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Alleged Atrocities 69th Engineers

From: Norman Gates, Colonel (ret)
Date: 05 Apr 2004
Time: 03:50:15
Remote Name:


Thanks for your e-mail with the information on the 69th. I was the Commander and then Operations Officer of the 69th Engineers, cons't from the time it was brought on active duty at Fort Hood, TX, through it's training and deployment to RVN and then in country until my transfer in either DEC 66 or Jan 67. Most likely Col Beben followed me as the S3. During my time in RVN as S3/S23 I visited every location where Battalion personal were deployed in the delta, two or three times each week for the 1st 6mo the 69th was in RVN. I lost track of the Company C Commander but as I recall his name was Cpt Summers. I also had personal contact with the units in the area that we supported or provided us support. I very seldom saw the sun rise or set at our base camp, except one day a week. I do not remember ever hearing the name John Hurley. Just before we deployed we rotated many soldiers in and out of the Battalion in order to meet deployment criteria. The weeks before deployment were endless and hectic. Great training for what was to come in RVN. It is possible he deployed with us or was in one of solders we inherited after arriving in RVN. I find it hard to believe that an incident occurred, as he describes, while I was the S3. In my opinion his story is as reprehensible as the one Kerry delivered to the Congress. The Commander and XO at the time of deployment I think have both died. I have contacted and Asst S3/S2 and ask him to check his memory and records. He was reassigned as Comander of Co C in Dong Tam and then to Operations at Group. My records are in storage and I will not have access to them until after the Jan 05. The Bn Commander was assigned to Group XO duties after I was reassigned up the road as the XO of the 93rd Battalion, cons't when it arrived in country. I know I would have heard at least a rumor of anything that had happened. Please keep me in the loop, Norman Gates Colonel, USA (ret) Corps of Engineers

Last changed: May 08, 2005