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Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Coming Home

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

The remains of Cpl. Robert Gene Archer will return home to Brazil Feb. 5.
Remains of Cpl. Archer returning to Clay County

The family of Army Cpl. Robert Gene Archer can rest now.

Recently, United States Army officials notified family members that the remains of Cpl. Archer had been identified and were coming home.

Cpl. Robert Gene Archer received the Prisoner of War Medal after he was captured and interned as a Prisoner of War during the Korean War. [Click to enlarge]
In 1950, Cpl. Archer, an infantryman, was reported as missing in action during the Korean War.

However, it was later learned he had been taken prisoner by Chinese military in North Korea.

In 1951, it was reported by The Brazil Times that Cpl. Archer died of malnutrition.

But his body was never discovered. Until now.

Brazil resident Jim Archer, who is Cpl. Archer's nephew, was notified approximately two months ago that remains of United States soldiers had been discovered.

Unbeknownst to Jim, his father, Arthur Archer, had sent a blood sample to army officials in 2002 to help with locating Cpl. Archer.

"It was kind of a big shock," Jim said Tuesday during an interview with The Times.

Jim said he received confirmation from officials just a few weeks ago that the remains were of Cpl. Archer.

"I wanted (Cpl. Archer) brought back to have a good funeral," Jim said. "He was one of the guys who served our country."

The remains -- according to Jim -- are currently in Honolulu and will be flown to Atlanta next week.

According to French Funeral Home officials, the remains will then be flown to Indianapolis Feb. 5, and brought to Brazil.

French Funeral Home officials stated visitation times and funeral arrangements are pending.

Jim said Cpl. Archer, his father Arthur and another uncle, Norman, all volunteered for the military at approximately the same time.

Jim's father died in 2009.

"He probably would have been overjoyed (after hearing the news)," Jim said.

Jim was 5 when he learned of his uncle's death. Throughout the years, the family talked little of the situation.

"I never really thought about it. I never really talked about it," he said. "I had seen the (photographs) and I got them when my father passed away."

According to an article, which was printed in The Brazil Times in 1951, Cpl. Archer's mother, Alice Archer, received news that her son had died of malnutrition about Feb. 28, 1951.

The article stated Alice received an official letter from the adjutant general of the Army, Wm. E. Bergin. The letter reported two fellow prisoners of war who had been released verified the death of Cpl. Archer, then 22.

Bergin ended the letter by stating, "I sincerely regret that this message must carry so much sorrow into your home and I hope that in time you may find sustaining comfort in knowing that he served his country honorably. My deepest sympathy is extended to you in your bereavement."

According to the article, Cpl. Archer attended Meridian Street School, Brazil High School and later Staunton High School.

He had been employed at Mohr's Garage in Brazil before joining the military.

Cpl. Archer was a member of Headquarters Company, 1st Battalion, 32nd Infantry Regiment and 7th Infantry Division.

He was awarded the Combat Infantryman's Badge, the Prisoner of War Medal, the Korean Service Medal, the United Nations Service Medal, the National Defense Service Medal, the Korean Presidential Unit Citation and the Republic of Korea War Service Medal.

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Cpl. Robert Gene Archer needs to have the same services as any of the rest of our fallen soldiers for Clay County has had. We all need to treat him the same as we have the rest.

-- Posted by MS440 on Tue, Jan 29, 2013, at 4:04 PM

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