Heikkala, Eric

Identity elements

Reference code

SIE 2-2-t085

Name and location of repository

Level of description


Heikkala, Eric


  • 1981-08-27 (Creation)


3 file folders
1 photograph
1 sound cassette

Content and structure elements

Scope and content

This interview was conducted with Eric Heikkala on August 27, 1981 in Vancouver, Washington. It contains information on family background, being a prisoner of war, coming to America, marriage and family, and Finnish heritage. The interview also includes a photograph of Eric at the time of the interview.

Folder Contents

Box 4, File 5 Personal and Family History
Tape Archive Sheet, Family Background, and Tape Index

Box 4, File 5A Correspondence and Forms
Release Form
Letter from Donna Mallonee regarding his participation.
Handwritten Tape Archive Sheet and Family Background

Box 4, File 5B Photographs
One photograph

System of arrangement

Interviewed by Donna Mallonee
Transcribed by Mary Sue Gee, Julie Peterson and Becky Husby
Encoded by Kerstin Ringdahl & Amity Smetzler
Recording Quality: Good

Conditions of access and use elements

Conditions governing access

Physical access

Technical access

Conditions governing reproduction

Languages of the material

    Scripts of the material

      Language and script notes

      Finding aids

      Acquisition and appraisal elements

      Custodial history

      Immediate source of acquisition

      Appraisal, destruction and scheduling information


      Related materials elements

      Existence and location of originals

      Existence and location of copies

      Related archival materials

      Related descriptions

      Notes element

      General note

      Biographical Note

      Eric Heikkala was born on April 24, 1916 in Hailuoto, Finland, which is located on an island between Sweden and Finland near Oulu in the north. His parents were Viljo Heikkala and Fanny Sipila, and Eric was the eldest of five children. After grammar school, Eric began farming and then became a sailor so he could earn enough money to go to school and obtain his captain's and pilot's licenses. Eric sailed to England, Italy, North Africa, and the United States.

      In 1939, Finland went to war with Russia, and Eric was sent to northern Finland, where he was in charge of six other men. When the shooting started, they rowed to Norway, but the Norwegian village they arrived at was full of Russians. The Russians found them, and Eric became a prisoner of war for four months and twenty days. By the time he was released, Eric was so weak that he had to be carried back to Finland. He remained in the hospital for awhile and then started working on ships again.

      When Pearl Harbor was attacked, the United States bought the ship Eric was working on, and he was told to go to America and find work. Eric stayed with an uncle in New York for several months, during which time he met his future wife, Ida Pitkanen, in Manhattan. Ida was originally from Muuruvesi, Finland.

      After his stay in New York, Eric then went to Vancouver, Washington and began doing carpentry work. Once he was settled, he sent for Ida and got married. They had two sons, Wayne and Roy. Both of the boys understand Finnish, and Eric is very proud of his heritage. He has belonged to the Finnish Brotherhood and has made several trips back to Finland.


      Full Name: Eric Heikkala
      Father: Viljo Heikkala
      Mother: Fanny Siplia
      Paternal Grandfather: Kustaa Heikkala
      Paternal Grandmother: Erika Pirkola
      Brothers and Sisters: Anne Heikkala, Elsa Heikkala, Inkeri Heikkala, Simo Heikkala
      Spouse: Ida M. Pitkanen
      Children: Roy Heikkala, Wayne Heikkala.

      Specialized notes

      Alternative identifier(s)

      Description control element

      Rules or conventions

      Sources used

      Access points

      Subject access points

      Place access points

      Name access points

      Genre access points

      Digital object (Master) rights area

      Digital object (Reference) rights area

      Accession area