27th Engineer Battalion (Combat) (Airborne)
The 27th Engineer Battalion (Combat) (Airborne) conducts mobility, counter-mobility, survivability, and sustainment operations to support the combined units of the XVIII Airborne Corps as they accomplish their missions world wide. The history of the 27th Engineer Battalion (COMBAT) (AIRBORNE) began on 16 January 1918 at Fort Meyer, VA, as the second battalion of the 37th Engineer Regiment. The unit entered World War I on the 10 July 1918, which its participation in the Saint Mihiel and Meuse Argonne campaigns. After the termination of hostilities, the unit was demobilized.
Twenty years later, World War II erupted, and on 14th July 1941, the 37th Engineer Regiment was reactivated at Camp Bowie, TX. The regiment was broken up in March of 1943. Its elements were then reorganized and redesignated. The lineage of the 27th Engineer Battalion (COMBAT) (AIRBORNE) springs from the 2nd Battalion, redesignated as the 209th Engineer Combat Battalion. The 209th disembarked at Bombay, India on 23 October 1943, and immediately set to work on the Ledo Road.
Subsequently, the 209th participated in the India-Burma Campaign. While a part of Merrill’s Marauders, it participated in the surprise attack to seize a critical Myitkyina airfield. The 209th was inactivated at the conclusion of World War II, and in 1947, was redesignated as the 27th Engineer Combat Battalion.
Activated once more in 1950-1951 briefly at Ft. Lewis, Washington, and then at Ft. Campbell, KY, the unit has by 1960 earned the nickname "Tiger Battalion" through its rugged field maneuvers and training. On 30 September 1966, the battalion entered the Vietnam War, serving honorably and effectively in 13 campaigns. On 31 January 1972, the battalion returned to the United States and relocated to Ft. Bragg, NC, where it became a non-divisional combat airborne engineer battalion.
On 23 August 1990, the battalion was again called upon, this time to Saudi Arabia, to support Operation Desert Shield. On the 24th of February 1991, the battalion, attached to the French 6th Light Armored Division, became the lead engineer battalion for XVIII Airborne Corps in its push up the western allied flank during Operation Desert Storm. On the 27th of March 1991, the 27th Engineer Battalion (COMBAT) (AIRBORNE) returned to its home at Ft. Bragg, NC.
The battalion deployed again in August of 1992 to Dade County, Florida, for
hurricane Andrew relief. The battalion remained in Florida as part of Task Force
All-American until 26 September 1992. The most recent deployment was in response
to Operation Uphold Democracy in Port Au Prince, Haiti. The battalion deployed
with the 20th Engineer Brigade from 22 September through 5 November 1994. The
battalion worked with the 10th Mountain Division (Light) and established Base
Camp Dragon and Castle.
The Tiger Battalion deployed in support of Operation Joint Guardian from 7 October 2001 to 21 May 2002 in Kosovo. Again supporting the 10th Mountain Division, the battalion completed a variety of traditional engineer missions, including culvert construction, steel girder bridge construction, and obstacle emplacement for border closures.
The battalion colors bears a Presidential Unit Citation for action at Myitkyina Airfield, five Meritorious Unit Commendations for actions in Vietnam, one Meritorious Unit Commendation for actions in Southwest Asia, the Superior Unit award for AHAUS TAURA ’90, the Vietnam Civil Action Honor Medal (1st Class), and 19 campaign streamers.
Airborne Combat Engineer