Archuleta, Rubel V., Lt Col

 Service Photo   Service Details
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Last Rank
Lieutenant Colonel
Last Primary AFSC/MOS
Last AFSC Group
Primary Unit
1943-1944, 110th Tactical Reconnaissance Squadron
Service Years
1941 - 1969
Foreign Language(s)
Officer Collar Insignia
Lieutenant Colonel

 Last Photo   Personal Details 

11 kb

Home State
New Mexico
New Mexico
Year of Birth
This Military Service Page was created/owned by Richard Jones-Family to remember Archuleta, Rubel V. ("Archie"), Lt Col.

If you knew or served with this Airman and have additional information or photos to support this Page, please leave a message for the Page Administrator(s) HERE.
Contact Info
Home Town
Last Address
SpringHill, FL

Date of Passing
Sep 11, 2010
Location of Interment
Florida National Cemetery - Bushnell, Florida
Wall/Plot Coordinates
Not Specified

 Official Badges 

WW II Honorable Discharge Pin Air Force Retired

 Unofficial Badges 

Cold War Medal

 Additional Information
Last Known Activity
From Patriot Guard Riders:

LtCol(Ret) Rubel V. Archuleta
United States Air Force
WWII Veteran serving in the Pacific Theater
Hudson/Bushnell, Florida
Sunday-Monday,19-20 Sep 10
The family of LtCol(Ret) Rubel V. Archuleta, has requested the Patriot Guard Riders stand in silent respect for their Hero during services at Grace Memorial Gardens in Hudson Florida and also at Florida National Cemetery near Bushnell.
His son-in-Law writes:
My father-in-Law passed away on 9/11/10.  He was a fighter pilot in WWII. I would formally request your participation at his funeral. Lord knows he deserves what you people do.  Last year at this time my father passed away and it was truly awesome what you people did to comfort my family.  I think that your organization is what AMERICA needs at this time
This will be a Two Part / Two Day Mission.

DATE: Sunday, 19 SEP 10
Grace Memorial Gardens
16931 U.S. 19
Hudson Florida 34667
Staging Begins:  0900 hrs
Mission Brief:   0930 hrs
Set Flag Line: 0945 (or as directed at brief)
Visitation: 1000 hrs to 1200 hrs
Service Begins: 1200 hrs
This mission will be a Flag Line only Grace Memorial Gardens.......NO escort to FNC Bushnell.
Mission Ride Captain:Jack Fair/Judith Birch
Cell 727-744-4714
Please bring your American Flags and come out to honor this Hero and his Family. It is now our time to stand for him.
Service: Monday, 20 SEP 10
Florida National Cemetery
6502 SW 102nd Ave
Bushnell, Fl.
Enter FNC, go past office on right, to Stop sign, turn left, stage on right.
Staging Begins: 0900 hrs
Mission Brief:  0930 hrs
Set Flag Line: as directed at brief
Ceremony Begins: 1000 hrs
Mission Ride Captain: Jack Fair/Judith Birch

Other Comments:
From Grace Memorial Gardens:

Rubel "Archie" Archuleta
During World War II there were very few Hispanic fighter pilots, but this seemed to present an opportunity and a challenge for a local boy from northern New Mexico to serve his country.

Rubel "Archie" Archuleta was born Sept. 16, 1914, on the family homestead in Pajarito, NM, near the banks of the Rio Grande and close to the Black Mesa. He was the fourth of eight children born to Locadio Archuleta and Zenaida Vigil Archuleta, and he was raised near the family farm, El Monte, in his father's family home. His father was gone much of the year, working in mines in Colorado and in fact died in a mining accident when Archie was 11 years old. Zenaida was left to raise the children and head the home and farm. The older brothers worked the farm, spending the summer there and bringing produce home to sell each fall.

As a young child, Archie was educated at home. His father valued education and was adamant that his children receive a formal education. He built a schoolroom attached to the family home and the state provided a teacher. Archie, his siblings and other children from the community attended grade school there. Archie later attended Santa Cruz High School, graduating in 1934. He attended New Mexico State University in Las Cruces and graduated with a bachelor's degree in education in 1941. After graduation Archie taught school for a brief time, but soon enlisted in the Army Air Corps, following a dream to fly airplanes that he had had since he was a young boy. He attended pilot training in Texas and in November 1941, was commissioned a second lieutenant and was stationed in California where he served on antisubmarine patrol off the U.S. West Coast.

In 1943 with the escalation of World War II, he was sent to fight in the Pacific. Among the aircraft types he flew during the war were the P-39 Airacobra, the P-40 Warhawk and the P-51 Mustang. Archie flew 210 combat missions in the Asia-Pacific theater. For combat service in the Pacific theater as a fighter pilot, he was awarded the Silver Star, the Distinguished Flying Cross with one oak-leaf cluster and the Air Medal with three oak-leaf clusters. The Silver Star was awarded for a spectacular display of courage and gallantry on Dec. 26, 1944, on Mindoro Island in the Philippines. A Japanese naval task force of a heavy cruiser and at least 6 destroyers was discovered approaching the newly established American base on Mindoro Island. Although his P-40 squadron, the 110th Tactical Reconnaissance Squadron was not suited for night attacks and was not trained for night flying, Archie led his squadron to repel the attack. The Japanese force was driven off by his and other units.

After returning from the war, Archie continued his career in the military. He had numerous assignments over his 28-year career, and the family lived in several states including an assignment to Japan. Archie and his wife Noema had three children: Tom, born in 1947; Ann, born in 1948; and Sylvia born in 1950. He is survived by one sibling, Locadia "Luckie" Gonzales, his three children, nine grandchildren, and nine great-grandchildren.

After his retirement from the Air Force, Archie was employed by the Delaware Commission for the Blind for 10 years before retiring again and moving to Florida. Noema died in November 2004 in Spring Hill, Fl. Archie was 95 years old and resided in Spring Hill until his death on Sept. 11th. Family who visited regarded him with great pride, respect and love. They would often sit together with him and look through picture albums while he reminisced about the past. He remembered the name of every man he fought with during the war. As he reminisced he would smile as he commented about each comrade, pointing to them in old, faded pictures. You might hear him say something like, " That's old Smitty-you better believe he was a good man and a damned good pilot!"

Thus a young boy, who was raised on the land his Archuleta ancestors settled on and who dreamed of flying, found his opportunity during a time when his country needed him most. Rubel "Archie" Archuleta has brought honor and dignity not only to his family but to all of us.
(Reflections from Ann Ecker, daughter)

A visitation is scheduled for Sunday, Sept. 19, 2010, from 10:00AM until 12:00PM with a Funeral service at 12 noon at Grace Memorial Gardens & Funeral Home, Hudson, Fl. Interment with military honors is scheduled for Monday, Sept 20, 2010, 10:00AM at Florida National Cemetery, Bushnell, Fl. In lieu of flowers, family requests donations to Hospice.

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Aviator (Command)
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 Unit Assignments/ Advancement Schools
Aviation Cadet Flight School5th Air ForceUnited States Army Air Forces (USAAF)110th Tactical Reconnaissance Squadron
  1941-1941, Aviation Cadet Flight School
  1941-1943, AAF MOS 1055, 5th Air Force
  1941-1947, United States Army Air Forces (USAAF)
  1943-1944, 110th Tactical Reconnaissance Squadron
 Combat and Non-Combat Operations
  1941-1942 World War II/Asian-Pacific Theater/Philippine Islands Campaign (1941-42)
  1944-1944 World War II/Asian-Pacific Theater/Air Offensive Campaign Japan (1942-45)
  1968-1969 Vietnam Air Offensive Phase IV Campaign (1968-69)
 Colleges Attended 
New Mexico State University
  1937-1941, New Mexico State University
 My Aircraft/Missiles
PT-22 Recruit  AT-6 Texan  P-40 Warhawk/Kittyhawk  L-1 Valiant  
AT-11 Kansan  AT-7 Navigator  P-39 Airacobra  P-51/F-51 Mustang  
C-47 Skytrain/Dakota  C-46 Commando  L-4 Grasshopper  C-54 Skymaster  
C-124 Globemaster II  L-5 Sentinal (Jungle Angel)  C-131 Samaritan  
  1941-1941, PT-22 Recruit
  1941-1941, AT-6 Texan
  1941-1945, P-40 Warhawk/Kittyhawk
  1941-1945, L-1 Valiant
  1941-1945, AT-11 Kansan
  1941-1946, AT-7 Navigator
  1942-1943, P-39 Airacobra1
  1943-1947, P-51/F-51 Mustang1
  1943-1947, C-47 Skytrain/Dakota
  1944-1949, C-46 Commando
  1945-1950, L-4 Grasshopper
  1950-1959, C-54 Skymaster
  1955-1965, C-124 Globemaster II
  1955-1968, L-5 Sentinal (Jungle Angel)
  1959-1969, C-131 Samaritan
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