27th Engineer Battalion (United States)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
27th Engineer Battalion
27EngrBnCOA.png
27th Engineer Battalion coat of arms
Active 1918–present
Country  United States
Branch US Army Corps of Engineers
Type Engineer
Role Forced Entry Expeditionary Engineering
Size Battalion
Part of 20th Engineer Brigade
Garrison/HQ Fort Bragg
Nickname Tiger Battalion
Motto Omnes Res Bene Facere
(To Do All Things Well)
Mascot Tiger
Commanders
Notable
commanders
LTC Leslie Sandvall (Commander at Myitkyina)

The 27th Engineer Battalion (COMBAT)(AIRBORNE) and its subordinate companies has often used the Fort Bragg/XVIII Airborne Corps standard of "Airborne!" for its motto.

History[edit]

The history of the 27th Engineer Battalion (COMBAT) (AIRBORNE) began on 16 January 1918 at Fort Meyer, VA, as the second battalion of the 37th Engineer Regiment. The unit entered World War I on the 10 July 1918, which its participation in the St. Mihiel and Meuse-Argonne campaigns. After the termination of hostilities, the unit was demobilized.

Twenty years later, World War II erupted, and on 14 July 1941, the 37th Engineer Regiment was reactivated at Camp Bowie, Texas. The regiment was broken up in March 1943. Its elements were then reorganized and redesignated. The lineage of the 27th Engineer Battalion (COMBAT) (AIRBORNE) springs from the 2nd Battalion, redesignated as the 209th Engineer Combat Battalion. The 209th disembarked at Bombay, India on 23 October 1943, and immediately set to work on the Ledo Road.

Subsequently, the 209th participated in the India-Burma Campaign. While a part of Merrill's Marauders (6th Ranger Battalion-5307th Composite), it participated in the surprise attack to seize a critical Myitkyina airfield. The battalion sustained 71 Killed in action and 179 wounded in action during the 70 day long battle. The 209th was inactivated at the conclusion of World War II, and in 1947, was redesignated as the 27th Engineer Combat Battalion.

Activated once more in 1950–1951 briefly at Ft. Lewis, Washington, and then at Ft. Campbell, KY, the unit on 23 October 1960 earned the nickname "Tiger Battalion" through its rugged field maneuvers and training.

On 21 July 1966, the battalion entered the Vietnam War, serving honorably and effectively in 13 campaigns, received five Meritorious Unit Commendations and the Vietnam Civil Action Honor Medal (1st Class), with 19 campaign streamers for actions in Vietnam. On 31 January 1972, the battalion returned to the United States and relocated to Fort Bragg, NC, where it became a non-divisional combat airborne engineer battalion.

Components of the battalion participated in operation "Bright Star 82" deploying to the port city of Berbera, Somalia, which is located on the central North coast of Somalia on the Gulf of Aden. Bright Star 82 included deployment of factions of the 82nd Airborne Division to the Sinia Desert in Egypt. While in Somalia the 27th performed various infrastructure improvement projects for the Somalian people.

In 1983, units of the battalion deployed in response to the Invasion of Grenada by Cuban forces. Cuban engineers blew craters in Grenada's airport runways. Engineers from the 27th repaired the runways, among other responsibilities.

On 23 August 1990, the battalion was again called upon, this time to Saudi Arabia, to support Operation Desert Shield. On the 24 February 1991, the battalion, attached to the French 6th Light Armored Division, became the lead engineer battalion for XVIII Airborne Corps in its push up the western allied flank during Operation Desert Storm. On the 27 March 1991, the 27th Engineer Battalion (COMBAT) (AIRBORNE) returned to its home at Ft. Bragg, NC.

The battalion deployed again in August 1992 to Dade County, Florida, for hurricane Andrew relief. The battalion remained in Florida as part of Task Force All-American until 26 September 1992. The most recent deployment was in response to Operation Uphold Democracy in Port-au-Prince, Haiti. The battalion deployed with the 20th Engineer Brigade from 22 September through 5 November 1994. The battalion worked with the 10th Mountain Division (Light) and established Base Camp Dragon and Castle.

The battalion colors bear a Presidential Unit Citation for action at Myitkyina Airfield, five Meritorious Unit Commendations for actions in Vietnam, one Meritorious Unit Commendation for actions in Southwest Asia, the Superior Unit award for AHAUS TAURA '90, the Vietnam Civil Action Honor Medal (1st Class), and 19 campaign streamers.

In 1999, the Construction Platoon of HHC 27th ENG (C)(A) created a small memorial to its own Desert Storm veterans outdoors near their mess hall in Smoke Bomb Hill, Fort Bragg, North Carolina.

As of October 1999, they had the last/only Airborne well-driller detachment/platoon left in the United States Army.

The 57th Sapper Company of the 27th is the only company in the United States Army that specializes in rough terrain airborne insertion.

In November 2001, the battalion deployed to Kosovo in support of Operations Joint Guardian. They have participated in many actions and projects in Iraq and Afghanistan since. More recently the battalion was deployed to Afghanistan in December 2009. Instead of participating in the usual construction projects, they were on bomb disposal duty and responsible for clearing roadside bombs and landmines planted by Taliban insurgents.[1] The battalion was awarded the Meritorious Unit Commendation for their service.[2]

Insignia[edit]

Distinctive Unit Insignia[edit]

  • Description: A Silver color metal and enamel device 1 18 inches (2.9 cm) in height overall consisting of a shield blazoned: Gules, a rock Argent within a garland of oak leaves Proper within a bordure of the second. Attached below the shield a Red scroll inscribed "OMNES RES BENE FACERE" in Silver letters.
  • Symbolism:
  1. The shield is red for Engineers.
  2. The rock, taken from the Arms of St. Mihiel and the oak leaves emblematic of the Meuse-Argonne, indicate the service of the 37th Engineer Regiment in World War I, while the border indicates descent of the 209th Engineer Battalion from the 37th Engineer Regiment.
  3. The motto translates to "To Do All Things Well."
  • Background:
  1. The distinctive unit insignia was originally approved for the 27th Engineer Combat Battalion on 19 March 1951.
  2. Redesignated for the 27th Engineer Battalion (Combat) on 15 July 1955.
  3. Redesignated for the 27th Engineer Battalion on 9 February 1972.

Coat of Arms[edit]

Blazon[edit]

  • Shield: Gules, a rock Argent within a garland of oak leaves and acorns Proper within a bordure of the second.
  • Crest: On a wreath of the colors Argent and Gules a mythological chinze (Burmese lion) sejant of the first gorged with a mural crown Azure surmounting a grove of bamboo Vert the top arched above the chinze and the base between four billets, two and two, Or each charged with three barrulets of the second.
  • Motto: OMNES RES BENE FACERE (To Do All Things Well).

Symbolism[edit]

  • Shield:
  1. The shield is red for Engineers.
  2. The rock, taken from the Arms of St. Mihiel and the oak leaves emblematic of the Meuse-Argonne, indicate the service of the 37th Engineer Regiment in World War I, while the border indicates descent of the 209th Engineer Battalion from the 37th Engineer Regiment.
  3. The motto translates to "To Do All Things Well."
  • Crest: The unit's World War II campaign service for which it was awarded the Presidential Unit Citation (Army), MYITKYINA, is denoted by the mythological chinze from the Burma State Seal and the blue mural crown of Myitkyina, the heavily fortified town in north Burma, the capture of which was vital in breaking the land blockade of China; blue is the color of the Presidential Unit Citation (Army) streamer.
The bamboo grove from the coat of arms of the Republic of Vietnam represents Vietnam campaign service and together with the four billets (heraldic bricks) in colors suggested by the flag of the Republic of Vietnam refers to the battalion's five Vietnam decorations (4 Meritorious Unit Commendations, VIETNAM, and Republic of Vietnam Civil Actions Medal).
  • Background:
  1. The coat of arms was originally approved for the 209th Engineer Battalion on 15 February 1945.
  2. It was redesignated for the 27th Engineer Combat Battalion on 19 March 1951.
  3. The insignia was redesignated for the 27th Engineer Battalion (Combat) on 15 July 1955.
  4. The coat of arms was redesignated and amended to add a crest for the 27th Engineer Battalion on 23 November 1973.

Lineage[edit]

  • Organized 16 January 1918 in the National Army at Fort Myer, Virginia, as the 2d Battalion, 37th Engineer Regiment
  • Demobilized in March 1919 at Camp Upton, New York
  • Reconstituted 1 October 1933 in the Regular Army as the 2d Battalion, 37th Engineers
  • Activated 14 July 1941 at Camp Bowie, Texas, and assigned to VIII Corps.
  • Moved 20 May 1942 to Camp Edwards, Massachusetts under the Chief of Engineers.
  • Redesignated 1 August 1942 as the 2d Battalion, 37th Engineer Combat Regiment
  • Transferred to Marysville, California less personnel and equipment on 16 September 1942, and assigned to VII Corps.
  • Arrived at Camp Beale, California on 15 October 1942, assigned to II Armored Corps.
  • Reorganized and redesignated on 15 March 1943 as follows:
  1. HHC became 1106trh Engineer Combat Group, thence separate lineage.
  2. 1st Battalion became 37th Engineer Combat Battalion, thence separate Lineage.
  3. 2nd Battalion became as the 209th Engineer Combat Battalion.
  • Unit Deployed from the New York Port of Embarkation on 8 September 1943.
  • Unit arrived in India on 12 October 1943, where it immediately participated in the India-Burma Campaign.
  • The India-Burma Campaign concluded on 28 January 1943
  • Unit participated in Central Burma Campaign from 29 January 1945
  • Central Burma Campaign concluded on 15 July 1945
  • Unit at Ledo in India on 14 August 1945, except for Company A, which was at Myitkyina Burma.
  • Unit moved to Burma on 3 November 1945
  • Inactivated 27 November 1945 at Camp Kilmer, New Jersey
  • Redesignated 29 April 1947 as the 27th Engineer Combat Battalion
  • Activated 18 September 1950 at Fort Lewis, Washington
  • Inactivated 26 October 1950 at Fort Lewis, Washington
  • Activated 1 March 1951 at Fort Campbell, Kentucky
  • Redesignated 8 June 1953 as the 27th Engineer Battalion
  • Arrived in Vietnam at Bien Hoa on 1 October 1966.
  • Located at Xuan Loc on 15 November 1966 with the 79th Engineer Group.
  • Came under the jurisdiction of the 34th Engineer Group on 20 April 1967.
  • on 12 April 1968, the unit was transferred to the 45th Engineer Group at Gia Le, and Camp Eagle in support of the 101st Airborne Division.
  • Unit returned to CONUS on 31 January 1972, and assigned to Fort Campbell

Honors[edit]

Campaign participation credit[edit]

  1. St. Mihiel;
  2. Meuse-Argonne
  1. India-Burma;
  2. Central Burma
  1. Counteroffensive, Phase II;
  2. Counteroffensive, Phase III;
  3. Tet Counteroffensive;
  4. Counteroffensive, Phase IV;
  5. Counteroffensive, Phase V;
  6. Counteroffensive, Phase VI;
  7. Tet 69/Counteroffensive;
  8. Summer-Fall 1969;
  9. Winter-Spring 1970;
  10. Sanctuary Counteroffensive;
  11. Counteroffensive, Phase VII;
  12. Consolidation I;
  13. Consolidation II
  • Southwest Asia:
  1. Defense of Saudi Arabia;
  2. Liberation
  3. Defense of Kuwait

Decorations[edit]

  1. MYITKYINA
  1. VIETNAM 1966–1967
  2. VIETNAM 1967–1968
  3. VIETNAM 1968–1969
  4. VIETNAM 1969
  5. VIETNAM 1970–1971
  6. SOUTHWEST ASIA
  7. AFGHANISTAN 2009–2010[2]
  1. 1990
  1. VIETNAM 1967–1968
  2. VIETNAM 1970

Known projects[edit]

Among other things, the Construction Platoon of HHC 27th ENG (C)(A) has built the following:

  • A mock shoot-house for Urban actions training.
  • A school, In Port-au-Prince, Haiti, during the construction they not only endured Hurricane Bonnie (1998), but placed plaques for their security detail on the compound they stayed at.
  • Renovated several offices in their own company.
  • Built FSC Company Area After Battalion Transformation.
  • Built a rappel tower at a high school in North Carolina.
  • Extended a runway at a municipal airport in North Carolina.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

 This article incorporates public domain material from the United States Army Center of Military History document "27th Engineer Battalion Lineage and Honors".

External Links[edit]