RESERVOIR NEAR KHANH DUONG
HUMANITARIAN EFFORT BY ENGINEERS
by Rudy Hernandez and John Rice
When Rudy Hernandez discovered this article that he had saved for over forty years,
he wondered if anyone remembered the lake. To date, the only one who
recalled the project was Captain John Rice.
CLIPPING KEPT BY RUDY HERNANDEZ
SP4 RUDY HERNANDEZ ON PATROL
CAPTAIN JOHN RICE
In Rice's Log, one of the reports entitled "Unit Activities, 1 May thru
31 July 1969" contained an article under paragraph 8 that stated the following:
CIVIC ACTION: Hi-Ho-Jhoe Village. Co. A, 70th Engr. Bn. along with assistance
from Co. D, 864th Engr. Bn (Const) utilized two (2) D-7-E Dozers to excavate a
lake bed for Hi-Ho-Jhoe Village. The lake is located 100 meters south of the
village (BQ561098). A natural stream was diverted to the lake bed by use of the
dozers. The lake is to be stocked with fish by the Vietnamese Government.
NORTH OF CAMP
Left & Right: TYPICAL MONTAGNARD VILLAGES NEAR CAMP REIL/DAVIS
Left & Right: MONTAGNARDS WALKING ALONG THE ROAD NEAR KHANH DUONG
John Rice wrote, "I have vague memories of this project. I actually thought we worked on it with
the 131st LE. (Until he saw the Unit Activities report and the newspaper article). They had a
crane with a bucket and used it to dig out the lake. It certainly could have been the 864th as
they probably would have had a crane as well. We worked on it with dozers, but eventually we got
them stuck in the mud as the hole filled up with ground water. Mostly, it was a volunteer project
and people worked on it on Sundays when we had a little time and weren't working on blown bridges
and washed out bypasses. Unfortunately, I can't remember if it ever actually held water and
ended up being a real lake or if it turned into another place for mosquitoes to breed. I know
we put a good bit of effort into it.
I was at the site on a couple of occasions and I can remember a couple of the guys in the company
trying to learn how to throw the bucket with varying degrees of success. I was always tempted
to try stuff like that, but I had enough bad experiences with D7E's to stay away from the crane.
I got a dozer sideways on a hill one day and had to find one of the guys to get it down on level
ground for me."
Pictured left: LT HARRISON SUPERVISES A STICKY UNDERTAKING
Pictured right: TWO 5-TONS BATTLE THE TERRAIN AND ELEMENTS
Note: The two pictures above may or may not have been taken at the Lakesite, but are typical
of the working conditions encountered by A Company while working on the "Reservoir" for the
Montagnards at Hi-Ho-Jhoe Village near Camp Reil/Davis.
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A Company 70th Engineer Vietnam Veterans Index Page