ENGINEERS TAME BLV STREAM
THE CORPS OF ENGINEERS TACKLE MONUMENTAL TASK
A deafening but organized commotion of colossal earth moving
vehicles invaded Camp Blue Lancer Valley following the Monsoon
flood of 1965 that wore down part of the compound and the
boulevard. The Corps of Engineers with Caterpillars and Cranes tore
apart the wandering stream, and the rocky-boulder and muddy
banks. The river was straightened with a concrete channel consisting
of concrete pillars, slabs, bridges, and walls; and the boulevard was
aligned and paved with an added strip. Nineteen sixty-five will be
remembered as a meridian in time that forever changed the
landscape of Camp Blue Lancer Valley.
The BLV Stream
Every Monsoon season a stream from three mountain tributaries
invaded the BLV. This trident began with a rush from the camp’s rear
gate between South Queen and Radio Hill. Another stream dashed
from between South Queen and The Queen. A third stream surged in
from between The Queen and slopes of Easy. The latter two streams
collided and churned at a huge pool behind the Playhouse. The first
stream from the rear gate then merged with the latter two at the A
and B Company Sector and crashed all the way down toward the
main gate grinding everything in its path.
Flooding Channeled at the BLV
Prior to 1965 the yearly Monsoons brought a gushing river that
eroded Camp Blue Lancer Valley. This year saw damaged concrete
foundations and collapsed corrugated iron walls of a few A Company
Quonsets. A concrete channel underwent construction to prevent
further flooding and damage.
In the words of an engineer corpsman:
Work as I Remember
I remember arriving at Co B in late October 1964 and spending
the holidays over there…didn’t seem to be home sick. Ahh to be 21
again, too much to do when you’re 21 to be home sick…
Our class from heavy equipment school was sent to Korea and
assigned to the 2nd Engineer Group. Benoit, Blake, and I went to Co
B. I was assigned to the Earth Moving Platoon. Blake and Benoit
went to the 2nd Platoon. They ended up driving 5-ton dump trucks.
The drive out to BLV sometimes seemed long. At times we
would have to work on Saturdays, but I liked the grader work. I had
to work on a lot of roads around and on the BLV. I think I did the
back way out of BLV, seemed to be narrow. I think they were kept
up for tanks.
SP4 Steve Borowski
Little did SP4 Borowski know of his upcoming
assignment at the BLV following the Monsoon flood of 1965.
As an engineer corpsman he assisted in the construction of
the concrete channel. All photos provided by SP4 Steve
His earth-moving vehicle dwarfs SP4 Borowski. This photo was taken within
the channel facing north toward the main gate with the motor pool evident in the
This photo faces west toward C Company and the hills close the Motor Pool
from the channel area.
WORK SITE. A view of the advanced channel construction taken within the
channel facing north toward the main gate.
This photo was taken from the proximity of the recreation area facing
toward the main gate.
Photo taken within the channel facing north toward the main gate. The A
Company Quonsets with Easy's northern slopes are in the right background.
Photo of earth moving equipment taken from within the channel facing north
with A company and Easy in the background.
Engineer corpsman dwarfed by gigantic earth moving equipment within the
muddy channel. Orientation of this photo invited. Note guard tower in distance
I don't know that many succeeding GI's ever knew that
such a damaging gush ever existed or of this monumental work
by the Corps of Engineers.
SP4 Julio Martinez
Note: All photographs on this page are the property of
SP4 Steve Borowski.
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