Charles Pahl Archambeault was born on October 6, 1894, in Troy, New York. He attended Eastern District High School, Brooklyn, New York, and was graduated from Albany Medical School, he enlisted in the US Naval Reserve Force as a Pharmacist’s Mate Third Class, in 1917, and following graduation was commissioned a Lieutenant (jg) in the Medical Corps of the US Naval Reserve Force, on September 17, 1918. On March 12, 1920, he was transferred to the Medical Corps of the US Navy and has since attained the grade of Captain to date from June 14, 1942.
Upon receiving his commission, he was assigned to the Naval Training Station, Norfolk, Virginia, until March 1920. In June of that year he reported for duty at the Naval Hospital, Pearl Harbor, TH, and on October 16, 1921, joined USS Rainbow. While serving in that submarine tender, he was Medical Officer of the first two squadrons of “S” Boats to go the Asiatic Station. Detached from the Rainbow, he had duty between October 1923 and May 1927 at the Recruiting Station, Brooklyn, New York, after which he returned to sea aboard USS Patoka.
From August 1929 to May 1932, Captain Archambeault, was assigned to the Naval Hospital, Brooklyn, New York. Completing a course at the Chemical Warfare School, he reported for fitting out duty in USS Indianapolis, at the New York Shipbuilding Corporation, Camden, New Jersey. Upon the commissioning of that cruiser, November 15, 1932, he joined her as Senior Medical Officer, and continued service aboard until June 1934. After duty for four years in the Bureau of Medicine and Surgery, Navy Department, Washington, DC, he served as Senior Medical Officer of USS Arizona until July 1940.
Captain Archambeault served from October 1940 until May 1941 as Senior Medical Officer at the Naval Station, Key West, Florida, after which he had consecutive duty at Norfolk, Virginia, at the Naval Training Station and the Naval Construction Training Center, until January 1943. He then reported as Senior Medical Officer at the Naval Construction Training Center, Camp Peary, Virginia. During May and June of 1943 he was on duty at the Naval Training Station, Newport, Rhode Island, and the following month reported for instruction at the Naval War College there, completing the course in December 1943.
Reporting for duty with Lion 4, he subsequently joined the Third Marine Division at Guadalcanal as Division Surgeon. While attached to that Division, he landed at Guam on D-Day and when the old naval hospital there was recaptured he supervised repairs in the two buildings which were still standing and established a Division Hospital. He also landed with the Division on Iwo Jima and set up two Regimental Hospitals at the North end of Air Field #2. For meritorious achievement while serving in that assignment he was awarded the Bronze Star Medal and a Gold Star in lieu of a Second Bronze Star Medal. The citations follow:
Bronze Star Medal: “For meritorious achievement as Division Surgeon during the planning for the operations against the enemy on Guam, Marianas Group, from 10 April to 10 August 1944. As a result of Captain Archambeault’s expert supervision of the division’s medical facilities and his exceptionally able training of the division medical personnel, all troops entered the combat area in excellent physical condition. Throughout the active phase of the operation, medical attention was furnished under his direction so promptly and skillfully that despite unhealthful tropical climate and rugged terrain which imposed great difficulties upon medical and surgical personnel, losses from sickness and battle wounds among troops were extremely light. Throughout the operation he displayed superior efficiency and good judgement which contributed materially toward the successful attainment of all division objectives. His conduct was in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service.”
Gold Star in lieu of Second Bronze Star Medal with Combat “V”: “For meritorious achievement as Surgeon for the Third Marine Division during the training and assault phases of the campaign for Iwo Jima, Volcano Islands, from October 31, 1944, to March 16, 1945. During the planning and training phases for the operation, Captain Archambeault’s able supervision rendered activities which maintained the unsurpassed health of the Division troops, and was responsible for preparations to insure their health during the campaign. Landing on the island under heavy fire, and making frequent trips to the most forward aid stations, he unhesitantingly gave himself to the task of providing the best medical care for the wounded and of protecting the health of the troops. His skill, leadership and courageous devotion to duty were contributing factors in the success of the operation, and his conduct throughout was in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service.”
Returning to the United States in July 1945, he was assigned to Headquarters, Third Naval District, New York, New York, and in August 1947, reported ad District Medical Officer of the Tenth Naval District, San Juan, Puerto Rico. In August 1948, he was assigned as Assistant Medical Officer of the Third Naval District, New York, New York.
In September 1949, he was assigned duty as Medical Director of the Military Sea Transportation Service, Atlantic, New York, and since December 1949 has been the Medical Director of Military Sea Transportation Service, Headquarters, Washington, DC.
In addition to the Bronze Star Medal with Gold Star, Captain Archambeault has the Ribbons for an facsimiles of the Presidential Unit Citation, with two stars, and the Navy Unit Commendation with one star, and is entitled to the World War I Victory Medal; the American Defense Service Medal, Fleet Clasp; the American Campaign Medal; the Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal with two stars; and the World War II Victory Medal.
Captain Archambeault is a Fellow of the American Medical Association; a Fellow of the American College of Physicians; a member of Association of Military Surgeons; a member of various orders of the Masons, including the Shrine; the National Sojourners; the Army-Navy Country Club, Washington, DC; and the Emmanual Baptist Church of Brooklyn, New York. He is also a Terrier Judge of the American Kennel Club.
Captain Archambeault’s grandfather, the late Louis Joseph Archambeault, MD, graduated from Albany Medical College prior to the Civil War, served with the Union Army, and was an outstanding surgeon of New York. His uncle Charles Francis Archambeault, also a graduate of Albany, was an obstetrician and gynecologist.
He died May 31, 1982.