604th Unit History
The 604th Transportation Company (ADS) was organized under the command of 1LT Tom Allen at Ft. Campbell, Kentucky, in August, 1965. Though initially ordered to deploy in December 1965, the company did not deploy until February 1966. In February, 1966, fresh from Christmas leave, the 604th, now under the command of MAJ George Cote, flew to Oakland, California, where the men boarded the USS Nelson M. Walker and sailed for Vietnam. After 16 days, the 604th arrived at Qui Nhon on March 6th. They had been told they were supposed to land at Nha Trang but could not because it was under fire.
SP4 Herman E. Jaso remembered:
“Anyway, we climbed down the side of the ship on those big rope ladders and got into several PT Landing Craft ... fully geared for battle … guide-on flags and the works. I still remember that men were praying, thinking of loved ones and all that stuff. When the Landing Craft finally got to the beach, we watched the front gate of the craft drop and we all poured out into the water and began to run up the beach, hitting the ground thinking we were in for a fight. Then everybody that was on the beach stood up from their lawn chairs and stared at us like we were crazy!”
The 79th Transportation Company became the sponsoring unit for the 604th. A small contingent of men of the 604th then flew to Camp Holloway, at Pleiku, to prepare the company area for arrival of the main body, which occurred approximately a week later, by convoy up QL19. The 604th became operational on May 15, 1966 and provided maintenance and supply support for 293 aircraft and 9,100 lines of aircraft supplies. The 604th assumed responsibility for the northwestern sector of Military Region 2, also known as II Corps.
The 203rd Signal Detachment was soon reassigned to the 604th from the 219th Aviation Company.
The 614th Light Equipment Maintenance Company (GS) arrived in Vietnam on December 1, 1969 to provide support for avionics, communications, navigational and flight control equipment in II Corps. In support of the 14th Battalion, a platoon was each co-located with the 79th, 604th and 608th companies.
President Richard Nixon had promised to pull Americans out of Vietnam with honor and began withdrawing units in 1969. As a result, the US Army in Vietnam began to turn more of the war over to the Army of the Republic of Vietnam (ARVN). Aviation units, however, were still needed to support the ARVN and most remained in-country. Units from the 14th Battalion were deactivated proportionately as US participation in the war wound down.
1. The 540th Transportation Company (AGS) was deactivated on April 30, 1971
2. The 614th Maintenance Company was deactivated on January 15, 1972.
3. The 14th Transportation Battalion and the 79th and 608th Transportation Companies were deactivated at Oakland, California, on 30 April 1972.
4. The North Vietnamese and United States signed the Paris Peace Accords on January 27, 1973, ending the Vietnam War.
5. The 604th Transportation Company was deactivated on 13 March 13, 1973, one of the last units to leave Vietnam.