Held by The Filson Historical Society
Creator: Samer, Robert Earl, 1921-1995
Title: Papers, 1939-1986 (bulk 1942-1945)
Rights: For information regarding literary and copyright interest for these diaries, contact the Curator of Special Collections.
Size of Collection: 0.33 cubic feet
Locator Number: Mss. A S287
Scope and Content Note
Sgt. Robert Samer, a native of Ludlow, Ky., served as a gunner on a B-17 bomber in the 340 th Bombardment Squadron, 97 th Bombardment Group, in 1944. The collection includes a brief diary (1943-1944) and correspondence between Robert, his wife, Norma, and other family members, primarily while he was in flight training in the U.S. There are extensive military records, including training and combat flight records (1943-1944), passes, permits and health records and certificates.
Separation Note: Several uniform patches and medals awarded to Sgt. Samer have been transferred to the Museum collection.
Robert Earl Samer was born 27 Feb. 1921 in Covington, Ky., the adopted child of Henry Anthony and Beatrice Samer who lived in neighboring Ludlow and Bromley, Ky. He enlisted in the U.S. Army Air Force on 21 Aug. 1942. He was assigned to the Boeing Aircraft Factory school in Seattle, Wash. in May 1943, where he began training with B-17 bombers. Further gunnery training was received at army air bases in Las Vegas, Dyersburg, Tenn, Tampa and Lakeland, Fl. On 10 July 1943 he married Norma Jean Kintner of Sedalia, Mo. On 11 March 1944 he arrived at the Army Air Force base in Amendola, Italy where he began flying combat missions over Europe as a waist gunner on B-17s. Over the next 4 months he successfully completed 50 combat missions. On 15 July 1944 he was promoted to the rank of staff sergeant. In August 1944, upon completing his last mission, he was transferred to back to the U.S. After further assignments at various airfields, he was transferred to Camp Atterbury, Ind. where he was discharged from the Army on 10 Sept. 1945. A son, Terry Lee, was born to Robert and Norma 3 January 1946 in Covington, Ky. The family moved to Greenville, Ohio, after the war, and subsequently Dayton, Ohio. Robert died 24 May 1995 in Dayton, Ohio, at the age of 74. Norma died 7 October 1995 in Dayton, Ohio, at the age of 69.
Folder 1: Correspondence, 1939-1949
Folder 2: Diary, 1943-1944
Folder 3: Military papers
Folder 4: Poetry, newspaper clippings
Folder 5: Printed materials
Folder 6: Miscellaneous materials
Boeing Aircraft Company
Censorship – United States
Draft – United States
Rationing – United States
United States. Army – Non-commissioned officers
United States. Army – Military life
United States. Army Air Forces
United States. Army Air Forces. Bombardment Group, 97 th
United States. Army. Enlisted Reserve Corps
World War, 1939-1945 – Aerial operations, American
World War, 1939-1945 – Campaigns – Europe
World War, 1939-1945 – Economic aspects
World War, 1939-1945 – Religious aspects