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The Airmen's Stories - P/O S F Jefferson

 

Stanley Francis Jefferson was born on 14th April 1917 in London and joined the RAFVR around August 1939 as an Airman u/t Observer.

Called up on 1st September 1939, he completed his training, was commissioned and joined 248 Squadron on 29th September 1940.

At some point he met a young woman called Evelyn Harmer and they became engaged (below).

 

 

On 26th September 1940 Evelyn, aged 16, was the switchboard operator of the Phoenix Wharf and Coal Company at Southampton when an air raid began.

Her actions that day resulted in the award of an OBE, the citation read:

She was taking cover in a shelter when a number of bombs were dropped. Immediately after the raid the police set up an incident post on the company's premises and, in order to expedite services, a telephone operator was necessary to work the switchboard.

Although a large number of high-explosive bombs had been dropped very near, Miss Harmer volunteered for the work. She remained at this post for three hours, transmitting all the messages to the Report Centre. Despite the fact that the telephone office had been badly damaged by the force of the explosion, that the shelter in which she had been taking cover was badly shaken while she was there, and that whilst operating the switchboard, a delayed action bomb exploded within a hundred yards of her post, she remained amazingly cool and collected. This young girl's conduct contributed very largely to the success of the ARP services, and she set a very high example of cool and selfless courage.

 

They were married on 9th February 1941 in Aberdeen (below).

 

 

He served with 248 squadron until 5th June 1941.

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By 1943 Jefferson was serving with 35 Squadron, a Halifax unit operating from Graveley.

On 11th November 1943 he was aloft in Halifax HR798 on a sortie to Cannes. On the homeward leg it was shot down by a nightfighter, coming down near Lisieux in France. Jefferson initially evaded but was captured in Paris on 28th December 1943 and sent to Stalag Luft 3.

Other crew members:

Sgt. DG Button KIA
F/Lt. WC Dallin PoW
Sgt. DWC Wade PoW
P/O HB Hall Evaded
Sgt. TR Vass Evaded
Sgt. TW Roberts PoW

Jefferson was released from the RAF in 1945 as a Flight Lieutenant.

He died in July 1989 in Surrey.

 


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