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Unit History

124th Transportation Battalion

World War II

The 124th Transportation Battalion began on 10 February 1936. On this date it was constituted as Headquarters and Headquarters Detachment, 3rd Battalion of the 48th Quartermaster Truck Regiment. 10 February 1941 the battalion was activated at Fort Benning, Georgia. On 1 April 1942 the battalion was redesignated as Headquarters and Headquarters detachment, 3rd Battalion, 48th Quartermaster Truck Regiment. This was an all-black unit.

The first operation in which the battalion participated was in Australia under the command of the Motor Transport Command No.1 on 28 June 1942. The Motor Transport Command No.1 was also made up of the 29th Quartermaster Regiment (Truck) and other smaller supporting units. At this time the Japanese were in striking distance of the Australian port at Darwin. Darwin lacked a major rail link and it was dangerous to transport supplies by ship because of the nearby Japanese presence so Darwin had to be supplied by land. Darwin was linked by regional rail to Birdum, which was 316 miles to the south. However, Birdum was only linked by highway to Alice Springs and Mt. Isa. The Australians would send supplies by rail to the Central Railhead in Alice Springs and from there they would truck supplies north 636 miles to Birdum. In order to assist the Australians, the U.S. Army set up a supply depot at Mt. Isa. Cargo would come into the Australian port at Brisbane and be loaded on to rail cars and sent to Mt. Isa where it would be offloaded. At Mt. Isa the U.S. Army assumed responsibility for the convoy that took the cargo 687 miles from Mt. Isa to Birdum by motor transport. From Birdum it was delivered by rail to Darwin.

The fleet of vehicles numbered 1,482 on 28 June and were manned by 3,500 African-American drivers. Along the 687-mile route, four camps were set up to provide places for the drivers to rest and to allow the soldiers a place to eat and fill up on water and gasoline. The motor convoys traversed, “some of the grimmest, hardest country on earth,” almost entirely uninhabited. During the drive everything would be coated with a red “bull dust” that required the drivers to wear dust respirators. Maintenance needs increased as the operation went on because of the enormous strain put on the vehicles from operating in such a hard environment. To cut down on maintenance needs the mechanics removed the outer dual wheels but when the temperatures hit 130 degrees during the day this caused tires to burst. The outer dual wheels were quickly put back on. During the summer months the temperature would get as high as 146 degrees. One out of every three drivers had kidney complaints caused by the constant jolting. Others fell prey to respiratory ailments, scurvy, and heat exhaustion. On 30 October 1942, Motor Transport Command No. 1 was disbanded because it was now possible to safely deliver supplies by water. By this time the men of the Motor Transport Command No. 1 had driven 9,504,948 vehicle miles and carried 30,329 tons of cargo. This was one of two major long haul operations undertaken by the U.S. Army in the Pacific Theater.

The battalion was then shipped to Papua and New Guinea to provide transport for Army combat operations there. For its contributions in Papua, the 3rd Battalion, 48th Regiment received a Presidential Unit Citation. On 2 December 1943 the 3rd Battalion, 48thregiment was reorganized and redesignated as Headquarters and Headquarters Detachment, 124th Quartermaster Battalion, Mobile. The 124th Quartermaster Truck Battalion arrived in Luzon on 7 April 1945. For actions in the Philippines the unit received a Philippine Presidential Unit Citation for the time from 17 October 1944 to 4 July 1945. The 124th Quartermaster Battalion was assigned to the Highway Transportation Division in Luzon. During this period the battalion supported Sixth Army activity in northern and central Luzon. The primary mission was long-distance hauling. By the summer of 1945 the 100th Highway Transport Service (previously known as the Highway Transportation Division) was to truck supplies over difficult mountainous terrain in direct support of American combat units and Filipino guerrillas. After the Japanese surrender, large numbers of enemy troops had to be evacuated by truck. Even though many people were celebrating victory, the 124th was still performing its job. The peak in daily tonnage hauled in August 1945 was recorded at 3,604 tons. Only twice did the U.S. Army conduct long haul operations in the Pacific Theater and the 124th Battalion was involved in both.

On 25 October 25, it shipped out for Yokohama, Japan and arrived on 31 October. Once again the battalion was converted, reorganized, and redesignated on 1 August 1946 as Headquarters and Headquarters Detachment, 124th Transportation Corps Truck Regiment. Less than a year later the battalion was inactivated in Yokohama, Japan on 25 May 1947.

Vietnam War

With the increased military activity in Vietnam in the early 1960s, the 124th was redesignated on 26 November 1966 as the Headquarters and Headquarters Detachment of the 124th Transportation Battalion (Motor Transport). Shortly after, on 1 February 1967m it was activated at Fort Devens, Massachusetts. The battalion arrived in Vietnam on 24 July 1967 and assumed control of the following units at Pleiku in the Central Highlands. They were part of the 8th Transportation Group based near Qui Nhon.

  • 64th Transportation Company (Medium Truck)
  • 88th Transportation Company (Medium Truck)
  • 541st Transportation Company (Light Truck)
  • 563rd Transportation Company (Medium Truck)
  • 520th Trailer Transfer Detachment

The main line of communication extended from the port at Qui Nhon to units either along the coastal highway or west 100 miles up Route 19 to Pleiku. These long haul runs usually took half a day to reach the destination so the trucks could return to their home base by the evening. Unfortunately, there was always more cargo than trucks to haul it and the blown bridges along Route 19 required convoys to drive around them. Trucks drove in convoy serials of 20 to 30 trucks to prevent bunching up and limit vulnerability to ambushes.

In the first week in May 1967, the 64th Transportation Company had become the first medium truck company to relocate to Pleiku. With the guerrilla threat, convoys were not allowed to drive at night. This limited amount of cargo delivered. 8th Group wanted to implement a line haul system like the 37th Transportation Group had in Europe to manage two convoys a day in each direction. One convoy out of Qui Nhon would run loaded trailers to the Trailer Transfer Point at An Khe. A convoy out of Pleiku would run empty trailers to An Khe and pick up the loaded ones. The convoy out of Qui Nhon would return with the empty trailers. 8th Group believed that the trucks could get two runs in per day. The 64th was able to achieve two runs to An Khe only on an intermittent basis, but this came to an end with the beginning of the ambushes in September 1967. CPT John Horvath, the commander of the 64th, felt that the real problem was the lack of a tractor replacement system at Tank Automotive Command. 8th Group went back to direct haul and transferred one more truck company to Pleiku.

From Pleiku, the 124th would transport supplies out to the bases of the 4th Infantry Division, the 1st Cav, and the 173rd Airborne Brigade. Then the drivers from Qui Nhon would take the empty trucks back to Qui Nhon. However, this did not work as well as it did in Europe because of the wear on the vehicles, road closure after dark, and combat losses. The 124th would receive cargo directly from Qui Nhon and then deliver it out to the surrounding areas such as Dak To and Kontum. Another advantage of having a truck battalion at Pleiku was the establishment of facilities for drivers to eat, rest overnight (RON) and pull maintenance on their vehicles.

The 124th drove some of the most dangerous routes in Vietnam. Route 19, which went from Pleiku to An Khe and then on to Qui Nhon was the same road where the French Mobile Group 100 (it was roughly the same size as a brigade) was annihilated. While driving along Route 19 American soldiers in the trucks could see the tombstones that marked the buried French from that ambush. The 100-mile trip along Route 19 covered some of the worst terrain for trucks in Vietnam. The road around Pleiku was relatively straight and flat, but as the road headed east toward Qui Nhon, it traveled through two of the most treacherous passes in the world: the Mang Yang Pass, located about halfway between Pleiku and what was the 1st Cavalry Division's base at An Khe; and the An Khe Pass, about 50 miles west of Qui Nhon. Convoys generally slowed down to as little as three miles per hour, which caused convoys to stretch out to over a wide area. Drivers along this route always tried to stay extremely vigilant.

Beginning on 2 September 1967, the North Vietnamese and Viet Cong began launching company-sized ambushes against the convoys. The transportation battalions quickly countered this by turning 5-ton trucks into gun platforms. For every 10 trucks in a convoy one would be an armored gun truck to assist in defeating the ambushes launched by the enemy.

Most of the 124th Battalion convoy runs were to An Khe but this stopped in November of 1967 when the Battle of Dak To broke out. The emphasis of the 124th was now to make sure the combat troops of the 4th Infantry Division and the 173rd Airborne had enough ammunition to win the battle December. The 124th did such an outstanding job that Generals Westmoreland and Abrams stated that never before in a major battle have the combat troops been so well supplied.

On 31 January 1968, 1LT David R. Wilson, of the 64th Transportation Company, led a convoy run to An Khe, which was made up mostly of 5-ton tractors and trailers from this company. On the return trip Wilson’s convoy was ambushed. Although he was safely out of the danger zone, he unhesitatingly returned to the scene of the action to lead his men to safety. Many of the vehicles had halted in the kill zone and were subject to an intense enemy mortar and small arms fire. Passing through the ambush zone, 1LT Wilson, with complete disregard for his own safety, turned around and reentered the kill zone to insure the safe passage of the rear element of the convoy. While making this final courageous effort to insure the survival of these personnel, he was mortally wounded by an enemy mortar round falling on his vehicle. Through his extraordinary heroism and outstanding leadership ability, 1LT Wilson was able to save the lives of many of his personnel who otherwise would have been halted in the kill zone subject to the most intense enemy fire. For his personal bravery 1LT Wilson was posthumously awarded the Silver Star Medal.

The drive from Dak To to Ben Het was a regular run for the truck drivers of the 124th Battalion. It was a Special Forces camp west of Dak To near the Cambodia/Laos border. Every day, they began their convoys with “Let’s Roll.” Every time they stopped at a checkpoint, they started up again with the same, “Let’s Roll.” They hauled ammunition, fuel and food to the grunts and aviators out in the forward camps. The drivers would hear the grunts cheer them as they arrived. It was not uncommon to hear an infantry man say, “You guys are f***ing crazy! You’d never catch me doing that.” The drivers would unload then “chow down” and drink beer with the grunts then leave early the next morning.1

During the Tet Offensive, LT Gregory Debrocke, 563rd Light Truck Company, led an emergency convoy of six trucks loaded with concertina wire to Ben Het at night. The camp was in danger of being overrun by NVA. He had a Quad .50 on the back of a 5-ton truck and gun jeep for protection. The convoy actually arrived while mortar and artillery rounds pounded the compound. The Special Forces team was happy to see the convoy, for more reasons than just the wire. They put the Quad .50 on the perimeter. The drivers took shelter in the bunker and an SFC told them that if they see him in the morning that it is a good sign, they had beaten back the attack. They turned back the attack and everything was quiet the next morning. The Special Forces sergeants told the truck drivers to get out of there fast, which they did.2

By late 1968 the number of ambushes declined because of the adjustments that the trucks transportation battalions in Vietnam had made. By the end of 1968, the 124th Battalion had the following guntrucks; Death and Destruction, Highland Animals, Highland Raiders, Ho Chi’s Hearse, Mighty Minn and Quantrill’s Raiders.

The GOER Company was sent on temporary duty to Chu Lai in I Corps Tactical Zone on 8 December 1968.

On 1 January 1969, the 359th POL Company was detached from the 240th Quartermaster Battalion at Phu Tai and moved to Pleiku and fell under the 124th Transportation Battalion. Doctrinally, tanker companies belonged to Quartermaster POL battalions but this change provided several advantages. If the demand for fuel was high, the 124th could assign tractors from other companies to replace the deadlined tractors of the 359th. If the demand for fuel was low, then the tractors of the 359th could augment the long haul mission. This provided greater flexibility in the utilization of assets. However, fuel trucks had to drive to drive the most dangerous road in Vietnam again.

By the beginning of 1969, the 124th Battalion provided command and control for the following:

  • 64th Transportation Company (Medium Truck)
  • 359th Transportation Company (POL)
  • 541st Transportation Company (Light Truck)
  • 563rd Transportation Company (Medium Truck)
  • GOER Company
  • 520th Trailer Transfer Detachment

On 28 January 1969, the 520th TTD established a trailer transfer point at the 4th Division Camp Eneri to expedite trailer turnaround time.

The 359th only had two gun trucks, Brutus and Misfits, and a gun jeep. CW2 Louis “Pat” Brittingham, the company maintenance officer, had built them. SGT Prescott helped build and was the first NCOIC of the Brutus. SGT John Dodd became the NCOIC of the Misfits. It was a 2 1/2-ton gun truck with an M60 and .50 caliber machinegun in the box. His crew consisted of a driver by the name of Hodges and gunner named Bill Ward. Peter Hish and Alan Wernstrum substituted on the gun truck when any of the crew did not go out.3

In March 1969, the 359th gun truck, Hot stuff, escorted a convoy to Pleiku. An RPG hit the gun truck in the duals and broke its frame. None of the crew was injured but the round had totaled out the truck. The gun truck had to be replaced.

In May 1969, a convoy received small arms fire at the bottom of Mang Giang Pass. It only lasted a couple of minutes. Hodges quickly turned the Misfits off the road into a ditch. The movement bounced the crew around in the box. He said he saw an enemy soldier. Dodd joked with him saying that he was trying to run the enemy down.

On 9 June, the Brutus and Misfits escorted a convoy of 30 fuel tankers out of the Ponderosa to Pleiku. Misfits drove in the middle of the convoy while Brutus brought up the rear. They had no air support that day. Once they reached An Khe, they would pick up the rest of the tankers from the 359th and the convoy commander, Staff Sergeant Hutcherson.

Just after the convoy had passed the Korean compound at the base of the An Khe Pass, it started received small arms fire. Dodd heard several rounds hit the Misfits’ armor plating. At the same time he heard over his radio Specialist 4 Prescott, on Brutus, screaming, “Contact, Contact, Contact!” Dodd saw enemy movement about a hundred yards in the field and returned fire. The gun truck cleared the kill zone and continued up An Khe Pass. Dodd radioed back to Prescott and asked how he was doing. He answered that the Brutus was still involved in fighting but the mini-gun was working. This was unusual as mini-guns were not designed for the road and the bumpy ride tended to knock out the timing mechanism. Prescott had to spend a lot of time working on that mini-gun. When the Misfits reached the top of the Pass, Dodd radioed back to Prescott again to see how the Brutus was holding out. He said that he had seen about 30 to 40 enemy and fired the mini gun on them.4

As the road leveled out, the Misfits picked up its speed again. It received small arms fire but Dodd did not see anything to shoot at. The excitement passed as they left the danger behind them and the crew of the Misfits returned to their normal “chit chat.” They talked mostly about drinking a cold beer when they stopped at An Khe. Dodd joked with the others while he kicked the .50 caliber brass around with his feet. The Misfits had just crossed a bridge about three miles from An Khe. Dodd called in the check point. In a few minutes they would be safe inside the compound. 5

A few seconds later he heard an explosion behind him. He looked back to see the security force on the bridge was under fire. Dodd recognized the sound of AK47s. This time, Dodd was screaming into the radio, “Contact, Contact, Contact!” He saw VC running around in the field to his left and opened fire with the ,50 caliber. Hish and Ward worked as a team firing the M-60 while Wernstrum fired his M-16. Suddenly, someone on the radio asked for their location and size of the enemy force. This struck Dodd as odd since he had just called in his location a few seconds before. Right after that a RPG slammed into the front portion of the gun box. The blast from the explosion knocked Dodd¹s feet out from under him but he did not let go of the machinegun. Wernstrum was bringing up another box of ammunition from the floor for the .50 caliber. Dodd had Hodges pull the gun truck and stop so they could provide fire support until the rest of the tankers past.6

The voice on the radio let them know that air support was on the way. Dodd was thinking short bursts with the .50 but his fingers called for long bursts. A second RPG impacted about three feet from the rear of the box. Dodd felt blood hit his eyes. He looked down and saw that he had been hit in the leg, chest and face but with the adrenaline pumping, he felt no pain. As he looked around, he saw that the blast had blown Hish and Wernstrum out of the box. Ward was on the floor clutching his stomach. Dodd realized in a flash that his whole crew was wounded. He then called on the radio that he had two men wounded and needed a medevac.7

Hodges climbed up and looked in the gun box. He pointed to some water buffalo where he saw enemy movement. Dodd told him to get back in the cab of the truck and get ready to move out. Dodd picked up another box of ammunition and loaded it. Hish and Wernstrum were still conscious and crawled into the ditch on the side of the road. Pete Hish stood up to climb up on the tail gate when a third RPG hit the rear of the gun box knocking him back to the ground. Dodd saw VC running across the road and fired on the M-60 tank and M-113 APC coming up from the check point. Their fire kept the enemy from overrunning the Misfits. The VC shot Hish twice. Dodd realized that he and Ward were wounded too badly to climb out and rescue the other crew members. Ward needed immediate medical attention. Dodd hit to top of the canvas with his hand and Hodges drove off. Hish then saw the truck pull away and thought, “Oh hell, what am I gonna do now?” He crawled back into the ditch. In half a minute the Misfits had cleared the kill zone. Dodd hoped the medevac would arrive soon. By then Ward was sitting on an ammunition can holding his wound. He had a one inch hole in his stomach. Dodd grabbed a large bandage and told Bill to hold it over the wound.8

Dodd then radioed back to Prescott to look for his two missing crew members. Prescott answered that the Brutus had tangled with some NVA of their own after crossing the top of the An Khe Pass. He had already run out of mini-gun ammunition but managed to fight off an enemy rush on his gun truck.

As the truck disappeared, Hish looked up and saw the welcome sight of a medevac helicopter. As the helicopter prepared to land, the pilot and crew saw the enemy dragging wounded off into the jungle.

The Misfits pulled into An Khe where the trucks had assembled. Hodges stopped the gun truck but Dodd told him to drive straight to the field hospital. As the gun truck drove thirty miles per hour though the gate of Camp Radcliffe, the MPs saw that they were in trouble. Two MPs jumped in a jeep and led them to the hospital. Dodd was looking after Ward when he saw that Hodges had the front bumper trailing just about two inches behind the lead jeep. The MP looked back at Dodd and the NCOIC motioned for the MPs to speed up or get run over.

Once at the hospital, the medics helped the two wounded soldiers from the gun truck and put them onto tables in the receiving area. The medics rushed Bill Ward straight to the Xray. The medics cut Dodd’s clothes off and the doctor began pulling pieces of metal out of his legs. He informed Dodd that the blood on his face came from the missing tip of his nose. Dodd¹s real concern was further down his anatomy. Hr kept trying to lift himself up to see what the doctor was doing to his legs. The nurse kept pushing him back down. Because Dodd persisted in trying to rise up, she took her hands from his chest then grabbed his “family jewels” and told him not to worry, everything was okay. Dodd laid back and relaxed.9

While the doctors worked on Dodd, the medics brought in a wounded VC and put him on the table next to him. In a loud voice, Dodd told asked them to move that SOB away a few more feet from Dodd. Another nurse came in and told Dodd that his two missing crew members had been brought in. Pete Hish had fragmentary wounds and was shot twice. Alan Wernstrum also suffered from fragmentary wounds and lost part of his hand. The four wounded crew members had a short reunion in the medical ward. Because of the seriousness of the other three¹s wounds, they were medevaced to Japan that evening. Since the hospital at An Khe had become crowded, Dodd was flown to Pleiku. From there he hitchhiked rides to his company area. He did light work supervising the local help around the company for about 30 days until his wounds healed then he rode on South Vietnamese convoys calling in check points until he left Vietnam in October 1969.10

The ambush on 9 June was probably one of the boldest moves the enemy had made yet. In their effort at unpredictability, they had launched the main ambush right outside the compound at An Khe where most drivers felt relatively safe.

On 13 June 1969, a mortar round landed in back of a cargo truck killing the driver and setting the pipeline on fire, which closed Highway 19 down for three days at Ambush Alley. From 8 June to 24 July 1969, the fuel pipeline was shut down from Qui Nhon to An Khe due to pilferage and the 359th POL Company, 124th Battalion sent a platoon of 20 tanker systems from Pleiku to An Khe to fill the gap.

On 24 June 1969, three enemy regiments placed the fire base at Ben Het under siege. Running low on 175mm ammunition, a convoy from the 124th Battalion drove through a 6,000 meter kill zone between Dak To and Ben Het to deliver the much needed ammunition to the fire base. The convoy dropped off their 26 trailers for unloading and returned to Pleiku as soon as quickly as possible. The increased enemy activity prevented any convoys from returning to pick up the trailers for several weeks.

The enemy continued to interdict the pipeline between An Khe and Pleiku and became non-operational from early November 1969 to 7 December 1970. This increased the number of missions the POL fleet between An Khe and Pleiku. On 21 November, the platoon of 17 tanker systems was attached to the 88th Medium Truck Company at An Khe. On 8 January 1970, the pipeline was shut down permanently and Pleiku had to rely entirely on the 359th Transportation Company for its fuel delivery. Consequently, the tanker fleet was increased to 93 task tankers. On the average, between 53 and 58 tankers were operational every day.

When the 4th Infantry Division attacked NVA sanctuaries inside Cambodia at the direction of President Richard Nixon in June 1970, the 124th provided convoy support. Major Jack Horvath, then the Battalion Executive Officer, established the turnaround point for the convoys right on the Vietnamese-Cambodian border, co-located with the 4th Infantry Division Logistics Trains.

On 27 June 1969, LTC John C. Kramer assumed command of the 124th Battalion from LTC Tom L. Ring.

From 8 June to 24 July 1969, the fuel pipeline was shut down from Qui Nhon to An Khe due to pilferage and the 359th POL sent a platoon of 20 tanker systems to An Khe to fill the gap. On 21 November, the platoon of 17 tanker systems was attached to the 88th Medium Truck Company, 27tth Battalion at An Khe.

The enemy continued to interdict the pipeline between An Khe and Pleiku and became non-operational from early November 1969 to 7 December 1970. This increased the number of missions the POL fleet between An Khe and Pleiku. On 21 November, the platoon of 17 tanker systems was attached to the 88th Medium Truck Company at An Khe. On 8 January 1970, the pipeline was shut down permanently and Pleiku had to rely entirely on the 359th Transportation Company for its fuel delivery. Consequently, the tanker fleet was increased to 93 task tankers. On the average, between 53 and 58 tankers were operational every day.

The 545th Light Truck moved to Cha Rang from Phu Hiep where it had cleared cargo from Tuy Hoa Air Base and brought with it the gun trucks, Creeper, Paladin, Playboys and Mickey Toms.11

In April 1970, the 124th Battalion moved the 4th Infantry Division from Pleiku to An Khe. They completed the move by 14 April without any significant problems. As part of the troop reductions, the 124th Battalion then moved from Camp Wilson, Pleiku to Camp Addison in Cha Rang on 1 July to replace the 54th Battalion that was zeroed out from 1 to 15 July. The 124th Battalion picked up control of the company’s previously attached to the 54th Battalion and turned over the 359th POL Company to the 27th Battalion. In July 1970, the 124th Battalion provided command and control of the following:

  • 64th Transportation Company (Medium Truck)
  • 512th Transportation Company (Light Truck)
  • 523rd Transportation Company (Light Truck)
  • 545th Transportation Company (Light Truck)
  • 669th Transportation Company (Light Truck)
  • 505th Transportation Detachment (Trailer Transfer)
  • 520th Transportation Detachment (Trailer Transfer)

The 124th Battalion continued to operate out of Cha Rang until 16 May 1971 when it was inactivated. For the actions it performed in Vietnam, the 124th Transportation Battalion received a Meritorious Unit Commendation for its service from 1966 to 1967. The unit earned a Vietnamese Gallantry Cross with Gold Stars for the service it performed in Vietnam from 1966 to 1970.


On 11 June 1986, the 124th Transportation “Make A Way” Battalion was reactivated at Schofield Barracks, Hawaii, under the command of LTC Kindred as part of the Army Chief of Staff’s initiative to convert the 24th Infantry Division to a light division. The battalion assumed command of the combat service support elements of the 45th Support Group: 5th Transportation Company (Heavy Boat), 25th Transportation “The Road Masters” Company (Light Truck), the 147th Transportation Company (Medium Lift), 39th Transportation Detachment, 52nd Quartermaster Detachment, 5/57th ATC Platoon, and 147th Medical Detachment (Air Ambulance). The 124th became a multi-functional battalion with the capability to provide tailored support packages for division deployments in support of Western Command and Pacific Command. It deployed on such training exercises as Team Spirit in Korea, Cobra Gold in Thailand, Orient Shield in Japan, Kangaroo in Australia, Yama Sakura in Japan and Cascade Peak at Fort Lewis, Washington. The 25th TC provided Corps-level ground motor support with 50 5-ton cargo trucks and ten 5-ton tractors. The 5th Heavy Boat had six LCU-1466s.

By 1990, the battalion had picked up the 40th Supply and Service “The Outlaws” Company, the 87th Quartermaster Detachment (Parachute Riggers) and 605th Transportation Detachment (Logistics Support Vessel LSV–2) USAV CW3 Harold C. Clinger. The 5th Heavy Boat traded in its six Vietnam vintage LCUs for LSV-5 USAV MG Charles P. Gross. The battalion lost the 147th Medium Lift for the CH-47D Chinooks of B Company, 214th Aviation Regiment. This is the only medium lift capability in Hawaii. The 147th Medical detachment became the 68th Medical Evacuation (MEDEVAC) Detachment with UH1Vs.

The 124th Transportation Battalion was redesignated the 524th Corps Support Battalion, 25th Infantry Division on 16 October 1993. In 2003, it consisted of the following units:

  • HHD
  • 25th Transportation Company (Light-Medium truck)
  • 40th Quartermaster Company
  • 87th Quartermaster Detachment (Riggers)

Operation Iraqi Freedom 2

The advon of the 25tth Transportation Company arrived in Kuwait on 22 March 2004. The company was equipped with M1083 FMTVs. The main body arrived on 29 March and went north 12 days later on 10 April. Navistar had closed for 24 hours when they arrived. The drivers slept on the road that night and departed the next morning. When the company reached CSC Scania, there was a big back log of convoys. The 25th TC was the second convoy out that morning.12

It ran in three serials by platoons, 3rd Platoon in the lead, followed by the 1st Platoon then the 2nd Platoon. The convoy had 52 M1083s, 10 M1088s, 1 M1079 and 3 M1078s. Headquarters was spread out through the convoy. The maintenance section followed in the rear.13

At Scania, they were briefed that the northern routes Tampa to Sword were closed on account of the April Uprising. The MCT issued a strip map of the eastern route with ten-digit grid coordinates for the turns. All were accurate except for two. At one of the wrong grids they turned into a brick factory. They used GPS to find their way. They had MTS but did not know how to use it effectively. This was the first time anyone drove on the eastern route. The lead serial received small arms fire along “RPG Alley,” near Camp Warhorse. They were mortared going into Camp Anaconda. The lead serial pushed on to FOB Speicher right after reaching Anaconda.14

The other two serials had become separated and did not arrive until two days later. All enemy activity was south of Anaconda, around Baghdad not north of Anaconda. The other two serials were hit near FOB Speicher on the way up.15

At the FOB, the 25th TC reported to the 835th Corps Support Battalion (CSB), a National Guard unit from Missouri. The battalion wanted the 25th TC to escort white trucks from Anaconda. The 835th CSB sent two platoons of the 25th Transportation Company with 15 5-ton gun trucks and 42 Soldiers, to Cedar II to augment the 736th TC gun trucks. They escorted white trucks from Navistar to Cedar, then Cedar to Anaconda. Two platoons spent four months at Cedar then pulled back to Speicher.16

The rest of the company ran Class II and Class IX retrograde from Speicher to Anaconda and Kirkuk. They ran local hauls out of Speicher pushing classes of supplies to the combat units in the surrounding camps.17

Exactly two weeks after arriving in Iraq, the 25th TC had their first driver wounded by an IED. Their first soldier was killed by daisy chained IEDs on 16 November 2004.

They built 12 gun boxes the first week in Speicher. They were double walled, Hardox steel with sloping walls and one-inch air gap. They lined the inner steel wall with plywood since the metal got very hot in the summer and the plywood would absorb some of the spalling from a blast. They found their inspiration for the design from a website on the internet on gun trucks in Vietnam. SFC Jason Runnel, Truck Master, and CW2 Lunquest, of the 267th (DS) Maintenance Company, came up with the design. They also found a CONEX full of machineguns pedestals and had to construct the mounts. They had to draw their .50 caliber machineguns, M249 SAWs and 18 SINGARS from a lateral transfer from another unit. They finally received ten convoy protection platforms (M1114s) in December 2004. They built five more gun trucks for the northern mission. His company commander, CPT Jason Burwell, issued the order to keep building gun trucks.18

The 25th TC served under the 835th CSB for its first ten months in Iraq then for its remaining two months in Iraq under the 13th CSB.


Bellino, Colonel Joe O., “8th Transportation Group; Sep 1967 – Sep 1968.” n.d.

Heiser, Lieutenant General Joseph M., Jr., Vietnam Studies: Logistic Support, Washington, DC: Department of the Army, 1974.

Kramer, LTC John C., “Operational Report of 124th Transportation Battalion (Truck) for Period Ending 31 July 1969,” 8 August 1969.

Langston, COL Alex T., Jr., “Operational Report of the 8th Transportation Group (Motor Transport) for the Period Ending 31 January 1970,” 15 February 1970.

Langston, COL Alex T., Jr., “Operational Report of the 8th Transportation Group (Motor Transport) for the Period Ending 31 January 1970,” 15 February 1970.

Langston, COL Alex T., Jr., “Operational Report of the 8th Transportation Group (Motor Transport) for the Period Ending 31 July 1970,” 19 August 1970.

Ludy, COL Garland A. “Operational Report of the 8th Transportation Group (Motor Transport) for the Period Ending 31 January 1969,” 7 February 1969.

Lopez, CPT Juan R., “64th Transportation Company Annual History Report, 1967,” 14 March 1968.

Ludy, COL Garland A. “Operational Report of the 8th Transportation Group (Motor Transport) for the Period Ending 31 July 1969,” 10 August 1969.

Thomas, COL David H., “Vehicle Convoy Security Operations in the Republic of Vietnam,” Active Project No. ACG-78F, US Army Contact Team in Vietnam, APO San Francisco, CA 96384, 30 Sep 71.


1 Ongoing email exchanges between Gregory Debrocke and Richard Killblane.

2 Debrock email.

3 John Dodd written account of the 9 June 1970 ambush, presented at the Gathering II, Fort Eustis, VA, June 2004.

4 Dodd.

5 Dodd.

6 Dodd.

7 Dodd.

8 Dodd.

9 Dodd.

10 Dodd.

11 Walter Deeks interview by Richard Killblane at New Orleans, LA, 13 July 2002.

12 Summary of interview with SFC Jason Runnels by Richard Killblane at Arifjan, 16 March 2005.

13 Runnels interview.

14 Runnels interview.

15 Runnels interview.

16 Runnels interview.

17 Runnels interview.

18 Runnels interview.