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Archie Emerson Mitchell



Name: Archie Emerson Mitchell

Rank/Branch: Civilian

Unit: Christian Missionary Alliance

Date of Birth: 01 May 1918 (Franklin NE)

Home City of Record: Ellensburg WA

Date of Loss: 30 May 1962

Country of Loss: South Vietnam

Loss Coordinates: 123250N 1075927E (ZU250888)

Status (in 1973): Prisoner of War

Category: 1

Acft/Vehicle/Ground: Ground

Other Personnel in Incident: Daniel Gerber; Dr. Ardel Vietti (both captured)




Archie Mitchell was born May 1, 1918 in Franklin, Nebraska. After he graduated from high school, he attended Sipson Bible College and  Nyack Missionary College.   Two days before Christmas 1947, Mitchell and his bride, Betty Patzke Mitchell, sailed for Indo-China for two terms of missionary service with the Vietnamese people at Dalat. Mitchell's third term assignment was the Leprosarium at Ban Me Thuot, South Vietnam.>
The Ban Me Thuot Leprosarium was located in dense jungle terrain in Darlac Province, South Vietnam, near the provincial capitol of Ban Me Thuot.The Leprosarium was jointly financed by The Christian and Missionary Alliance, the Mennonite Central Committee and American Leprosy Missions, Inc.There were 56 Alliance church groups in the areas outlying Ban Me Thuot in 1962.
The Leprosarium had a staff of nine, including Rev. Archie Mitchell, the administrative officer; Dr. Ardel Vietti, a surgeon, Daniel A. Gerber, and nurses, Misses Craig, Deets, Kingsbury and Wilting. There were two others on staff; also, the Mitchell's four children lived at the Leprosarium.
Late afternoon on Wednesday, May 30, 1962, a group of about 12 armed Viet Cong entered the Leprosarium compound and abducted Dan Gerber, Dr. Vietti and Rev. Mitchell. The nurses were sternly lectured on their betrayal of the Vietnamese people and assured that they deserved immediate death, but were not molested or abducted. Mrs. Mitchell and her four children were not harmed.
The VC ransacked all the buildings for anything they could use - linens, medicines, clothing and surgical instruments. About 10:00 p.m., the Viet Cong finally left, taking their three prisoners with them.When the three were captured, the U.S. pledged all of its resources in order to see that everything possible was done to get them back safely in 1962.
At the time, U.S. and South Vietnamese intelligence discovered their probable location, but were never able to rescue the three. Reports have continued to surface on them through the years since 1962. Some of the members of their families believe them to be still alive.
Now, 25 years later, Gerber, Vietti and Mitchell are still missing. They were not military personnel, nor  were they engaged in highly paid jobs relating to the war. They were just there to help sick Vietnamese people.
Although the U.S. has given the Vietnamese information on Gerber, Viettiand Mitchell, the Vietnamese deny any knowledge of them.



The Vietnam war is over, but those who fought in it, and didn't come back, won't be forgotten.

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