Figure 1 - Hung this up 50 years ago
In March of 1970, when I left Vietnam, the 159th Engineer Group consisted of four battalions, the 34th, 46th, 92nd and 169th plus twelve companies and detachments, consisting of 3,957 Engineer soldiers, commanded by Col. Joseph K. Bratton
I was the assistant operations officer and liaison officer in the Headquarters of the 159th Engineer Group, meaning that among other things, I had to track progress on hundreds of missions and brief the commanding officer of the 20th Engineer Brigade, Col. Edwin O’Donnell, every Thursday on all the activities of the 159th Engineer Group for the previous week.
These 3,957 Engineer soldiers were mostly 18-24 year-olds, working 6 ½ days a week, building highways and bridges, operating heavy equipment, driving trucks, operating quarries and asphalt plants, flying helicopters, constructing every type of building, building fire support bases, sweeping mines, clearing land, and training ARVN (Army of the Republic of Vietnam) all while occasionally getting shot at and routinely rocketed and mortared.
Figure 2 - Headquarters and Headquarters Company (HHC) 159th Engineer Group, Long Binh, Vietnam, 1969. I am third from the left, top row, and John Clinton, my co-founding partner at Interactive Resources, is fourth from the left, second row.
For more, see:
Other Veterans Day E-FORUM posts:
For films of Vietnam 1969-70 by Tom Butt, see:
- Tom Butt, Vietnam 1969-70, HHC 159th Engineer Group, 20th Engineer Brigade
- Mission to Ham Tan, Vietnam 1969
- Construction of Corduroy Road, MSR Zinc, Vietnam 1969
- Saigon from the Rooftop1969
- The Streets of Saigon 1969
- Mission to Vung Tau, Vietnam 1969
- Party for Children of Mama Sans, Long Binh, Vietnam 1969
- Vietnam from Above 1969
- Phu Cuong Float Bridge, Vietnam 1969
- Changing of Command, 159th Engr. Gp., Vietnam 1969
- R&R in Sydney, New Year 1970
For films of the long trip home, 1970, see:
For my personal story of military service, see “Before and After Vietnam, Military Experiences of Thomas K. (Tom) Butt.”
Here are the details for some of the Veterans Day events planned in West County:
Saturday, November 9
What: City of San Pablo Veterans Day
When: 10 am to noon
Where: San Pablo City Hall, 13831 San Pablo Avenue
More info: Click here
Monday, November 11
What: Pinole Historical Society/City of Pinole Veterans Day Memorial;
traditional flag retirement ceremony, singing, school groups.
When: 11 am to noon. (Noon luncheon for veterans at the Pinole Senior Center, for details call 510-784-9802.)
Where: Fernandez Park, Pinole
More info: Click here
What: El Cerrito Veterans Day Flag Placing (on veterans' graves), with youth groups. Refreshments. Flags supplied. Sponsored by the El Cerrito Lions Club
When: 8 am
Where: Sunset View Cemetery, 101 Colusa Avenue, El Cerrito.
For more: 510.237-0374