9th Campaign

 Revision Date:  03-24-02

 

During this time period the 2/94th took part in Winter-Spring

(11-01-69 to 04-30-70)

 

Description of Winter-Spring

 

An increase in enemy-initiated attacks, at the highest level since 4-5 September, signaled the start of the first phase of the Communist winter campaign. This was highlighted by intensified harassment incidents, and attacks throughout the Republic of Vietnam. In November-December these were heaviest in Corps Tactical Zones III and IV (around Saigon), primarily directed against Vietnamese military installations in order to disrupt the pacification program. The most significant enemy activity occurred in November with heavy attacks upon By Prang and Duc Lap in CTZ II (Central Vietnam).

 

By February 1970, the focus of enemy activity began to shift to CTZ I and II. Attacks increased steadily, reaching a peak in April 1970. Hostile forces staged their heaviest attacks in the Central Highlands near Civilian Irregular Defense Group camps at Dak Seang, Dak Pek, and Ben Het in I CTZ. The enemy also conducted numerous attacks by fire and several sapper attacks against U.S. fire support bases. This high level of enemy activity began in I CTZ in April and continued through May.

 

During the period 1 November 1969 through 30 April 1970, U.S. and allied forces concentrated on aggressive operations to find and destroy enemy main and local forces, the penetration of base camps and installations and, the seizure of enemy supplies and materiel. These operations sought to deny the enemy the initiative and to inflict heavy losses in men and materiel. Further progress was made in Vietnamization through improving the Republic of Vietnam Armed Forces. As a result of these advances, three brigades of the 1st U.S. Infantry Division and several major USMC units were withdrawn from Vietnam during this period.

 

The enemy made several efforts to take the offensive at Dak Seang, which was attacked on 1 April 1970 and remained under siege throughout the month, and at Quang Duc in the By Prong-Duc Lap area, which ended on 28 December. Only Vietnamese forces were engaged in both of these operations, the Quang Duc campaign involving some 12,000 ARVN troops. South Vietnamese forces again took the offensive on 14 April in a bold 3-day operation in the Angel's Wing area along the Cambodian border. The Vietnamese Army completed this mission in an aggressive professional manner without US support—further evidence of their growing proficiency. (End of Description)

 

At the beginning of November 1969, Headquarters Battery began preparing for movement to Camp Evans which would take place on or about  5 December 1969.

 

Service Battery would also move to Camp Evans where the two batteries would be co-located.  They would remain in this position until 24 February 1970, when they would move into a joint location at the Dong Ha Combat Base.

 

On 2 November 1969, Staff Sergeant James K. Martin joined Service Battery as 1st Cook.

 

On 8 November 1969, CWO Leonard A. Brase was promoted to W2.

 

On 11 November 1969, on or about 1900 hours, Dong Ha Combat Base received three incoming rockets.  Minor damage.

 

On 14 November 1969 at 2300 hours, Specialist Oliver Thompson from Chucky, Tennessee, chief computer operator for Charlie Battery, was killed when the APC he was riding on overturned and crushed him. The accident occurred within the LZ and the crash involved the M577 (Command Post Carrier – modified M113 APC variant). Proper authorities were notified. Note by chronicler:  It is not clear as to the location of C Battery at the time of the M577 incident. (End of note)

 

On 14 November 1969, C Battery; General Pixton, XXIV Arty Commander, visited our unit.  His visit was of a complimentary nature to congratulate the Officers and Enlisted Men for their continued successful accomplishment of their primary mission. 

 

On 15 November 1969 at 1045 hours, C Battery completed their move to the new location and guns were laid and safe by 1115 hours.  Comment by chronicler:  Assume the move was to FSB Nancy.  (End of comment)  

 

On 15 November 1969 C Battery moved approximately 1000 meters into a new Battery position within the same LZ.

 

On 17 November 1969 at 1130 hours, Bn CO, Bn S3, and Group Commander arrived at the C Battery position for memorial services for Specialist Oliver Thompson. Conducting the services were the two 108th Arty Group chaplains.

 

On 19 November 1969 at 1830 hours, individual from C Battery at FSB Nancy spotted one suspected NVA 1 km from trash dump.

 

On 23 November 1969, Staff Sergeant Serge Binetsky joined Service Battery and assumed the duties of Personnel Sergeant.

 

On 25 November 1969, C Battery; Colonel Hixon, the new XXIV Corps Arty Commander, and Colonel Jennings, the Deputy Corps Arty Commander, visited our unit.  Both were greatly impressed with the progress made in only ten days of occupation within the unit position.

 

On 26 November 1969 on or about 0200 hours, six rounds of incoming impacted on Dong Ha Combat Base.  Negative damage.

 

On 27 November 1969, C Battery; Colonel Hixon visited our area for Thanksgiving.  He was pleased with our mess hall facilities and the display within the mess hall.

 

On 27 November 1969,  the Battalion Commander, Lieutenant Colonel Krueger, visited Service Battery during the Thanksgiving dinner.

 

On 28 November 1969 at 0700 hours, Headquarters and Headquarters Battery departed LZ Nancy to new location at Camp Evans. 

 

On 29 November 1969 at 0800 hours, Headquarters and Headquarters Battery closed at Camp Evans.

 

On 1 December 1969, SFC James Whitfield joined Service Battery.  SFC Whitfield is training to take the position of Motor Maintenance Sergeant.

 

On 5 December 1969, at about 0800 hours, the Service Battery convoy left Dong Ha Combat Base.  Service Battery moved to Camp Evans to be co-located with HQ & HQ Battery.

 

On 5 December 1969, a Battalion CMMI and AGI Inspection was conducted.  Rating given was Satisfactory.

 

On 6 December 1969, C Battery; Colonel Cartwright, 108th Arty Group Commander paid us a complimentary visit.

 

On 6 December 1969, C Battery; Staff Sergeant James K. Martin departed to B Battery to assume duties as their Mess Steward.

 

On 8 December 1969, Staff Sergeant Fermin Canales joined Service Battery as 1st Cook.

 

On 10 December 1969, Service Battery; Sergeant First Class Jack Jones departed for CONUS.  Sergeant First Class Jones will retire in February.  Staff Sergeant Fermin Canales assumed the duties of Mess Steward.

 

On 16 December 1969, C Battery; another visit by COL Cartwright.  He stressed the standardization of the howitzer positions.

 

On 16 December 1969, B Battery completed re-tubing two 8-inch howitzers to two 175mm guns.

 

On 19 December 1969, C Battery;  received a warning order for a pending artillery raid for this unit.  We were slated to deploy between FSB Barbara and our present location.

 

On 21 December 1969 on or about 0030 hours, Camp Evans went on Red Alert as 50 enemy soldiers were spotted outside the wire.  ARA was employed, results Negative.

 

On 24 December 1969 at 1600 hours, a Christmas Checkfire became effective.

 

On 25 December 1969 at 1600 hours, Christmas Checkfire was lifted.

 

On 25 December 1969, Christmas packages from the American Red Cross were handed out to the personnel of Service Battery.

 

Service Battery Notes

 

During the quarter, Service Battery did not suffer any casualties from combat action.  The highlight of the quarter was the move from Dong Ha Combat Base to Camp Evans.  This move allowed the Battalion Personnel Section and the Battalion Maintenance Section to rejoin Service Battery.  The personnel of Service Battery are constantly striving to improve the area and we look forward to many improvements in the New Year. 

Signed by Commanding, Captain, FA Vernon B. Hanson 

 

On 25 December 1969, C Battery;  Colonel Jennings, Colonel Cartwright, and Lieutenant Colonel Krueger visited our unit to extend a Merry Christmas to all personnel.

 

On 29 December 1969, C Battery; Lieutenant Brake returned from his FO duty at Mai Loc  to work as a Fire Direction Officer in our unit.

 

On 30 December 1969, C Battery; Colonel Cartwright again visited our position and he emphasized that the war was over for us and inspected maintenance and mess hall facilities.  He expressed an interest in load plans of our unit.

 

 Observation of chronicler:

 

Statement above is confusing to say the least. Do you suppose that it was in works for the 2/94th Battalion to leave RVN in early 1970 and then it was cancelled?  1/40, the unit the 2/94th came up to the DMZ with, was stood down in late 1969 and it could very well have been that the 2/94th was originally part of that stand down from units associated with the 108th.  May have been proposed as part of the 3rd MAF stand down? 

 

End of  Observation of chronicler:

 

On 31 December 1969 at 1800 hours, a New Year Checkfire became effective.

 

On 1 January 1970 at 1800 hours, New Year Checkfire was lifted.

 

C Battery Personnel Assignment and Duty Changes

 

Battery Commander

1 Oct to 31 Dec 1969, Captain Gordon F. Kelley 

 

XO

1 Oct to 31 Dec 1969,  Lieutenant Elwood P. Gross

 

Assistant XO

1 Oct to 31 Dec 1969, Lieutenant James R. Mickelson and Lieutenant Daryl L. Dearing

 

Forward Observer

1 Oct to 31 Dec 1969,  Lieutenant Charles Bridges

17 Oct to 31 Dec 1969,  Lieutenant Charles Brake

10 Nov to 31 Dec 1969, Lieutenant Sam Tomich

 

1st Sergeant

1 Oct to 31 Dec 1969, Sergeant First Class Rex W. Sturgeon.

 

In October, C Battery installed escape tunnels in all personnel bunkers within our previous position.  In November, the Battery re-deployed on LZ Nancy to a position adjacent to the 14th Engineer Bn and HQ of the 1st ARVN Regt.  This rapid, expert construction of personnel bunkers by members of this Battery brought many favorable comments from all interested persons.  The trend throughout this quarter was to place more emphasis on training and beautification of the area.  Artillery concepts have changed somewhat towards the utilization of mobile rather than fixed positions of artillery.  The Forward Observer commitment has increased notably during this quarter.  Continued emphasis is being given towards the strengthening of the Battery defensive positions, to include the firing of direct fire ICM rounds.  Installation of more concertina wire and overall more care in preventing sapper penetration. 

Signed by Acting Commander, 1st Lieutenant, FA Elwood P. Gross

 

On 2 January 1970, Lieutenant Colonel James N. Hale replaced Lieutenant Colonel Krueger as Battalion Commander.  Lieutenant Colonel Kruger was reassigned to G-3, USARV.  Lieutenant Colonel Hale’s stay with the 2/94th was short lived.  On 3 February 1970, he departed and was reassigned to the 1/5th Infantry, while Major Ferguson took command of the Battalion.

 

The battalion has been receiving almost no enemy activity, except for the ever-present danger of land mines.  Several injuries were received in various incidents and road travel was very hazardous.

 

On 5 January 1970, Sergeant First Class James Whitfield assumed duties as 1st Sergeant of Service Battery replacing 1st Sergeant Hector Ortis.

 

On 5 January 1970 at 0800 hours, B Battery departs Gia Le for an artillery raid.  At 0945 hours, B Battery arrives Camp Evans.  At 1445 hours, B Battery departed Camp Evans for FSB Anne.  At 1615 hours, B Battery arrives FSB Sharon.

 

On 6 January 1970 at 0900 hours, B Battery departed FSB Sharon for FSB Anne.  At 1745 hours, B Battery closed FSB Anne.

 

On 11 January 1970 at 0900 hours, B Battery displaced from FSB Anne to LZ Nancy.  At 1515 hours, B Battery closed LZ Nancy.

 

On 12 January 1970 at 0830 hours, B Battery displaced from LZ Nancy for Gia Le.  At 1115 hours, B Battery closed home station at Gia Le.

 

On 13 January 1970 at 1600 hours, Lieutenant Colonel Hale assumed command of the Battalion. 

 

On 13 January at 1630 hours, C Battery re-tubed two guns to 175 mm.

 

On 14 January 1970, C Battery completed tube change of two 8-inch to 175mm.

 

On 15 January 1970 at 0810 hours, C Battery departed LZ Nancy for FSB Sharon. Artillery raid at 1245 hours, C Battery departed FSB Sharon for FSB Anne.  At 1715 hours C Battery closed at FSB Anne. 

 

On 16 January 1970, B Battery displaced two 175mm guns to Bastogne.  At 1420 hours, two guns from B Battery closed Bastogne.  Remained until 22 January 1970.

 

On 21 January 1970 at 0715 hours, A Battery displaced 3 guns from LZ Sally, coordinates YD39473835, west of LZ Nancy for an artillery raid.  At 1220 hours, A Battery closed.

Note by chronicler: Assumed to be FSB Negg. See below. (End of note)

 

On 22 January 1970, two guns from B Battery returned to Gio Le.

 

On 25 January 1970 at 0950 hours, A Battery departs FSB Negg.  At 1100 hours, A Battery closed FSB Sharon.  Assume the mission of reinforcing the fires of the 1st Brigade 5th Mech.

 

On 26 January 1970, Lieutenant Sam Tomich assumed duties as Battalion Ammunition Officer replacing Lieutenant William Davis, who was re-assigned to A Battery.

 


 

Notes and discussion from 1 November 1969 to 31 January 1970, 13th Battalion Operational Report

 

Mission assignment:  General support to XXIV Corps, Reinforcing 101st Division Artillery  (Batteries A and B); and a quick fire channel to the 101st Division Artillery (Battery C).  Battery C also reinforced the fire of 5/4 with the 5th Mech.

 

Note by chronicler:  First time I have seen no report of supporting the 12th Marines so it assumed they had departed country. (End of note.)

 

In the reports it is noted again, that with the 8-inch and the 175mm a second FDC should be added to units that are composite.

 

There was an increased demand to provide fire support for the 1st ARVN Regiment.

 

During the reporting period the Battalion fired 5,519 missions.  Expended 21,739 8-inch and 3,534 175mm rounds.

 

Most of the fire missions were at sensor targets, however in January visual targets increased.

 

Still having problems with fuzes. Note by chronicler:  You would think that after 3 years of bad reports on fuzes, the Army would have done something! (End of note)

 

M548 has proven to be not a reliable vehicle.  Seven of the Battalion's 8 are deadlined.  Recommend a review of the M548 maintenance problems and/or an evaluation of a new vehicle.

 

During the rainy seasons it is hard for the cannoneers to carry the 8-inch and 175mm rounds.  Carts have been made to assist.  It is recommended that the wheeled carts be provided to other units as well.

 

Killed (1) Specialist Oliver Thompson from Chucky, Tennessee was killed in a vehicle accident.

 

End of notes and discussion, 13th Battalion Operational Report

 


 

 

On 1 February 1970, a change of Command Ceremony was held at 1300 hours at the Service Battery area at Camp Evans.  Captain Paul A. Ogle Jr. assumed command.  Captain Vernon B. Hanson was re-assigned to HQ Battery as Asst S3.

 

On 3 February 1970, Lieutenant Colonel Hale departed and was reassigned, while Major Ferguson took command of the Battalion.

 

On 3 February at 1600 hours, CO departs for 108th Arty Group.  Lieutenant Colonel Hale assumes command of 108th Arty Group.  Major Ferguson assumes command of 2nd 94th.

 

On 8 February 1970, CWO Leonard Brase departed for CONUS – CWO Paul Boothe was assigned to Service Battery and assumed the duties of the Maintenance Technician in the Battalion Maintenance Section, replacing CWO Brase.

 

On 10 February 1970, B Battery received a CMMI, and received a 94% the highest score for any unit in I corps. 

 

On 11 February 1970, Sergeant First Class Thomas C. Russo joined Service Battery from CONUS.

 

On 12 February at 0800 hours, Major Bondshu assumes the duties of Battalion S3.

 

On 12 February at 1355 hours, A Battery departed LZ Anne for an artillery raid. The raid consisted of two M107's each from A and C Battery.  Command and control was provided by A Battery.  Resupply was by air only.

 

On 13 February 1970, B Battery displaced to the old Marine base camp, JJ Carroll.  B Battery to replace a Marine 5 gun, 175 Battery at Carroll.  Marine unit was being redeployed.

 

Note by chronicler:  I assume that meant leaving Vietnam.  I had never heard of a Marine 175mm unit in Vietnam.  My guess is they were part of the Marine Provisional Artillery Group that was still there supporting  the 1st Marines still in country.  I think the 5th Marines were still down in lower I Corps.  However this is a question.  Did they come over later as the 12th and the 13th Marine artillery went home?  I believe by late 1970 or possibly early 1971 all the Marine units were out of Vietnam.  I know that 5/4 had some operations out at the Khe Sanh area to the South and perhaps that 5 gun Battery was at Carroll to support that operation. (End of note)

 

On 14 February 1970, Sergeant First Class William G. Gandy departed for CONUS.  Sergeant First Class Russo replaced him as Battalion Motor Sergeant.

 

On 16 February at 1355 hours, A Battery departed LZ AnneAt 1505 hours, Gun B3, M107, hit land mine at Grid YD326425 and declared combat loss.   Track, road wheel, and spade cylinders blown off.  One man medevac'd to 18th Surgical, injuries slight.  At 1645 hours, an M42A1 Duster, pulling ammo trailer, detonated mine vicinity Grid YD326445.  Two men WIA.  Note by chronicler: These two men must have been with the Duster, as the battalion only reports one WIA and one one 1/2 ton trailer destroyed. (End of note)  At 1715 hours, mine sweep team found a mine, type unknown, destroyed in place.  At 1725 hours, Battalion CO request ARA along route of March for A Battery.  At 2115 hours, the last vehicle closed LZ Sharon. 

 

On 18 February 1970 at 1200 hours, C Battery #1 Gun is up.  At 1310 hours, B Battery #2 Gun is up.

 

On 23 February 1970, Staff Sergeant James Wework joined Service Battery as Assistant Supply Sergeant in the Battalion Supply Section.

 

On 24 February 1970, Hq and Hq Battery moved from Camp Evans to Dong Ha.  This was to facilitate firing control of the firing batteries.  Plans called for all firing batteries to move north of FSB Sharon.  HHB moved into the area vacated by the 6/33rd which had been inactivated.  Service Battery also moved to the 6/33rd area to support the firing batteries.

 

On 28 February 1970, XXIV Corps became effective under USARV.  Note by chronicler: It is thought the 108th Artillery Group was attached to the XXIV Corps Artillery, for all purposes, at this time.  (End of note)

 

On 28 February 1970, at 0800 hours, the convoy left Camp Evans to be co-located with Hq & Hq Battery at Dong Ha Combat Base.

 

Letter dated 28 Feb 1970 from the HQ’s of the 108th Artillery Group

To the Commanding Officer of the 2nd Bn 94th Artillery:

 

This letter is forwarded with great pleasure and I note with satisfaction the fine spirit of cooperation displayed by the officers and men of your organization.  The support rendered the 6th Bn 33rd Arty during Keystone Blue Jay exemplifies the finest traditions of the services. 

 

As the 6th Bn 33rd Arty returns it’s colors to CONUS for inactivation, the former members of the battalion will long remember your outstanding cooperation and valuable assistance during the unit’s last days in the Republic of Vietnam. 

 

The phase-out of this Battalion’s personnel and the turnover of facilities of Dong Ha Combat Base were successful only because of your assistance and cooperation in both the planning and the execution of phases of the operation.  Your assistance in improving vehicles and drivers during the battalion’s last few days at Dong Ha was most critical and greatly appreciated.

 

Congratulations for a job well done.  Signed by Commanding, Col, FA, Milton E. Key.

 

Note by chronicler:  Evidently, we must have supported the 6th of the 33rd Arty) --- unfortunately, it doesn’t give us any batteries --- just that it’s the 2nd 94th Arty and cooperation and assistance during the Battalion’s Keystone Blue Jay activities. (End of note)

 

On 1 March 1970, the battalion received its eighth Battalion Commander since reactivation.  Lieutenant Colonel Edward G. Brantley assumed command of one of the finest artillery units in the US Army.  Lieutenant Colonel Hale was re-assigned to the 5th of the 4th.

 

On 7 March 1970, an M107 malfunctioned, its tube was severed about midway while firing zone III fire.  No casualties or injuries reported.  Note by chronicler:  This is the B Battery gun #3, reported in the B Battery Officer accounts below, that had been in a mine incident. Apparently it had been damaged.  (End of note)

  

On 10 March 1970 at 0730 hours, B Battery began moving.  At 0740 hours, B Battery CO reported passing CP1.  At 0745 hours, at CP2.  At 0755 hours, CP3.  At 0810 hours, B Battery closed FSB Elliot.  At 0824 hours, B Battery laid safe and ready to fire.

 

On 10 March 1970, as above, a heavy artillery force was displaced to FSB Elliot to support the 2nd ARVN Regiment during 10 March 1970 to 15 March 1970.  The force consisted of two M110's from B Battery (Carroll), two M110's from C Battery (Nancy/C-1), and during the final day, two M107's from B Battery.  Expended 1774 8-inch and 146 175mm rounds.  Resupply by surface means.

 

On 10 March 1970, Sergeant First Class Donald Ingemansen joined the battery.  Sergeant First Class Ingemansen assumed duties as Battalion Supply Sergeant.

 

On 13 March 1970 at 1340 hours, B Battery Gun #4, 8 inch re-tubed at FSB Elliot.

 

On 14 March 1970 at 1040 hours, B Battery Gun #3 departed 178th Maintenance from Camp Carroll with escort from B Battery.

 

On 15 March 1970 at 0800 hours, C Battery displaced from LZ Nancy for C1.  At 1000 hours, C Battery closed C1.  Move was to provide coverage of area along the DMZ that was not covered by heavy artillery.  C-1 was still under construction by the 14th Engineering Battalion.

 

On 15 March 1970 at 1350 hours, B Battery displaced from FSB Elliot to Camp Carroll.  At 1455 hours, B Battery closed Camp Carroll.

 

On 15 March 1970, Service Battery supported C Battery in its move to C1.

 

On 17 March 1970, Sergeant First Class James Whitfield departed for CONUS.

 

On 16 March 1970, Sergeant First Class Rex Sturgeon assumed duties as 1st Sergeant of Service Battery, replacing Sergeant First Class James Whitfield.

 

On 21 March 1970 at 0830 hours, Battalion Survey Team started establishing OP's at Camp Red Devil.  At 1700 hours Battalion Survey completed two OP's at Camp Red Devil.

 

Since the first of the year, B Battery had participated in three artillery raids: LZ Anne ( 7-10 January 1970), LZ Bastogne (January 23-25 1970), and the Rockpile (March 10-15 1970).  The unit suffered one wounded casualty when Gun #3 struck a mine returning from the raid at LZ Anne.

 

Account from B Battery Officer that was on all three raids- I was with Bravo on all three raids.  However, I was not on the road back from Anne, as I was choppered back to Phu Bai to take over as XO and prepare for our move back to Carroll.  From what I remember being told, the gun rolled over a booby-trapped aerial bomb and was command detonated; one of the gun crew riding on the track was wounded. 

 

That particular gun was the one that exploded some weeks later during a fire mission while at Carroll.  It was eventually determined that the jolt of the mine explosion weakened the barrel because the barrel was locked down during transit.  Eventually, the weakened barrel just broke during a firing.  No one was injured in that event but our perimeter opened up like the battery had taken a direct hit and we were under assault.

 

I also remember listening to A Battery on the radio when the breech exploded on 29 April, described below.  As I remember, the barrel and breech had come from the Marines and there were no good records as to the number of rounds fired -- the breech failed from too many rounds. (End of Account.)

 

On 30 March 1970 at 0900 hours, A Battery (composite unit) departed FSB Sharon for FSB Barbara.  At 1032 hours, A Battery arrived LZ Nancy.   At 1123 hours, A Battery departed LZ Nancy.  At 1730 hours, A Battery closed FSB Barbara, A Battery to replace B Battery 1st Bn 39th Artillery.

 

FSB Barbara was falling apart due to the two weeks of steady rain.  Bunkers were sliding off the hill and caving in and the constant vibration from the firings was collapsing bunkers.  The road to Barbara was not secure and full of mines.  One M110, a bulldozer, and one 5-ton truck have been lost,  along with 3 WIA's, attempting to pass the road.

 

On 31 March 1970, the Battalion Met Section moved from Camp Evans to Dong Ha to support the firing batteries moving north.

 

SERVICE BATTERY AWARDS

During the month of April 1970, the following individuals were awarded the Army Commendation Medal

 

Sergeant William J. Gibson, Sergeant Larry W. Pait, Specialist John J. Dallas, Specialist Carter D. Morse, Specialist Carol W. Bowen, and Specialist Frank G. Kursay.

 

On 3 April 1970 at 1155 hours, report of a vehicle in supply convoy to FSB Barbara carrying ammo; hit mine.  Called in by Thunder Chief.  Two men evacuated, not serious.  CP #5, Grid 380379 – doesn’t say if it was one of ours in the convoy or who it may have been.  At 1330 hours, the convoy closed FSB Barbara.  At 1615, convoy departed FSB Barbara.  At? hours convoy closed at Nancy.  All vehicles accounted for at 1945 hours.

 

On 6 April 1970 at 1045 hours, B Battery at Carroll taking incoming rounds.

 

On 7 April 1970 at 1535 hours, B Battery at Carroll taking incoming rounds.

 

On 8 April 1970 at 0800 hours, FSB Barbara; visibility was 25 meters the ceiling was zero! 

 

On 8 April 1970, at 1245 hours, M110 Howitzer from C Battery detonated unknown type and size land mine.  Right rear road wheel and track blown off, hull cracked, one casualty Medevac'd to 18th Surgical.  No name given. Note by chronicler:  Need to find where.  May have been move from Dong Ha to C1 after tube changes. (End of note)

 

On 8 April 1970, at 1600 hours, B Battery at Carroll reports more incoming, no damage.

 

On 10 April 1970 at 1100 hours, M88 returning from FSB Barbara, at Grid 380 and 379 hit unknown size and type mine.  One road wheel and track blown off.  No injuries.

 

On 10 April 1970 at 1440 hours, B Battery at Carroll reported incoming rounds.  At 1503 hours, B Battery at Carroll reported more incoming rounds. 

 

On 10 April 1970 at 1930 hours, C Battery received a new M110.  Closed at C1. 

 

On 13 April 1970 at 1415 hours, B Battery at Carroll reported incoming rounds.  At 1500 hours, B Battery reported more incoming rounds – several volleys. 

 

On 13 April 1970 at 1545 hours, C Battery at C1 reported incoming rounds.

 

On 14 April 1970 at 1130 hours, a message from Lieutenant Ross, a forward observer with A/2/17th Cavalry, indicates 4 NVA KIA.

 

On 15 April 1970, Grid YD 133409, vicinity Ba Long, captured one map of Camp Carroll showing perimeter wire and bunkers, suspect Recon Team. 1340 hours, B Battery Gun 2, USA #12GT30 replaced tube 175mm.  1445 hours, received Frag Order from S3, 108th Arty Group - Re-tube B Battery #2 Gun from 175mm gun to 8 inch.

 

On 16 April 1970 at 1510 hours, B Battery completed re-tubing two guns from 175mm to 8- inch.  B Battery is now all 8-inch guns.  Tubes were switched with A Battery 8/4, also on Carroll.

 

On 17 April 1970 at 0925 hours, notified F Battery 26th Arty that we were replacing one of their men at LZ Sarge with Specialist Jackson.

 

On 18 April 1970, a visual Met Station was established at FSB Barbara to provide met data to the firing batteries at FSB Barbra and FSB Anne.  Three personnel are assigned this function.

 

On 20 April 1970 at 1115 hours, convoy departed LZ Nancy.  Convoy went in to Barbara, left there between 1600 to 1635 hours.  They closed at LZ Nancy at 1830 hours.   At 2010 hours, message from A Battery, gun slid off into ditch.  Two dozers could not pull it out.  A Battery CO setting up NDP at that position now.  Note by chronicler: Night Defensive Position. (End of note)

 

On 20 April 1970, a Change of Command ceremony was held at 1300 hours in the Service Battery area at Dong Ha Combat Base.  Captain Steven O. Mihajlovits assumed command, replacing Captain Paul A. Ogle.

 

On 21 April 1970 at 1840 hours, M110 will be pulled back to Barbara by bulldozer.

 

On 24 April 1970 at 1105 hours, M88 hit mine vicinity CP 7, no injuries, blew track and road wheel, left side.

 

On 27 April 1970 at 1155 hours, B Battery at Carroll received three rounds incoming. No damage.

 

On 24 April 1970, an M110 howitzer was deployed to B Battery at Carroll from C Battery at C-1.  Move was to increase capability at Carroll, as enemy activity had increased in that area.

 

On 29 April 1970 at 0130 hours, the breechblock of a 175mm gun in A Battery blew off the back during a fire mission at FSB Barbara, killing two and wounding three others.  The wounded were evacuated.  The battery fought for six hours to put out the flames and move powder and projectiles, which were in close proximity of the burning gun.  Those A Battery members killed were SP4 Willie Austin Jr. from Mount Vernon, Alabama and Sergeant Paul Kosanke from Eldora, Indiana. Powder lot was suspended.

 

US Army #12A57868, Tube #6283, Breech 4522, Inspection #8767855.  Powder lot #BAJ66383-68.  Projectile lot #?

 

Account from Specialist David Radle of A Battery regarding the gun incident above:  The gun was not working properly and everyone knew it. The men were told to use it ONLY in an emergency.

 

However, someone thought there was enemy around and so they were told to shoot the fire mission using that gun, knowing it wasn't working properly.  Willie Austin told me to go to the bunker, as I was "short", so Willie took my position of firing the gun.  The breechblock blew killing the two men.  Injured were Gloudeman; who killed himself two years ago, and a man named "Bill" was blinded; cannot remember his last name.  They were good soldiers and I miss them both.

 

I have had difficult moments over the years because of Willie having taken my place on the gun and then having it backfire on him.

 

I tried so hard to get someone in the government to understand what had happened--that it never should have been fired.  However they denied anything was ever wrong with the gun.  They denied a lot though and this is only one incident.

 

May they both Rest in Peace. (End of account)

 

On 30 April 1970 at 1010 hours, B Battery departed Camp Carroll for an assault fire mission.  At 1155 hours, assault terminated.  Returned to Camp Carroll.  26 rounds expended.  At 1320 hours, B Battery mini-raid closed at Camp Carroll. The mission resulted in three secondary explosions and destruction of the enemy machine gun position.

 

Assault fire mission above was to destroy an enemy machine gun on top of the Rockpile. Comment by chronicler: How in the hell did an enemy machine gun get on top of the Rockpile? That had to be the best or close to the best observation spot in the whole of I Corps. Boy things must have really changed since 1968.  (End of comment)

 

On 30 April 1970, at 1615 hours, B Battery reported incoming rounds.

 

On 30 April 1970, First Sergeant Herman G. Madden assigned to Service Battery, assuming duties of First Sergeant, replacing Sergeant First Class Rex Sturgeon.

 


 

Notes and discussion from 1 February 1970 to 30 April 1970, 14th Battalion Operational Report

 

Mission assignment remained the same as last operational report:

Mission assignment:  General support to XXIV Corps, Reinforcing 101st Division Artillery  (Batteries A and B); and a quick fire channel to the 101st Division Artillery (Battery C).  Battery C also reinforced the fire of 5/4 with the 5th Mech.

 

Rounds expended: 8-inch 19,033   175mm 11,956

 

KIA none

WIA 6 (Unknown at this time)

Non-battle Injury 17 (Unknown at this time)

Non-battle Death 2 -  Those A Battery members killed, when the breechblock failed, were Specialist Willie Austin Jr. from Mount Vernon, Alabama and Sergeant Paul Kosanke from Eldora, Indiana.

 

There is a requirement that each Autofrettaged 175mm tube be evaluated at 700 and 100 EFC rounds during its life.  In some conditions the personnel and equipment are not readily available for this task and the gun cannot be fired.  It is therefore recommended that Battalion Maintenance personnel be authorized for this task.

 

End of notes and discussion, 14th Battalion Operational Report

 


Previous Campaign was 8th Campaign Summer/Fall 1969 (06-09-69 to 10-31-69)

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