The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA

Community News Network

February 6, 2013

Korean War captive's remains identified

TERRE HAUTE, Ind. — Half way around the world, nearly a lifetime ago, a young man from rural Indiana found himself as a prisoner of war.

At 19, Robert Gene Archer was still a teenager in late 1950 when he was reportedly captured near the Chosin Reservoir in communist North Korea. Cpl. Archer, a light truck driver and infantryman, would die as a captive of the North Korean forces in that distant place, far from his family, friends and home.

Now, thanks to DNA testing by the U.S. military using samples from Archer’s surviving relatives, Cpl. Archer’s remains have been identified and returned to his hometown of Brazil. They arrived at the French Funeral Home early Tuesday afternoon.

“It’s really good that they brought him home,” said Jim Archer, a nephew of Cpl. Archer. “We’re just honored.”

Jim Archer and his cousin, John Archer were too young to recall their uncle, who died serving in the Korean War, 1950-1953. But they said their older relatives never forgot “Uncle Robert.”

“My mom and dad always talked about him,” John Archer said, standing outside the French Funeral Home, where services for his uncle are scheduled for Saturday morning. Burial will follow the services  with full military honors.

A large contingent, including veterans groups, escorted Archer’s remains Tuesday from the Indianapolis International Airport to Clay County, where Robert Archer attended high school and worked at Mohr’s Garage in Brazil before enlisting in the U.S. Army.

“We try to do this whenever we can,” said Toni Brown, a member of the Greenwood American Legion Post, who was part of the large escort. “We still have a lot of [military men and women missing in action],” she said. “We need to get more of them home.”

Archer is one of six U.S. veterans identified through DNA testing so far this year, according to the Defense Department. His remains were identified on Jan. 14.

There are approximately 88,000 military men and women missing in action from World War II through the recent wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, according to U.S. government data.

Archer has been awarded the Combat Infantryman’s Badge, the Prisoner of War Medal, the Korean Service Medal, the National Defense Service Medal, the Korean Presidential Unit Citation and the Republic of Korea War Service Medal.

For his family members still living in Clay County, having their uncle back home brings a long-overdue sense of closure and satisfaction. It also brings a sense of pride.

“You’ve got to admire the people that go in the service and fight for our country,” said John Archer leaving the funeral home. “How can you not be proud?”

Details for this story were provided by Arthur Foulkes, a reporter for The Tribune Star in Terre Haute, Ind. Contact him at arthur.foulkes@tribstar.com.

1
Text Only
Community News Network
  • American sunscreens need an upgrade

    The last time a new sunscreen ingredient came on the U.S. market, the Y2K bug was threatening to destroy our way of life. Intel had just introduced the Pentium III processor, featuring an amazing 500 MHz of computing power.

    April 24, 2014

  • 20140424-AMX-COFFEE24.jpg Coffee growers' prayers for rain met with threat of deluge

    Brazil's drought made arabica coffee this year's best-performing commodity. Now, farmers are facing a downpour that is once more threatening crops.

    April 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • Celebrity quack moms are a terrible influence on everyday parents

    On April 15, the actress Alicia Silverstone released a book called "The Kind Mama: A Simple Guide to Supercharged Fertility, a Radiant Pregnancy, a Sweeter Birth, and a Healthier, More Beautiful Beginning." It's chock-full of attachment parenting lessons and dangerous misinformation.

    April 24, 2014

  • Affirmative action ruling challenges colleges seeking diversity

    The U.S. Supreme Court's support of Michigan's ban on race-based affirmative action in university admissions may spur colleges to find new ways to achieve diversity without using racial preferences.

    April 23, 2014

  • A 'wearable robot' helps her walk again

    Science is about facts, numbers, laws and formulas. To be really good at it, you need to spend a lot of time in school. But science is also about something more: dreaming big and helping people.

    April 23, 2014

  • Cuba is running out of condoms

    The newest item on Cuba's list of dwindling commodities is condoms, which are now reportedly in short supply. In response, the Cuban government has approved the sale of expired condoms.

    April 23, 2014

  • The waffle taco's biggest enemy isn't McDonald's. It's consumer habits.

    Gesturing to Taco Bell, Thompson said McDonald's had "not seen an impact relative to the most recent competitor that entered the [breakfast] space," and that new competition would only make McDonald's pursue breakfast more aggressively.

    April 23, 2014

  • Screen Shot 2014-04-22 at 4.42.47 PM.png VIDEO: Leopard attacks crowd in India

    A leopard caused panic in the city of Chandrapur when it sprung from the roof of a house and charged at rescue workers.

    April 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • The top 12 government programs ever

    Which federal programs and policies succeed in being cost-effective and targeting those who need them most? These two tests are obvious: After all, why would we spend taxpayers' money on a program that isn't worth what it costs or helps those who do not need help?

    April 22, 2014

  • In cuffs... 'Warlock' in West Virginia accused of sexual assault

    Police in West Virginia say a man claiming to be a “warlock” used promises of magical spells to lure children into committing sexual acts with him.

    April 22, 2014 1 Photo