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The Airmen's Stories - Sgt. S Archer


Samuel Archer enlisted before the war in 603 Squadron Auxiliary Air Force as an Aircrafthand. Called up on 24th August 1939, he later re-mustered as an Airman u/t WOp/AG. With his training completed he joined 236 Squadron on 19th July 1940.

Archer was a member of the crew of Blenheim Z5729 which was flying over Pembroke Dock on the afternoon of 20th August when it was damaged by our own anti-aircraft fire. The captain, P/O G Campbell, returned the aircraft safely back to base at St. Eval.

Archer was posted away with his flight to Aldergrove on 19th November 1940, it was combined with a flight of 235 Squadron to reform 272 Squadron. He flew his first operational sortie with 272 on the 23rd.

Archer was later posted to 407 (RCAF) Squadron of Coastal Command. On 1st December 1941 he was aloft in Hudson AM778 on a low-level anti-shipping strike. The Hudson struck a ship's mast, setting fire to the starboard engine, and was forced to ditch. The crew all survived but spent several days in their dinghy before being picked up by the Germans. The crew comprised Archer and P/O HN Fraser, Sgt. GL Neeves and Sgt. J Quinn.

Archer was held in Stalag Luft 7 at Bankau, near Kreulberg in Upper Silesia. When freed in May 1945 Archer was a Warrant Officer.

He stayed in the RAF, becoming a Master Signaller on 10th February 1956.

Archer died in 1980.


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