Charlie Company’s Action in Cambodia Earned Citation For Valor

Submitted by John Lough, in honor of all those Engineers who served and supported the Cambodian mission from headquarters to the front line.
The Cambodian Incursion in May and June 1970 was one of the largest combat operations of the Vietnam War. President Nixon sent 32,000 soldiers, including engineers of the 20th Brigade.
 
engineers-clear-bridge-cambodia-john-lough
Engineers prepare explosives to clear the twisted wreckage of a blown bridge, Cambodia 1970

Twenty six men of Company C 31st Combat Engineer Battalion became the first engineers to reach Cambodian soil on May 5th.  A bridge destroyed by a stunned and retreating enemy kept the 11th Armored Cav. from encircling the enemy sanctuary. After combat assaulting with the 11th ACR into the dense jungle, they were able to clear the mangled bridge away.

engineers-thrust-into-cambodia-j-lough
Army engineers work on a bridge in Cambodia, 1970

The first of a three bridge section assembled in Quan Loi by the 79th Engineer Company was brought in by Sky Crane to be wrestled into position by Charlie Company Engineers.

While the road to Memot was inching its way forward, other engineers including Charlie Company were building their way to Snoul chasing the NVA back toward their headquarters. Then the word was received that “The City” had been found. Company C 31st Engineer Bn and 557th Engineers were dispatched to begin ripping a trail while under enemy fire to “The City” and “Rock Island East” then began removing tons and tons of NVA supplies, destroying what was left.

1970 Cambodia, 31st Engineer Battalion
1970 Cambodia, 31st Engineer Battalion

Many Engineers were killed or wounded during this operation. For their action, Charlie Company 31st Combat Engineers was awarded a Citation for Valor.

Editor’s note:

John Lough served with the 31st Engineer Battalion (Combat) (Army) and was wounded during the Cambodian Incursion in 1970. He is a Purple Heart recipient.

If you served with the 31st Engineer Battalion and have an experience to you’d like to share, please email the editor. Thank you.

Submitted stories are not verified for historical accuracy; they are personal accounts as told by those who experienced them. Comments are welcome.

 

 

LTC Charles Gray Invites You To A Ball at Fort Leonard Wood!

2013 REUNION – LAS VEGAS NEVADA – October 3-6

Our reunion will take place at Palace Station in Las Vegas Oct. 3-6.  The schedule and instructions for making reservations can be found on the reunions page.

Note that we have until August 30 to get the special rates and they apply if you wish to arrive early or stay an extra day or two.  If we book a minimum number of rooms, we will get up to four room upgrades and discounts.  On August 31 we will raffle them off.

About the rooms, the Value Courtyard Rooms we visited are well maintained, have amenities such as TVs and irons, are connected to the hotel and will save you money, but they are smaller than the Luxury Tower Rooms.  Half of the Value Courtyard Rooms are on the second floor with no elevator.

If you wish to eat a meal at the hotel, we will be offered discount buffet meal coupons:

Breakfast (Monday – Saturday): $6.29 ($4.99+tax and 18% gratuity)

Lunch: (Monday- Saturday): $ 8.81 ($6.99+tax and 18% gratuity)

Dinner: $10.08 ($7.99+tax and 18% gratuity)

Sunday Brunch: $11.34 ($8.99+tax and 18% gratuity)

Also by August 30, please send a check to Warren Dubois made out to 31st Engineer Battalion Assoc. (address below) for the Saturday banquet so we can pay the catering bill.

If you are not currently a member and wish to join, make contact with Warren Dubois, 906 Virginia Drive, Salem, Mo. 65560.

email: duboisw@embarqmail.com

If you have any questions about the reunion, send an email to powers.bob@gmail.com.

Origin of the Black Spade, 31st Engineer Battalion Coat of Arms

SUBJECT:  Coat of Arms for the 31st Engineer Battalion                   3   JUN  1965

TO:         Commanding Officer

31st Engineer Battalion

Fort Bliss, Texas 79906

  1.  The coat of arms redesignated for the 31st Engineer Battalion on 16 August 1954 is rescinded.
  1.  A coat of arms for the 31st Engineer Battalion is authorized.  The blazon and symbolism are as follows:

BLAZON

SHIELD:         Per Chevron wavy gales and argent, in chief two mullets of the last, in base on a spade sable on edelweiss proper.

MOTTO:       Demonstramus   (We Demonstrate)

SYMBOLISM

The two stars allude to the arms of the town of Bischwiller in France (Alsace Ardennes).  Considered a “hot spot”, the unit suffered its first casualties there.  The wavy chevron represents Central Europe, the area in which the unit constructed bridges.  The edelweiss refers to the Rhineland.  The spade with edelweiss together with the two stars represent three battle honors awarded the unit for services in the European Theater, World War II.

  1. Each CARS regiment or separate (fixed organizational structure) battalion is authorized an organizational color.  The shield of the coat of arms is embroidered on the eagle’s breast and the motto on a scroll held in the eagle’s beak.
  1. This authorization is in accordance with the following:
  1. Paragraph 68, AR 840-10, 23 August 1962

(Below is the original document, which has been recreated above.)

31st Engineer Battalion Coat of Arms original document

Many thanks to LTC Robert Dixon, 31st Engineer Battalion Commander, for providing this information.

Looking for Mike Meadows from C Company 1970-71

Don Fleming is looking for a way to contact Mike Meadows: he and I served with C co 70-71 in VIETNAM and CAMBODIA and I have been trying to connect with him so if any of you know, please contact me GREASY@Q.COM.

Please reply if you have any information by clicking on “leave a comment” (directly below this post.)

Thank you!

Looking for someone from HHC or Charlie Company 31st mid 1971 to Battalion stand-down Feb. 1972

Jerry R. Ladd is looking for those who served during his time period at HHC or Charlie Co. (middle ’71 to battalion stand-down in February 1972.) Please reply to this post (click on “leave a comment” at the bottom of this post to reply.)

Thank you!

Looking for someone from B Company 31st Quan Loi

Looking for name of person standing next to Peter Kreutzfeldt, B Co. 31st Quan LoiPeter Kreutzfeldt is looking for somebody from Quan Loi B Co. 1969. Please reply to this post if you were in Quan Loi and/or know the person to the left beside Peter in the photo.

Thank you!

Are you looking for someone from the 31st Engineer Battalion (Combat?)

Please reply with a comment if you are looking for someone from the 31st Engineer Battalion (combat)–the comment link is found below this post.

I hope you find who you’re looking for and friendships are rekindled!

Preserve the history of the 31st Engineer Battalion (Combat) – share your story

31st Engineer Battalion landing in VungTao, Vietnam, April 1968Sent in by Leo Neely:

April 25, 1968: landing day in Vung Tau, Vietnam

The landing was a serious day for all of the troops of the 31st. The day before (April 25th,) we arrived in the bay of Vung Tau, but could not deboard the ship (USNS Barrett) because Vung Tau was under Viet Cong mortar attack. The ship was moved back into the China sea. We watched from the deck of the ship, all night, seeing what the next months would be like. We prayed that God would take care of us, and for the most part, God did. Young twenty year olds that had to grow up fast and let our training as Combat Engineers and support staff get to work and serve our Country, The United States of America.

Thanks to all of my brothers whom with I served.
D. Leo Neely