LEST WE FORGET

Flying Officer Rodney Bainbridge ARCHER DFC

Service No: 402148
Born: Lindfield NSW, 9 October 1918
Enlisted in the RAAF: 24 June 1940
Unit: No. 42 Squadron (RAF)
Awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross (DFC), 24 March 1942
Died: Air Operations (No. 42 Squadron Beaufort aircraft AW383), North Sea, 17 May 1942, Aged 24 Years
Buried: Unrecovered
CWGC Additional Information: Son of Rowland Bainbridge Archer and Olga Blanche Archer, of Rose Bay, New South Wales, Australia
Roll of Honour: Sydney NSW
Remembered: Panel 108, Runnymede Memorial, Surrey UK
Remembered: Panel 118, Commemorative Area, Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT

Flying Officer Archer was awarded the DFC for a strike in a Beaufort torpedo attack on enemy naval forces including the Scharnhorst and Gneisenau off the Dutch coast on 12 February 1942. He was a QANTAS staff member serving with the RAAF.

On 17 May 1942 Beaufort AW383 failed to return from strike on German battleship ‘Prince Eugen’ off Lista, Norway. One body was later washed ashore on the coast of Norway. No trace of the aircraft was found and it was assumed it had crashed into the sea and that the remaining crew members were lost at sea.

The crew members of AW383 were:

Flying Officer Rodney Bainbridge Archer (402148) DFC (Pilot)
Sergeant Barry Cain (1172541) (RAFVR) Remains recovered
Sergeant George Jefferies (926101) (RAFVR)
Flight Sergeant David North Keeling (404033) (RNZAF)

References:

Australian War Memorial Roll of Honour On-Line Records (RAAF Casualty Information compiled by Alan Storr (409804))
Commonwealth War Graves Commission On-Line Records
Department of Veterans’ Affairs On-Line WWII Nominal Roll
National Archives of Australia On-Line Record A705, 163/22/132