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83rd Engineer Construction Battalion
540th Engineer Group

Looking for more information from military/civilian personnel assigned to or associated with the U.S. Army in Germany from 1945 to 1989. If you have any stories or thoughts on the subject, please contact me.

Battalion History 

89th Engr Co

543rd Engr Co

547th Engr Co

548th Engr Co

83rd Engineer Construction Bn History

Once upon a time, in a land far far away.... Leipheim, 1957
83rd Engineer Bn (Const) DUI
(Source: 83rd Engineer Battalion Yearbook 1959-60)

UNIT HISTORY (in France)
On 10 April 1951, the 83rd Engineer Battalion (Construction) at Fort Sill, Oklahoma, was reorganized under TO&E 5-315, as changed, with an authorized strength of 25 officers, 16 Warrant Officers, and 844 enlisted men. Shortly thereafter, the Battalion was alerted for shipment to the European Theater.

The 83rd departed Fort Sill and arrived at Camp Kilmer, New Jersey, on 3 and 4 May, 1951. Departure from the New York Port of Embarkation was made aboard the USNS General M.B. Stewart, on 11 May, 1951. The Battalion arrived at La Pallice, France, on 20 May, 1951, and proceeded by rail to Landes de Bussac, France, arriving at Bussac the afternoon of 20 May, 1951.

On arrival at Landes de Bussac, the 83rd found its home an area closely resembling a swamp. The units immediately went into action with their own resources, cleared a section of land, and established a tent city. The 83rd lived in this tent city for approximately three years while they cleared the land for the present facilities that compromise the USAGD, Bussac.

During those first years Companies "A," "B," "C," were sent at various times to accomplish land clearing and construction projects at other posts throughout the Base Section area. In many instances newly arrived personnel were assigned to a company and immediately sent on TDY to perform some engineer construction project, not to return to their parent unit until time for their rotation. In many respects, due to the immensity of area of responsibility and vast construction effort, this same situation exists at present.

In addition to the many varied engineer projects which have included everything from grading roads to erecting buildings, or assisting in historical archaelogical findings, the 83rd Engineer Battalion and most of its units have played a key part in the NODEX's (New Off-shore Discharge Exercises) held in this command. Their participation in all of these exercises consisted of site preparation far in advance of the actual exercise, and engineer support for the exercises themselves, which in many cases was extensive. In addition to the before and during exercise support, the engineers perform the "after the exercise" rehabilitation wherein they restore the NODEX sites to their original condition.

During 1959, the Battalion moved from Bussac General Depot to the US Army Installation, Fontenet. In addition to our (83rd Engineers) other missions we became the operating headquarters of our post. The Battalion was increased to 12 assigned and 3 attached units, a total of almost 1,600 officers and enlisted men and over 400 civilians employees. Our responsibilities increased tremendously but our enthusiasm and perseverance waxed stronger than ever. Every successful milestone passed by the Battalion was a tribute to your hard work, esprit de corps. and the will to succeed in spite of adversity.

At the time the 83rd Engineer Battalion arrived in Europe, the Battalion consisted of only its organic units, i.e.:
Headquarters and Service Company
"A" Company
"B" Company
"C" Company

Since those first days in Europe, the Battalion has grown to a total of twelve companies and three attached. By the addition of the assigned separate companies and attached units, the Battalion has become one of the largest in USAREUR, and perhaps the Army.

At the present time five of the companies are stationed at various other posts as follows:
"A" Company at Braconne
"B" Company at Bussac
"C" Company at Ingrandes
543rd Engineer Company (PL) at Chinon
89th Engineer Company (PL) at US Army Installation, Rochefort

The remaining companies are stationed at Fontenet along with Battalion Headquarters:
Hq/Svc Company, 83rd Engr Bn
597th Engineer Company (HE)
548th Engineer Company (DT)
547th Ordnance
500th MP Detachment
175th EOD
349th General Dispensary
4085th Labor Service Company (Guard)
28th Engineer Detachment (Water Supply)

(Source: Email from Mike Taylor)
In the 83rd Engineer Bn section, under Photos, there is a picture (Photo #3) of a Simca 1000 on a low boy that was in and accident in Feb or March of 1963. This was at Chinon. To the left was the Snack Bar and to the right where the bus is was the bus stop and where the post guard was. I remember it well because a very good friend of mine was in that car. I was supposed to have gone with them to town that evening, and another 2 good friends of mine were there to investigated the accident. It happened in Azay, the car hit a wall.

My ex wife received the telephone call from the French police when it happened. The friend of mine was Mike Flynn from trhe 581st which was almost across from the snack bar.

The area where the low boy was located is the main parking lot. Units that were there at the time were HQ Co, for the post; 313th Sig; 581st Engineers; Polish Guards; 202nd Mp Co/Platoon; 97th Engineer; a Postal Unit.

The Hq Co comprised the Depot storage personnel, Shipping and Receiving, TMP, Fire Station, all personnel, admin, finance, Fac Engineers, CO's Driver.

Personnel in the 97th ran the Depot Maint, the 83rd Engineer Battalion was there -- they were off the installation on the main road off the Depot. When they left the 84th Engineer Bn took their place. I saw a lot of changes while I was there from 1959-1964.

The area where the wrecked vehicle is was the cantonment arera; all else warehouses, TMP, and the like were on the depot isself, half a mile one way and about a mile the other way. There is a web site that has a few pictures of the mp station and some other pictures. There is not much left.

(Source: Author's private collection)

83rd Engr Const Bn


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(Source: Email from Joe McMillan)
I was stationed at Ingrandes with the 83rd Engineer Battalion during 1965 and 1966, but was relocated to Heilbronn, Germany, when de Gaulle kicked the troops out of France. I was company commander of C Company at the time of my discharge in 1968.

The whole battalion moved to Heilbronn. We took over a kaserne which had a large parking area for our equipment near by. But, once in Germany, we were seldom at our barracks. We were on TDY all the time it seems, putting up buildings that we had taken down in France, constructing a runway at Hanau, and a bunch of other things.

Shortly after I left Germany, the 83rd rotated to Fort Riley at Manhattan, Kansas. After the move, I lost track of them. The 83rd must have disbanded once they got to Fort Riley. Nothing current seems to show up.

Can anyone provide information on what happened to the 83rd Engineer Battalion after it rotated back to the States in 1968?

If you have more information on the history or organization of the 83rd Engr Bn, please contact me.

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