ARCHER, BRUCE RAYMOND Name: Bruce Raymond Archer Rank/Branch: 03/United States Marine Corps, co-pilot Unit: HMM 165 Date of Birth: 06 March 1942 Home City of Record: Rochester NY Date of Loss: 28 March 1968 Country of Loss: South Vietnam Loss Coordinates: 160600 North 1072300 East Status (in 1973): Returnee Category: Aircraft/Vehicle/Ground: CH46A, Tail # 151922 Incident No: Refno 1111 Other Personnel in Incident: Paul Montague, returnee Source: Compiled by P.O.W. NETWORK from one or more of the following: raw data from U.S. Government agency sources, correspondence with POW/MIA families, published sources, interviews. REMARKS: 730316 RELEASED BY DRV
SOURCE: WE CAME HOME copyright 1977Captain and Mrs. Frederic A Wyatt (USNR Ret), Barbara Powers Wyatt, Editor P.O.W. Publications, 10250 Moorpark St., Toluca Lake, CA 91602 Text is reproduced as found in the original publication (including date and spelling errors). UPDATE - 09/95 by the P.O.W. NETWORK, Skidmore, MO BRUCE R. ARCHER Captain - United States Marine Corps Shot Down: March 29, 1968 Released: March 16, 1973 "I left this country in 1967 at a time in which few Americans were proved to be called patriotic. I understand that today my friends who were with me these past years are now a symbol of national unity. It is hard for us to understand, because we are proud of you."--Captain Archer on arrival in the United States. Bruce R. Archer was born in Baltimore, Maryland on March 6, 1942, but later moved to Rochester, New York. He attended RPI (Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute) in Troy, New York. He joined the Marine Corps Reserve in 1964 and after his initial training, was sent to Pensacola where he met and courted Carolyn Corinne Cahoon. With the romantic courtship of three months and a frantic engagement of four months they were married on April Fool's Day 1967. In November 1967 he left for Vietnam and on March 29, 1968, while co-piloting a helicopter, he was captured with Major Paul J. Montague. They were reported dead at the time. In 1969 his weight dropped below 100 pounds due to treatment, humiliation and degradation. Very sparse food, little water and severe corporal punishment made imprisonment most miserable. Upon realizing their release might be imminent, their captors gave them more food, some sunshine, and set about making them look presentable to the world. On March 16, 1973 he was released weighing 145 pounds and now is at 170 pounds. An ability to laugh even in the dark days helped pull him through. On March 19, Captain Archer and his wife of six years renewed their wedding vows, less than one hour after his arrival from Clark AFB in the Philippines. Captain Archer said it marked "the re-birth, re-beginning of their life together." The ceremony was filled with much emotion. A wedding cake was baked by the hospital dietitian and with champagne, a reception was held in the solarium of the hospital. Captain Joe Hoagland and his wife, who were groomsman and bridesmaid in the original wedding were also guests. Captain Hoagland had caught the garter which Captain Archer threw, and in October of that year, Captain Hoagland's wife-to-be wore the garter, as the something old "in their wedding." Later when Captain Archer was declared killed, Captain Hoagland was sent to Vietnam and was assigned to Captain Archer's former squadron and quarters. Later he too was shot down and severely wounded. At the new ceremony, that original garter was given to Captain Archer--a model Marine, intelligent, rugged, and loyal. A new life has now begun. ============================== Bruce Archer retired from the United States Marine Corps as a Major. He and Carolyn reside in Florida.