1169th Engineer Group

Photo by Hal Barker

Legacy Messages - 1995-1999

28 Messages

Page 1

Entry: 94026

James Henley JUNIOR wrote on November 26, 2016

City and State: HUNTSVILLE AL

Unit: 1169TH ENG. GROUP

Service or Relationship: Family Member

Comments: Asking for stories or pictures from those who served with my father MST Sgt. Jim Henley during the Korean War.

Keywords: Henley 1169th Combat Eng. Group

Entry: 89680

Norman Burns JR. wrote on September 19, 2014



Service or Relationship: Family Member

Comments: I am trying to determine if my father, Lt. Norman Howard Burns, spent any time within the Demilitarized Zone while he was stationed in Korea. He was with the 1169th Engineering Group from early 1952 to late September, 1953. He is in failing health and I am working with the VA toward securing medical treatment for him. Currently he is at the very bottom of the priority/waiting list for medical services. However, I understand that if we can document that he spent time in or around the Demilitarized Zone while in Korea, he will be moved up on the list.

Any help in this effort would be greatly appreciated. If you served with my father in Korea and can help us establish whether or not he worked on projects in the vicinity of the Demilitarized Zone our family will be forever in your debt. Please send any information you may have to nhburnsjr@aol.com.

Keywords: Korea, 1169th Engineering Group, Norman Burns, 38th Parallel, Virginia Tech, 1952 Korea

Entry: 88275

A.A. Fasting wrote on February 6, 2014

City and State: WAALWIJK NB

Unit: 1169TH

Service or Relationship: Family Member

Comments: Im looking for information on my grandfather (colonel, later brig. gen.) S.A. Potter jr.
He was commanding officer of the 1169th engineer group in Korea.

I'm planning to write his biography.
All information on him, the places he stayed in Korea and his work there, would be very helpful to me.
I would also very much like to get in contact with veterans who served with him in that period.

Austin Fasting

Keywords: 1169th
colonel potter
brig. gen. S.A. Potter

Entry: 84877

Karin Wenger wrote on December 2, 2012

City and State: WAKEFIELD MI


Service or Relationship: Friend of Veteran

Comments: Norman was a wonderfully patriotic individual. He recently passed on due to natural causes 11-23-2012. He was a part of the Freedom Bridge in Korea.

Keywords: 1169th Engineer Combat Group, Freedom Bridge

Entry: 84682
Subject: 1169 ENGR COMBAT GP

John Gallen SR. wrote on November 13, 2012



Service or Relationship: Army Veteran

Comments: I served as Asst Operations Officer and Px officer
for Hdqs Co. 1169 Engr Combat Gp and after Dec.1954
we became the 36th Engr combat Gp.
I arrived in Dec 1953 and left in Dec. 1954.
When I arrived we had 5 batallions, 1343rd, 1092,
185th, 14th and one other. Plus the 58th float bridge
co, 633 lt Equip. Co, 485 Dump truck Co and one other
truck co the name of which I do not remember. We were
stationed in Tongduchon-ni. And supported the 7th and
25 Army Divisions and the 1st and 3rd Marine
divisions as they took turns on line on the DMZ.in
western Korea and had road responsibility for MSR 33
from Seoul to Uijombu and roads to Munson-ni and
then to Panmum-jon. I have many pictures of this area
in Korea. Col Potter was our commander and later Col

Keywords: Lt.John H. Gallen, CWO Buck Luntzel, CWO Sam
Minnetti, Capt Pierce,

Entry: 80537

Jerry Dean wrote on September 29, 2011

Email Update Needed

City and State:


Service or Relationship: Family Member

Comments: I am a family member who is seeking information from
any unit member or friend who may have served with
Don Cowan in Korea before his death.

Keywords: Don Arlen Cowan

Entry: 67212
Subject: KOREA 1953 TO 1954

Richard (Rich) Roethler wrote on September 15, 2008

Email Update Needed

City and State: METAMORA IL

Unit: 1092 - 1169 GROUP

Service or Relationship: Army Veteran


Keywords: I have located several buddies from this unite, 1092-1169 Group, But havn't been able to find one, Tom Chase. Can any one help me? At that time , I believe he was from Iowa Falls, Ia. I have the address for Beechie,Snow, Johnson, Brictha,Stanhope Davis, and Sheets(deseased) We were all together in Korea. Can anyone else add to this list? Please do, if you can. Thanks!

Entry: 64739

Kenneth Wiley SR. wrote on March 15, 2008

City and State: ALBUQUERQUE NM


Service or Relationship: Army Veteran

Comments: Looking for anyone who knew Dr. Spar in Korea during the time 1952-1953.
Need info for CRSP.
Kenneth G. Wiley

Keywords: Looking for Dr. Richard Spar

Entry: 63279

Mike Henson wrote on December 3, 2007

City and State: HUNTSVILLE AL

Unit: 1169TH

Service or Relationship: Army Veteran


Keywords: The 1169th Engineers will be transformed to a different unit sometime in 2008. If you need any of the current insignia or patche (don't know if it is the same as during the Korean War), please send your request to my email address (michael.henson@us.army.mil).


MAJ Henson

Entry: 61152

Cynthia Barr wrote on May 29, 2007

Email Update Needed

City and State: LOCKPORT IL


Service or Relationship: Family Member

Comments: Any information we can get on this unit would be very much appreciated along with anyone who knew him.
Thank you,
Cynthia Barr, Daughter

Keywords: Looking for information on finding a replacement 1169th unit pin for my dad. We've lost his. Sgt. Ralph W. Barr, 1952-1954 Uijongbu, Korea

Entry: 61134
Subject: 1169TH UNIT PIN

Cynthia Barr wrote on May 28, 2007

Email Update Needed

City and State: LOCKPORT IL

Unit: 1169TH HQ CO

Service or Relationship: Family Member

Comments: Looking for a duplicate of my fathers 1169th unit pin lost after his death. Trying to put together a memorial for him. Please any help or direction will be greatly appreciated.
The daughter of Sgt. Ralph W. Barr,
Cindy Barr

Keywords: 1169th Eng Group HQ CO unit pin

Entry: 58391
Subject: COL. JAMES WISE(?)

Charles L. Collins wrote on August 7, 2006


City and State: HUNTSVILLE AL

Unit: N/A

Service or Relationship: Army Veteran



Entry: 52940

Charles L. Collins wrote on August 31, 2005


City and State: HUNTSVILLE AL

Unit: NONE!

Service or Relationship: Army Veteran

Comments: a. Can you identify the Engineer Construction(?) Battalion which was assigned to re-build the damaged RR bridge across the Imjin River, downstream from the Freedon Gate bridge at Panmumjom.
b. Can you furnish a photo of the REPAIRED RR bridge???
c. I was given the task of locating the original plans for that RR bridge. I found them and delivered them to the EUSAK Engineer! He assigned some ECB to rebuild that RR bridge!


Entry: 52226

Jimmie Hartley wrote on July 24, 2005

City and State: SALISBURY NC


Service or Relationship: Army Veteran

Comments: Wanting To John Furman Who Was Also In That Unit 1169 Engineer Group


Entry: 51159
Subject: CHAIN SAW

Donald D. (Don) Weymiller SR. wrote on May 29, 2005

Email Update Needed

City and State: NEW ALBIN IA

Unit: 1169TH ENGRS

Service or Relationship: Army Veteran

Comments: Looking for James Dunbar [Korea 1954] from Nebraska also known as CHAIN SAW


Entry: 47056
Subject: DWIGHT

Dwight Jett wrote on November 24, 2004

City and State:


Service or Relationship: Interested Person

Comments: DRAFT

P.O. BOX 2045

Pre-World War II

During the 1920's in the postwar reorganization of the State Guard units, Alabama was allotted one part of a proposed Engineer Regiment. This unit which was later designated the 133rd Engineer Regiment (General Service) was to be organized with the 1st Battalion in South Carolina and the 2nd Battalion with Hq and Hq and Svc Company in the Tennessee Valley of North Alabama. Several towns were candidates for the Alabama Engineer elements but Florence, Sheffield, Athens, and Huntsville won out. In 1922, while organization of the new companies was going on at full speed, a War Department Directive called a temporary halt because of a lack of appropriations. After some correspondence between the powers-that-be it was decided that since companies had already been organized in some of the towns the State would be allowed to continue organizing its Battalions.

Accordingly Company D was Federally recognized in July 1922 at Huntsville, with Captain Raymond W. Jones in command and two years later Company E at Athens was recognized. In February 1924 the two companies were redesignated Companies A and B, 1st Battalion 133rd Engineers and for the next two years these units remained in solitary splendor as the only Engineer elements in the Alabama National Guard.

In 1926 the 127th @near Battalion (Mounted), was organized under command of Major Raymond W. Jones, with Headquarters at Huntsville and Companies A and B, 133rd becoming Companies A and B of the new mounted Engineers. At about the same time Company C was organized at Hartselle by redesignating former Troop C, 109th Cavalry, which had originally been Federally recognized in April 1920. At the death of Major Raymond W. Jones, in April 1931, the Battalion came under the command of Colonel Edwin W. Jones.

Until 1940 little happened in the peace time life of the organization, several minor reorganizations took place but little else. During the much publicized "Scottsboro Case"
elements of the unit were called into State service at various times in 1933 to assist the Sheriff in preserving order and enforcing the law. In 1939 and 1940 the Engineers were represented on the Alabama National Guard Rifle Team which shot against some of the finest Guard Teams in the Country. Out of the fourteen men on the State Team, each year the Engineers placed three men.


World War II
A. Mobilization and Deployment to Alaska

In November 1940, the unit was expanded into a full Regiment by adding the 101st and 102nd Engineer Companies (light Platoon) and the organization of a new company at Sheffield. With the expansion came a change in designation to 151st Engineers
(Combat). Colonel Edwin W. Jones remained in command of the new unit.

On 27 January 1941, the Regiment was activated into Federal Service at its home station and on 7 February, 715 strong, they assembled at Camp Shelby, Mississippi. Until 14 March, they remained there undergoing basic training, and then, on to Camp Claiborne, Louisiana. Here they augmented by Selective Service Personnel and by the middle of the year had attained a strength of 1,294 Officers and Enlisted men.

About the middle of July orders were received to ready the 1st Battalion for immediate departure. Accordingly, everything was prepared and on 2 August 1941 the battalion left for the frozen North. Alaska was its next stop. Since any honor won by this element of the Regiment is not shared by today's Group, the remainder of this narrative will exclude the activities of the 1st Battalion.

Meanwhile the rest of the Regiment went on maneuvers in Louisiana until 29 September 1941 when they were put to work enlarging the Ponchartrain Recreation Camp at New Orleans until late October. The day before Christmas, they too, set out for parts unknown. A week later, at a staging area, Camp Murray, Washington, the unit received a large cadre from the 116th Engineers.

On 20 January 1942, the Regiment (less 1st Bn) left Camp Murray and sailed on board the USAT W. C. GORGAS and on Alaska Steamship Lines SS COLUMBIA. A day later the two ships docked at Keichikan, Alaska where they stayed for almost a week. On the 29th the Guardsmen arrived at King Cove, Alaska. Unloading of equipment and supplies was begun at once while Colonel Jones, as senior officer, assumed command of all U.S. troops at King Cove and Cold Bay, and set up the Headquarters in an office belonging to the Pacific American Fisheries, Inc.

A few days later Company E left King Cove for station at Cold Bay, 35 miles away. The remainder of the Regiment (less 1st Bn) left King Cove bit by bit until by the 13th of May all elements were at Cold Bay. The mission was to construct an entire Army Post. In March the Post was designated Fort Randall in honor of Major General George M. Randall, a distinguished soldier of the Civil War and the Indian Wars in the West.


During the construction of the Post the danger of possible enemy attack was ever present, but, fortunately the enemy never appeared. The 1st Battalion, stationed at Dutch Harbor was not so lucky and on 3 June the enemy struck hard with bombing attacks and caused several casualties to the Guardsmen of Company A.

At Fort Randall, the Engineers on 20 August said goodbye to Colonel Jones, who was promoted to Brigadier General and made ready to take orders from a new commander, Colonel Fisher S. Blinn.

In the winter months, fighting intense cold, snow, and strong winds they continued building. A glimpse into an incomplete diary gives some idea of the obstacles set up by nature, which constantly hindered the men. The following entry was dated 5
January 1943,

A strong wind from the Northwest started last night and continued all day. Very low temperatures. Practically all motor vehicles were immobilized this morning and many post roads were impassable because of drifts. There is apparently no new snowfall, but the snow already on the ground is blowing so much that it amounts to the same thing. We were unable to get to Post Headquarters all day...

Two days later another entry shows that some roads had been opened but in most instances they were only single tracked.

Weather not withstanding, men of the 151st built docks, roads, warehouses, housing, storage tanks and other type construction necessary to the set up of a post capable of housing a 10,000 man garrison. In addition, they took over construction of two airport runways which had been started by civilian engineers, and operated an asphalt plant for paving.

On 5 February the weather hardened outfit left behind their 1st Battalion and Company E and sailed for Amchitka on board the USS ST. MIHIEL. Five days later the ST. MIHIEL dropped anchor at Amchitka and the men went ashore on barges and set up shop in tents. Four days later Company E returned to the fold when it debarked from the SS LAKINA. The new mission was to construct another new Army Base and at the same time assist in any defense against the enemy. Fortunately for the outfit's well being the enemy made no ground attacks and although they bombed the unit during the month, they did no damage except to the tempers of the men. In all probability it spurred the men to even greater effort as they tore into the project which included construction of roads, two large ship docks, two 250 bed hospitals, warehouses, cold storage buildings, garages, the opening up and operating of rock quarries, operation of rock crushers, and various other related projects.


Since construction of base facilities was begun at once, personnel housing received the lowest priority, consequently, for the initial few months of the occupation the ever busy
Engineers waged a constant battle with Nature in their effort to live comfortably in tents.

In May 1943 Colonel Louis H. Foote, took command from Colonel Blinn and guided the energies of the unit for the remainder of the year.

In June 1943, after a year and a half in Alaska with its mud, snow, and cold, and Japanese attacks, the 151st left for the States where it was hoped that there would be plenty of "Life,
Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness". Arriving at Fort Lawton, Washington, on 10 June, the Engineers had little chance to try anything for within five days they were once again on the move. This time to Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri, where they arrived on 19 June 1943.

B. Redesignation as 1169th

On 11 July the much traveled Engineers were broken up into three parts; Headquarters and Headquarters and Service Company became the present HHC, 1169th Engineer Group, 1st Battalion became the 151st Engineer Battalion, and the 2nd Battalion became the 1343d Engineer Battalion. From this point on we will deal only with the activities of the HHC, 1169th Engineer Group since any honors won by the two battalions would not accrue to the Group. However, honors won previously belong to all elements of the former Regiment.

C. Deployment to U.S/ Britain and Europe

Until lB ???? December, the personnel of the new Group were kept constantly busy as they assisted in the training of new Engineer units. Six days before Christmas the Group, now commanded by Colonel Frank M. S. Johnson, moved to camp Kilmer, New Jersey, for eventual movement to the European Theater of Operations. Christmas was spent on the high seas. During the crossing, on 1 January 1944, LTC Joe W. Burleson, assumed command of the Group.

A week later land fall was made at Plymouth, England and the men prepared for movement to Bournemouth where they went into bivouac on 8 January. After about a month it began, by short hauls, to work its way toward the continent, arriving at Nancy,
France on 20 April 1944. ??????


During the latter part of 1944 the 1169th Engineer Group was assigned to XX Corps with stations at Metz. In general, during the period, all bridging work was by Corps or Army troops. The Corps units installed and maintained all floating and some Bailey bridging. Both Corps and Army units operated on a task basis under the direction of the Corps Engineer. Plans called for a rapid advance to the Saar and Rhine.

The 1169th Engineer Group provided the principal Engineer effort in the Northern attack. At Uckang it constructed a pontoon bridge 765’ in length; possibly the longest pontoon bridge in France. The Group also installed a floating bridge at Thionville. After VE Day the Group was redeployed to Camp Lucky Strike outside LeHarve for return to ZI.

Near the end of June 1945, the Group boarded the USS MARION DRAGON at LeHarve and with Colonel Ellsworth I. Davis in command, the men of the 1169th Engineer Group sailed away from the shores of France 27 June 1945. Colonel Davis had relieved Colonel Horace A. Taylor, who had commanded the Group briefly during May and part of June 1945.

In early July the USS MARION DRAGON made its way slowly past the Statue of Liberty to the New York Port of Embarkation where happy veterans of the Group boarded motor transportation for Camp Shanks. On 6 July, the day following their arrival in New
York, the men were on their way by rail to Camp Gruber, Oklahoma. Following a month stay at Gruber, the unit moves to Camp Cooke, California where, on 3 November 1945 after almost four years active service, it was deactivated. Major Bruce B. Cloud was the unit's last commander, he had replaced Colonel Davis in September 1945.

Korean War

Within fifteen months the veteran 1169th, with Colonel Carl T. Jones in command, was reorganized and Federally recognized as a going concern in the Alabama National Guard. Also recognized and again attached to the 1169th Engineer Group were the 151st and the 1343d.

On 14 August 1950, after an all too short a period of peace time training, the unit was again called to the Colors and eleven days later, with LTC James 0. Johnson at the helm, the service wise Group moved to Fort Campbell, Kentucky. For the remainder of the year it underwent extensive training in preparation for what lay ahead. During October Colonel Edward G. Daly took command from LTC Johnson who resumed his old command of the 151st Engineer Battalion.


In January 1951, elements of the 1169th began to move from Fort Campbell to the West Coast and by the 1st week of February all elements had cleared Fort Campbell and entrained for port of embarkation in San Francisco, California. Personnel and
equipment of the unit boarded the USS GENERAL MITCHELL during the 2nd week of February and sailed for Pusan, Korea arriving there 1 March 1951. The mission of the Group was to command, administer, and supervise and to plan and direct the operations
of the following units: 145th Engr C Bn, 151st Engr C Bn, 1092nd Engr C Bn, 72nd Engr Co, 485th Engr DT Co, 138th Engr Pal Brg Co, 58th Engr Treadway Br Co, 8203rd Engr Searchlight Co, and 3rd Platoon, 633rd Engr LE Co.

The Group was attached to I US Corps, and moved tactically 16-18 March to Suwon, where it became operational at 0800 hours 20 March 1951. The first assignment received by the Group was the responsibility for road rehabilitation and maintenance and bridge construction in the area South of Suwon to the Han River and from the West Coast of Korea east to the adjoining IX Corps boundary. At the same time the various subordinate units in the Group were assigned specific combat missions in support of the United Nation Forces in the Seoul area, including assault crossings of the Han River and the clearing of extensive mine fields. The first major deliberate bridge task was the installation of an M-2 floating bridge across the Han River at Seoul. Construction of this bridge began the morning of 25 March 1951 and was completed the following morning.

The second tactical movement of the Group occurred 25 March, when movement from Suwon to Yongdong-Po was accomplished. Upon arrival the Group's area of responsibility extended North of the Han River to include Seoul and the road from Inchon east through Seoul and west to the Pukhan River bridge.

In April 1951 the mission of the Group continued to be that of furnishing general engineer support to I Corps, however, extensive plans were prepared and initiated for road maintenance and bridge construction North of the Han River. ????? To properly supervise and control work being performed by subordinate units the Group moved from Yongdong-Po to Uijongbu 9 April 1951.

On 6 April 1951, the Group Commander put into effect a plan to counter the enemy's use of water in the Hwachon Reservoir for tactical and strategic purposes. The sudden release of water from the reservoir by the enemy offered a serious threat to our lines of communication. The loss of any of the floating bridges across the Han Pukhan Rivers would have impaired the movement of troops and supplies to the front line and thus would have materially aided the enemy's forthcoming Spring offensive. In the initiation of the plan to control this water the flood gate of the Pukhan Dam was ordered opened and welded in order to lower the level of water in the Pukhan Reservoir. In the event the enemy opened the gates of the Hwachon Reservoir this would enable the securing or removal of floating bridges below the Pukhan before it overflooded.


The first bridge constructed north of the 38th Parallel in I Corps, was a 384' ??? [`1-2 bridge across the Hantan River on route 33 by the 151st Engineer Battalion and the 58th Engineer Treadway Bridge Company. This bridge was constructed 12 April and removed twelve days later by the 151st Battalion and the 72nd Engineer C Company, after being taken under fire by the enemy in his advance to the South. The force of the enemy offensive made it apparent that all friendly support and service troops would have to withdraw south of the Han River.

On 24 April 1951, the Group Commander committed the 1092nd Engr C Bn in a ground defense role in a blocking position three miles north of Uijongbu. On the following day the 14th Engr C Bn was assigned a similar mission of blocking a position four miles
Northwest of Seoul across the Seoul-Munsan-Ni road on defense line Golden.

The Group Headquarters and its assigned units except the 1092nd and the 14th Engr Bns which remained committed in ground defense, moved from the vicinity of Uijongbu to Yongdong-Po 22 April 1951. The two battalions committed as infantry were returned to their engineer mission 28 April, after having engaged the enemy several times. The enemy was stopped just North of Seoul, and by the latter part of May had been driven
back sufficiently to allow the bridge to be reinstalled across the Hantan River on Route 33, and the Group to move back into the vicinity of Uijongbu and resume the duties it was assigned during the latter part of April 1951. The magnificent fighting spirit, esprit de Corps, and unshakable and inspiring confidence and adherence to duty exhibited by all personnel of the Group were instrumental in the smashing defeat of the enemy's forces
and his ultimate forced withdrawal North of the Imjin River.

During the month of May 1951, in preparation for the coming rainy season maximum effort was exerted by the Group in raining and draining critical roads and stock-piling stone at critical locations. Four rock crushers were utilized in this operation resulting in the production of 20,000 cubic yards of crushed stone during the month. Also during this period the Group utilized an abandoned mobile asphalt plant and paved the MSR from Yongdong-Po to Seoul. This demonstrated the high versatility of the Group, where one month its units were deployed as infantry, impeding the movement of the enemy and the
next month promoting the advance of friendly forces and transportation of vital supplies.


In June 1951, the Group, in addition to its general engineer mission, performed various mission such as, building airstrips, ramps for railroads, clearing mine fields, demolition of pill boxes, cutting timber for defensive positions, posting route and bridge markings, opening an engineer dump, operating tactical ferries, and numerous other tasks necessary for military operations. Also during this month five bridges were constructed by the Group, four floating and one fixed. The most outstanding was the construction of a 480’ double Bailey bridge constructed at a height of 55’ above and across the Hantan River on Route 2Z. Second in construction feat, but major in tactical importance, was the installation of the M-2 floating bridge across the Imjin River in support of the 1st Cavalry Division Tank Force. Considerable difficulty was encountered in the construction of this bridge not only because of the unfavorable conditions at the site where only one bridge truck could back into the site, but also because of the presence of mines, enemy mortar and artillery fire which resulted in the death of one man and the wounding of six others.

In July 1951, upon General Ridgeway's acceptance of Communist's proposal that truce talks be held at Kaesong, the Group constructed an M-2 floating bridge across the Imjin River at Munsan-ni. The 151st Engr C Bn constructed the base camp in the vicinity of Munsan-ni for the United Nations Delegation. The airstrip was improved, the area cleared of mines, access roads improved, ground leveled, walks built, cess pools dug, and outdoor theater constructed, and the entire camp enclosed with five miles of tactical wire.

On 8 July, after 19 working days the Group completed a 720’ pile bent bridge across the Hantan River North of the 38th parallel. This was the largest pile bent bridge ever attempted in I Corps area and the first work of this nature by the Group.

Also in July the Group was assigned the mission of assisting in the construction of line Kansas by preparing machine gun positions, mortar positions, recoilless rifle positions, rocket launcher and automatic weapons positions, communication and command posts. tn addition to these positions, 40,000 yards of tactical wire was strung.

On 21 July 1951, the Group encountered the first flood experienced. The rising water on the Imjin River forced the closing of the t'4-2 floating bridge near Munsan-ni. This flood provided the Group with valuable water level data and information so vitally needed in securing bridges, salvaging, and reconstructing bridges, roads, and culverts after floods.


In August and September the Group was in the middle of the first Korean flood season. August brought six periods of heavy rainfall and each time the Imjin River rose to flood height washing out four floating bridges on the Imjin and the 720’ pile bent bridge across the Hantan on Route 33. The Group worked 24 hours a day during this period securing, salvaging, and reconstructing bridges, roads, and culverts.

During the month of October, additional toad responsibility was added in the Cherwon sector, and the Group relieved of considerable responsibility Northeast of Uijongbu. This resulted in a readjustment of zones of responsibility, causing the Group to move to Tongduchon-ni 5 October 1951, where it remained during the rest of the Korean tour.

In October 1951, Colonel Edward G. Daly was assigned as I Corps Engineer replacing Colonel Itchner and the Group command was assumed by Colonel Ellsworth I. Davis, who had previously commanded the Group in 1945.

November 1951 was spent in preparing bridges to withstand ice conditions, since the Korean rivers usually freeze solid from bank to bank this would constitute a problem in maintaining pneumatic floating bridges. The preparation consisted of replacing all M-2 bridges with a combination of M-2 steel tread on rock crib or pile bents. This foresight, detailed planning, and supervision on the part of Group effected the successful completion of the task, resulting in minimum loss due to icing.

On 3 January 1952 the Group began "Operation Thud", consisting of clearing numerous and extensive mine fields remaining in the Seoul northern outskirts. The purpose was to clear mines in order that the land could be returned to the farmers for crops. The Group assigned the task to the 151st and 14th Engr C Bns. According to mine field reports the mine fields contained a total of 1,739 various type mines; however 10,779 mines were actually removed. This extreme hazardous task was completed 17 April 1952, with the loss of two killed and ten wounded.

By the end of March 1952, the majority of the original personnel had been replaced and rotated, as individuals, to the ZI where immediate separation occurred in most cases.

HHC, 1169th Engineer Group (C) and its subordinate units, during the entire service in Korea, displayed outstanding devotion to duty in the performance of varied and unusually difficult tasks, rendering unsurpassed support to the I US Corps. It successfully maintained an average of 250 miles or MSR and connecting roads, ten crossing sites on the Imjin and Hantan Rivers, constructed approximately 60 bridges totaling in excess of 18,000 feet. The Group had compiled a record which it can be proud, assured that it will not be excelled by any comparable unit of its type and mission. The Group commanded, supervised and directed the operations of the following units during its tour in Korea: 145th Engr C En, 151st Engr C En, 1092nd Engr C Bn, 1343d Engr C Bn, 185th Engr C Bn, 58th Engr Elt Erg 00, 485th Engr DT Co, 512th Engr OT Co, 633rd Engr LE Co, 51st Engr searchlight 00, 72nd Engr C Co, 138th Engr Pon Brg Co, 901st Engr Pon Brg Co, 101st Korean NG Div, 302nd Engr GS Bn (ROKA), 305th Engr GS Sn (ROKA), and 118th Korean Service Regiment (less 2 Bns).


HHC, 1169th Engineer Group (NOUS) was reorganized with Headquarters at Huntsville, 29 August 1952, with Colonel James 0. Johnson in command and with former members of the old Group Hqs and Hqs, 151st Engr Bn as personnel. It became sole owner of its designation with the deactivation of the 1169th Engineer Group(C) in Korea 20 January 1955 and its colors were officially returned to the unit carrying nine Campaign streamers.

Up to this time the 1169th Group has traveled far and seen plenty of hard work and has had ample opportunity to show its wares against the enemy. Its colors graced with nine streamers – two for participation in World War II and seven for participation in
the Korean conflict, however, to veterans of service in the Northlands, Europe and Korea the streamers mean a lot more than just service against the enemy in a named Campaign. It brings to mind days of struggling against man-killing weather, endless mud, snow, ice and flood, the constant efforts to stay warm in intense cold and the ageless monotony of barren islands and treacherous rice paddies. But long after streamers are torn and faded, the monuments to the efforts of the Alabama Engineers will remain - the military bases at Cold Bay and Amitchka, the numerous improvements of roads and bridges and bases in Korea, and not least, the good relations established by the personnel and the peoples of the Countries in which they served.

The 1169th Engineer Group continues to be a going concern in the Alabama National Guard, and as before, stands ready, willing and able to render its service whenever and wherever they are required.

Along with the 151st Engineer Battalion assigned to the 1169th Engineer Group, the unit continued to grow and eventually gained the 145th Engineer Battalion located in Centreville, AL and the 877th Engineer Battalion located in Hamilton, AL, and the 1343d Engineer Battalion located in Athens, AL.


Post Korean War

Even though the 1169th Engineer Group was not active in a War on some foreign soil, the Group remained active in the immediate and timely response to State and local emergency situations. These situations included tornadoes, hurricanes, massive floods, ice storms, civil unrest, water hauls for isolated communities, electrical power interruptions and a variety of life saving missions.

September 1979 to February 1980. Relief was provided by the 1169th Engineer Group personnel for Hurricane Frederick. (Humanitarian Service Medal)

In 1987, the 1169th Engineer Group and its battalions, would once again travel overseas to a foreign country to assist the under-privileged. Joining forces with the Active Duty Army and Air Force and also with the Army Reserve units to form a Joint Task Force called "ABRIENDO RUTAS" the Group was to travel the country of Ecuador, South America. The 1169th Engineer Group was the Task Force headquarters and was responsible for maintaining, coordinating, manning and processing all personnel before and after deployment. Over 500 personnel were processed to depart from Huntsville, AL and approximately the same amount of personnel returned from Ecuador each weekend from early May through November 1987. The 1169th Engineer Group was not only responsible for processing everyone for deployment to Ecuador and back, but the personnel of the Group also served a two week Annual Training exercise in Ecuador. Many personnel of the Group Headquarters served more than two weeks in country for this exercise. This "ABRIENDO RUTAS" exercise gained national attention and units from all over the United States participated in this exercise. Abriendo Rutas 87 was originally scheduled for May through October 1987, for coastal Ecuador in the vicinity of San Vincenta to Conoa. Due to a massive earthquake in March 1987, the exercise area was shifted from West of the Andes Mountains to the tropical rain forest area of the Amazon Basin East of the Andes Mountains. The Task Force 1169 had the unique distinction of being the first United States Army unit to cross the Andes Mountains. Colonel Frank N. Sefton III was Commander of the 1169th Engineer Group and also the Task Force Commander for "ABRIENDO RUTAS". (Humanitarian Service Medal) Humanitarian aid from Task Force 1169 consisted of the following actions accomplished with care and concern for the Ecuadorian people isolated due to the massive earthquake:


Communications equipment to provide emergency transmission from remote villages East of the Andes Mountains and Southeast of Quito, Ecuador. This equipment was provided by private industry without any known means of getting it to the Ecuadorian people. Task Force 1169 was contacted, assistance rendered and within three weeks this emergency communications equipment was being installed in the remote areas East of the Andes Mountains.

The donation, coordination, and shipment of massive amounts of clothing, rain apparel, shoes, can food and infant wear was hand carried to Ecuador for distribution by the local Priests to deserving families in the earthquake areas.

The donation, coordination, and shipment of a washer and dryer for an orphanage in Quito, Ecuador that housed, fed, and cared for 150 orphans.

And the upgrading of a 10-kilometer main supply route and the construction of 5 kilometers of corduroy road gave the Ecuadorian people a secondary route out of the area in the unforeseen future if this type of disaster ever happens again in this remote area of the Country.

November 15-30 1989. Disaster relief for the Huntsville tornado with majority of damage done on Airport Road. Tornado touched down behind 1169th armory located on S. Memorial Parkway. (Humanitarian Service Medal)


In the early 1990's the Department of Defense began a Total Force reduction in the nation's military forces. This down- sizing was named "Quicksilver" and it would greatly affect the 1169th Engineer Group and its battalions. A reduction of the Active Army from over 700,000 to 535,000 had to be accompanied by a reduction in Army Reserve and National Guard units. Six active and two National Guard divisions would be disbanded in order to achieve a 20 division Total Army force structure. The 1169th Engineer Group Headquarters, the 145th Engineer Battalion and the 151st Engineer Battalion were all on the force reduction list (Quicksilver) to be deactivated in the near future. Congressmen, Senators, Commanders, Officers, and Enlisted personnel began a strong campaign to maintain our strength in the Alabama National Guard. Letters were sent to everyone
having a vote in the reduction force listing, phone calls were made and many meetings were held at the State and Local levels. People were even sent to Washington, DC to stand up for the Alabama National Guard to try to prevent the 1169th Engineer Group from losing its units and personnel. However, even though many administrative battles were fought and won by the Group concerning the reduction in the Group's force, on 1 September 1993, the 151st Engineer Battalion located in Fort Payne, AL was deactivated. The colors of the 151st, which so actively assisted the 1169th Engineer Group in Korea and many state disaster relief missions following the Korean Conflict, were officially retired.

In May 1992, the Headquarters and Headquarters Company of the 1169th Engineer Group moved into a new armory located at 2824 Green Cove Road, and vacated the old armory located at 3514 Memorial Parkway SW.

Also on 1 September 1993, the 1343d Engineer Battalion headquartered at Athens, AL was split. Part of the Headquarters Company was to remain in Athens, AL and the other part was to be moved to Fort Payne, AL, where the 151st had been deactivated. The 145th Engineer Battalion located in Centreville, AL was assigned to the 31st Armor Brigade and no longer under the control of the 1169th Engineer Group. The 200th Quartermaster at Linden, AL was changed to the 200th Engineer Battalion and became part of the llE9th Engineer Group. The Group also gained a unit located in Dothan, AL who was the 1203d Engineer Battalion. This battalion is a TOPO unit.


During the period 4 October 1993 through 6 December 1993, the 1169th Engineer Group and its assigned units deployed to Cairo West, Egypt for the constructing of a 5,000 man base camp for the JOS exercise "BRIGHT STAR 94". Colonel David E. Powell, Jr.
was the Group Commander and Task Force 1169th Commander during this exercise. The Group members worked with units from all over the United States. Represented from other states were the 416th Engineer Command, from Chicago, IL; 316th Engineer
Detachment, Kittanning, PA; 335th signal Command, East Pointe, GA; Company A, Prime Power, Dupoint, WA; 92nd Engineer Battalion, Fort Stewart, GA; and the 863rd Engineer Battalion, Aurora, IL; The members of the 1169th Engineer Group were
representative of the US Army National Guard on foreign soil and showed motivation, professional attitude, dedication and exceptionally meritorious performance of duty. Their willingness to sacrifice personal comfort combined with the loyalty to organizational goals contributed to the overall success of BRIGHT STAR 1994, Cairo West, Egypt.

July 1994 and August 1994; personnel of the 1169th Engineer Group performed flood relief in Dale, AL. The unit evacuated fourteen personnel, provided sandbags, vehicles, and personnel LNO's - both officer and enlisted personnel to local EMA agencies in seven counties and provided limited security to Daleville, AL area. Also, programmed units, personnel engineer mission planning, assessment teams, logistical planning, and
maintenance operations/plans to support approximately 2,000 engineer soldiers with 1,200 being directly involved in Flood Relief Operations. Also members of the 1169th Engineer Group performed flood relief in Americus, GA in lieu of Annual Training during this same time frame. (Humanitarian Service Medal)

June 1995; the 1169th Engineer Group constructed the l/203d ADA (PATRIOT) site on Redstone Arsenal, Huntsville, AL. Performing the majority of the work involved was the 877th Engineer Battalion, and the 1343d Engineer Battalion.

04 October 1995 through 13 October 1995; the 1169th Engineer Group was activated for assistance to be provided to the State of Alabama for disaster relief for Hurricane OPAL. For those individuals volunteering their time and services, each received the Humanitarian Service Medal. (Humanitarian Service Medal)

October 1995; Members of the 877th Engineer Battalion under the command and control of the 1169th Engineer Group participated in providing relief operations for the Virgin Islands following Hurricane Marilyn's destruction.


From 2 October 1995 to 30 September 1996 some members of the 1169th Engineer Group and subordinate units (200th, 877th, l203d, and the 1343d Engineer Battalions) were supporting the Joint Task Force Olympics. This Task Force supported the summer
Olympics held in Atlanta, GA. This Task Force was National Guard men and women from 45 States and Territories to support security operations at 44 Olympic sites. Military aviators flew more than 300 missions in support of law enforcement and security operations and DOD bomb disposal experts responded to more than 490 calls on suspicious items. The 1996 Olympic Games were the largest peacetime event of the century with 197 participating countries, 15,000 athletes, and over 8 million spectators. The members of the Task Force became international ambassadors for peace, conducting their respective missions with both precision and perfection for all the world to see. For their exemplary performance of duty, the members of the Joint Task Force - Olympics received the Joint Meritorious Unit Award from the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

7 February 1996 through 25 July 1996. The 1169th Engineer Group was the Task Force Headquarters for Joint Task Force Leul, Exercise Cornerstone 1996, in Constants, Romania. This was the first ever N.A.T.O. Partnership for Peace Engineer Project
between Romanian Army and Navy personnel and U.S. Army and U.S. Air Force personnel. This was also the first deployment of American forces to Romania since World War II, Units participating in Joint Task Force Leul were 1169th Engineer Group; 877th Engr Bn; 1413 Engr Det, Indiana National Guard, 181st CES, Terre Haute, IN ??? Air National Guard; 117th CES, Birmingham, AL Air National Guard; and the 187th CES, Montgomery, AL. Air National Guard. Work included the following:

Improving a military hospital which included renovating latrines on ground, 1st and 2nd floors. Installing air conditioner in operating room, and installing deep sinks, and a ventilation fan in scrub room. Installing new latrines in patient wards on ground floor and 1st and 2nd floors with showers, sinks, mirrors, ceiling fans, light fixtures, electrical outlets and window screens.

Improving the Casa Speranta Orphanage which included installing new fixtures in bathrooms. Constructing platforms for and installing washer and dryer, and installing sump pump in basement, installing ceiling fans, light fixtures, electrical outlets, smoke detectors, new linoleum floor covering, spot paint, replace window panes, section bars, insect screens, exterior paint and renovating dumpster area. Also construction of a playground which included swing set, corner tower, pirate ship, climbing tower, pea gravel, fencing, and minor landscaping.


Renovation of Holt International Day-Care Center was performed by Joint Task Force Leul. This included replacing linoleum floors and exterior painting. The Task Force also built a playground including swing set, corner tower, pirate ship, fencing and placed pea gravel over playground area.

8 March 1998 through 21 March 1998; the members of the 1169th Engineer Group and its subordinate units were called upon to render assistance in the recovery of floods in South Alabama.

8 April 1998 through 30 April 1998; a tornado in Jefferson County.

14 April 1998; a tornado in Cullman.

17 April 1998 through 19 April 1998; a tornado in Opp.

List of Unit Commanders

? Colonel Ellsworth I. Davis end of June 1945 ???
? Colonel Horace A. Taylor May/June 1945
? Major Bruce B. Cloud September 1945
?Colonel Carl T. Jones15 months later
? LTC James 0. Johnson14 August 1950,
?Colonel Edward G. Daly
?Colonel Ellsworth I. Davis October 1951

Colonel James 0. Johnson       29 Aug 1952 through Dec 1965
Colonel Henry C. Mabry       Dec 1965 through Mar 1968
Colonel James Winning       Aug 1968 through Jan 1971
Colonel Clarence F. Rhea       Jan 1971 through May 1974
Colonel Robert L. Lott       Jun 1974 through Feb 1979
Colonel Orval D. Proctor       Mar 1979 through Sep 1982
Colonel Andrew J. Heritage, Jr.    Oct 1982 through Aug 1986
Colonel Frank N. Sefton III       Sep 1986 through Apr 1989
Colonel Joel N. Pugh       Apr 1989 through 15 Sep 1991
Colonel David E. Powell, Jr.       15 Sep 1991 through Sep 1994
Colonel Charles F. Herb, Jr.       Sep 1994 through 14 Jul 1997
Colonel John F. Parker       14 Jul 1997 through
Colonel Thompson
Colonel Johnson
Colonel Rogers
Colonel James E. Suttle, Jr.


Keywords: 1169th Engineer Group

Entry: 47055

Dwight Jett JR. wrote on November 24, 2004

City and State:


Service or Relationship: Interested Person

Comments: The 1169th Engineer Group is alive and doing fine. We are located in Huntsville, Alabama. We have a big Christmas party every December and all former members of the 1169th are invited. Please call 256-353-4741 for more info.

I am working on the unit history. I hope to post it soon, but I would greatly appreciate any info ya'll might have.

Jett out


Entry: 40677

Donald D. (Don) Weymiller wrote on February 7, 2004

Email Update Needed

City and State:


Service or Relationship: Army Veteran - Korea

Comments: we worked in a quarry as dozer optr, graded roads, etc about 20 mi n of wejohnbu, cant remember the unit. lIKE TO LOCATE CHAINSAW FROM NEBRASKA, CARROL FROM WASHINGTON IA ETC

Keywords: Was transferred to 1169th after the 40th div went home like a lot of other guys

Entry: 39964

Ralph Payne wrote on January 14, 2004

Email Update Needed

City and State: VERO BEACH FL

Unit: 1169TH COM. ENG. GRP. 8TH ARMY

Service or Relationship: Army Veteran - Korea

Comments: I am looking for Bob Nelson (lived in Northwest US) and Eddie Mosher (connected to Corning Glass)
If you know where they men are, please tell them to contact me by e-mail or snail mail.
Thanks, Ralph Payne

Keywords: Known by some as Jesse Took troops from Seoul to front lines and cooked at headquarters for ll69th Friends with Bob Nelson, Eddie Mosher, and Ralph Elliott

Entry: 31916
Subject: 1092 EGINEERS BAT C CO

Samuel Wansley SR. wrote on February 11, 2003

Email Update Needed

City and State: BRONX NY


Service or Relationship: Army Veteran - Korea



Entry: 29674

Denise Mills wrote on November 17, 2002

Email Update Needed

City and State: PEARLAND TX


Service or Relationship: Family Member

Comments: Board 110 Columbus Georgia ???/ Maybe were he was while in the National Guard. He was enlisted into active duty from Phenix City Al. I am trying to find out his unit number. He was attached to the 4th Army by his arm patches. He went into active service on Sept 11 1950 and worked with or on tanks I believe. He was discharged on May 13 1952 out Hq ASU Provisional Group Ft. Benning GA.
I desperatly want to find out what unit he was in.... if anyone could help please let me know.
Thanks and God Bless
Denise Mills

Keywords: 3966 was his specialty Number. Could of went by Leo or CL Mills.

Entry: 27313

John P. Lock wrote on August 2, 2002

City and State: TULSA OK

Unit: 151 ENGR. C. BN

Service or Relationship: Army Veteran - Korea

Comments: I was in Korea Jan. 1953 to March 1954 with the 151 Engr. C. Bn. which was attached to 1169 Engr. Grp. at that time. The 1169 was about 20 to 30 miles north of Seoul and a short distance north of Uinjonbu


Entry: 24054
Subject: HQCO 1169TH ENGRGP

Cynthia Anderson wrote on March 18, 2002

Email Update Needed

City and State: MOKENA IL


Service or Relationship: Family Member

Comments: My father, Ralph W. Barr was in 10th Infantry Division, Fort Riley, Kansas 1953, Company D 87th Infantry, First Platoon. Then he was in HqCo 1169th EngrGp and in Korea. I'm not sure how this worked, but PLEASE help me to find out where this unit was in Korea 1953-1954. I am desparate to know what my father did in the war and where he was. (We also have info that he was a radio operator and rifle expert based on his pins. ??) Any leads will be deeply appreciated. BARRCM@prodigy.net

Keywords: HqCo 1169th EngrGp

Entry: 20943

Gerald J. Rogalla wrote on November 24, 2001

City and State: GREENFIELD WI

Unit: 72ND ENGR. (C) CO.

Service or Relationship: Army Veteran - Korea

Comments: Looking for any 1169th Engr. group who were temporarily assigned to 1st Corps Engr. Depot from May 1951 to Jan. 1952


Entry: 19911

Debra Egbert-Foster wrote on October 12, 2001

Email Update Needed

City and State:

Unit: CO. B 14TH ENGR.

Service or Relationship: Family Member

Comments: I hope someone can help me. I'm looking for old army buddie's of my Dad, Glen Egbert. I'm reseachering my family tree, I don't know much about my Dad's life while in Korean. Maybe someone can tell me a story/stories or share picture's with me. Dad was in Korean from Sept 10,1952 ( or it could be later ) till Sept 24,1954. He was from Lucas County, Iowa.
Thank you for all of your help.
Debra Egbert-Foster


Entry: 9123

Dwight Jett wrote on June 1, 2000

Email Update Needed

City and State:


Service or Relationship: Interested Person

Comments: I am a Major in the 1169th Engineer Group Alabama National Guard. I would appreciate any information that you have about the history of the 1169th. Thanks.


Entry: 4658
Subject: 1953-54

Tie Davis wrote on November 10, 1999

Email Update Needed

City and State: DALLAS TX


Service or Relationship:

Comments: My father (1st Lt. Tie Davis) was CO of HQ Co 14th Engineer Combat Battalion of the 1169th Group in '53-'54. His unit was at Sun San Ni and later moved back to Uijongbu.

My dad is looking for individuals such as Lt. Col. Ken Sawyer, Battalion CO; Capt. Charlie Butler; Capt. Roger Conover. Any others??

We were very close to I Corps HQ. Where was 1169th HQ?

Please respond to me and I'll forward any correspondence to my dad.

Thank you.

-Stephen Davis


Entry: 3222
Subject: 2/51 TO 12/51

Richard W. Olpe wrote on July 2, 1999

Email Update Needed

City and State:


Service or Relationship:

Comments: Looking for members of Hq. Co. 1169th Engineer Combat Gp. who were in korea from 2/51 to 12/51


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