2nd  Campaign

Revision Date: 03/21/02

 

During this time period the 2/94th took part in Counteroffensive, Phase III

(06-01-67 to 01-29-68)

 

Description of Counteroffensive, Phase III

 

The conflict in South Vietnam remains basically unchanged. As Operation JUNCTION CITY ended, elements of the U.S. 1st and 25th Infantry Divisions, the 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment, and the forces of the Army of the Republic of Vietnam swung back toward Saigon to conduct another clearing operation, MANHATTAN. This took place in the Long Nguyen base area just north of the previously cleared "Iron Triangle."

 

South Vietnamese Armed Forces became more active and capable under U.S. advisors. During the year the Vietnamese Special Forces assumed responsibility for several Special Forces camps and for the CIDG companies manning them. In each case all of the U.S. advisors withdrew, leaving the Vietnamese in full command.

 

With an increased delegation of responsibility to them, the South Vietnamese conducted major operations during 1967, and, in spite of VC attempts to avoid battle, achieved a number of contacts.

 

Despite the success of U.S. and South Vietnamese Army operations, there were indications in the fall of 1967 of another enemy build-up, particularly in areas close to Laos and Cambodia. In late October, the VC struck again at the Special Forces Camp at Loc Ninh. Fortunately Vietnamese reinforcements saved the camp. At the same time, approximately 12,000 VC troops converged on a Special Forces camp at Dak To. This camp was located in northern Kontum Province, where the borders of Laos, Cambodia, and South Vietnam meet. In response to this potential threat, the U.S. and South Vietnam committed a total of sixteen battalions to the region to counter a disturbing enemy resurgence at Kontum and Loc Ninh. (End of description)

 

From 1 May 1967 to 12 June 1967 one firing battery was positioned at Gio Linh.  They were 81 separate attacks by enemy mortar, rocket, and artillery.  Equipment losses were light but there has been 1 KIA and 26 WIA’s during the period at Gio Linh.

 

The 2/94th KIA at Gio Linh on 3 June 1967 was Specialist Duncan Hartwell Fleming; Service Battery, from Stamford, Connecticut.

 

On 3 June 1967, the firing elements of C Battery displaced 3,400 meters southeast to the firing position and returned the same day.

 

On 6 June 1967, the firing elements of the C Battery displaced to the firing position at Truc Khe and returned the same day.

 

On 11 June 1967, B Battery platoon displaced from Carroll to Ca Lu to support a Marine Recon patrol near the Laotian border.  B Battery platoon returned the same day.

 

On 12 June 1967, C Battery displaced to the firing position at Truc Khe.  Movement was to allow C Battery to fire from a safer environment.  Prior to this movement they had moved four times between Gio Linh and Truc Khe for daytime firing.

 

Account from Lieutenant Greg Smith, FDO with C Battery:   During the day trips to that position from Gio Linh, I believe the fire direction center remained at Gio Linh and transmitted fire missions over land line.  There was wire run from Dong Ha to Gio Linh however it was cut every night.  A standard sight every morning was the commo section wire trucks out driving south fixing the land lines along route 1 down to Dong Ha while the service battery ammo trucks drove past them going north to Gio Linh.

 

While C Battery occupied the Truc Khe location, one night in the summer of '67, the main base at Dong Ha to the south came under attack by rockets and mortars.  After hearing some noise from the village directly across the road (Highway 1), I stepped out of the FDC bunker and saw rockets being launched out of the village toward Dong Ha.  I couldn't believe it! And we were right across the road!  Of course being a village it was a no fire zone on all my map overlays and also since there was a limited number of rockets launched, we did not respond.  However, the next day we made an attempt to communicate with leaders in the village to indicate that if we ever took any incoming from the village we would definitely fire back. So...to emphasize our intent, at sun down we re-laid Gun 1 (nearest to the road and right across from the village) on an azimuth dead center to the village and then lowered the tube into 'direct fire' position.  All those people went to sleep that night with a 35 foot long 175 tube pointed directly at the middle of their village from right across the road.

 

"We never got hit there but left abruptly one day after getting a coded message over the radio the said simply "CSMO ASAP" and Captain McCord sent me with the guns down the road to Dong Ha. (End of account)

 

On 12 June 1967, D Battery displaced from Dong Ha to Camp Carroll.

 

On 13 June 1967, B Battery platoon displaced to the Rockpile to provide support for the 26th Marine Regiment operating near the Laotian border.  B Battery platoon returned to Carroll 17 July 1967.

 

On 17 June 1967, Lieutenant Terry G. Lee was assigned to Battery B 6th Bn 27th Arty (D Battery 2/94th).  This assignment was due to Lieutenant Charles Lincoln of D Battery being wounded at Gio Linh.

 

The Battalion celebrated their first anniversary since activation with organization day activities in June of 1967.  A steak fry was held and awards were presented to the many men who had displayed their courage and fortitude during the past nine months in Vietnam.

 

Account from a Marine that was a visitor to Carroll during 67:  In June 1967, my outfit, Kilo Company of the 3rd Battalion 26th Marines traveled by truck convoy from Phu Bai to Khe Sanh. We stopped off at Camp Carroll for the night. I will never forget how happy I was to be able to spend the night - to be able to sleep all night - while Carroll's Marines manned the perimeter. We felt like guests. Well, it was around midnight, and I was fast asleep lying out in the open approximately 20 yards, as I recall, from a 175 mm long gun. It received a fire mission and fired off a round.

 

BOOM!! The noise and concussion lifted me off the ground and scared the crap out of me. My only thought was WOW! Get Some!

 

Anyway, we headed out the next morning for Khe Sanh where at that time things were relatively quiet. We remained there for approximately 1 1/2 months then headed down to Con Thien in August 1967.

 

You can't imagine how much we Marines on Hill 861 appreciated your 2/94th Arty support. Frankly, the closer to our lines your rounds hit the better I liked it. That meant you were killing close-to-the-perimeter gooks. (End of account.)

 

On 24 June 1967, a former member of the Original Battalion was killed in action while serving with the 3/18th Artillery.  Former member was Specialist Jerry Lyne Steed from Gainesville, Texas.

 

On 30 June 1967, C Battery was under daily hostile artillery and mortar attacks while at Gio Linh.  The Battery has fired 26,000 rounds.  The Battery has shot out 42 tubes. 

 

Status of Personnel of C Battery:  Battery Commander, Captain Chancey K. McCord; XO is Lieutenant Andrew Tenis; FDC is Lieutenant Gregory T. Smith; and First Sergeant is Edward E. Bryan. 

 

The battery demonstrated its ability to move and perform under combat conditions and hostile fire and this was especially true during the period that the battery was in Gio Linh.

Signed by Captain, Arty, Commanding, Chancey K. McCord 

 

Service Battery personnel ammunition section, once again during this period distinguished their unit by maintaining ammunition resupply of 100 to 300 rounds per day.  The enemy had begun shelling Gio Linh during the daylight hours and the ammunition section started out each day with the certain knowledge that they would be off-loading under fire.

 

Service Battery sustained several injuries and on 3 June 1967, Specialist Duncan Fleming from Stamford Connecticut was killed in action and Private First Class Honkon lost an arm and leg while off loading ammunition.

 

As the activity increased in the Northern I Corps area the bulk of the Third Marine Division was moved to the I Corps area. The 2/94th supplied artillery support for Vietnamese Army as well as the Marines in their operations and perimeters around the DMZ.  The 2/94th supplied Forward Observers and Radio Operators to the South Vietnamese Army. One combined major operation during this time was called HASTINGS.

 

Ground forces were denied authority to conduct reconnaissance patrols in the northern portion of the DMZ and inside North Vietnam by the US Government.  Confined to South Vietnamese territory U.S. ground forces had to fight a war of attrition against the enemy, relying on body counts as one standard indicator for measuring successful progress for winning the war.  This set the rules of the war as decreed by Washington politics.

 

Vietnamese Army and other Marine Corps units conducted Operation HASTINGS against enemy infiltrators across the DMZ.

 

On 1 July 1967, C Battery was at Truc Khe with the Battery HQ and Ammo Sections located at base camp at Dong Ha.

 

On 4 July 1967, Dong Ha received 7 rounds of 122mm artillery with none landing in the C Battery Base Camp area.

 

On 6 July 1967 the 175 Guns from Carroll fired  missions to stop an all out attack against the Marine base at Con Thien.  Account below from FO Lieutenant Doug Beard.

 

Con Thien was being defended by US Marines.  Present at that time during Operation Buffalo in that area were 1st Battalion 9th Marines, A-B-C-D-and H&S Company; 3rd Battalion 9th Marines, M-I-L-K- H&S Company- H Company Second Battalion 9th Marines (OPCON); Battalion Landing Team Alpha (1/3) First Battalion Third Marines, A-B-C-D-and H&S Company; Battalion Landing Team Bravo (2/3) Second Battalion Third Marines, E-F-G-H-and H&S Company.  In addition, a Recon unit from 3rd Marine  Recon Battalion was present. 

 

Account from Lieutenant Doug Beard, FO of B Battery:  On July 6th, 67 (according to my Log Book) I dropped the biggest fire mission you ever had in your lap.  I was flying RV over Con Thien when that base came under a large coordinated artillery and ground attack.

 

From my perch, I could see the muzzle flashes of seven different enemy artillery batteries firing on Con Thien.  They were about six miles north of Con Thien (across the border) located on the southern and eastern shores of what we "flyboys" called the Finger Lakes.  While my pilot worked TAC air on the enemy troops attacking, I went to work on the artillery positions. 

 

After a few attempts to call the mission to 12th Regiment FDC failed (due to radio jamming), I switched to our Battalion FDC.  They had trouble getting Save-A-Plane clearance and when I started screaming to give me rounds in adjustment without clearance, because I had a clear line of sight from JJ Carroll to target and those 7 enemy batteries were more a threat to our planes,  and they had not gotten clearance to fire.  Either clearance came through, or somebody back there had the 'kahonnies' to fire without, but I got rounds in adjustment. 

 

As soon as you guys started FFE, those batteries shut down (with secondaries) and the Marines on the ground could concentrate on repelling the attack.  That was Classic Artillery Dueling at its finest, and you guys done good. (End of account)

 

On 6 - 8 July 1967, Dong Ha received 20 rounds of 122mm artillery with none landing in the C Battery Base Camp area.

 

On 10 July 1967, Dong Ha received 60 plus rounds of 122mm artillery with none landing in the C Battery Base Camp area.

 

On 14 July 1967, Lieutenant Colonel Trefry departed to go down to Dong Ha to pick up the new Battalion Commander, Lieutenant Colonel Kamstra.

 

On 14 July 1967, C Battery displaced from Truc Khe to Dong Ha.

 

On 17 July 1967, C firing battery displaced from Truc Khe to Battery Base Camp at Dong Ha.

 

On 17 July 1967 at 1445 hours, one gun from B Battery returned to Carroll from the Rockpile.

 

On 17 July 1967 at 0930 hours, B Battery departed Carroll for Khe Sanh.  At 1520 hours, B Battery returned Carroll.  3rd Marine convoy turned around because of excessive enemy contact at 970432.

 

On 26 July 1967 a change of command ceremony was held.  Lieutenant Colonel  Robert H. Kamstra accepted the Battalion colors from Lieutenant Colonel Richard G. Trefry.  Lieutenant Colonel Trefry, who had seen the Battalion through activation, training, overseas transport and the first months in combat was reassigned to Headquarters, First Field Force Vietnam. 

 

The new Battalion commander would see the Battalion continue to receive constant enemy contact by mortar and artillery attacks, and would see the individual batteries and separate platoons displace to various locations to fire in support of several operations at once.

 

On 26-28 July 1967, Dong Ha received 21 rounds of 122mm artillery with none landing in the C Battery Base Camp area.

 

On 29 July 1967, A Battery displaced from Chu Lai to vicinity of Hue (YD19096).  A Battery had been attached to the 3rd Battalion 18th Artillery and now was assigned to 1st Field Artillery Group (US Marine Corps). 

 

A Battery is now to provide support for the 3rd Marine Division in the Hue - Phu Bai area of operation.  From this location A Battery can range from the South China Sea northeast of Hue to the Laotian border in the west.  It can also fire throughout the majority of the A Shau Valley.  A Battery returned to ADCON of the 2/94th.

 

On 30 July 1967, General Johnson, Army Chief of Staff, paid a visit to the Battalion.

 

By 30 July 1967 the Battalion had fired 84,940 rounds in RVN, out of which 47,425 nearly half of the total, had been fired into North Vietnam as part of Operation High Rise.  Most of the missions fired into North Vietnam and the DMZ were unobserved and it was therefore difficult to obtain surveillance or battle damage assessments. The only way an artilleryman gets to know what effects for his hard work is having is by having surveillance, and the Battalion had an excellent record in those few missions that were observed.  Observers confirmed 240 enemy KIA and another 230 probable, 79 secondary explosions, 7 artillery pieces destroyed and 7 damaged, 40 bunkers destroyed and a long list of other targets destroyed or damaged.

 


Notes and discussion from 1 May 1967 to 31 July 1967, 3rd  Battalion Operational Report

 

Mission assignments:  Provide GS for the 3rd Marine Division.  Direct support for the patrols of the 3rd Marine Recon Battalion is provided as directed by the 12th Marine Regiment.  In addition, supporting fires for Khe Sanh Special Forces camp can be provided as required.  A Battery now provides GS for the 3rd Marine Division in the vicinity of Hue and Phu Bai area.

 

From 25 February 1967 to present the Battalion has fired continuously for Operation High Rise.

 

From 1 June 1967 to 2 July 1967 the Battalion has fired continuously for Operation Cimarron.

 

From 2 July 1967 to 14 July 1967 the Battalion has fired continuously for Operation Buffalo.

 

From 14 July 1967 to 16 July 1967 the Battalion has fired continuously for Operation Hickory II.

 

From 16 July 1967 to present the Battalion has fired continuously for Operation Kingfisher.

 

From 17 July 1967 to present the Battalion has fired continuously for Operation Ardmore (Khe Sanh).

 

Weather for this period has been dry.  Southwest winds at 16 knots accompanied by large amounts of blowing dust.  This has made for unfavorable conditions in the billet and work areas as well as demanded considerable maintenance on engines operating with air cleaners. Observation of chronicler:  (I remember looking from Dong Ha towards Carroll and all you could see was a high flat-topped area enveloped with a huge red cloud.)

 

Ground observations for forward observers continue to be a problem with the heavy vegetation and mountainous terrain.

 

Weather conditions have been good for aerial observations.

 

The met section continues to operate satisfactorily.

 

During this period all positions occupied by this Battalion have been subject to attacks by mortars, rockets and artillery.

 

Since 15 October 1966 133 gun tubes have been expended with 85,494 rounds fired. 

 

Operation High Rise total to date:  47,953 rounds fired.

 

1st Section 8th Battalion 26th Artillery was attached for logistical support and court martial jurisdiction. (Radar guys?)

 

The Battalion continues to support from positions on Carroll and Dong Ha, GS to the 3rd Marine Division.  Direct support for the 3rd Force Recon Battalion is provided as directed by the 12th Marine Regiment.

 

Mission and Issues - In order for the Battalion to accomplish assigned tasks, it has been necessary on a number of occasions for a platoon or firing battery to displace from Camp JJ Carroll.  To date nineteen displacements have been made to locations as far west as Ca Lu and as far north as Gio Linh.  Nine of these displacements involved only a platoon, primarily to support deep recon insertions out of range of the guns at Camp JJ Carroll.  The 175mm gun has been highly mobile provided bridges along the route are Class 30, gaps in the road or terrain do not exceed 93 inches, and fording depth greater than 42 inches is not exceeded.  It should be noted however, that when splitting a M107 firing battery into two separate gun groups, certain problems exist.  The TO&E does not allow for two separate fire direction centers and the problems of coordination of organizational and direct support, maintenance, ammunition resupply, and messing of personnel are greatly increased.  Those problems become more acute when key vehicles are deadlined for mechanical maintenance.

 

It is definitely undesirable to displace a platoon to gain a charge 2-range capability when a battery can accomplish the same mission firing charge 3 from its original position.  What ever may be gained in tube life is lost in increased support requirements including material and personnel.  Further, the difference in tube life criteria for charge 2 compared with charge 3 does not compensate for the problems encountered operating a platoon at extended distances for the parent battery.  All attempts should be made to maintain the 175mm firing battery integrity.

 

Direct Fire – The 175mm Gun is extremely accurate in a direct fire role.  The gun has been fired at ranges of 3,000 to 8,000 meters using at different times all three charges with very good results.  At Gio Linh, gun crews as a matter of self-defense, employed direct fire to suppress hostile fire.  Direct firing exercises as well as firing on hostile targets has been accomplished from Camp JJ Carroll.  If a gun has been laid, the fire direction center can provide initial pointing data though it is not necessary.  Using TFT’s to obtain the C factor, and the initial starting elevation, and knowing mil formula, rounds can be adjusted rapidly and accurately.  Direct fire, using charge 2 has been found to be as effective as charge 3 with the advantage of saving tube life.  The use of direct fire is important in Vietnam and all deploying units should be proficient in this area.

 

HOB- The Battalion continues to experience some difficulty obtaining the desired height of burst with the M514A1 Fuze.  Procedures in FM 6-40 paragraph 412 were followed and an experience factor of rounding down and subtracting 3 seconds is producing the best overall results.  The time of flight scale on the new GFT AO (Rev II) HEM 437, Ft Sill, appears to be valid.  The possibility does exist that the muzzle velocity of the projectile firing charge 2 or 3 may in some cases; damage the radio activation unit in the fuze.  Again, the terminal velocity of the projectile, bad fuze lots, or the angle of fall may be factors contributing to improper functioning.  Additional testing of the fuze using charge 2 and charge 3 is in order.  (Sounds like a bad initial shock requirement specification problem at fuze level.) (Wonder if that fuze was used on other rounds and specified as a fuze for the 175?) (Charge 1 works and Charge 2 and 3 do not. Almost had to have been shock not specified at a high enough G rating for the 175mm Gun.)

 

Armor shields – When the Battalion was subjected to enemy attacks in the form of mortars, rockets, and artillery, it was apparent that a need existed for some type of armor protection.  Armor shielding plates are needed on the side of the M107 to provide fragmentation protection to personnel and easily damaged gun items such as hydraulic lines.  On many occasions at Gio Linh, one or more guns would be out of action an attack until damaged hydraulic lines could be replaced.  At times it was necessary for gun section personnel to suppress hostile fire using direct fire.  Armor shields would have afforded some degree of protection during the counter fire.  In certain daylight attacks when crew were firing a mission, there was no warning of incoming rounds.  From the time the sound of the weapon was heard firing, until the rounds landed in their position, personnel had from 1 to 6 seconds to react.  Armor shields would have provided some protection.  It is recommended that armor shields be designed for installation on the M107 Gun to provide crew and gun protection.  (Do not think that ever happened.)

 

Exercising the M107 – During the reporting period most of the M107 guns of this Battalion remained in the position for long periods of time and only moved to have tubes changed or displace when ordered.  It was found that fewer chassis maintenance problems developed after the gun had been driven several miles.  A practice of driving each gun at least 2 miles twice a month was adopted with subsequent reduction in chassis maintenance problems.

 

Tubes - Changing gun tubes on the M-107 is a relatively easy task if all necessary tools and equipment are available.  At the present time the Ordnance Direct Support team is required to change all gun tubes.  Because of a shortage of personnel the Battalion Maintenance section frequently assists the support personnel and are thoroughly familiar and qualified to do the job.  If the changing of the M-107 tubes were made a 2nd Echelon function, support personnel would have additional time to work on 3rd Echelon repair jobs.

 

Replacements – Most of the replacements coming into the Battalion have little or no experience with the 175-gun system.  An intense and aggressive program of orientation, instruction and on the job training has been implemented.

 

Organic Air Section – The need for an organic air section for each 175 Battalion must be stressed.  The Battalion was authorized two additional officers to perform the duties of aerial observers.  The tactics of the NVA/VC forces and the terrain encounter justifies the need for aerial observers.  Targets of opportunity can be spotted in many instances only from the air, since in many area it impossible to maintain patrol bases.  During mortar, rocket, or artillery attacks, an air observer would be an invaluable asset in locating enemy firing positions.  Air observers could also be dispatched to areas when intelligence sources indicate the location of NVA/VC forces.  Transportation of the commander or members of his staff to widely separated units in a shorter period by air increases efficiency and allows these personnel more time to lend assistant to projects or interest areas.  Aircraft would also play an important part role dint eh transportation of spare parts for deadlined guns or equipment to widely separated areas.  This method of resupply reduces deadline time and increased operational capabilities.  All efforts should be made to secure this capability.  

 

Casualties during this period:

 

Killed in Action – 2 Private First Class John Charles Gainous; C Battery, from Port St Joe, Florida. Private Gainous was killed at Dong Ha.  Specialist Duncan Hartwell Fleming; Service Battery, from Stamford, Connecticut.  Specialist Fleming was killed at Gio Linh.  In addition to the 2 KIA in the reporting period, an original 2/94th member that was infused to the 3/18th Artillery was killed on 24 June 1967.  His name is Specialist Jerry Lyne Steed from Gainesville, Texas.

 

Wounded in Action – 36 (Private First Class Honkon)(35 Unknown)(26 of the 36 were wounded at Gio Linh.

 

Non-Battle Casualties – 1 (Unknown)

 

12 Article 15’s were issued and 2 Special Courts.

 

25 Men were admitted to in-country hospital.

 

19 Men were evacuated out of country.  

 

End of notes and discussion, 3rd Battalion Operational Report 

 


 

On 1 August 1967 at 0940 hours, B Battery departed from Camp JJ Carroll for Dong Ha.  At 1255 hours, C Battery departed Dong Ha for Camp Carroll.  1420 hours, C Battery arrived Camp Carroll and occupied the B Battery position.

 

On 1 August 1967, D Battery (B Battery 6/27th) displaced from Camp Carroll to the Phu Bai Fire Support Base.  The displacement was conducted by motor march from Camp Carroll to Dong Ha, by LCU from Dong Ha to Hue, and then motor march from Hue to the Fire Support Base.  Both of the land movements were organized in the standard manner with the M107’s and M113’s leading followed by heavy to light wheeled vehicles.  In addition to organic weapons, three M42’s were provided and spaced throughout the convoy. 

 

From Hue to the Fire Support Base two M48 Tanks were added and a reinforced infantry platoon were added. The tanks were positioned at the head of the convoy and the infantry platoon was positioned immediately behind the M107’s.  The move was completed without incident.  The attached D Battery would be totally released from I Corps Tactile Zone on 13 September 1967 would leave I Corps Area of Operation.  Returned to its parent unit of control.

 

Note by Chronicler:  Nothing but good accounts can be found in researching the 2/94th history representing the B/6/27th that fought with such valor while it was attached to the 2/94th; especially during operation High Tower at Gio Linh.  It must have been rough on the artillerymen to leave their parent 6th Battalion and travel so far to do battle along side other batteries of a brand new Battalion.  B/6/27 is the only firing battery that history reveals as being attached to the 2/94th for such a long duration during its 6-year period.  It does reveal that some of the 2/94th officers and enlisted were assigned to B/6/27 and stayed with the battery and it is assumed left with the battery.  A "Job Well Done" under the some of the worst conditions and environments.   A special thanks goes out to the officers and enlisted men of B/6/27, October 1966 to 13 September 1967. (End of note)   

D Battery (attached), B Battery 6th Battalion 27th Artillery, would later receive for its actions in the Northern I Corps Area of Operation (particularly the artillery duels at Gio Linh:

 

Presidential Unit Citation from the Department of the Navy

 

Meritorious Unit Citation from the Department of the Army

 

On 2 August 1967, A Battery occupied Cumberland Fire Base and fired the first round into the A Shau Valley, an NVA and VC stronghold.  In seven days the battery fired 639 rounds in the A Shau Valley in support of Operation Cumberland.

 

On 2 August 1967 at 1605 hours received message from A Battery: Arrived in position, with all guns operational.

 

The Battalion continued to fire into the Valley and North Vietnam throughout the summer months.  Casualties remand surprisingly low considering the number of incoming rounds the Battalion underwent.  This was due in part to the poor training of the enemy and the inaccuracy of their weapons.  However, it is due in part to the skill and hard work of the personnel of the Battalion.

 

On 8 August 1967, C Battery displaced to present position.  Area formerly occupied by B Battery 6th Battalion 27th Artillery.

 

 

C Battery FDC Bunker Floor Plan

(Originally built by D Battery)

 

On 8 August 1967, A Battery was released from Operation Cumberland.

 

On 9 August 1967 at 0900 hours A Battery moved from the Cumberland Fire Support Base (YD620095) to the LCU ramp at Hue.  Security for the move consisted of 2 M48 tanks, a reinforced Marine rifle platoon, and two Marine HU-1D gunships, all from the Third Marine Division.

 

The battery commander was convoy commander and maintained communications with the gunships, tanks, and rifle platoon, as well as organic unit personnel in the convoy.

 

Organization for the convoy for security was as follows:  The two tanks led the column and were followed by the convoy commander.  Next came two squads of Infantry in a 21/2-ton truck.  The four M107’s, then the M577 and the remaining two squads of Infantry in a second 21/2-ton truck followed them.  The last elements of the convoy were the battery mess, maintenance, commo, and ammunition sections.

 

The Battery XO had been sent to Phu Bai on 8 August to organize the supply and rear detachment of the battery and to coordinate the move by LCU from Hue to Dong Ha.  All arrangements were made through the 3rd Marine Division G-4.  Ample LCU space was made available.  With the 11 conex’s that the Battery brought in addition to the sand bags and other engineer equipment, 5 LCU’s were required to move the battery.  The Battery moved onto the LCU’s and sailed for Dong Ha at 1600 hours on 9 August 1967.

 

The battery arrived at Dong Ha LCU ramp at 1100 hours on 10 August.  The battery off-loaded and moved to Camp JJ Carroll, arriving at 1300 hours.  There was no enemy contact during the move.  

 

On 9 August 1967, General Wallace Greene, Commandant of the Marine Corps, paid a visit to the Battalion.

 

On 10 August 1967 at 1500 hours A Battery arrived in position at Camp JJ Carroll.  Took up position on the west side of the hill.

 

This was the first time the original 2/94th Battalion (A, B, & C Batteries) had been together since landing in October of 1966.  (See earlier A Battery assignments.)

 

On 14 August 1967, GS18 Mr. Browing of Naval Ordnance paid the Battalion a visit.

 

On 17 August 1967, C Battery displaced two guns to the Rockpile.

 

Account from Lieutenant Doug Beard, summer of 67 at Camp JJ Carroll:    I was working Battalion FDC and went outside for a breath of fresh air about midnight.  I was watching our meteorological section launch the midnight weather balloon that they were going to track on radar.  About that time their generator ran out of gas and lights and radar went off.  A few seconds later a large explosion happened just outside the wire on the South edge of camp.  This was strange because most large incoming came from the north.  Next morning we did a crater analysis and came up with several pieces with English writing on them.  A few days later, we learned that an Air Force "Wild Weasel" reported knocking out an "enemy" radar site in the DMZ at precisely that time.  Another few drops of gas in that generator, and our weather section would have been history. (End of account)

 

Account from Lieutenant Doug Meredith, A Battery FO, regarding the above incident:

I remember that incident.  From then on we had to shut down our TPS25, Q4 and all such stuff whenever we saw jets overhead.  Sort of an air watch. (End of account)

 

On 24 August 1967; as of noon, C Battery had fired 35,279 rounds.

 

On 25 August 1967 at 1710 hours, C Battery, Gun #? fired the Battalion's 100,000th round in country in support of the 3rd Marine Division. The Battalion Commander and staff fired the 100,000th round.

 

 

Gun Crew of C Battery Gun #? holding 100,000th round

 

 

Battalion Commander and Staff firing 100,00th Round

 

On 30 August 1967, Camp JJ Carroll received 40 rounds of 102mm spin rockets; two landing in the C Battery area causing minor damage and no personnel casualties.

 

On or about 1 September 1967 the Ammunition Supply Point at Dong Ha was destroyed as a result of a artillery/rocket attack.

 

On 2, 3 and 5 September 1967, Camp JJ Carroll received incoming enemy artillery fire, totaling 18 rounds.  There was no damage, nor were there any casualties.

 

On 2 September 1967, Camp JJ Carroll received 5 rounds of 152mm artillery none landing in the C Battery area.

 

On 7-9 September 1967, Camp JJ Carroll received 56 rounds of 102mm spin rockets, two landing in the C Battery area causing no damage or casualties.

 

On 10 September 1967, Camp Carroll received 21 rounds of 152mm artillery, none landing in the C Battery area.

 

On 12 September 1967, the Rockpile received 30 rounds of 82mm mortar causing no damage to C Battery equipment or personnel in the area.

 

On 13 September 1967, D Battery (B Battery 6th Battalion 27th Artillery) at the Phu Bai Support Base departed the I Corps Tactical Zone and reverted to the control of their parent organization in II Corps.  No details of this move are recorded.  (Thanks guys, JOB WELL DONE!)

 

On 12 and 13 September 1967, Camp Carroll received 10 rounds of 152mm artillery, none landing in the C Battery area.

 

On 18 September 1967 at 0845 hours, the Battalion lost 12 officers, which left on scheduled DEROS.

 

On 18 September 1967, Major General Brown, Commandant USAAMS, paid the Battalion a visit.

 

On 20 September 1967, two C Battery guns returned from the Rockpile.

 

On 20 September 1967, the Battalion Post Exchange was opened.  Serving more than 2,000 men including the Marines in the area.

 

On 22 September 1967, General William Westmoreland, COMUSMACV, visited the Battalion and was escorted through the Battalion area by the Battalion Commander.  General Westmoreland visited Battalion FDC, Metro section, B Battery FDC, and one gun section in B Battery.  General Westmoreland departed the area apparently pleased with what he had observed.

 

On 24 September 1967, Camp JJ Carroll received 42 rounds of 102mm spin rockets; two rounds landing in the C Battery area causing minor damage and no personnel casualties.

 

C Battery Personnel Assignment and Duty Changes:

 

Battery Commander

01 July to 18 Sep 1967   CPT Chancey K. McCord

18 Sep to 23 Sep 1967   1st LT Andrew Tenis

23 Sep to 30 Sep 1967   CPT William B. Durkin

 

XO

01 July to 18 Sep 1967   1st LT Andrew Tenis

18 Sep to 30 Sep 1967   1st LT David N. Sandeen

 

FDO

01 July to 30 Sep 1967 1st LT Gregory T. Smith

18 Sep to 30 Sep 1967   1st LT Harry E. Taylor

 

1st SGT

01 July to 16 Sep 1967 1st SGT Edward N. Bryan

17 Sep to 30 Sep 1967 1st SGT Jack E. Hobgood 

 

Signed by Captain, Arty, Commanding William B. Durkin

 

In October of 1967 a breechblock exploded wounding two personnel.  (Battery and personnel are unknown at this time.) (Possible A Battery.)

 

On 16 October 1967 the Commanding General of the 196th LIB, Brigadier General Lindell, paid a visit to the Battalion.

 

On 20 October 1967 at 1705 hours, Major Fleming arrived in Battalion area to assume the duties of the Battalion S3.

 

Note:  Later Captain Erickson, B Battery CO, and Major Fleming, S3, would develop a procedure for locating 130 Artillery within 200 Meters. (Details are unknown at this time)

 

On October 24 1967, Battalion Award Ceremony, C Battery personnel received one Army Commendation Medal: First Sergeant Hobgood and four Purple Hearts: Specialist Duke, Funk, Gann and McGill.

 


Notes and discussion from 1 Aug 1967 to 31 Oct 1967, 4th Battalion Operational Report

 

Mission assignments:  Provide GS for the 3rd Marine Division.  Direct support for the patrols of the 3rd Marine Recon Battalion is provided as directed by the 12th Marine Regiment.  In addition, supporting fires for Khe Sanh Special Forces camp can be provided as required.  A Battery now provides GS for the 3rd Marine Division in the vicinity of Hue and Phu Bai area.

 

Gun Pads – Gun pads, made of wood and installed in March of 1967, have become completely rotted to the point of uselessness.  One pad has been replaced with concrete on an experimental basis.  Its suitability will be reported at next quarterly report.

 

Preparation for the Northeast monsoon and approaching winter season has begun.

 

Sandbags as they deteriorate are being replaced with powder canisters filled with sand.

 

Met conditions for the most part were favorable for military operations.  The exception was during the latter part of September 20 inches of rain fell in five days causing extensive erosion.

 

During the quarter an additional 80 tubes were expended bringing the total since Oct of 1966 to 213 tubes.

 

During the quarter an additional 39,737 rounds were fired in support of Operations High Rise, Kingfisher, Ardmore, and Cumberland.

 

Artillery Mechanic – This Battalion has had no school trained artillery mechanic in the past 12 months.  This individual is a vital link in the maintenance chain.  The amount of work involved and the importance of the work demands this grade structure be authorized grade of E5.  It is highly recommended that the school for artillery mechanic be re-instituted at Fort Sill and be authorized to grade E5.

 

In Country Anniversary – During the year in Vietnam 213 gun tubes have been expended and over 120,000 rounds have been fired.  The majority of the rounds have been charge 3, which far exceeds any 175mm gun Battalion in the world to date.  In the past 60 days a marked increase in the number of major and minor component replacement has become necessary.  It appears the weapons of this Battalion may have reached a point where a major rebuild is in order, rather than continuous repair and replacement of components.

 

Since the destruction of the Ammo Supply Point in Dong Ha distribution of ammunition has been confused and has become critical. Ammunition and propellants were loaded at Da Nang to be shipped without regard of lot number.  IN addition the critical resupply has caused a drastic increase in the demands of the 5-ton trucks.  100% overloads have been normal on a day-to-day basis.  With the road conditions and the overloads severe shortage of 5-ton tires and tubes has been chronic the past 60 days.  Arrival of the M548 cargo carriers has partially improved the situation.  However this vehicle is not designed to carry heavy loads over a long distance.

 

The opening of QL1 from Da Nang to Dong Ha has not yet benefited Army units in this area.

 

ADCON changes were the release of B/6/27 and the reassignment of A Battery back to the 2/94th.   The remainder of the Battalion:  Headquarters, A, B, and C Batteries are located on Camp Carroll.  Service Battery, minus Battalion maintenance and Battalion personnel section, which are attached to Headquarters and located on Carroll, remain at Dong Ha.

 

Infusion program - The infusion program can be considered effective regarding the lower ranks and grades.  However no consideration was given to the Officers and Senior NCO’s.  The entire original officer strength departed in a three and one half week time frame.  With the exception of one Captain that extended for two months, one Captain that arrived in late July, and two Lieutenants who extended their tours for 6 months.  Four junior officers were transferred in from the 8/4th but they were new in country and could contribute little to an orderly transition.  Replacements had no overlap time and in some cases positions were vacant for weeks. 

 

In addition between 14 August and 20 September the Sergeant Major, 4 First Sergeants, the Operations Sergeant, the Intelligence Sergeant, the Commo Chief, the Fire Direction Chief, and numerous E-6 Section Chiefs all departed the Battalion.

 

Although all replacements quickly accepted the responsibilities placed on them, this lack of planning had a definite adverse effect on the combat efficiency of this Battalion.

 

Casualties during this period:

 

Killed in Action – 0

 

Wounded in Action – 5 (assumed to be Specialist Duke, Funk, Gann and McGill)(1 Unknown)

 

Non-Battle Casualties – 0

 

23 Article 15’s were issued, 1 Special Court, and 1 General Court.

 

20 Men were admitted to in-country hospital.

 

15 Men were evacuated.

 

3 cases of Malaria

 

End of notes and discussion, 4th Battalion Operational Report 

 


 

On 1 November 1967, 2/94th Battalion was released from 1st Field Force (Forward) at Dong Ha and assigned to the 108th Arty Group at Dong Ha.

 

The 108th Group assumed the all of the operational functions or the 1st Field Forces Artillery (Forward). (The mission of the 108th command post is to act as an extension of HQ, 1st Field Forces Artillery to monitor administrative and logistical support provided by the III MAF, HQ, 1st Field Forces, and 1st Logistical Command. OPCON of the Army units is under III Marine Amphibious Force.)

 

On 1 November 1967 the 108th Group formally assumed duties.  The 108th Group Headquarters and all subordinate units were under operational control of the III Marine Amphibious Group, which in turn turned over operational control to the 3rd Marine Division.  (Except Battery B, 8th Battalion 4th Artillery and Battery G, 29th Artillery.  These units were OPCON to the 1st Marine Division.) The Third Marine Division in turn passed operational control of all remaining group elements, except 1st Battalion 44th Artillery, to the 12th Marine Regiment.

 

On 10 November 1967, C Battery gun #1 evacuated for cracked turret.

 

On 18 November 1967 C Battery used a new concrete gun pad for the first time. The Battery had constructed a concrete gun pad to replace the rapidly deteriorating wooden pad of the 3rd Gun Section.  Too date; approximately 600 rounds have been fired from the new pad with no adverse effects to the gun.  The new pad eliminates the requirement to pull the gun off the pad to re-lay, greatly facilitating laying.  Succeeding pads can be improved by reducing the size, approximately a 13-foot radius circular, 26 feet across octagonal.  Making it a monolithic pour and building the pad at/or below ground level.

 

On 21 November 1967, C Battery was read Article 31 USMJ at formation and informed that a shakedown inspection was to be conducted for narcotics (marijuana, whiskey, and personal weapons).  Approximately six bottles of whiskey were confiscated.  The Battalion Commander directed the inspection.

 

On 21 November 1967, C Battery received a ‘float’ gun for gun #1 mentioned above.

 

On 24 November 1967, a platoon displaced to the Rockpile.  Gun #3 and “float” relieved the platoon of B Battery of its commitment.  Security was adequate.  However, no air cover was provided.

 

On 24 November 1967 at 1400 hours, B Battery returned from the Rockpile.

 

On 27 November 196, C Battery – 1st LT Jeffrey F. Newton was assigned TDY as FO. 

 

Account from Lester Modelowitz, Service Battery, who was involved with running convoys along the DMZ: November 1967, we had a convoy heading towards Carroll from Dong Ha when one of the ration trucks hit a land mine.  I was about 2 miles behind in a Diesel Fuel Truck.  Private First Class Meryl Williams or Ozzie was driving.  We heard the explosion and had to stop.  Macfarlane and Innacone got out of the damaged truck but with no weapons and hid in the bush.   Besides the normal B rations the truck was carrying chicken parts and steak.  The Marine patrol that arrived must have thought the worst with all the meat remains scattered all over.  Macfarlane and Innacone were relieved that the US Marines had found them. (End of account)

 

There were some 2/94th artillery pieces located at the remote Rockpile XD 979-559 with the 3rd Battalion 9th Marine Regiment.  It is known that that the ‘Bodacious Bastard’ B Battery, 2nd gun section, (red section) was at the Rockpile for a short while in November of 1967.

 

This is the same gun that has the picture taken on Carroll with the Buccaneer sign. The Buccaneer Mission Statement was: 

 

"THE MISSION OF THIS SECTION,

IS DESIGNED TO GIVE THE ENEMY SOLDIER

THE GREATEST OPPORTUNITY

 TO GIVE HIS LIFE FOR HIS COUNTRY”

 

 

On 9 December 1967, SP4 Curtis R. Dowling was wounded while serving as RECON SGT with a forward observer party on search and destroy operation vicinity coordinates YD1975.

 

On 9 December 1967 at 0300 hours, incidents in A Battery with a breech ring blown up.  No injuries. 

 

On 9 December 1967 at 0800 hours the Battalion Headquarters moved into a new command bunker.  (It was the ‘Bunker Ma Hall’ of the Bunkers on Carroll)

 

On 12 December 1967 at 1500 hours, an M548 hit a mine on return trip from D5.  The vehicle was a total loss with one minor injury.  While retrieving the M548, one man hung his ring finger and tore finger off.  Soldier is unknown at this time.

 

On 23 December 1967 at 1515 hours, General Johnson, Army Chief of Staff, visited the Battalion.  B Battery fired ‘Battery Fire’ on Operation High Rise for him.  Lieutenant Colonel Kamstra escorted General Johnson through the Battery area.  At 1540 hours, General Johnson departed the area via helicopter.

 

On 23 December 1967, General Harold K. Johnson visited C Battery and extended Christmas and New Years Greetings to the personnel.

 

On 24 December 1967, C Battery platoon with Gun #3 and ‘float’ returned from the Rockpile, having been relieved by a platoon from A Battery.

 

On 24 December 1967, Christmas Eve at 1800 hours, a 24-hour truce began and will last until 1800 hours 25 December 1967.  At 2030 hours, Marine COC reported possible rocket attack.  All personnel were required to get in a bunker – all organized activities were postponed.  At 2057, the Marine COC reports All Clear – Alert Cancelled!  Camp JJ Carroll remained on a 50% alert status. 

 

On 26 December 1967, Major General Tompkins, Commanding General 3rd Marine Division, visited the Battalion.

 

On 27 December 1967, at a Battalion Awards Ceremony, C Battery personnel received one Silver Star:  Staff Sergeant Cornett, one Army Commendation Medal:  Staff Sergeant Pugh, and one Purple Heart:  Specialist Bachtell.

 

On 31 December 1967 at 1800 hours, a 36-hour truce began.  Truce will last until 0600 hours 2 Jan 1968. 

 

C Battery Personnel Assignment and Duty Changes:

 

Battery Commander

01 Oct to 31 Dec 1967 Captain William B. Durkin. 

 

XO

01 Oct to 31 Dec 1967 Lieutenant David E. Sandeen 

 

Asst XO

01 Oct to 13 Oct 1967 Lieutenant Harry E. Taylor

13 Oct to 31 Dec 1967 Lieutenant Felix J. Muller

 

FO 

03 Oct to 13 Oct 1967 Lieutenant Felix J. Muller 

22 Oct to 31 Dec 1967 Lieutenant Robert D. Fautsch 

02 Oct to 31 Dec 1967 Lieutenant Robert A. Delap

27 Nov to 31 Dec 1967 Lieutenant Jeffrey F.  Newton

 

First Sergeant

01 Oct to 31 Dec 1967 First Sergeant Jack E. Hobgood

 

Analysis

C Battery lost all its key personnel during the months of September and October of 1967, 90% of its NCO’s and 100% of its Officers, and therefore was in a rebuilding process during the early part of the quarter.  By mid-November the ‘New’ C Battery had jelled into a well-rounded and professional artillery unit.  A high state of professionalism has been maintained to date. 

 

Signed by William B Durkin, Captain, Arty, Commanding.

 

Report from C Battery to Battalion Commander, 1968

 

Welfare and Morale

       a.  R&R –how many enlisted men have gone to Hawaii 6, Bangkok 3, Taipei 2, Pennang 1, Hong Kong 5, Australia 5, Tokyo 1 and 2 to Manila. 

       b.  Church Services:  both Protestant and Catholic services held weekly within the Battery.

       c.  PX Facilities:  good

       d.  Entertainment:  extremely limited

       e.  Morale:  excellent

       f.  Disciplinary Actions: one Special Court, two Article 15s

       g.  Mail Service:  generally good

       h.  Magazines and Paper Back Books:  received periodically from Special Services

 

Administrative and Logistics

        a.  The lack of senior NCO strength has become a pressing problem.

        b.  The supply system is still lagging behind the demand.

c.       Classified ammo has improved but broken lots still remain a problem.

d.       

Communications

        a.  Separate routing for alternative and primary lines of communications is a must.

b.      There still exists a requirement for an intercom system and a waterproof phone within the firing battery.

c.        

Maintenance

        a.  Command emphasis on the gradual input of parts and on the mandatory maintenance period has improved the readiness posture.

b.      It is felt that more support maintenance and personnel with greater technical proficiency are needed.

c.        

Fire Direction

        a.  The use of the Computer’s Record for such mission has become apparent and the color-coding on the charge on the Recorder’s Sheet has been established as a precautionary measure.

        b.  The M18 Fire Direction Computer has proved a most accurate and reliable asset.

 

Personnel Changes

On 27 November 1967, Lieutenant Jeffrey F. Newton was assigned TDY as FO.

On 28 January 1968, Lieutenant Felix J. Muller was reassigned to Service Battery.  Lieutenant Robert A. Delay replaced him as Asst XO

 

Recommended Additions to TOE

        a.  Personnel

1.  One SSG Chief Computer 13E40

            2.  Two Computers 13E20

            3.  Two Chart Operators 13E20

            4.  One Sergeant Gunner 13B40

            5.  Four Cannoneers 13A10

            6.  One SP5 Arty Mech 45F20

            7.  One SP4 TAERS Clerk 

            8.  One SP4 PLL Clerk

            9.  Two SP4 Wheeled Vehicle Mech 63B20

           10. One SP4 Armorer 76Y30

 

        b.  Equipment

Chronograph

Collimators    

Acetylene Welding Set

             Special Set A for each type vehicle

 

Status of Personnel as of 31st January 68:  Battery Commander is Captain William R. Durkin, XO is Lieutenant David E. Sandeen, Executive XO is Lieutenant Robert A Delay, and First Sergeant  is First Sergeant Jack E. Hobgood.

 

Casualties are 8 WIA

 

Current Strength

         a.  5 Officers

         b.  88 Enlisted Men

         c.  10 Enlisted Men, Battery C, 8th Bn 4th Arty

Signed by William R. Durkin, Captain, Arty, Commanding

 

On 2 Jan 1968, C Battery Gun #3 was destroyed by a high order explosive in the tube.  Cause unknown.  Speculation is that faulty fuse action caused the round to detonate in the tube.  Preliminary investigation found no improper procedures in practice.  Findings inconclusive.   The fuse, projo, and powder lots were suspended.

 

On 11 January 1968, Brigadier General Taber, USARV Chief of Staff, visited the Battalion.

 

On 16 January 1968, A Battery 8th Battalion 4th Artillery was put under operational control of the 2/94th.

 

On 16 January 1968, A Battery 2/94th moved the remaining two guns, FDC, and a portion of Headquarters section from Carroll to Thom Son Lam (Rockpile).  This Battery and personnel would remain at the Rockpile until 9 March 1968.   Note from Chronicler: Believed to the first time a full 175mm gun Battery was located at the Rockpile.  (End of note)

 

On 16 January 1968, A/8/4 displaced from C3 (YD135611) to Carroll.  A/8/4 took up positions previously vacated by A/2/94 on Carroll.

 

On 17 January 1968, one gun from C Battery, 8th Bn 4th Arty, complete with 8/4 personnel displaced from C1 (YD130650) and was OPCON to C Battery 2/94th at Carroll.  This gun replaced a C Battery gun evacuated to depot maintenance.

 

A Marine FO account from Kilo/3/26 about 861 and the 175's from Carroll is as follows:  On 18 or 19 January 1968  (a day or two before the siege started) my Commanding Officer asked/ordered me to register targets in the ravines and likely approaches around 861.  I registered and got target numbers from the 105's, 155's and the 8-inch guns at the base.  In addition, I registered some targets on the northern slope of 861 using the 175's at Carroll.  To this day, I still remember their call sign  -- it was Colorado 1/9 -- and I never did speak directly to them because of the distance -- 18+ miles.  My words and theirs were relayed from the base. 

 

We got all friendlies out of the northern end of the trench line and then I registered the targets.  Must have been three or four targets in all.  In each case, the final rounds hit less than 50 meters outside our last strand of wire and that's when I cease fired and asked for Target Numbers.  Man, those bad boys certainly crunched into the hillside less than 75 yards from my position!  I knew the rounds were on the way from the "shot" and "splash" calls, but they still made my teeth rattle.

 

They fired in support of us again on the night of 20 or 21 January 1968 and I remember 861A using the 2/94th in that early February NVA attacks. (Referenced above.) 

 

One night in mid to late March, the NVA launched rocket after rocket into the base.  These 122's were fired from behind 881N and they had to travel almost directly over 861 on their way to the base.  I called Colorado 1/9 (through the relay) and gave them the grid squares of the two launch sites behind 881N.  My request was that they saturate both grid squares in order to stop this huge, on-going barrage.  These grid squares were 1000's of meters from us and would have been max range for the 175's but I felt that just reaching out there would cause the NVA to stop.

 

Less than three minutes later I was told that the first rounds were on the way.  Within seconds, WHAM!  WHAM!  WHAM!

 

Three or four rounds impacted less than 50 yards outside our wire!  Scared the living hell out of all of us in the bunkers and the trench line.  We even had a Listening Post right outside the last strands of wire, and those three guys must have shit their pants.  Immediate "Check fire" on my part...one more round hit...then all was quiet.

 

Somehow, the 175mm people thought I had called for my target numbers to be fired, and they responded.  Imagine, two and a half months after they were registered, and with no adjustments, and with cold tubes, and from over 18 miles. Those shells hit right outside our wire!  A phenomenal display of shooting that I have never, ever forgotten even 32 years later.  We got the Check Fire...corrected by a half a dozen grid squares, and they resumed firing.  That's my memory of the big guns at Camp Carroll. I just realized that it was 32 years ago today or tomorrow that I registered those guns. (End of account)

 

A 13th Marine FDC member account about 861 and the 175's from Carroll is as follows:  I can tell you one more thing, having been in the FSCC center that night. The night the NVA tried to take hill 861, they blew a few big holes in the wire and were inside the wire before anyone new it. The radioman up there was screaming at the top of his lungs to get some f___ing arty up there, that they were being overrun. Our Marine 05's and 55's were shooting all kinds of missions that night so the Colonel had the 175's concentrate all their fire on one side of the hill that had a big hole in the wire. The fire from the 175's kept the NVA off that side of the hill so we could deal with another side and push the NVA out, which we did. When it was over the Colonel said the 175's, by denying that flank to the enemy probably saved the hill.

 

I know a lot is said about air power and I sure saw a lot of it during the siege but I will go to the grave knowing it was artillery that saved our Asses. I will take a Battalion of artillery over an air wing anytime, anywhere. Artillery is with you 24 hrs a day and is still KING of the Battlefield!! (End of account)

 

On 20 January 1968, the Battalion received 27 rounds of incoming artillery fire.  There were three WIA in C Battery, two buildings destroyed, one damaged, a 1-½ ton truck and an M-548 damaged, 6 M-14 rifles destroyed and 9 M-14 rifles damaged.

 

On 20 January 1968, the NVA in force executed an ambush on QL9.

 

On the 20 January 1968, incoming fire as above struck the C Battery ration storage building, destroying it along with 50% of the B-Rations on hand.  Three C Battery personnel were injured, none seriously.  The following equipment was destroyed:  1 building; 6 M-14s; 11 decon? Apparatus; 1 M-37 Field Cabinet; 1 M-37 Fire Unit; 1 emersion heater; 1 electric grill, cooking; 5?? walkers, storage; 2 M-17 Protective Masks, 1 FTA-312 Telephone.

 

On 21 January 1968 the NVA began its attacks against Khe Sanh.  Eight days before he was to launch his TET 68 offensive.  The Base at Khe Sanh was defended within by three Marine regiments from the 26th Marines, a newly arrived 2nd Marine Battalion, 13th Marine 105mm and 155mm Artillery, Marine Tanks from the 3d Tank Battalion, G Battery from the 65th Army Artillery a Quad unit, elements of the 1/44th Army Artillery a Duster unit.

 

 The 2/94th supplied fire support from outside the base area from its positions on Carroll and the Rockpile.  It is thought the 2/94th was the only outside Artillery support the Marines had during the siege.

 

On 22 January 1968 the Marines also moved the 1st Battalion 9th Marines outside the Khe Sanh area where they took up positions at the rock quarry.  This unit was to suffer extreme heavy casualties later at that position. 

 

On 23 January 1968, the Battalion VTR hit a mine while traveling along QL 9.  There was one man wounded, the VTR was heavily damaged.

 

On 23 January 1968, an unknown force ambushed a C Battery quarter ton truck, returning from Dong Ha to Camp JJ Carroll, vicinity coordinates YD0857.  Three C Battery personnel were seriously wounded and evacuated to Dong Ha by helicopter.  One M-14 was lost in the action and one AN/YE6-46 Radio was destroyed.

 

On 24 January 1968, the enemy ambushed an ammunition train enroute from Dong Ha Combat Base to JJ Carroll.  Two men from B Battery along with several Marines were wounded and Medevac’d.  The threat of mines along the roads increased with several vehicles sustaining damage from mines along with several wounded as a result.

 

On 28 January 1968, Lieutenant Felix J. Muller, C Battery, was reassigned to Service Battery. 

 

On 28 January 1968, Lieutenant Robert A. Delay assigned as C Battery Assist XO.

 

On 29 January the TET 68 offensive began.  The Marines and Army Artillery were facing in I Corps:  The 325C (which had been decimated early in the war by the Marines), the 304th an Elite NVA Division from Hanoi, the 324th Division, and the 320th Division was just North of the Rockpile.  The 325th and the 304th were known to have supporting Armor units from the 203rd Armored Regiment.  In addition the 68th and 164th NVA Artillery Regiments supported these attacking NVA infantry divisions.

 

Note from Chronicler:  It was during this time period, exact date not recalled, a young Marine (probably from 2/9) that was part of a Marine Security team assigned to keep QL9 open was hit in the very early morning.  It is believed this Security team was at the bottom or close to the entrance to the road up to Carroll.  As I recall some ammo haulers with M60’s and volunteers went down to help bring out this Security team.  This young Marine was standing next to my tent across from the Battalion Aid station were the wounded were being attended.  An RPG had blown up his M14 and he was still carrying the wounded weapon.  He saw that I had a M14 and begged me to exchange my good weapon for his wounded weapon, as he did not want the replacement M16.  He told me he had seen too many of his buddies go down with that first M16 jammed.  Some Marines later told me he may still have been in shock from the three to four hour fire fight but I do not think so.  He was very clear about his needs. He wanted an M14!  I was afraid I would get into trouble so I refused my weapon, which I did not really need to the needy young Marine.  I think how chicken I was of just getting in to trouble as this Marine was out there fighting for his life.  I only hope and pray after 33 years that he did make it out and home and wish I could have a chance to make that decision over again. (End of note)     

 


Notes and discussion from 1 Nov 1967 to 31 Jan 1968, 5th Battalion Operational Report

 

The quarter ending 31 January 1968 was monsoon type weather with considerable cloudiness and drizzle to light or medium rain.  Sufficient precipitation occurred to eliminate the blowing dust.  Satisfactory for Military operations.

 

Mission assignments:  Assigned to 108th Artillery Group, which is GS to the 3rd Marine Division. Provide GS for the 3rd Marine Division.  Direct support for the patrols of the 3rd Marine Recon Battalion is provided as directed by the 12th Marine Regiment.  In addition, supporting fires for Khe Sanh area can be provided as required.  In addition on 17 January 1968 GS/R the 1st Battalion 13th Marine Artillery located at Khe Sanh. 

 

Aerial observations continue to be the best method of observations.  Some difficulty occurred due to the heavy overcasts.

 

Missions:  General support to 3rd Marine Division, direct support for patrols of the 3rd Force Recon Battalion, provide on call fires for the Khe Sanh area.  In addition reinforcing fires of the 13 Marine Artillery at Khe Sanh.

 

Continuously fired for the following operations:

 

25 November to present   (Operation High Rise)

 

1 November to present  (Kentucky/Lancaster formally Kingfisher)

 

1 November to present (Scotland formally Ardmore)

 

From 1 November 1967 to 15 January 1968 at least one platoon was at the Rockpile.  The platoon is rotated on a 30-day basis between the three batteries.

 

Loss of vehicles to enemy action has put a burden on the remaining cargo carriers.  Tires and tubes have been received, greatly alleviating a long-existing problem in wheeled vehicles.  Enemy action, however, is deleting exiting stocks more rapidly than would be expected with normal wear.  Quick receipt of requisitioned items is essential if resupply from Dong Ha to Carroll, 18 miles, is to be maintained.

 

Red Ball Express remains ineffective.

 

Casualties during this period:

 

Killed in Action – 0

 

Wounded in Action – 9 (Unknown at this time.)

 

Non-Battle Casualties – 0

 

38 Article 15’s were issued, 1 Summary Court and 3 Special Court.

 

55 Men were admitted to in-country hospital.

 

14 Men were evacuated.

 

0 cases of Malaria

 

Mail delivery is extremely poor and only 3 Stars and Strips have been received in the month of January.  Marine units through the Fleet Post Office are far more satisfactory.

 

This Battalion has experienced large differences in muzzle velocity between gun tubes resulting in range variations up to 1500 meters.  Because of this and the unusual (for heavy artillery) missions of firing close protective fires for long range recon patrols and maneuver elements, the policy of this Battalion is to register all tubes as soon as possible with charge 2 and 3, then again at mid-life.  The wisdom of this policy has been proven time and again and most recently when Marine elements defending hill 861 at Khe Sanh were under ground attack.  During this attack this Battalion fired a perpendicular defensive line, four hundred meters from friendly troops using fuze VT and during the firing of this defensive line the Battalion was required to fire one gun using fuze PD only 200 hundred meters in front of the MLR.  The defensive fires were not adjusted in prior to the attack and the when the mission came down it was computed like a regular fire mission using special corrections to establish the line.  Based on the validity of recent registrations, the current met data, and using FADAC the rounds impacted where requested.

 

End of notes and discussion, 5th Battalion Operational Report

 


 

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