REMARKS: TAKEN FROM LEPROSARIUM
SYNOPSIS: Ardel Vietti was a twin and was born on November 5, 1927 in Ft. Worth, Texas. Her father was a geologist and provided Ardel, her sister and brother with a comfortable youth, as well as the experience of living in South America for several years. Ardel attended Rice Institute, Nyack Missionary College (one summer), and attended medical school at the University of Texas. Following her residency, she applied for foreign service with C&MA and was certified for appointment to the Ban Me Thuot Leprosarium in Vietnam.
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.
had a staff of nine, including Rev. Archie Mitchell, the
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
At the time,
U.S. and South Vietnamese intelligence discovered their
Now, 25 years
later, Gerber, Vietti and Mitchell are still missing. They
U.S. has given the Vietnamese information on Gerber, Vietti