Edgar C. Erickson

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Edgar C. Erickson
Erickson ec.jpg
Major General Edgar C. Erickson as NGB Chief
Born July 18, 1896
Worcester, Massachusetts
Died March 31, 1989(1989-03-31) (aged 92)
Rutland, Massachusetts
Place of burial Worcester County Memorial Park, Paxton, Massachusetts
Allegiance  United States of America
Service/branch Emblem of the United States Department of the Army.svg United States Army
Years of service 1914 - 1959
Rank US-O8 insignia.svg Major General
Unit Massachusetts Army National Guard
National Guard Bureau
Commands held 181st Infantry Regiment
Massachusetts Army National Guard
Chief of the National Guard Bureau
Battles/wars Pancho Villa Expedition
World War I
World War II
Awards Distinguished Service Medal (U.S. Army)
Legion of Merit
Bronze Star Medal
Other work Businessman
State legislator
State reform school superintendent

Edgar C. Erickson (July 18, 1896—March 31, 1989) was a United States Army Major General who served as Chief of the National Guard Bureau.

Early life[edit]

Edgar Carl Erickson was born in Worcester, Massachusetts on July 18, 1896, and was educated in the schools of Worcester.[1]

Pancho Villa Expedition[edit]

In April, 1914 Erickson enlisted in Company H. 2nd Massachusetts Infantry. In 1916 he served with his unit on the Mexican border during the Pancho Villa Expedition.[2]

World War I[edit]

Erickson was a Sergeant when he received his commission a Second Lieutenant in 1917. He served with 2nd Battalion 104th Infantry Regiment, 26th Infantry Division in France during World War I.[3]

Post World War I[edit]

After the war Erickson became a partner in Erickson Steel, a company formed to produce prefabricated buildings.[4] He later worked as General Manager of Worcester’s Hedlund Coal Company.[5]

In 1932 he graduated from the United States Army Command and General Staff College.[6]

A Republican, he served in the Massachusetts State Senate from 1933 to 1936.[7][8] He subsequently served as Superintendent of the Worcester County Training School.[9]

Having maintained his membership in the National Guard, by 1939 Erickson had risen to Colonel and Commander of the 181st Infantry Regiment.[10]

World War II[edit]

Erickson served as the Adjutant General of Massachusetts from 1939 to 1942 with the rank of Brigadier General.[11]

In 1940 he was also called to federal service as the Director of Selective Service for Massachusetts.[12]

In 1942 Erickson accepted a reduction to Colonel in order to serve in uniform overseas. He was assigned as liaison officer to the Chinese Nationalist Army for the remainder of the war.[13][14]

Post World War II[edit]

After the war Erickson was assigned to the National Guard Bureau. His assignments included: Chief of the Infantry Regulations Branch; Chief of Plans; Acting Chief of the Army Division; and Acting Deputy Chief of the National Guard Bureau.[15][16]

In 1953 Erickson was appointed Chief of the National Guard Bureau, and he served until his 1959 retirement.[17][18]

As NGB Chief, Erickson oversaw an increase in authorized personnel strength and a corresponding recruiting effort to fill the positions, as well as the fielding of the first jet fighters for units of the Air National Guard and the fielding of modern tanks for the Army National Guard’s Armor units.[19][20]

Awards and Decorations[edit]

Erickson’s awards included the Distinguished Service Medal (U.S. Army), Legion of Merit, and Bronze Star Medal.[21]

Retirement and death[edit]

In retirement Erickson resided in Worcester and Sun City, Arizona. He died in Rutland Massachusetts’ Holden Nursing Home on March 31, 1989 and was buried at Worcester County Memorial Park in Paxton.[22]


The Erickson Trophy is awarded annually to the distinguished graduates of each of the state National Guard Officer Candidate Schools. The actual trophy and an inscribed list of recipients is maintained on display at National Guard Bureau, with replicas presented to each winner.[23]


In 1920 he married Nancy I. Sundstrom (1898-1982). They had one son, Russell, who died in 1987.[24]


  1. ^ Army and Navy Journal Inc., Army, Navy, Air Force Journal, Volume 90, Issues 27-52, 1953, page 1308
  2. ^ New York Times, Gen. Erickson to End Long Career in Guard, May 2, 1959
  3. ^ Massachusetts Adjutant General, Annual Report, 1921, page 1902
  4. ^ The Iron Trade Review, Construction and Enterprise: East of the Mississippi River, Volume 70, February 2, 1922
  5. ^ Domestic Engineering and the Journal of Mechanical Contracting, Volume 143, 1934, page 94
  6. ^ United States Army Adjutant General, Official U.S. Army Register, 1957, page 257
  7. ^ Christian Science Monitor, Election Cost Averted As Senator Keeps Seat, November 19, 1935
  8. ^ Boston Globe, F. D. Election Flood Still Rising, November 5, 1936
  9. ^ Christian Science Monitor, New Threat Offered Massachusetts G.O.P., October 26, 1935
  10. ^ Boston Globe, New Regiments at Cape Camp, July 26, 1937
  11. ^ Boston Globe, Gen. Erickson Awaits Call to Active Service, May 29, 1942
  12. ^ Christian Science Monitor, Erickson to Direct Army Service Draft, September 13, 1940
  13. ^ Christian Science Monitor, Colonel Keville Takes Office As State's Adjutant General, April 13, 1943
  14. ^ The National Guardsman, Guard Bureau Chief Retires, Volume 13, 1959, page 4
  15. ^ United States Civil Service Commission, Official Register of the United States, 1952, page 118
  16. ^ United States Senate Appropriations Committee, Hearing Reports, 1951, page 1131
  17. ^ New York Times, Taylor is Named to Four-Star Rank; Eisenhower Also Nominates Colonel Erickson to Head National Guard Bureau, June 11, 1953
  18. ^ Hartford Courant, McGowan Nominated As Guard Bureau Chief, July 7, 1959
  19. ^ New York Times, 200 a Day Joining New Guard Plan, March 10, 1957
  20. ^ Los Angeles Times, 50,000 Airmen to Take Part in Field Training, February 15, 1954
  21. ^ Rep. Harold D. Donahue, Massachusetts Salutes Maj. Gen. Edgar C. Erickson: Extension of Remarks, Congressional Record, 1959, page 12361
  22. ^ Worcester Telegram & Gazette, Obituary, Edgar C. Erickson, April 1, 1989
  23. ^ National Guard Regulation 672-1, Trophies and Awards Program for the Army National Guard, Erickson Trophy, 2012, Chapter 12, page 14
  24. ^ Worcester Telegram & Gazette, Obituary, Edgar C. Erickson, April 1, 1989

External links[edit]

Media related to Edgar C. Erickson at Wikimedia Commons

Military offices
Preceded by
MG Earl T. Ricks
Chief of the National Guard Bureau
1953 - 1959
Succeeded by
MG Winston P. Wilson