8th Campaign

 

Revision Date:  03/24/02

                           

During this time period the 2/94th took part in Summer-Fall 1969

(06-09-69 to 10-31-69)

 

Description of Summer-Fall 1969

 

During the summer and fall of 1969, conduct of operations was increasingly turned over to the Vietnamese; US troops withdrew in greater numbers amid reaffirmations of support for the Republic of South Vietnam government. President Nixon announced the reduction of the U.S. military presence in South Vietnam, which would be demonstrated initially by the withdrawal of 25,000 troops by 31 August 1969.

 

American troop strength had peaked at 543,400 in April 1969 but dropped to 505,500 by mid-October. More scattered than before, enemy attacks were concentrated on South Vietnamese positions. U.S. combat deaths were down in the early fall as American units switched to small unit actions. The trend was not constant however, because U.S. troops deaths, which had fallen well below l00 a week in the fall, rose above 100 later in the year. (End of description)

 

During the summer and fall of 1969, the Battalion position received rocket and mortar rounds once or twice a week.  Only a few rounds were received each time, and damage was negative or minor, with no casualties. 

 

In July, the Battery re-sandbagged all bunkers and gun berms in the area due to deterioration from the elements.  The perimeter guard bunkers were also completely re-constructed to give more effective coverage as well as protection.  A Satisfactory rating was received on the AGI in late July.  The Corps Firing Battery Inspection soon followed and was successfully passed in early August.  The Battery re-surfaced all the gun pads in preparation for this monsoon season.  The Corps CMMI Team inspected in early Sep and a satisfactory rating was obtained.  The perimeter was re-enforced with more emphasis placed on channalizing any hostile personnel. 

Signed by Commanding, Capt, FA Gordon F. Kelley

 

On 11 June 1969 at 1100 hours, C Battery had the extreme pleasure to host a visit from General Alan G. Pixton, XXIV Corps Artillery Commander.

 

On 17 June 1969, A Battery participated in a TOT on a suspected enemy battalion with 50 enemies KIA.

 

On 22 June 1969 at 0400 hours, LZ Nancy received four rounds of incoming – no damage or injuries in Battery area.

 

On 23 June 1969 at 0015 hours, A Battery received incoming – no rounds landed in Battery area.

 

C Battery Status Report 

Battery Commander

1 Apr to 30 June 1969 was Captain Patrick W. Clark

 

XO

1 Apr to 16 June 1969 was Lieutenant Glen G. Lackey

16 June to 30 June 1969 was Lieutenant Gordon F. Kelley.

 

Asst XO

1 Apr to 30 June 1969 was Lieutenant Karl M. Kaprelien and Lieutenant Elwood P. Gross. 

 

Forward Observer

1 Apr to 11 May 1969 was Lieutenant Duane T. Butler

10 May to 15 May 1969 was Lieutenant Howard A. Riffal

10 May to 30 June 1969 was Lieutenant Daryl L. Dering

15 May to 30 June 1969 was Lieutenant Thomas L. Aman

 

First SGT

1 Apr to 30 June 1969 was Sergeant First Class Charles W. Weatherly.

 

The Battery concentrated on the efficient maintenance program this quarter.  Howitzer maintenance was outstanding with only one howitzer down for one day and the remaining weapons available the entire quarter.  Firing Battery Inspection was again successfully completed in May.  The rating was one of the highest ---.  Numerous replacements were assigned during this period and an extensive training program was initiated within the firing battery --- the new personnel with the various duties of cannoneers.

 

Signed Commanding, Capt, FA, Patrick W. Clark.

 

On 8 July 1969, A Battery participated in a TOT on a suspected enemy battalion with 60 enemies KIA.

 

On July 8 1969 at 0900 hours, A Battery began their move from Camp Evans to LZ Sally. At 0945 hours, A Battery closed at LZ Sally. At 0958 hours, A Battery laid safe and ready to fire.

 

On 13 July 1969 at 2045 hours, four rounds of unknown caliber hostile rocket or mortar fire impacted in the C Battery area.  There were no casualties or equipment damages sustained during the hostile attack.

 

On 14 July 1969, Lieutenant Colonel  William H. Krueger assumed command from Lieutenant Colonel Courant.  Fourteen days later, the new Battalion commander saw the Battalion receive their Annual General Inspection. All batteries received superior ratings in all areas.

 

On 14 July 1969 on this morning, C Battery participated in the Battalion Commander’s change of command ceremony.  We bid farewell to Lieutenant Colonel Courant and extended a warm welcome to Lieutenant Colonel Krueger.

 

On 14 July 1969 at 1000 hours,  Lieutenant Colonel Krueger assumed command of the battalion.  At 1015 hours, Lieutenant Colonel Courant departed for a new assignment. At 1315 hours, Sergeant First Class Ortiz promoted to First Sergeant.

 

On 15 July 1969 at 0830 hours, Chu Hoi taken just outside perimeter of Headquarters Battery.

 

On 28 July 1969, C Battery,  Lieutenant Colonel Walker, commanded the annual Adjutant General’s Inspection Team.  The unit’s overall rating was Very Satisfactory.

 


Notes and discussion from 1 May 1969 to 31 July 1969, 11th Battalion Operational Report

 

Mission assignment:  General support to XXIV Corps, reinforcing fire of the 12th Marine Regiment (Batteries B and C); Reinforcing 101st Division Artillery with an 8-inch battery (Battery A); and a quick fire channel to the 101st Division Artillery (Battery C).

 

 

WIA – 2 (PFC Yamane)(1 unknown from Headquarters Battery)

 

During the reporting period the Battalion fired 8,903 missions with 25,218 8-inch projectiles expended.

 

The present TOE provides for a 13A10 as Battery Recorders.  An individual with MOS 13E20 is more knowledgeable of fire direction procedures and data.  It is recommended a TOE change be implemented.  A recommendation is being forwarded.

 

End of notes and discussion, 11th Battalion Operational Report

 


 

On 7 August 1969, a XXIV Corps Firing Battery inspection was performed on C Battery.  The rating was Satisfactory.

 

On 21 August 1969, C Battery, Colonel Cartright, 108th Arty Group Commander, visited our unit.  His visit was of a complimentary nature to congratulate the Officers and Enlisted Men for their continued successful completion -- accomplishment of all missions.

 

On 21 August 1969 at 2130 hours until  0600 hours, on 22 August 1969, C Battery participated in a search conducted to locate a small reconnaissance probe which penetrated the perimeter wires and positions of the landing zone.

 

On 24 Aug 1969 at 1400 hours, Major D.I. Runey, S3, departed to CONUS.  Captain Nowels assumed the S3 duties.

 

On 31 August 1969 at 1500 hours, Major Bird arrived at Headquarters Battery and assumed the S3 duties from Captain Nowels.

 

On 5 September 1969, a XXIV Corps CMMI inspection on Headquarters and Headquarters battery was performed. The rating was Satisfactory.

 

On 6 September 1969, a XXIV Corps CMMI inspection on C  Battery was performed. The rating was Satisfactory.

 

On September 9 1969 at 1000 hours, a cease-fire was placed in effect.  Comment by chronicler: Does not say for what. (End of comment)

 

On 10 September 1969 at 1200 hours, the Battalion promptly resumed firing with a TOT.

 

On 23 September 1969, C Battery, a three-man Forward Observer Team was attached to the 2nd of the 7th ARVN Armored Calvary Regiment.  Lieutenant Charles Bridges led this team. The two other members were Corporal Robert A. Underwood and Specialist Stephen J. Heyward.

 

Enemy rockets continued to be sporadic with a few rounds impacting in and around all positions every few days.

 

On 25 September 1969, a ceremony was held to honor the departure of twenty three infused Kentucky National Guardsmen.  These personnel returned to their original unit, 2nd Battalion 138th Artillery, for redeployment to CONUS.

 

Note by Chronicler:  The 2nd Battalion 138th Artillery was a Kentucky National Guard self-propelled M109 155mm howitzer battalion.  It served in Vietnam as part of the Provisional Corps Artillery (later XXIV Corps Artillery).  Unit arrived in country 30 October 1968 and departed 10 October 1969.  The unit served at Phu Bai and Gia Le. (Must have been a real bummer to join the National Guard thinking you have beat the Vietnam draft only to find out your whole damn unit was going active to Vietnam, what a real bummer!) (End of note)

 

C Battery Status 

Battery Commander

1 July to 12 Sep 1969, Captain Patrick W. Clark.

13 Sep to 30 Sep 1969, Captain Gordon F. Kelley 

 

XO

1 July to 12 Sep 1969, Captain Gordon F. Kelley 

13 Sep to 30 Sep 1969, Lieutenant Elwood P. Gross 

 

Asst XO

1 July to 30 Sep 1969, Lieutenant Karl M. Kaprelian 

17 Sep to 30 Sep 1969, Lieutenant James B. Mickelson 

17 Sep to 30 Sep 1969, Lieutenant Daryl L. Dearing

 

Forward Observer

1 July to 19 Aug 1969, Lieutenant Thomas L. Aman 

21 Aug to 9 Sep 1969, Lieutenant Gene R. Glesne  

8 Sep to 30 Sep 1969, Lieutenant Charles Bridges 

1 July to 16 Sep 1969, Lieutenant Daryl L. Dearing.

 

 First Sergeant

1 July to 9 July 1969, Sergeant First Class Charles W. Weatherly 

10 July to 6 Aug 1969, Sergeant First Class Santos P.  Pascua

7 Aug to 30 Sep 1969,  Sergeant First Class Rex W. Sturgeon

 

In July, C Battery re-sandbagged all bunkers and gun berms in the area due to deterioration from the elements.  The perimeter guard bunkers were also completely re-constructed to give more effective coverage as well as protection.  A Satisfactory rating was received on the AGI in late July.  The Corps Firing Battery Inspection soon followed and was successfully passed in early August.  The Battery re-surfaced all the gun pads in preparation for this monsoon season.  The Corps CMMI Team inspected in early Sep and a satisfactory rating was obtained.  The perimeter was re-enforced with more emphasis placed on channalizing any hostile personnel. 

Signed by Commanding, Capt, FA Gordon F. Kelley

 

On 1 October 1969, a Change of Command Ceremony was held at 1300 hours at the Service Battery area on Dong Ha Combat Base.  Captain Vernon B. Hanson assumed command.  Captain Paul Kretzschmar was re-assigned to HQ & HQ Battery to become the Battalion Motor Officer.

 

Letter dated Oct the 2nd 1969:

Department of the Army

Battery C, 2nd Bn 94th Arty

 

Subject:  Battery News Report

 

Charlie Battery has had a quiet month.  Captain Clark, the most respected Commander departed for home.  The whole Battery wished his continued success in his career.  Captain Kelley returned from his 30-day leave in the States, a married man, to take over as Battery Commander.  Two Lieutenants arrived, new in country.   Lieutenant Mickelson took over a shift in FDC, replacing  Lieutenant Gross, who moved up to XO, when Lieutenant Kaprelian left.  But not much has been seen of Lieutenant Bridges, who went out as a Forward Observer after being in Battery only a little over two weeks.  Toward the end of the month, he was back again for two days and is now out again.  The Battery was happy when the large number of allocations for SP4 came down, the first in many months.  Item of interest was the Pacific Stars and Stripe reporter, who spent a night at LZ Nancy on his trip to Saigon.  We were glad for the mention in Stars and Stripes but didn’t really appreciate the statement that the war is over for Charlie Battery.  We still pump out rounds for those who ask and even surprised one man who had to ask twice before he could believe that 8-inch’ers could fire 27 rounds in four minutes.  The question that everyone is asking is “When are we going to move?”  Seems maybe the war isn’t over for Charlie Battery.  We never thought it was. (End of report) 

Signed by 1st LT, FA, Fire Direction Control Officer, James B. Mickelson

 

On 3 October 1969, on or about 2330 hours, Dong Ha Combat Base received three incoming rocket rounds.  Negative damage.

 

On 4 October 1969, C Battery, 4th General Pixton, XXIV Corps Arty Commander, visited our unit.  His visit was to inspect for existing drainage facilities in the howitzer positions with the oncoming monsoon season.  His comments were of a variable nature. Comment by chronicler: Meaning what? (End of comment)

 

On 7 October 1969, Specialist Rex Hanes was re-enlisted for six years.  Ceremony was performed in a helicopter above the DMZ.

 

On 14 October 1969 on or about 0600 hours, two incoming rockets hit about 500 meters from the Service Battery area.  Minor damage reported.

 

On 10 October 1969 Battalion Commander of the 63rd Maintenance visited our unit to inquire about the quality of 3rd echelon support that we were receiving from his unit.

 

On 11 October 1969, US Army Calibration Team visited our unit and calibrated all four howitzers.  They condemned Gun #2 for a faulty tube and we replaced the tube in the same day.

 

On 11 October 1969 – CWO Joe L. Turner was assigned to Service Battery and assumed the duties of Supply Technician in the Battalion Supply section.

 

On 14 October 1969, on or about 0600 hours, two incoming rockets hit about 500 meters from the Service Battery area.  Minor damage reported.

 

On 18 October 1969, Lieutenant Bridges and Private First Class Ellis were sent to the 108th Arty Group to work in the Fire Support Coordination Center.

 

On 22 October 1969 on or about 0400 hours, Dong Ha Combat Base received incoming mortar rounds.  No casualties and no damage.

 

On 23 October 1969, on or about 0930 hours, Dong Ha Combat Base received one incoming rocket.  The rocket hit in a Marine area about 1000 meters from Service Battery. Results, two US KIA’s, eight US WIA’s – seven of which were evacuated in critical condition.

 

On 27 October 1969 at 1210 hours, C Battery fired a TOT mission against a suspected enemy company.  Results were 29 KIA, four 120mm mortars captured, and miscellaneous small arms. Fire support was for the 1st ARVN Regiment - Grid 374224.

 

On 31 October 1969, Gun #4 of A Battery fired the battalion’s 300,000th round in support of the free world forces in Vietnam.  Present for the ceremony were Lieutenant General  Melvin Zais, Commanding General XXIV Corps, Brigadier General  Allan G. Pixton, Commanding General XXIV Corps Artillery; Colonel R.C. Cartwright, Commanding Officer 108th Artillery Group; and Colonel Moore, Commanding Officer 101st Division Artillery.

 


 

Notes and discussion from 1 August 1969 to 31 October 1969, 12th Battalion Operational Report

 

Mission assignment:  General support to XXIV Corps, reinforcing fire of the 12th Marine Regiment (Batteries B and C); Reinforcing 101st Division Artillery with an 8-inch battery (Battery A); and a quick fire channel to the 101st Division Artillery (Battery C).

 

During the reporting period the Battalion fired 5,768 missions expending 27,655 8-inch rounds.

 

During the period there was a significant increase in the number of missions fired for the 1st ARVN Regiment, 1st ARVN Division.

 

The Battalion experienced no significant personnel shortages during the period.

 

During the periods of rain or high moisture content frequent premature detonations of the 8-inch round have occurred using PD M557 fuze with both charge 5&7 White Bag.  Recommend that the fuze PD M557 be constructed to withstand firing in heavy rainfall.  An equipment improvement report was submitted on 1 November 1969.

 

With the Battalion dispersed over an 81-km front the concept of centralized maintenance operations is impractical.  Recommend the formation of Maintenance Readiness Teams capable of moving to battery locations. 

 

End of notes and discussion, 12th Battalion Operational Report 


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