The Wall of Faces

Advanced search +


is honored on Panel 23W, Line 94 of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial.

Leave a Remembrance


  • Remembered

    Posted on 9/22/16 - by Lucy Conte Micik
  • Remembering An American Hero

    Posted on 6/7/15 - by Curt Carter
    Dear Major John Christopher Archbold, sir

    As an American, I would like to thank you for your service and for your sacrifice made on behalf of our wonderful country. The youth of today could gain much by learning of heroes such as yourself, men and women whose courage and heart can never be questioned.

    May God allow you to read this, and may He allow me to someday shake your hand when I get to Heaven to personally thank you. May he also allow my father to find you and shake your hand now to say thank you; for America, and for those who love you.

    With respect, Sir

    Curt Carter
  • Final Mission of MAJ John C. Archbold

    Posted on 4/17/15 - by
    On June 7, 1969 at about 1400 hours, a U.S. Marine Corps helicopter CH-46A (tail number 153397) from Marine Medium Helicopter Squadron 364 suffered a hydraulic failure on lift off from LZ Eagle on a routine resupply mission. Aircraft commander 1LT Carmine Casciano survived the crash sustaining 2nd and 3rd degree burns (extent unknown). Gunner LCPL Mills suffered lacerations of his left eye and nose, plus 2nd degree burns on his left forearm. Pilot MAJ John C. Archbold and crew chief PFC Bruce A. Pankuch did not survive the crash. LTC Larry W. "Slick" Britton recalls, "I was the Squadron Safety Officer at the time and conducted the investigation of YK-9's crash. Upon arriving at the crash site, with the assistance of the Grunts from LZ Eagle, we began retrieving the wreckage of YK-9. One of the Grunts found the ramp & hatch manifold, brought it to me and asked if it was important. The ramp & hatch manifold was installed on the right rear side of the aircraft to allow the crew chief to raise and lower the ramp and hatch to embark or offload personnel or supplies. As soon as I saw the manifold, I knew we had something. The safety wire that was attached to either side of the manifold and went through a plug at the end of the manifold was in place while the plug was missing. This screw-in plug had failed and was allowing hydraulic fluid to blow out under 1500 psi. When PFC Pankuch informed his pilot of the leak, 1LT Casciano followed the appropriate emergency procedures by activating the isolation switch which should have isolated the Utility Hydraulic System (ramp & hatch, etc.) from the #2 Boost System. PFC Pankuch told 1LT Casciano the leak had apparently been stopped. Further investigation as to why activating the isolation valve failed to stop the leak revealed that there was a hydraulic line running from the utility #2 boost reservoir to the ramp & hatch manifold which was separate from the rest of the system and, therefore not affected by the isolation valve. This line allowed hydraulic fluid under 50 psi pressure to flow to the ramp & hatch manifold to provide "make-up" pressure to move the pistons inside the manifold. We all know what a mess high pressure hydraulic leaks make in an aircraft, there is hydraulic fluid everywhere. Therefore, when PFC Pankuch witnessed the reduction of the 1500 psi blow out, the 50 psi leak was masked by the abundance of hydraulic fluid already inside the aircraft. The statement from 1LT Casciano revealed that he did not intend to attempt a flight back to Marble Mountain. He realized that LZ Eagle was a one bird zone which would not allow another maintenance crew to land and repair the damage. His call over the radio that he was going to 'fly low and slow' was to move the aircraft down to an LZ known as the Rock Crusher which was located at the bottom of Hill 364. As 1LT Casciano lifted he experienced control problems, attempted to return to LZ Eagle, but was unable to do so. For some reason, the Number One Boost System was unable to provide the necessary control response or authority. With the loss of the Utility and Number Two Boost, the crew of YK-9 ceased to be crew members and were simply passengers from that point on. I think that Boeing Vertol (manufacturer of the CH-46) changed the design after the crash of YK-9 so the entire Utility/#2 Boost system would be isolated by activating the Isolation Valve. The Grunts on LZ Eagle were extremely helpful after the crash, attempting to rescue survivors, securing the area and even rigging ropes down the side of the mountain to the resting spot of the wreckage (it was about a 60-70 degree slope). A few days later, we filled a couple of large parts cans with beer and ice, painted the cans purple and placed the 'Fox' stencil on them, and delivered them to the Marines on LZ Eagle. To our surprise the Grunts immediately started pulling the beer out and dropping it on the ground. Once the beer was out, they took the ice and put it into their cans of drinking water. Apparently they had no trouble getting beer on top of Hill 364, but they said they hadn't had ice up there for a year! After that, we would take a couple of cans of ice up there whenever we could.” The MAG-16 Command Chronology describes the incident this way: 5 miles NW Danang, Quang Nam Province, RVN. Crew of CH-46D on routine resupply mission. Shortly after takeoff from mountaintop the aircraft was observed to turn 180 degrees and crash nose-first into the mountain. The aircraft burst into flames and fell down side of mountain. ARCHBOLD [copilot] and PANKUCH [crew chief] were killed. MILLS [gunner] suffered lacerations of left eye and nose, plus 2nd degree burns on left forearm. CASCIANO [pilot] received 2nd and 3rd degree burns thermo 40%. Comment on Incident: Hydraulic failure on assigned logistical resupply mission. At approximately 1400 hours, five miles northwest of Da Nang, 1LT Casciano was lifting from LZ Eagle (Hill 364) when CPL James Huebner, who was flying in the chase aircraft as a gunner, recalls this transmission from YK-9: "We've got some hydraulic problems and we're going to take it low and slow.” CPL Huebner further recalls, "I could see that the aircraft was noticeably in trouble. The pilot tried to return to the LZ but did not make it. I saw it turn 180 degrees, pitch down and crash nose first into the side of the mountain. It then burst into flames and rolled down the mountain. The pilot of my aircraft (I don't remember the other crew members names) immediately landed in the LZ. The crew chief and I, as well as grunts from LZ Eagle, started searching for survivors. We found J.D. Mills climbing back up the mountain toward the LZ and I escorted him back to my aircraft. We immediately lifted, leaving our crew chief [pilot] at the site to continue searching for survivors, and flew J.D. to the hospital at Da Nang. [Taken from]
  • We Remember

    Posted on 9/12/13 - by Robert Sage
    John is buried at Star of the Sea Cemetery, Marblehead,MA.
  • Semper Fi

    Posted on 6/7/12 - by A Marine

    Semper Fi, Sir.

1 2

The Wall of Faces

Brought to you by the organization that built The Wall, the Vietnam Veterans Virtual Memorial Wall is dedicated to honoring, remembering and sharing the legacies of all those who died in the Vietnam War. Here you can go beyond the names on The Wall to see the faces, share the stories and read the remembrances posted by friends, neighbors, classmates and family members.

All of these photos will be showcased in The Education Center at The Wall on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. To learn more about the effort to collect these photos and ensure their faces will never be forgotten, visit