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castleSM.gif (1734 bytes)  October 1969 castleSM.gif (1734 bytes)

Van Canh, Vietnam   538  Engr. Co.   

     Nearly 14,000 acres (or about 339,000 average-sized "triple-canopy lawns") of untamed jungle have been cleared in the last seven months by the 538th Engr. Co. (Land Clearing), 937th Engineer Group.

    The latest operation was a two-month job southwest of Qui Nhon.  The mission, which was completed two weeks ahead of schedule, was to clear land along Highway LTL 6B, which has a railroad line adjacent to it.

     All was not easy for the men of the 538th Engr. Co., however.  Problems forced the project to be split into three phases.

    First, north of this village, the vegetation was fairly light, but land clearing was complicated by the presence of numerous gullies and streams.  Although the company's bulldozers had to be retrieved from soft, muddy areas several times during this phase, the unit still managed to average 120 acres of clearing on the days it operated.

    Next, the unit moved three miles south of the village, and worked its way northward.  The area was a genuine challenge-more vegetation, more gullies and soft spots, and a larger area to clear, since the railroad tracks were farther from the road.

    For the last few weeks, the company has been carrying on extensive clearing operations in areas where enemy bunkers and ambush sites have been found.  Many of these hiding places and bunker complexes have already been destroyed, cutting down significantly on enemy effectiveness along the road.  Thick jungle growth has been cleared, and numerous holes and gullies have been filled.  

    An additional result of the clearing mission is that some 6,000 acres of land in the area will be rendered tillable when the work is done.  The beautiful but treacherous Mang Giang Pass may soon be described as "beautiful and boutiful", thanks to the work of the 538th Engr. Co. 



Article submitted by:  Ken Read


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538th Come In

Highway  QL-14      '69

Van Canh     '69

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