John Archer – Remembering a WWII Veteran

John Archer was born on August 21, 1918 in Lake Saskatoon to Ruth and Joseph Archer. He grew up in Wembley, and he attended U of A for one year. On January 8, 1941 he joined the Air Force in Edmonton, and he was posted in various locations in Western Canada.

L.A.C. John Archer R.C.A.F. married Jessamy Smith Aug 10, 1942. The wedding party included Bill Archer, Mavis Smith, and Ruth Woodsworth. The wedding took place at the United Church’s Indian Residential School in Edmonton where Jessamy’s father was the farm instructor. Here they are ready to board the train after the wedding. Location: 0399.12.27-.28


John married Jessamy Smith August 10, 1942 in Edmonton, and they lived in Claresholm. In 1943 he was promoted to Flight Lieutenant and his main job was flight instructor, and armament testing. In 1945 he was discharged and he and his wife Jessamy moved to Beaverlodge. In Beaverlodge the Archer’s owned the Marshall-Wells hardware store until 1976. John also served as the mayor for 7 years.

The Archers had 6 children: Fred, Bill, Joe, Mavis, Robert, and David. In 1986 John and Jessamy moved to Qualicum Beach BC. Jessamy died in 1999. John remarried to Mary Peters February. 3, 2001. He died September 10, 2010 in Victoria, and is buried in Beaverlodge.

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