510th Engineer Company  

The 510th Engineer Company was a maintenance company strictly for Engineer equipment. It was reformed at Ft. Benning in May 63 (?) I was one of the first guys assigned. We lived near Lawson Field, and later moved to Harmony Church. we were part of the 866 Eng Bn (Construction). The unit departed Ft Benning on 10 May 65, after being infused with people from all over the Army. The alert to move process took about 15 days from notification until completion. We were then given 15 days leave. We left Ga. enroute to Cam Ranh, where we boarded the Leroy S. Eltinge, a ship from the moth ball fleet. During WW II it was used to carry German POWs. You could see the German through the paint. Well the voyage was a SNAFU from jump street. The ship broke down at the dock. The next day we were towed out into the harbor. 3 days out and it broke down again. we drifted for about three days, until an ice breaker came and towed us to Midway Island. We were off loaded to the SS Barrett. It had dependents bound for Manilla. After a couple days we were under way for V N. We landed at Cam Ranh Bay about 10 Jun. No one knew we were coming. We were the nucleus for the 18th Eng Bde. Later to be the 20th Eng Bde.

he 510th was first used as manpower pouring concrete slabs, 12 hours a day, 7 days a week. We were sent to Saigon in July 65 and built Tent Camp Bravo. Then we went to Cho Lon, Ben Bin Dong, and built the rice mill complex. PA&E moved in and took our place and we wentback to Cam Ranh for more concrete work. The place was a hell hole. I left in June 66 and lost track of them until I returned in Dec 67. They were at An Khe then. 1 Plt was assigned to the 5th. I don't remember which one as there were 3 line Plts and a main support platoon under Headquarters. I transferred south to be a helicopter gunner. The day Cpt Dotson left he signed my 1049 and gave it to me after we dropped him off in Qui Nhon. I stayed in country until Jun 70. First with the 25th Avn Co aand then the 240th Assault Helicopter Company .................John Soares


  I spent 8 months at Main Support Co.  I started out in the 510th in Cam Rahn as a generator electrician and they formed a "Liaison Team".  4 of us went out to all the outlying units that we supported and we were supposed to nip problems in the bud to help avoid breakdowns.  I was the generator man, we had a heavy equipment mechanic and 2 NCO'S that were more concerned with the paper trail, making sure parts orders and job orders were handled properly.  I enjoyed that except I had not been trained on generators so other than being a pretty handy farm boy I really did not know what I was doing.  They thought I was doing it well and that was what mattered.  When the team was formed I had to look up Liaison in the dictionary to see what it ment and how to spell it.  I had to letter the truck.