Flying Officer Ronald Earle Archibald
June 4, 1942
61 Squadron, Royal Air Force
Service Number 87451
Sage War Cemetery, Oldenburg, Germany. Age 21
Son of Wilbert Earle and Clara Jennie Archibald, Rosedale, B.C.
Ronald Archibald was born in Chilliwack in September 1920 and at school became a prominent athlete. In 1939, he decided to join the Royal Air Force and was trained as a pilot. Ronald served as an instructor after graduation and on one occasion he and his student crashed in a storm and Ronald suffered a fractured spine. Upon recovery he returned to instructing but had applied for a transfer to an operational squadron. He was posted to Bomber Command and served for nine months prior to being reported missing. Before his death Ronald had flown on raids against the German battleships, Prinz Eugen, Gneiseau and Scharnhorst and participated in the "1000 Bomber Raid" against Cologne. On June 4, 1942 when piloting a Lancaster with 61 Squadron, Ronald and his crew were shot down by a German night fighter piloted by Lieutenant Hans-Heinz König. The Lancaster crashed near to the Bad Zwischenahn aerodrome and those killed were originally buried at the Evangelical Friedhof at Bad Zwischenahn. Other crew members were Sergeant P. Holmes R.A.F. (Prisoner of War), and those killed were Flight Lieutenant G.L.C. Beattie, Flight Sergeants D. Lorimer D.F.M., R.A.F., Flight Sergeant M.H. Denison and Sergeants I.F. Pratt R.A.F., J.L. Williis of the R.A.F.