|Stories about 8th Transportation Group Activities|
|Contact Item from Charles Sims|
|Reunited after 30 Years|
|Major Belch's Bomb Blasters|
|Remembering the 444th|
|The Long Tough Road|
|27th Transportation Battalion||54th Transportation Battalion||124th Transportation Battalion|
|Motor Transport||Motor Transport||Motor Transport|
|This table of companies assigned to 8th Group Battalions is based on the listing in Tim Kutta's Gun Trucks|
|Can't Find Your Company? Check the Crossreference Table||Unit citations awarded by the U.S. cover specific time periods which may be found in DA Pamphlet 672-3. Many units were awarded multiple citations.|
|27th Transportation Battalion|
|2nd Trans||Medium Truck||65-72||Phu Tai|
|58th Trans||Light Truck||65-69||Phu Tai|
|444th Trans||Light Truck||65-71||Phu Tai|
|585th Trans||Medium Truck||66-72||Phu Tai|
|597th Trans||Medium Truck||65-72||Phu Tai|
|54th Transportation Battalion|
|57th Trans||Light Truck||67-71||Phu Tai|
|512th Trans||Light Truck||66-72||Phu Tai|
|523rd Trans||Light Truck||66-72||Phu Tai|
|666th Trans||Light Truck||67-72||Cha Rang|
|669th Trans||Light Truck||66-71||Phu Tai|
|124th Transportation Battalion|
|64th Trans||Medium Truck||66-71||Pleiku|
|88th Trans||Light Truck||66-72||Pleiku|
|541st Trans||Light Truck||65-71||Pleiku|
|563rd Trans||Medium Truck||66-71||Pleiku|
Motor transport service in RVN was provided mainly by two transportation Motor Transport Groups: the 48th Group, with headquarters at Long Binh, operated in the southern area of the country; the 8th Group headquarters, located at Qui Nhon, provided motor transport logistical support in the vicinity of Duc Pho, Pleiku, and Dak To. The operations of both groups encompassed local and line hauls and port clearance.
Pictured at the left is a light gun truck [2 1/2] ton belonging to the 8th Transportation Group, looks like 27 Transportation Battalion.
The following section is based upon material taken from Vietnam Studies Logistical Support Department of the Army, 1972
During the deployment of tactical units in mid-1965 most highway transport units were located at or near the major port areas. They provided port and beach clearance and local and line haul in II and III Corps. These services were initially provided by three truck companies at Saigon and Cam Ranh Bay and a combination of medium truck companies (two cargo and one Petroleum, Oils, and Lubricants) at Qui Nhon. These capabilities were increased through 1966 by the addition of more truck companies and command and control elements. As force levels climbed, the requirements for highway transportation units also increased. These requirements were met by three means: 1. the arrival of a Transportation Motor Transport Group Headquarters in Saigon plus the arrival of additional military truck units; 2. the use of commercial trucking contractors; and 3. the arrival of the 1st Transportation Company (GOER) in II Corps.
The highway tonnages moved by a combination of military and commercial motor transport during the period December 1967-December 1968 was approximately ten million tons; and by the same means during the period January-July 1969, approximately five million tons were carried. As the buildup continued it became apparent that the conventional military truck was not designed to handle palletized and containerized loads efficiently. The fixed sides of the cargo bodies on the 2 1/2-ton and 5-ton cargo trucks did not permit forklifts to reach the full length of the cargo compartment, therefore the push and pull method was used in loading and unloading operations causing damage to the truck bodies. In the summer of 1966 large scale combat operations in the Central Highlands put a severe strain on the motor transport units providing line haul support in the Pleiku area.
Photo of gun truck"Little Respect" of the 8Gp 27T 44Truck I took while in for radio modification at my shop, 5th Maint Bn Signal Maninteance Phu Thai. The year was fall of 69 or spring 70. Traveled to An Khe with gun trucks of the 8th Gp and felt more secure with them around. The gun on the truck is a minigun salvaged from a Huey Cobra gunship helicopter, truck crews scrounged and traded for equipment.Photo from Richard Bernier Convoy commanders were required to continually operate over an insecure highway system. Convoy security support was provided by U.S. and Vietnamese units when priorities permitted; often the desired degree of support was not available. It was also desirable to have armored personnel carriers integrated into the convoy, but they were not always available. For this reason truck units employed the "hardened vehicle" concept . Within the 8th Transportation Group during the 1967-1968 time frame, the equivalent of one light truck company's capability was lost by converting their cargo vehicles to "hardened vehicles" to provide the necessary security.
A close up picture of the Minigun mounted on Lil Respect
The following information was provided by Charles Sims about a POL convoy ambushed during his 1968-69 tour.
I believe that the pictures were taken just West of PK 22 at the same location where French Mobil Group 100 was decimated in 1954. Since my time in Vietnam, I have had what I think is the usual curiosity about the whole endeavor. Over the years I picked up a book here and there about the war until I accumulated a fair collection of books. I have never been obsessed with the experience, only interested. Most of the literature on Vietnam, as with most wars, naturally revolves around the combat arms. Nothing that I could find in the literature gave any indication of the incredible logistic feat accomplished by the 8th Group and assorted allied units in maintaining what may well have been the greatest Sustained logistic and trucking effort ever undertaken in a combat zone. The amount of supplies delivered by the famed 'Red Ball Express" of W.W.II fame was insignificant in comparison. I could find little or no recognition for the 8th Group in developing an absolutely new form of warfare. The "hardened convoy" was mentioned, but only briefly by Summers in several books and articles that are considered by some to be the definitive works on Vietnam order of battle. Essentially the 8th Group developed a new way to move vast amounts of supplies in a guerrilla theater without tying up large numbers of combat troops. A convoy with organic wheeled armor fighting vehicles was truly a new concept My efforts were simply overwhelmed by the publication of Tim Kutta's book "Gun Trucks" and his article ( based on his book ) in "Vietnam" magazine on the 8th Group.
Photo #1. The view from the front fifty caliber machine gun of a Gun Truck in the RRVNSVN sometime in late 1968 or early 1969. The Gun Truck (Woom Doom) belongs to the 359th Trans. Co. (POL) and is escorting a convoy of tankers from units of the 8th Transportation Group. The convoy is West bound on Highway 19 (QLI9) and is approaching the Mang Yang pass. An ambush is in progress just ahead. The photo takes it's caption from the call that would have just gone out over the radio net. Contact! Contact! Contact! which was the universal code for all elements of the 8th that an ambush was in progress.
Photo #2 Same convoy while passing through the actual kill zone a few moments later. I have captioned the photograph "Unseen for 25 years" because after enlarging the photograph and doing some digital enhancement, I believe a black clad VC or NVA soldier can he seen just entering the tree line. Obviously, I did not see this person 25 years ago or the photograph would not have been taken. I would have been much to busy firing away with one of the machine gun on the Gun Truck. It is possible that what appears in the photograph is not what it seems. Attempts on my part to further enhance the picture of the suspected enemy soldier just results in a blur. I think we should just let the photograph speak for itself because, true or not, it makes a damn fine war story.
Photo #3 Looking backwards from the Gun Truck as the same convoy nears the top of the Mang Yang pass. This photograph was in the poorest condition of the three pictures and is somewhat blurred with age.
[We are compiling material related to the service of Army Transportation Units during the Vietnam War. The major command structure used during that period is presented below with a separate page for each major unit. Any additions, contributions or corrections that you could make would be appreciated . Personal stories and pictures are especially welcome. Transportation units attached to Divisions and MACV are also part of our history. Please email Ralph Grambo if you think you can provide interesting items.]
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