5th Campaign

 

Revision Date:  03/23/02

                        

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

  (07-01-68 to 11-01-68)

 

Description of Counteroffensive, Phase V

 

During this period a countrywide effort was begun to restore government control of territory lost to the enemy since the Tet offensive. The enemy attempted another such offensive on 17-18 August but his efforts were comparatively feeble and were quickly overwhelmed by Allied forces.

 

In the fall of 1968 the South Vietnamese government, with major U.S. support, launched an accelerated pacification campaign. All friendly forces were coordinated and brought to bear on the enemy in every tactical area of operation. In these intensified operations, friendly units first secured a target area, and then Vietnamese government units, regional forces/popular forces, police and civil authorities screened the inhabitants, seeking members of the Viet Cong infrastructure. This technique was so successful against the political apparatus that it became the basis for subsequent friendly operations. Government influence expanded into areas of the countryside previously dominated by the Viet Cong to such an extent that two years later at least some measure of government control was evident in all but a few remote regions. (End of description)

 

On 1 July 1968, Operation Thor began. Operation Thor was a joint artillery, air, and navel operation to saturate the enemy artillery, rocket, and air defense positions in and north of the DMZ.  All three firing batteries plus the Battalion FDC and command element departed Carroll on 2 July 1968.  A Battery convoyed from Camp Carroll to Mike Battery, 4/12th Marines, just west of Dong Ha.  B Battery occupied Charlie 3 (YD144618- Trot Dau, 2 km north of Cam Lo) and C Battery moved to Dong Ha. Battalion FDC was set up in Dong Ha at the Headquarters for the 8/4th Artillery.  Two additional 8/4th Batteries were OPCON to the 2/94th until the end of Operation Thor.   There were no incidents on any of the road marches. In the six days of operation Service Battery hauled 2,0000 rounds. 

 

At the completion of Thor, 8 July 1968:

 

A Battery remained in their firing position until 12 July and then moved west and occupied an unimproved position. They begin digging in to provide protection from the weather and possible enemy activity.   After four days of hard work building bunkers by day and firing by night, the Battery was given march orders and proceeded West to a 105mm position at Dong Ha previously occupied by A Battery 1/40th.  Fortunately personnel bunkers and hooch’s were already constructed and A Battery went right to work firing in support of ground troops.

 

Account of a cannoneer with A/2/94 during operation Thor from an A Battery newsletter. With the month of July nearing a close and August coming steadily on, we all just sit and wonder if next month will be as this month has been.  On 1 July, Alpha Battery was given march orders.  On 2 July, we convoyed east on highway 9 to Mike Battery 4/12 Marines, 155mm gun position, which is just west of Dong Ha.  The guns were laid and FDC set up and Operation Thor had officially begun.  Experiencing a lot of mechanical trouble, the hard working gun crews and artillery mechanics still managed to throw 594 rounds in 6 days.  At the completion of the operation the Battery moved approximately ¼ mile west.

 

After the guns were laid and FDC set up, the work had just begun.  As the day progressed you could observe the housing facilities go up one by one until everyone had a place to rest.  After a couple days of eating dust we were on the move again.  Our next move was to A Battery, 1/40th 105mm gun position.  Everyone was quite overjoyed by the last move, as our present position is most outstanding in every respect.  The mess hall is real homey, hutches are well constructed, and last but not least, a stateside shower, with 20 showerheads.  WOW!

 

The report from FDC showed our guns were right on target this month.  They completely wiped out two villages and took a total of four enemy KIA’s.  Along with that they knocked out two artillery pieces, a rocket position and numerous trucks.

 

This month we pay special tribute to Specialist Paul Meyer, our senior track mechanic, and Specialist Lowell Hill, our artillery mechanic.  Through their tireless efforts they keep the guns up; therefore, helped complete the mission.  Not to be forgotten are the hard working gun sections.

 

Coming to the close of the month we thank the Lord for the safekeeping he has brought upon us and pray for the well being of each and every individual in the battery in the months to come. (End of account)

 

On 8 July 1968, B Battery returned to Camp Carroll and displaced the following day (9 July 1968) to Ca Lu.

 

C Battery was given a new assignment to support the 1st Air Cavalry using 8-inch artillery.  Accordingly C Battery retubed and moved on 9 July 1968 to LZ Jane (YD376431

-10 km south of Quang Tri and 6 km west of QL1).

 

On 18 July 1968, PCV Artillery CMMI team visited A Battery.

 


 

Notes and discussion from 1 May 1968 to 31 July 1968, 7th Battalion Operational Report

 

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 assigned task of providing direct fire support for Marine Task Force Hotel located at Khe Sanh.

 

Casualties during this period: (All as a result of incoming enemy artillery.)

 

Killed in Action – 3 Private First Class Thomas Harvey Schofield; C Battery, from Layton, Utah. Captain Edmond A. Jablonsky Jr.; Headquarters Battery, from Pasadena, Texas. Private First Class Gerald Leroy Walters; C Battery, from Culbertson, Nebraska.

 

Wounded in Action – 25 (Unknown at this time) 

 

End of notes and discussion, 7th Battalion Operational Report 

 


 

On 2 August 1968, B Battery returned to Carroll from Ca Lu.

 

On 18 August 1968, A Battery fired the Battalion’s 200,000 round.  Lieutenant General Stilwell, Commanding General, XXIV Corps, visited the battery and helped pull the lanyard.

 

On 10 September 1968, enemy artillery fire landed throughout the area of Headquarters, Headquarters Battery, and B Battery.  One 175mm gun from B Battery, one bunker, two 2- ½ ton trucks, one five-ton truck, and two ¾ ton trucks were destroyed.  The bunker destroyed in B Battery was the communications bunker. It was hit by NVA 152mm artillery during the shelling of Camp Carroll, killing two 2/94th enlisted personnel and wounding four.  Specialist Michael Stoffers was one of the wounded. Another wounded enlisted man was the switchboard operator, name unknown at this time. The other two wounded are not known at this time. Two of the 2/94th personnel killed were Specialist Harold Moseley from Cabot, Arkansas and Private First Class Alfredo Lopez from Kyle Texas. Specialist Moseley was awarded the Army Bronze Star Medal with V for Valor (Citation shown below) as he tried to keep the Battery communications open and operational.  One man from Headquarters Battery was also wounded. Name is not known at this time.

 

GO 4832 - Corporal Moseley distinguished himself by valorous actions on 10 September 1968 as a member of the communications section of an artillery battery during a heavy shelling of Camp J.J. Carroll.  He constantly disregarded his personal safety by exposing himself to the incoming fire to restore communication lines cut by the devastating enemy barrage.  This involved traveling of two hundred meters of open terrain, laying new lines and maintaining them as the enemy rounds continued to impact around him.  He continued his courageous acts until he was mortally wounded.  Corporal Moseley’s personal bravery and devotion to duty, at the high cost of his life, were in keeping with the highest traditions of the military service and reflect credit upon himself, his unit, and the United States Army.

 

Note by chronicler: In addition, an adjacent Marine 4.2 Mortar Battery took losses.  It is believed the Marine battery was just across the road from B battery. (End of note)

 

On 28 September 1968, C Battery (8 inch) displaced from LZ Jane to LZ Nancy (YD434399

-16 km SE of Quang Tri and 3 km west of QL1) still with the mission of supporting the 1st Cavalry Division Artillery (Airmobile).

 

On 30 September 1968, Battalion received orders directing participation in Operation Nanking (the return to Khe Sanh).  Orders required one battery 175mm to be displaced to Ca Lu to answer fire requests from the 12th Marine Artillery.

 

On 2 October 1968 at 1330 hours, the 2/94th held ceremonies at A Battery for the presentation of one Pack 75mm Howitzer to the 1st Battalion, 12th Marine Regiment, 3rd Marine Division.

 

Note from Chronicler:  If this is the same Pack 75 that was captured earlier, it had "Made in USA 1941" stamped on it.  The original manufactures symbol was General Electric.  The captured ammo also had "Made in USA 1941" stamped on it. There is a picture on the web site along with Mike Keeler, Conklin, and Bavaro from the 2/94th.

 

The Pack 75 was dug into the hillside so far that the operator’s could barely traverse the gun.  Women were also firing it.

 

The Pack 75 was used by the French Army to do battle against what was then called Viet Minh.  The Viet Minh captured it from the French Army and then used it against us.

This same type artillery piece was used prior to and during WW1.  I wonder if the designer of this artillery piece would have ever dreamed the "life cycle" of this weapon,  all most 100 years of usage.  It is still being used in the American Military today as a salute artillery piece. (End of note)

 

 

Pack 75mm around the time it was brought on the hill.

 

Account from Sergeant Wayne Wells of A Battery regarding the Pack 75’s:  We were out on the gun in A Battery when we noticed a muzzle flash coming out of the mountain off to our right. The round hit the bridge that was down in front of us. The Marines were guarding this bridge. After the 2nd flash, I called FDC and told them that we could seethe muzzle flashes and that I could fire directly at it. I was put on hold. During this time I pulled the spade up and shifted the gun and dropped the barrel down and opened the breach to sight in on the target. By that time, the Lieutenant had came out to the gun and got on the phone with FDC to get permission to blow that Pack 75 off the mountain.

 

While this was going on, the Pack 75 was steadily shooting rounds at the bridge as we watched.  Our request to shoot was denied by the Marine Command. They said they would take care of it. A short time later we heard them crank up their 105's. Their first rounds didn't even hit the mountain (They shot over it). The second volley hit down in the valley. They never got on target. After all of this, the Pack 75 stopped firing and went back into its cave.

 

Our Lieutenant was totally upset as I was. We heard later that the Marines sent ground troops up there and only one or two came back. The whole incident was upsetting to watch because our hands had been tied. I do not remember the Lieutenants name. I think this happened sometime between March and May of 1968, but I'm not sure. Is has just been too many years! (End of account)

 

On 4 October 1968 at 0900 hours, A Battery road marched from Dong Ha to Ca Lu.  They occupied a firing position there at 1345 hours in order to support the Marines during Operation Nanking.  They remained at Ca Lu until 14 October 1968, when they returned to Dong Ha. 

 

Throughout the rest of the month, the Battery relentlessly pounded enemy positions in North Vietnam and received praise from the 108th Group as being the most effective heavy artillery in the Group.

 

On 5 Oct 1968 at 0845 hours, Capt Weeks: C Battery, 1st Battalion, 44th Artillery, notified Battalion that a truck from the 2/94th was found on Route 9 with two personnel dead.  At 0850 hours, Battalion Commander departed from Camp Carroll for the scene of the accident.  At 1000 hours, Battalion CO returned to the Battalion Aid Station with two bodies.  The personnel were identified as Sergeant Terry A. Towne from Ionia, Michigan and Private First Class Arnold R. Parker from Natural Bridge, Virginia.

 

On 5 October 1968 at 1100 hours, Major Russel V. Fleming, Battalion S3, departed Camp Carroll for rotation to CONUS.  Major Dennis I. Runey assumed the S3 duties.

 

On 9 October 1968, the Marines and the Battalion engaged in Operation Nanking. The American Flag was once again raised over the Khe Sanh Combat Base.

 

On 18 October 1968 at 0900 hours, A Battery displaced from its location at Ca Lu.  At 1230 hours, A Battery closed at Dong Ha. 

 

On 29 October 1968 at 1800 hours, AO shot down by enemy fire – reported missing in action.  Notified CO at 1805 hours.  The AO was Captain Donald Lee Harrison from Chamblee, Georgia. Considered KIA on 14 Jan 1980.  The then Captain Harrison was lost and considered missing in action around the Khe Sanh Combat Base during a FAC mission on 29 October 1968. 

  


 

Notes and discussion from 1 Aug 1968 to 31 October 1968, 8th Battalion Operational Report

 

Mission assignments:  GS of XXIV Corps reinforcing the fire of the 12th Marine Regiment, reinforcing the fire of the 1st Air Cavalry Division Artillery.

 

Killed in Action – 4 Corporal Harold Eugene Moseley; B Battery, from Cabot, Arkansas.  Private First Class Alfredo Lopez Jr.; B Battery, from Kyle, Texas.  Sergeant Terry Allen Towne; B Battery, from Ionia, Michigan. Private First Class Arnold Ray Parker; B Battery, from Natural Bridge, West Virginia.   

Wounded in Action – 5  (not known at this time) 

Missing in Action – 1 (Captain Donald Lee Harrison)

 

During the quarter the Battalion fired 4748 missions, expending 12,301 rounds of 175mm fire and 9,803 rounds of 8-inch fire. 

 

The assignment of Air defense Artillery officers in certain positions in the Battalion has proved to be a sound practice.  The Air defense Artillery officers have performed staff duties in an excellent manner, thereby allowing the Field Artillery officers, with knowledge of gunnery procedures, to be assigned to eliminate Field Artillery personnel shortages.

 

The policy of issuing artillery ammunition as a package in complete rounds is unacceptable to this Battalion.  One projectile, one fuze, one propellant charge has impacted the performance of the Battalion.  It is highly recommended that the Battalions be authorized to draw fuzes and propellant charges to the meet the missions assigned to the Battalion.

 

It is highly recommended that a smoke round be developed for the 175mm to provide a safer marking of targets.

 

It is highly recommended that a CCFRAM round be developed for the 175mm to increase coverage and attack troop concentrations.

 

End of notes and discussion, 8th Battalion Operational Report

 


 

On 1 November 1968, President Lyndon B. Johnson imposed a halt to the bombing of the North, which also curtailed the use of heavy artillery.  The cutback in firing allowed all the batteries to improve bunkers, living areas, and their positions in general.  The improvement in the facilities helped the celebrations of Thanksgiving and Christmas to pass more comfortably and pleasantly. 

 

Previous Campaign was 4th Campaign Counteroffensive, Phase IV   (04-02-68 to 06-30-68)

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Next Campaign is 6th Campaign, Counteroffensive, Phase VI (11-02-68 to 02-22-69)

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