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The 538th Engineer Battalion arrived in country 14 July 1965 and was one
of two engineer battalions under the 44th Engineer Group based in Nakhon Ratchasima (Korat), Thailand, the other being the 809th Engineer Battalion. The 538th was deactivated 15 June 1970 at Camp Samae San, Thailand.

The battalion was originally based with the 809th at Phanom Sarakam for a short time. They then moved about 30 KM north to Kow Na Mod . From 1965 till 1968, they steadily worked their way back toward Korat.

I arrived in country in July 1968 (see MY STORY under D Company)at which time it was located about 40 KM south of Korat in the foot hills of what we called the Korat mountain, but was actually the Khao Yai (Big Mountain) National Park.

Headquarters Company, A Company, and B Company were based at Pho Dang.

C Company was based near the top of the mountain.
(can someone help me with the name of the location?)

D Company was based next to U-Tapao Air Base just east of Sattahip, Thailand.

In 1968 the authorized strength of the battalion was 893.

Their primary mission was to assist the 809th Eng. Bn. in completing the highway between Korat and Sattahip.

This highway became known as the Friendship Highway and was a major part of the main supply route (MSR) between the Deep Water Ports in Sattahip, US Army Camps and US Air Force bases scattered through out the country.


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Updated: 10 February 2001