Bruce  R.  Archer  
  Rank, Service
Major O-4,  U.S. Marine Corps
  Veteran of:
U.S. Marine Corps Reserve 1964-1965
U.S. Marine Corps 1965-1987
Cold War 1964-1987
Vietnam War 1967-1973 (POW)

Bruce Archer was born on March 6, 1942, in Baltimore, Maryland. He enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve on May 22, 1964, and attended basic training at MCRD Parris Island, South Carolina, from July to October 1964. He then attended Advanced Individual Combat Training at MCB Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, from October 1964 to January 1965, returning to his Marine Corps Reserve unit in Rochester, New York, until he entered helicopter flight training with the Marine Aviation Detachment at NAS Pensacola, Florida, on November 17, 1965. He was commissioned a 2ndLt in the U.S. Marine Corps at NAS Pensacola on March 31, 1967, and he then attended CH-46 Sea Knight training at MCAS New River, North Carolina, from April to July 1967. His next assignment was as a CH-46 pilot with Marine Medium Helicopter Squadron 365 (HMM-365) at MCAS New River from July to October 1967, followed by service as a CH-46 pilot with HMM-262 in South Vietnam from November 1967 to March 1968. Capt Archer then served as a CH-46 pilot with HMM-165 in South Vietnam from March 19 until he was captured and taken as a Prisoner of War by the Viet Cong after the crash of his helicopter in South Vietnam on March 28, 1968. After spending 1,815 days in captivity, Capt Archer was released during Operation Homecoming on March 16, 1973. He was briefly hospitalized to recover from his injuries at the U.S. Naval Hospital at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, and then attended fixed-wing requalification training at NAS Pensacola from October 1973 to June 1974. His next assignment was as an OV-10 Bronco pilot with Marine Observation Squadron 1 (VMO-1) at MCAS New River, North Carolina, from July 1974 to February 1976, followed by service as S-3 Operations Officer with Headquarters Company, 2nd Marine Regiment of the 2nd Marine Division at MCB Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, from February 1976 to March 1977. Maj Archer served as a UH-1N Iroquois pilot with Marine Light Helicopter Squadron 268 (HML-268) at MCAS New River from March to September 1977, and then as an OV-10 Bronco pilot back with VMO-1 at MCAS New River from September to December 1977. He served as Executive Officer of Marine Air Base Squadron 29 (MABS-29) at MCAS New River from December 1977 to September 1978, and then attended Auburn University from September 1978 to August 1979. Maj Archer served as an Admin Officer with VMO-1 at MCAS New River from September 1979 to June 1982, and then served as Head of the Aviation Detachment with the Education Center Company at Marine Corps Development and Education Command at MCB Quantico, Virginia, from July 1982 until his retirement from the Marine Corps on July 1, 1987.

His Bronze Star Medal for Valor citation reads:

For heroic achievement in connection with combat operations against the enemy in the Republic of Vietnam while serving as a copilot with Marine Medium Helicopter Squadron ONE HUNDRED SIXTY-FIVE. While on a mission near Hue, Phu Bai on 29 March 1968, Captain (then First Lieutenant) Archer's helicopter came under intense enemy ground fire and crashed in enemy territory. Upon impact, both pilot and copilot were knocked unconscious and entangled in the wreckage. Regaining consciousness first, Captain Archer freed himself and unhesitantly went to the rescue of the pilot. In spite of the enemy's presence and with full knowledge of the serious hazards involved, he attempted to extricate the now semiconscious pilot until they were both captured by enemy soldiers. By his unselfish dedication to duty and to the welfare of his fellow officer in the face of grave personal danger, Captain Archer reflected great credit upon himself and upheld the highest traditions of the Marine Corps and the United States Naval Service.

The Combat Distinguishing Device is authorized.




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