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. For details see Operational Report – Lessons Learned, 159th Engineer Group, Period Ending April 30, 1970.
I was the assistant operations officer and liaison office in the Headquarters of the 159th Engineer Group, meaning that among other things, I had to 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.
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.
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.
Headquarters and Headquarters Company (HHC) 159th Engineer Group
For more, see:
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.”