Camp Desert Rock
Las Vegas, Nevada

5 November 1951


TO: Commanding Officer
354th Engineer Combat Group
Ft Lewis, Washington

The 231st Engineer Combat Battalion, together with attached units, arrived at Camp Desert Rock, Las Vegas, Nevada, at 1315 on 14 Sep 51 after a long but uneventful trip from Ft Lewis, Washington. The convoy closed at 1430 hours, with the remainder of the afternoon and evening spent setting up temporary quarters for the next day's operations. On 15 Sep 51 OPERATION DESERT ROCK officially commenced for this battalion and attached units.

At the end of the first three days of operation the following had been accomplished:

  • Tentage for living quarters and staff sections were completly erected.

  • The 90th Engineer Water Supply Company had completed the construction of unit water tanks and water supply trucks were rolling into Camp Desert Rock on regular schedule.

  • The job of surfacing the III Corps headquarters area was well underway. The area was cleared by using dozers and blades, completely compacted, and prepared fpr the final coating of asphalt.

  • Temporary sumps for garbage disposal were built by the 597th Engineer Light Equipment Company.

  • Orders were received and construction commenced on 196 standing mess tables. In order to expedite the prefabrication of wooden structures, Co "C", 231st Engr C Bn, commanded by Captain Richard R. Best, was given the job and other carpenter jobs which were to come.

  • Orders were also received and work commenced on the construction of 42 wash racks. These were assigned to Co "C".

  • The kitchen areas for the entire camp were to be compacted and surfaced. All Available equipment was placed on this job under the supervision of Capt Charles E Schilling, Co "B", 231st Engr C Bn.

  • Numerous sign painting jobs had been given to this battalion by the Corps Engineer.

  • A daily garbage disposal schedual was set up to rotate among the companies of this battalion. Four pickups daily were to be made and garbage was to be dumped at the sanitary fill.

  • Co "A", commanded by Captain Albert W Klika, was given the job of constructing showers for the entire camp. Towers were erected for 3000 gallon water tanks, and a squad tent erected to house the shower units.

Coupled with the jobs mentioned above were the necessary incidentals such as building roads into the sanitary fill, digging sumps for the shower units and pits for wash racks in the various areas. Also roads which were in bad shape had to be rebuilt in places to enable our equipment to pass over.

[Week Two at Camp Desert Rock]