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Missionary Service, Vietnam

Privacy Level: Open (White)
Date: [unknown] [unknown]
Location: Buôn Ma Thuột, Ðắc Lắk, Vietnammap
Surnames/tags: Christian_and_Missionary_Alliance Mitchell Patzke
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List of Missionaries Killed or Captured

(When done editing them, put double brackets around their ids)

On their home page, enter the following at the bottom of their profile:


For more about some of the missionaries from the Christian & Missionary Alliance in Vietnam and Malaysia, please see //space:Christian & Missionary Alliance | xxxx//)

Archie Emerson Mitchell

Special note on Archie Emerson - please go to his site to read the story about the only bombing in the United States by Japan, near Portland, Oregon, which killed his first wife, and siblings of his second wife.

Betty Janet (Patzke) Mitchell
Daniel Amstutz Gerber
Rev. Carl Edward "Ed" Thompson
Ruth Hester (Stebbins) Thompson
Betty Ann Olsen
Albert Benjamin Simpson

The following haven't been cross-referenced to my free page and/or do not have wikitree profiles and need to have them created:

Dr. Ardel Vietti Ruth Wilting Becki Mitchell and David Thompson Henry Blood, linguist Michael Benge (I didn't create a profile for this man, although one should be made. He is presumably still alive. He is a hero because of his efforts to rescue the missionaries.)

Michael Dennis Benge 6 Aug 1935 Oregon Loss: 31 Jan 1968, South Viet Nam Released POW 1973

Christian & Missionary Alliance

Christian & Missionary Alliance is a huge missionary outreach organization, mainly evangelical, with schools and colleges all over the world. Started by Albert Benjamin Simpson[1] in 1887. (See https://library.cityvision.edu/history-christian-and-missionary-alliance.)

Most of these missionaries on this site first went to Simpson College and then finished at Nyack in New York. Template:Need sources

5 Jan 2021 - this is a work in progress. I eventually want to tell the story of this particular group of Missionaries from the Christian & Missionary Alliance and their journey in Vietnam.

Ban Me Thuot Leprosarium - 1962

During the 60s and 70s, one particular group of missionaries was interlinked by several tragedies and deaths in the course of carrying the Word of God to the indigenous people of Vietnam.

From pownetwork.org (1987): REMARKS: TAKEN FROM LEPROSARIUM in 1962

The Ban Me Thuot Leprosarium was located in dense jungle terrain in Darlac Province, South Vietnam, near the provincial capitol of Ban Me Thuot. The Leprosarium was jointly financed by The Christian and Missionary Alliance, the Mennonite Central Committee and American Leprosy Missions, Inc. There were 56 Alliance church groups in the areas outlying Ban Me Thuot in 1962.
The Leprosarium had a staff of nine, including Rev. Archie Mitchell, the administrative officer; Dr. Ardel Vietti, a surgeon, Daniel A. Gerber, and nurses, Misses Craig, Deets, Kingsbury and Wilting. There were two others on staff; also, the Mitchells and their four children had lived at the Leprosarium for 15 years.
Late afternoon on Wednesday, May 30, 1962, a group of about 12 armed Viet Cong entered the Leprosarium compound and abducted Dan Gerber, Dr. Vietti and Rev. Mitchell. The nurses were sternly lectured on their betrayal of the Vietnamese people and assured that they deserved immediate death, but were not molested or abducted. Mrs. Mitchell and her four children were not harmed. The VC ransacked all the buildings for anything they could use - linens, medicines, clothing and surgical instruments. About 10:00 p.m., the Viet Cong finally left, taking their three prisoners with them.
When the three were captured, the U.S. pledged all of its resources in order to see that everything possible was done to get them back safely in 1962.
At the time, U.S. and South Vietnamese intelligence discovered their probable location, but were never able to rescue the three. Reports have continued to surface on them through the years since 1962. Some of the members of their families believe them to be still alive.
Now, 25 years later, Gerber, Vietti and Mitchell are still missing. They were not military personnel, nor were they engaged in highly paid jobs relating to the war. They were just there to help sick Vietnamese people.
Although the U.S. has given the Vietnamese information on Gerber, Vietti and Mitchell, the Vietnamese deny any knowledge of them.

Archie Mitchell and his wife Betty, along with their four children lived in Vietnam since 1947. In 1962, he was kidnapped by Vietcong, along with Daniel Gerber and Dr. Ardel Vietti. The wives and nurses and children were spared. One of the nurses, Ruth Wilting was engaged to Daniel Gerber.

Attacks and Killings at The Ban Me Thuot Leprosarium 1968

Six years later, in 1968, the compound was again attacked, only this time it was vicious and brutal. Six missionaries were killed. (See https://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/1968/march-1/six-missionaries-martyred-in-viet-nam.html.)[2] (See, also, https://thecatholicnewsarchive.org/?a=d&d=ncr19680214-01.2.6&e=-------en-20--1--txt-txIN--------.)[3]

Six American missionaries—three men and three women—died at the hands of Viet Cong terrorists during the Tet lunar New Year offensive in Viet Nam. The slayings occurred at Ban Me Thuot, some 150 miles northeast of Saigon. They are thought to have been carried out January 30 and 31 (see account on page 16).

The Viet Cong also took at least two American missionaries and one former Marine, now state worker captive.

The dead were:

• Miss Ruth Wilting, 42, of Cleveland, Ohio.

• The Rev. Robert Ziemer, 49, of Toledo, Ohio.

• The Rev. C. Edward Thompson, 43, and his wife, Ruth, 44, of New Kensington, Pennsylvania.

• Leon Griswold, 66, and his daughter, Carolyn, 41, of White Plains, New York.

They first tried to surrender by waving white handkerchiefs. Two men were immediately shot and killed. The rest hunkered down in a bunker and still the enemy hunted them down and used machine guns to kill them. One couple, Ruth and Ed Thompson were known by the Mitchells.

Two missionaries who were kidnapped from the compound eventually died during a grueling march some months later.

• Henry Blood, a linguist, of Portland, Oregon

• Miss Betty Olsen, of Nyack, New York. Miss Olsen was a nurse whose services presumably were deemed valuable to the Viet Cong. See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Betty_Olsen.[4]

Mrs. Marie Ziemer, wife to the slain Rev. Robert Ziemer was freed. She was wounded but not seriously.

Only about three days before the attack, the three Ziemer children and the five Thompson children had left Ban Me Thuot for a boarding school in Malaysia.

: Betty Olsen, Henry Blood, and Michael D. Benge (born 6 Aug 1935 in Denver, Colorado, presumably still alive at this writing 6 Jan 2022, and the only survivor, a former marine and current specialist in the affairs of the Montagnard tribes for the US State Department), were tied together. The captors forced them to march for nearly 200 miles, through the jungle, tied to one another. Henry Blood died along the way and Betty and Michael buried him on the trail. Later, about three months, Betty became weak and ill and finally died, leaving Michael to bury her. Along the way, they had no shelter, very little food, very little water. They were kicked and beaten constantly. Michael Benge was held captive for five years, with at least 12 months in solitary confinement. See http://veterantributes.org/TributeDetail.php?recordID=694.

Later David Thompson (son of Ruth and Ed Thompson, who were martyred in 1968) would marry Becki Mitchell (daughter of Archie Mitchell, kidnapped in 1962) and they would continue missionary work in South Africa.

Kidnapping of Betty Mitchell – 1975

In 1975, Betty Mitchell (Archie's wife), who had continued her missionary work, returned to Vietnam from Malaysia to work but was almost immediately kidnapped by Vietcong. She was held for six to eight months. When she was released, she resumed her mission work, but moved to North Carolina and was a speaker for the Christian and Missionary Alliance, talking about her husband and their mission work, always believing that he was alive and was carrying on the message of the love of God.

Added this "free space" to the following: use double brackets //space:Christian & Missionary Alliance | xxxx// (replace the // with open and close brackets, xxxx with the id.


  1. Wikipedia contributors. Albert Benjamin Simpson [Internet]. Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia; 2021 Nov 21, 01:28 UTC [cited 2022 Jan 6]. Available from: https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Albert_Benjamin_Simpson&oldid=1056311341.
  2. Christianity Today, March 1, 1968.
  3. National Catholic Reporter, Volume 4, Number 16, 14 February 1968.
  4. Wikipedia contributors, "Betty Olsen," Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Betty_Olsen&oldid=1046984275 (accessed January 7, 2022).

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