advanced age of 30, that Eareckson finally won his airplane pilot rating. In 1939 he was given command of the 36th Bombardment Squadron. During the Aleutians fighting, Eareckson was famed for his innovative tactics. For example, on August 17, 1942, he used radar-equipped B-17s to guide P-38s to a position from where they shot down two of three raiding Japanese Kawanishi H6K  ( Wikipedia article )


Personal facts

Known as
William Olmstead Eareckson
Date of birth
United States of America


Date of death

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