from Robert Woods
My unit was the 538th Trans Company under the 4th Trans Command 7th Battalion we were stationed in Long Binh at the Southern most part of the base in what was called VC Valley. We were a Tanker Unit with about 100 men total. To get into our compound you had to be cleared into the area.
I have over 35,000 miles documented driving in Vietnam from 1970 to 1971 I have traveled from the Mekong Delta to the Central Highlands hauling JP4, Ave Gas, Gas, and Diesel fuel. We supplied many fire bases as well as forward line units. I myself have been into Cambodia nine times going in around Tay Ninh in the Delta as well as at a place (fire base) called Song Bay in the Central Highlands.
We supplied several combat units; in fact, when I was still a Spec.4, I went on a mission that took me from Long Binh to Vung Tau and then by boat back up the South China Sea to DaNang and then we drove to a special area and were a rolling fuel stop for a raid that was being made on North Vietnam to try and get back our POW's. On this mission I was put up for and received the Bronze Star for Heroism against a hostile force.
Other units we supplied were the 1st Cav Air Divison (Choppers) as well as the 25th Infantry Divison. We always had gun ships as well as APC's, Duster tanks and our own small arms with us. I was and still am proud of my unit; the "ORIENT EXPRESS" never failed to complete our mission.
When I made Spec5 I was put into a jeep and became NCOIC of our convoys. We were traveling to may different places such as Saigon, Vung Tau, Nha Be,Can Duoc, Ben Cat, Vinh Loc,Tan An,Dong Tai,Ving Long,Can Tho, Long Xuyen Phuoc Long, Dalat, Song Bay, Cam Ranh Bay , Loc Ninh, Nha Trang, Buon Me Thuot, Phan Thiet, An Loc to name a few. In Cambodia we supplied areas also but I can not remember the names. There are many other places in Vietnam also if I had a detail map I could tell you I know some of them were secret but I only remember some of the code names such as "Delta X-Ray"etc.
I thought we had been forgotten about. So many people think that if you were not a grunt you didn't do anything in Vietnam.
I'll never forget one time we were going up to the central highlands and we were coming into the Bow Lock mountian pass and some grunts were walking along side the thick dry dusty road and I stopped the convoy and ask if they wanted a lift and they asked "What are you guy's hauling, water?" and I said no we are hauling JP4 and they said what is that of course the reply was Chopper fuel and their leader said you guys are nuts that's like setting on a bomb waiting to happen. We just laughted and went on; they walked to where they were going.
If you could give me anymore info on my unit I would be greatfull, I was awared my Bronze Star in the motorpool by Gen.Abrams Again thanks and I will keep looking to see if you added any information about the 538th.