919th Engineer Company (Armor)
11th Armored Cavalry
On 5 August 1966, the first elements of the 919th Engineer Company (Armored), Regimental engineers of the 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment, departed Fort Hood, Texas, via Bergstrom Air Force Base for the Republic of Vietnam. By 8 August, the entire company 0f 154 combat ready engineers had arrived at LONG BINH, the temporary home of the 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment 20 kilometers northeast of SAIGON.
With the beginning of combat operations in the first part of October 1966, the men of the 919th "Red Devils" found themselves in the unique position of being the only armored engineers fighting in Vietnam. In essence, they had to write the textbook for the armored engineer operations in a counterinsurgency environment. The 919th Engineers also had the distinction of being the first element of the 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment to inflict casualties upon the Viet Cong.
Missions tasked to the Company are numerous. Building timber trestle bridges, searching booby-trapped tunnel complexes, destroying Viet Cond tunnel and bunker fortifications, constructing ford and culvert sites, conducting river crossing operations, clearing landing zones, constructing fighting positions, detecting removing, and destroying Viet Cong mines on road sweeping operations, procuring and delivering barrier material for the upgrading of ARVN Regional Force and Popular Force outposts, and fabricating aircraft revetments are only a few of the missions assigned to this versatile unit. The heavy workload has not prevented the 919th Engineers from foiling Viet Cong plans. in the night of 16 November 1966, the Viet Cong launched a mortar and recoilless rifle attack against Blackhorse Base Camp. The first rounds had hardly struck when the alert tank crew of the First Platoon spun their 90-mm. gun in on the flashes and returned fire. The attack abruptly halted, and further investigation revealed that the timely, accurate counter-fire delivered by the "Red Devils" had forced the enemy to flee and abandon unexpended mortar and recoilless rifle rounds as well as personal equipment. The Regimental Commander personally award the Tank Commander of the First Platoon a Bronze Star.
In another action, the Third Platoon, 919th Engineers, was securing the Command Post of the Third Squadron,11th Armored Cavalry Regiment, in the early morning hours of 18 June 1967 on slope 30. The Platoon had put in a long day and did not take its place on the perimeter until after darkness. Apparently, the Viet Cong had surveyed the perimeter in daylight and thought that the space reserved for the Third Platoon would be unguarded that night. Suddenly, at 0200 hours a ground attack supported by intense mortar and rocket fire was launched directly at the Engineer position. Proving their combat effectiveness, the platoon viciously fought back and held their position; and, at daylight, over 35enemy bodies were found strewn in front of the Third Platoon's position. The 919th Engineer Company (Armored) has been much decorated for its valor and achievement while serving in the Republic of Vietnam. Two Sliver Stars ,twenty-one Bronze Stars with 'V' , thirty-seven Bronze Stars for Service, ten Army Commendation Medals with 'V' , sixty-five Army Commendation Medals for Service sixty-seven Purple Hearts, one Air Medal and ten Vietnamese Gallantry Crosses with Bronze Star have been awarded to the Engineers from August 1966 to September 1968.
919th Photo page
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