Dan Willie Archer, Jr

Private First Class
Army of the United States
10 October 1947 - 15 July 1967
Memphis, Tennessee
Panel 23E Line 073

Silver Star

Combat Infantry

Bronze Star (Merit), Purple Heart, National Defense, Vietnam Service, Vietnam Campaign

The database page for Dan Willie Archer, Jr

06 Mar 2008

Dan Willie Archer was a devoted son of Dan Archer and Ted Archer of Memphis Tennessee. He was loved by many as a compassionate person who went into the military from a sense of duty and died protecting others in his unit.

His selfless actions saved others but cost him his life after such a short time in Vietnam. Many miss him even today. I feel cheated that his life was cut short and not allowed to flourish. Who knows how many lives would have been different if he was not lost in the conflict?

He was quick to laugh and had very red hair as his nickname was "Red". He was a good friend who offered much to humanity. I will always miss him.

From a friend,
Susan Johnson

A Note from The Virtual Wall

Two men from C Company, 1/35th Infantry, were killed in an engagement on 15 July 1967 about 15 kilometers southwest of Duc Pho - PFC Dan W. Archer from Memphis, Tennessee, and PFC Armando Villa from Brentwood, California.

Both men are remembered by their fellow soldiers of the

35th Infantry - the Cacti Regiment

Photo courtesy of the 35th Infantry Assn

Dan Archer is remembered on the 35th Inf site by a friend who said

The Cool Dude from Memphis

He was "Red" to the guys in the second platoon. He would clean that M60 machinegun like a hot rod car. He had short curly red hair, and the guy I could swear was a magnet, people loved being around him. He wasn't loud or anything, he wasn't a street kid, he just made people feel comfortable, I know they'd draw around him on breaks. I went through basic training in Ft. Campbell, Ky with Red Archer and I bumped into him with an M60 on his shoulder when his platoon (2nd Platoon, C Co., 1/35) came in for stand-down at LZ Montezuma at Duc Pho in Quang Ngai province. We remembered each other from basic.

Red was killed in a battle that is glancingly referred to in the Vietnam Order of Battle. The author talks about a classic fire and manuever battle. It was, and it went for about six hours more or less. He was one of two guys killed in my platoon that day. Red was laying down some fire when I ran out onto a trail to try to drag two wounded guys back, I never made it. Got pinned down, got wounded. Red was killed I think by the same NVA regular who shot me through the back of the helmet. The rascal was up in a tree above and behind us both. Red never gave up. He was on the right of the firing line.

Red Archer laid down a devastating line of fire into some NVA bunkers on top of a mountain that day. He was shot from above and from the back just like I was. I made it, Red didn't. An hour or so into the battle they dragged Red back to me. I'd never seen a dead American soldier yet, I was pretty new to the war. Red was deathly pale, not breathing. I could't figure out where he'd been shot, but the guys showed me, they'd pulled off his shirt to bandage him. Red was hit just above the belt line in or very near the spine. He went quick.

I understand the family didn't allow black friends to be kept out of the church the day of the funeral. He would have liked that I'm sure. Red was an only son who didn't have to go to war. He chose to do it. As a youngster he had a magnetic way with the neighborhood kids who'd gather around him to talk. I wish I'd been there to learn his secret. God bless you, Red Archer, you are not forgotten. Hope to see you in Memphis some day.

Ed "Doc" Gerson
C Co. 1/35th, 25th Infantry Division 1967

The point-of-contact for this memorial is
a friend,
Susan Johnson

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With all respect
Jim Schueckler, former CW2, US Army
Ken Davis, Commander, United States Navy (Ret)
Memorial first published on 06 Mar 2008
Last updated 03/07/2008