Soldiers From Sweetwater County Served In State’s Most Decorated Military Unit Since Korean War

Soldiers from the 1041st Engineer Company during a pause in missions in Iraq, 2006-07. Left to right, top row – Cal Neald, Chris McGuire, Rodolfo Delagarza Jr., Christopher Starks. Bottom row – Eugene Gosselin Jr., Mike McGee, Jason Spaulding. Courtesy photo.

A decade ago, 15 soldiers from Sweetwater County returned with the most decorated military unit in Wyoming since the Korean War.

EZ Cash

According to information detailed in a recent Wyoming National Guard article, this month marks ten years since the 1041st Engineer Company Assault Float Bridge of the Wyoming National Guard returned. The 1041st was deployed to Combat Operations Base Speicher in Tikrit, Iraq as a part of Operation Iraqi Freedom.

Of the 155 soldiers, 12 were from Rock Springs and three were from Green River. The Wyoming National Guard was unable to provide names of local soldiers from the 1041st.

The unit also had soldiers from Afton, Evanston, and other Wyoming towns. The unit was also made up of soldiers from Idaho, North Dakota, Washington, Colorado, Utah, Texas and California.

The unit returned from Iraq as the most decorated unit in Wyoming since the 300th Armored Field Artillery fought in the Battle of Soyang in May 1951 during the Korean War.

The remains of a destroyed armored support vehicle after a 1041st Engineer Company mission. The company was the most combat decorated unit in the Wyoming Guard since the Korean War. Courtesy photo

According to the Wyoming National Guard, the unit received a Meritorious Unit Citation for service from October 23, 2006 through August 3, 2007. Soldiers within the unit earned a total of 37 Bronze Stars, three with ‘V’ device and 12 Army Commendations Medals with ‘V’ device. The unit also received 103 Combat Action Badges and 36 Purple Hearts.

The 1041st went on an estimated 189 missions during its deployment. During these missions, the unit reportedly had 175 enemy contacts—120 of which involved improvised explosive devices.

Learn more about the 1041st Engineer Company by viewing the Wyoming National Guard article History retrospective: Wyoming’s most combat decorated unit since Korea returned home a decade ago this month.

 

Spec. George Itop Ogirma and Justin Pierce stand with Iraqi security personnel during a mission in Iraq. Courtesy photo

Sgt. 1st Class James Rotherham, the 1041st Engineer Company’s 1st platoon platoon sergeant, stands with his uparmored 5 ton truck prior to a mission in Iraq. Courtesy photo

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