In the summer of 1969 young American men were being sent to Vietnam to fight in a war that many felt had lost its meaning. The “Vietnamization” of the war had just begun and US troop units were being withdrawn and replaced by units of the Army of the Republic of Vietnam (ARVN.) The author of Road Gang was one of those arriving “in country” to serve a year’s tour of duty during this period of transition. The heart of his narrative is an account of his service as the commander of an Army Engineer company engaged in the construction of a section of the Main Supply Route (MSR) to the 1st Air Cavalry Division, but his other experiences are touched on as well - including service with the 82nd Airborne Division at Phu Loi, and duty as an Engineer reconnaissance officer on the Cambodian border.
This work offers a glimpse of the Army Engineers and some of the work they did in the Vietnam conflict. The focus is on the officers and men of “The Road Gang” - D Company, 34th Engineer Battalion, 20th Engineer Brigade - and the road they built, but this straightforward narrative transcends the simple memoir. Behind it lies a portrait of the poisoned political atmosphere of the times, the mortality of an army, and the end of an era.
By H.V. Traywick, Jr.
6” x 9” Paperback