Soldier Spotlight: Flight Lieutenant John Archer

Image: John and Jessamy Archer, Jim Carlisle and Bill Archer after an afternoon bird hunting, 1941 (SPRA 399.12.30)

Regiment: RCAF
Rank: Flight Lieutenant

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:
Manning Pool in Brandon ON Jan. 9, 1941
Swift Current , SK Feb. 15, 1941 no. 36 SFTS
Regina, SK March 26, 1941 no. 2 Initial Training School – posted to aircrew as pilot
Boundary Bay (Vancouver) BC no. 18 EFTS
Claresholm, AB July 2, 1941 – became flying instructor
Calgary AB no. 3 SFTS
Gimili MB no. 1 SFTS
Souris MB no. 18 SFTS
He married Jessamy Smith August 10, 1942 in Edmonton, and they lived in Claresholm. He was promoted to Flight Lieutenant June 19, 1943. John’s main job was flight instructor, and he gave armament tests. In 1945 he was discharged. John and Jessamy moved to Beaverlodge, where John owned the Marshall-Wells hardware store until 1976. He was also the mayor for 7 years. 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.

Memoirs of John C. Archer (autobiography- unpublished)
Beaverlodge to the Rockies pp. 81-82
Along the Wapiti pp. 412, 332-333
Saskatoon Lake Reflections p. 98

Soldier Spotlight highlights veterans from the Archives’ online Soldiers’ Memorial. Each week, our volunteers select a remarkable individual to showcase in this blog series. The Soldiers’ Memorial commemorates more than 1,100 WWI veterans and 2,300 WWII veterans from our region. Three dedicated volunteers have contributed over 1,200 hours to this project by researching and writing biographies. Our goal is to have all South Peace soldiers acknowledged for their service. If you know of someone who lived in the South Peace and should be listed on the Memorial, or would like to get involved by researching a local veteran, please contact the Archives.

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