Etherton, Ronald Henry (Flight Sergeant, b.1921 - d.1944)


Collection relating to the Second World War service of 423088 Flight Sergeant Ronald Henry Etherton, No. 76 Squadron RAF, Canada and United Kingdom, 1943-1944.

Collection consists of letters, airgrams, telegrams and postcards, primarily written by Flight Sergeant Etherton to his sweetheart, Jean Ayre, a young women living in Edmonton. The pair met in June 1943 while Etherton was training in Canada as part of the Empire Air Training Scheme (EATS). The letters largely discuss Flight Sergeant Etherton's time on leave and what he does to pass the time, and his plans for the pair's future. Included is a marriage proposal in October 1943. There are also mentions of RAAF/RAF/RCAF training in Canada, the United States and Britain, and issues faced by Bomber Command, such as altitude sickness and internal politics regarding the makeup of crews.

Also included are eight letters written by Jean, but returned to her following Etherton's death. The later letters and telegrams relate to the death of Flight Sergeant Etherton when his aircraft failed to return from a raid over Russelsheim near Frankfurt, Germany on 13 August 1944.