Erickson, Jayne Elizabeth, 2nd Lt

 Service Photo   Service Details
9 kb
View Shadow Box View Printable Shadow Box View Time Line
Last Rank
Second Lieutenant
Last Primary AFSC/MOS
AAF MOS 770-Airplane Pilot
Last AFSC Group
Pilot (Enlisted)
Primary Unit
1943-1944, Air Training Command
Service Years
1943 - 1944
USAAFOfficer Collar Insignia
Second Lieutenant

 Last Photo   Personal Details 

349 kb

Home State
Year of Birth
This Military Service Page was created/owned by A3C Michael Bell (Unit Historian) to remember Erickson, Jayne Elizabeth, 2nd Lt.

If you knew or served with this Airman and have additional information or photos to support this Page, please leave a message for the Page Administrator(s) HERE.
Contact Info
Home Town
Seattle, WA
Last Address
Sweetwater, TX
Date of Passing
Apr 16, 1944
Location of Interment
Lake View Cemetery - Seattle, Washington

 Official Badges 

 Unofficial Badges 

 Military Associations and Other Affiliations
In the Line of Duty
  2015, In the Line of Duty

 Additional Information
Last Known Activity:

Jayne Elizabeth Erickson
April 14, 1921 to April 16, 1944

Elizabeth, class 44-6, and Mary Howson , class 44-4, were both training on this final day of their lives. Elizabeth is just about to complete her first solo in an AT-6 and is also planing to land. Mary had been on a long cross-country flight in a AT-6 and was preparing to land at Avenger Field. They are approaching Avenger Field from different directions and they are on a collision course. Elizabeth is busy getting ready to do practice landing. Mary is looking into the Sun. They collide. Elizabeth fell to the ground in her plane. Mary bailed out but was too low for her parachute to open.

Elizabeth was born in Seattle and the eldest of three. The family moved to Preston, Washington, where she completed high school with honors and as a class officer. She was outgoing, became a cheerleader, edited the school yearbook, made the honor roll, participated in band and choir, and was a class officer.

She attended the University of Washington where she majored in art. She was in the tri deltas and worked full time in the summer and part time during school at a bank. At the bank she met Don Smith and the became ingaged. When war broke out, she moved to Yakima, Washington, learned to fly, and joined the WASP.

Jayne Elizabeth Erickson and Mary Holmes Howson, KIS - 4/16/1944, Sweetwater, Texas
Schetch of J E Erickson

Schetch of M H Holmes

It was a Sunday afternoon in Sweetwater, Texas. The air was clear, visibility unlimited, and winds were out of the S. E. at 15 miles per hour.   Elizabeth was in basic training with class 44-6, was only 8 days from her 23rd birthday, and had accumulated over 71 hours of flying with just over eleven in her AT-6.   Mary was in the advanced training phase with class 44-4 and was also flying an AT-6.   Mary had just over 48 hours in this type of plane and a total flying time of 163 hours.   With the graduation of 44-3 on April 15, 44-4 were now the seniors at Sweetwater.

It was about 13:15 and Elizabeth was practicing touch and go landings as part of her basic training requirements and was on her 8th attempt. Her first three were with her instructor, the last 5 were solo.   There was a lot to do and Elizabeth was busy, getting the landing gear down, watching her speed, setting the flaps, and other things.   She was also in radio contact with the tower.   Mary, in the advanced phase of her training, was on the return leg of a solo cross-country flight to San Antonio, had a more time to get ready, and was more comfortable with her plane.   She was looking to the tower for visual directions.

Wreckage of M Howson AT-6

Elizabeth was entereing traffic over Avenger field on a 45 degree leg to the downwind leg from an easterly direction. Mary was also entering traffic on a 45 degree leg to the downwind leg from a westerly direction.   They were both at about 800 feet altitude had turned into their base leg, perpendicular to the runway, and were now headed right at each other. It was now 13:20.   Mary, having more flying experience was looking around for other aircraft.   She spotted Elizabeth's plane and turned to avoid the collision.   However, it was too late and Elizabeth's plane rammed into Mary's.   Elizabeth was pinned in and could not eject.   Mary jumped, but she was too close to the ground and her parachute didn't have a chance to open.   Mary was 25 years old.

On April 17, 1944, a forty-five minute memorial service was held.   Many were in attendance including all the new trainees for class 44-9 which had just started their first week of training the day after the crash.

Mary's closest friend in training was Dorothy Herthneck.   Dorothy believed the fault rested with the tower.   After the accident the overhead approach was changed to 4,000 feet before entering to land.

A short biography on Jayne is also available.

A short biography on Mary is also available.


Other Comments:

Class: 44-W-6 Trainee

Born: April 24, 1921
Seattle, Washington

Graduate: High School:
Issaquah, Washington

Attended: University of Washington, Seattle, WA.

Jayne reported for WASP flight training to Avenger Field, Sweetwater, Texas in January, 1944.

While flying an AT-6, she was killed in a mid-air collision
in the traffic pattern at Avenger on April 16, 1944.


  1943-1944, Air Training Command
Attention! The dates you selected for being assigned to this Unit are outside the 1948 to 1993 we believe this Unit was in existence. Can you please re-check your dates and click HERE if you wish to amend these? If you believe your Unit was in existence during your selected dates, please let us know at
From Month/Year
- / 1943
To Month/Year
- / 1944
Air Training Command Unit Page
[Other Service Rank]
Not Specified
Base, Station or City
Not Specified
Not Specified
 Air Training Command Details

Air Training Command
Parent Unit
School Assignments
Formal School
Created/Owned By
Not Specified

Last Updated: Dec 10, 2019
My Photos For This Unit
No Available Photos
27 Members Also There at Same Time
Air Training Command

Broussard, Courtney Rhule, Capt, (1941-1954) [Other Service Rank]
Champlin, Jane Dolores, (1943-1943) [Other Service Rank]
Delashaw, Robert Lee, Maj Gen, (1933-1969) [Other Service Rank]
Eighmy, Larry V., SSgt, (1942-1946) [Other Service Rank]
Gobel, George Leslie, 1st Lt, (1943-1945) [Other Service Rank]
Henderson, Lyle Russell Cedric, 1st Lt, (1940-1945) [Other Service Rank]
Howson, Mary Holmes, 2nd Lt, (1943-1944) [Other Service Rank]
Keene, Edith Clayton, 2nd Lt, (1943-1944) [Other Service Rank]
Lavelle, John Daniel, Gen, (1939-1972) [Other Service Rank]
Lawrence, Kathryn Barbara, 2nd Lt, (1943-1943) [Other Service Rank]
Lyon, William, Maj Gen, (1943-1979) [Other Service Rank]
Marra, Henry J., Sgt, (1942-1943) [Other Service Rank]
Oldenburg, Margaret Burrows, (1942-1943) [Other Service Rank]
Rasmussen, Floyd Martin, MSgt, (1940-1973) A07 AAF MOS 737 [Other Service Rank]
Rehnquist, William Hubbs, Sgt, (1943-1946) [Other Service Rank]
Seip, Margaret June, 2nd Lt, (1942-1943) [Other Service Rank]
Severson, Helen Jo Anderson, 2nd Lt, (1942-1943) [Other Service Rank]
Spillane, Frank Morrison, 1st Lt, (1941-1945) [Other Service Rank]
Taylor, Betty L., 2nd Lt, (1942-1943) [Other Service Rank]
Callish, Norman Louis, Brig Gen, (1933-1963) Colonel
Fitzwater, John Timothy, Brig Gen, (1938-1968) Lieutenant Colonel
Winn, David William, Brig Gen, (1942-1978) Captain
Baccus, Donald Arthur, Col, (1940-1965) First Lieutenant
Jetter, Arthur C., 1st Lt, (1942-1945) First Lieutenant
Cummings, Robert Orville, Capt, (1942-1954) Second Lieutenant
Darmstandler, Harry Max, Maj Gen, (1943-1975) Second Lieutenant
Grimes, Frances Fortune, 2nd Lt, (1943-1944) Second Lieutenant

Copyright Inc 2003-2011