Many Thanks to
Deborah Longley for all her hard work to make the 687th site
| The 687th Land Clearing Company
was formed from the 87th Engineer Battalion starting December of 1968 at
DongBaThin, Republic of Vietnam. The company was equipped with 30 new
Caterpillar D7E dozers, new ten ton tractor trailers, and four new 548 track
personnel carriers with mounted .50 caliber machine guns.
wagon a deuce 1/2 serving as our mobile kitchen. During January of 1969 we
spent out time organizing, training dozer operators, etc. On or about February
10ththe company received orders to go clear some jungle, which of course was
the primary purpose of our unit. So we loaded up and headed out for BaoLoc, a
small village near the II-III corp border. After clearing in and around the
village for a week, we convoyed about fifteen miles south to Basar, our first
encounter with Sir charles-Charley or otherwise known as VC. Ambush, small arms
fire, I recall the incident as though it were yesterday!!! 173rd Airborne
running security, the 60 gunner took a round in the jaw. I seen him and I can't
forget. We cleared jungle seven days a week for three months.
day off was Easter Sunday 1969. Someone ordered beer but forgot the ice. Hot
Black Label is not good!! Cold Black Lable is not good either!! Average day was
operate tractor ten hours, perform daily maintenance two hours, and stand guard
two hours. Long days and hard work. During the work day we encountered numerous
obstacles, while on a tractor we had to dodge falling trees, flying
snakes(knocked from trees) and stinging ants nesting in trees, explosive mines,
and booby traps, plus trying to keep ARVN security awake!!!
months out in the jungle we came in to PHan Rang, all of us amazed to discover
air conditioned movie theaters, popcorn machines, and lots of clubs (music,
girls, steak dinners) it was then we decided we all should have enlisted in the
US Air Force as opposed to this man's Army!! After receiving new clothes, hair
cuts, hot showers, and two weeks of maintenance on equipment we were shipped to
PhanThiet. Immediately on our arrival here the second platoon was dispatched to
AnKhe, two weeks later the third platoon loaded on LST bound for Da Nang, thus
leaving headquarters and first platoon to complete the WagonWheel Cut. In
DaNang the third platoon joined up with the marines 7th engineers for Operation
We in the third platoon sure missed our chuck wagon
as it was C-rations three times a day. Operation Pipestone Canyon was to clear
GoiNoi Island, consisting of 687th third platoon with 10 tractors and marines
7th engineers with ten tractors plus tanks, marine infantry, and a company of
South Korean marine infantry. Kudos to the Corps, we needed them!! thanks guys.
During the period I served in the 687th (Dec 68-Jan 70) the company lost two
brothers, Jerry Nichols and James Casteel, both friends. Rest in Peace. We also
had 18-20 WIA.
| Thank you comrades for your service.
The good news is that we are becoming reunited after 36 long
and we endeavor to locate everyone that
served with this special unit!!