Samer, Robert Earl (1921-1995) Papers, 1939-1986

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.

Biographical Note

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 List

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

Subject Headings

B-17 bomber

Boeing Aircraft Company

Censorship – United States


Draft – United States

Military passes

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

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