* 86th & 501st Company Reunion *
The 'Rome Plows' are coming to
Current plans for this year's late Summer gathering of former members of the 86th & 501st Land Clearing Engineers, who helped to clear the way in South Vietnam, have been set for this coming September, God willing, at the farm home of Bob & Rita Dreyer in Emporia, Kansas.
Where : 1954 County Road S, Emporia, Kansas 66801
To announce your planned attendance to all or part of this event, with whomever may be accompanying you, and to obtain further details regarding lodging, call ahead or email the hosts.
The 86th Land Clearing Team had been in existence in South Vietnam from mid-1967 through December of 1968, while operations were initially based at Bearcat base camp until the 86th Engineer Battalion moved it's construction companies and base of operations south to the Mekong delta town of My Tho in mid-1968, to follow and maintain it's assigned support of the 9th Infantry Division, who had earlier relocated to the nearby area of Can Tho. Despite the departure of it's support battalion, the 86th LCT remained in Bearcat while working independently with various infantry divisions within the III Corps Tactical Zone, until moving later that year to Di An, north of Saigon, to join with the 168th Engineer Battalion and it's sister unit, the 27th Land Clearing Team. Then, in December of 1968, the two Land Clearing teams left the 168th in Di An and moved southeast to Long Binh Post to join with the 62nd Engineer Battalion, where they became part of a new consolidated Land Clearing support battalion. As a result, The 86th Land Clearing Team at that point in early January of 1969 had changed it's numerical unit designation to the 501st Land Clearing Company, and remained there in Long Binh as one of the three Land Clearing line companies of the 62nd Engineer Battalion until April of 1970, when the unit was then deactivated, with their equipment and some of the men dispersed to other units; while others had rotated out from their tours and returned to the states.
For their arduous efforts and dedication over the span of five years of constantly clearing the thick and dangerous jungled landscape within the III Corps area, their noble reward, despite the loss of some of their men from enemy action and from accidents, was in knowing that their efforts and participation had served to save many lives; people who otherwise would have been lost to enemy ambush along the jungle-lined edges of roadways that existed prior to the introduction of the Rome Plow and what it was projected to ultimately do, in greatly improving security within the various areas of South Vietnam.