1st 20camp0530 wps by Ax2xkCQ


									                                    1ST CAMPAIGN
                                Counteroffensive, Phase II
                                  (07-01-66 to 05-31-67)

                    Partial description of Counteroffensive, Phase II

North Vietnam continued to build its own forces inside South Vietnam. At first this was
done by continued infiltration by sea and along the Ho Chi Minh trail and then, in early
1966, through the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ). U.S. air elements received permission to
conduct reconnaissance bombing raids, and tactical air strikes into North Vietnam just
north of the DMZ, but ground forces were denied authority to conduct reconnaissance
patrols in the northern portion of the DMZ and inside North Vietnam. Confined to South
Vietnamese territory, U.S. ground forces fought a war of attrition against the enemy,
relying for a time on body counts as one standard indicator for measuring successful
progress for winning the war.

During 1966, there were eighteen major operations, the most successful of these being
Operation WHITE WING (MASHER). During this operation, the 1st Cavalry Division, Korean
units, and ARVN forces cleared the northern half of Binh Dinh Province on the central
coast. In the process they decimated a division, later designated the North Vietnamese 3d

The U.S. 3d Marine Division was moved into the area of the two northern provinces and in
concert with South Vietnamese Army and other Marine Corps units, conducted Operation
HASTINGS against enemy infiltrators across the DMZ.

By 31 December 1966, U.S. military personnel in South Vietnam numbered 385,300. Enemy
forces also increased substantially, so that for the same period, total enemy strength was
in excess of 282,000 in addition to an estimated 80,000 political cadres. By 30 June 1967,
total U.S. forces in SVN had risen to 448,800, but enemy strength had increased as well.

While the war in Vietnam may have slowed down for a time, the enemy would show that he was far
from beaten. The US Forces and the 2/94th would not find peace that easily.

On 1 November 1966 at 0930 hours, B Battery fired in support of Third Marine Recon. 9 rounds
expended. Defensive concentrations at YD215425.

On 1 November 1966 at 1200 hours, C Battery fired in support of Third Marine Recon. 5 rounds
expended. Recon prep fire at XD912564.

On 1 November 1966 at 1710 hours, C Battery fired in support of Third Marine Recon. 6 rounds
expended. VC in area at XD882515.

On 1 November 1966 at 2115 hours, FSCC reports cease fire of all H&I east of GL 06 south of GL 05.
At 2300 hours, cease fire lifted.

12th Marine FSCC reports 1 Nov 1966: Missions = 5 + 27 H&I for a total of 152 rounds.

On 2 November 1966 at 0001 hours to 0555 hours, Battalion fired intense harassing fires at GS
XD1536, XD1435, XD1535, XD1434, XD1534, XD1433, XD1533, XD1634, and XD1835. Three AO target
surveillance missions cancelled due to bad weather and priority air strikes in the area.

On 2 November 1966 at 0555 hours, 2/94th completed all H&I fires.

On 2 November 1966 at 0700 hours, C Battery fired in support of Third Marine Recon. 5 rounds
expended. Recon prep fire at 882527.

On 2 November 1966 at 0918 hours, C Battery fired in support of Third Marine Recon. 13 rounds
expended. Suspected VC area at 875506.

On 2 November 1966 at 1030 hours, C Battery fired in support of Third Marine Recon. 4 rounds
expended. Defensive concentrations at 904513.

On 2 November 1966 at 1037 hours, C Battery fired in support of Third Marine Recon. 11 rounds
expended. Three defensive concentrations at 919573, 94100655, 93205705.

On 2 November 1966 at 1438 hours, C Battery fired in support of Third Marine Recon. 12 rounds
expended. Suspected VC area at 88755081. Good target coverage.

On 2 November 1966 at 1920 hours Division FSCC claims ceasefire on all H&I missions from 1950
hours to 2220 hours. Emergency mission notify FSCC. At 2127 hours cease fire lifted.

Third Marine Recon teams supported were COBRA, SNOOPY, SURF, GALLEON?, and what looks

12th Marine FSCC reports 2 Nov 1966: Missions = 8 + 35 H&I for a total of 264 rounds.

On 3 November 1966 at 0310 hours, B Battery fired in support of ARVN. 4 rounds expended. VC
activity at YD229455.

On 3 November 1966 at 0330 hours Division FSCC claims cease fire on all H&I missions. At
0410 hours cease fire lifted.

On 3 November 1966 at 0955 hours, C Battery fired in support of Third Marine Recon. 2
rounds expended. Defensive concentrations at XD933582.

At 1030 hours, defensive concentrations at XD929575; 2 rounds.
At 1105 hours, defensive concentrations at XD935571; 3 rounds.
At 1138 hours, defensive concentrations at XD938576; 3 rounds.

On 3 November 1966 at 1328 hours, C Battery fired in support of Third Marine Recon. 14 rounds
expended. Recon sniper fire at 89085049. Rounds on target, right in there.

On 3 November 1966 at 1900 hours Division FSCC claims cease fire on all H&I missions. From 1955
hours until further notice. Photo plane in the area.

12th Marine FSCC reports 3 Nov 1966: Missions = 6 + 33 H&I for a total of 187 rounds.

On 4 November 1966 at 0840 hours, C Battery fired in support of Third Marine Recon. 4 rounds
expended. Defensive concentrations at 938568.

At 0910 hours, defensive concentrations at 912582; 2 rounds.
At 0935 hours, defensive concentrations at 915590; 4 rounds.
At 1102 hours, defensive concentrations at 915568; 5 rounds.
At 1130 hours, defensive concentrations at 927588; 3 rounds.
At 1200 hours, defensive concentrations at 919573; 5 rounds.
At 1302 hours, defensive concentrations at 921584; 2 rounds.
At 1325 hours, defensive concentrations at 905574; 3 rounds.
At 1445 hours, defensive concentrations at 928563; 5 rounds.

12th Marine FSCC reports 4 Nov 1966: Missions = 10 + 31 H&I for a total of 330 rounds.

On 6 November 1966 at 1230 hours, C Battery fired in support of Third Marine Recon. 6 rounds
expended. Defensive concentrations at 945475.
At 1235 hours, Battery C Registration. 21 rounds expended.

On 6 November 1966 at 2200 hours, Battalion fired grid saturation fires on anti-aircraft site and
bunkers. Grid squares = XD7754, XD7755, XD7756. 165 rounds expended.

On 7 November 1966 at 1910 hours, B Battery and C Battery fired in support of Marine 1/3. 41
rounds expended. VC camp site at XD806493.

On 8 November 1966 at 0055 hours, Battalion fired in support of USADV with ARVN. 207 rounds
expended. NVA Regiment at 285347 (radius of 1500 meters). Target well covered.

On 8 November 1966 at 0900 hours, B Battery fired marking round for Third Marine Recon at 928501.
1 round expended.

On 8 November 1966 at 1500 hours, B Battery fired in support of Third Marine Recon. 3 rounds
expended. Defensive concentrations at 938402.

On 9 November 1966 at 1000 hours, B Battery fired in support of Third Marine Recon. 2 rounds
expended. Defensive concentrations at 934415.

On 9 November 1966 at 1000 hours, B Battery fired Intel Mission (chicken) at 180448. 21 rounds

 On 9 November 1966 at 1210 hours, C Battery fired in support of Third Marine Recon. 6 rounds
expended. Defensive concentrations at 916412.

 On 9 November 1966 at 1700 hours, 2/94th notified that Third Marine Recon is changing

On 9 November 1966 at 1955 hours, 2/94th notified; Cease Fire all H&I west of grid line 97. Priority
missions will have to be cleared through FSCC.

On 9 November 1966 at 2040 hours, 2/94th notified; No firing in ARVN area tonight. Priority
missions will have to be cleared through FSCC.

On 9 November 1966 at 2125 hours, 2/94th notified; Cease Fire west of gird line 97 is lifted.

On 9 November 1966 at 2350 hours, C and D Battery fired in support of Marine 1/3. Grid squares =
XD7757, XD7756, XD7856, XD7857. 109 rounds expended. VC encampment.

On 10 November 1966 at 0915 hours, C Battery fired in support of Third Marine Recon. 7 rounds
expended. Defensive concentrations at 931415.

On 10 November 1966 at 1140 hours, B Battery fired marking round for Third Marine Recon at
237470. 1 round expended.

On 10 November 1966 at 1915 hours, Battalion fired in support of ARVN. 81 rounds expended. VC
Battalion from grids 255460 to 275450. Air strike called in.

On 10 November 1966 at 1955 hours, 2/94th notified; Cease Fire from grid 102230 to 102300.

On 10 November 1966, Artillery Plateau (home to our Battalion) was officially renamed Camp Carroll.
This coincided with the birthday of the U.S. Marine Corps. Camp Carroll was built by the 3rd
Battalion 4th Marine Regiment early in October of 1966 following Operation Prairie. It was named
Camp J.J. Carroll in honor of Marine Captain J.J. Carroll, who was killed on Hill 484 during Operation
Prairie. Captain Carroll was Company Commander of K Company, 3rd Battalion, 4th Marines.

On 11 November 1966 at 1000 hours, 2/94th notified; Division FSCC - Cease Fire all 175 gun day time
H&I until further notice.
The Marines on Camp Carroll would feel the outgoing power of the 175 mm Guns as described below
by Marine Corporal Jim Fowler, 5th Communications Battalion, Third Marine Division.

Account by Marine Corporal Jim Fowler: “Not too long after we set up at Artillery Plateau which
would become Camp Carroll. A 175mm gun set up across the road from us. The barrel was actually
over our bunker when they fired in our direction, which I think was toward Khe Sanh.

We had originally been attached to a Battery of the 12th after pulling back from the Rockpile. We
were reassigned to 3rd Marines after they moved up. The 175mm gun crew fired a charge 3 over us
before we had completed the bunker over the radio relay van. It shattered several tubes in our van.
Two in the An/TCC3 telephone unit and one in one of the AN/GRC-10 radios, if I remember correctly.
The overhead light also shattered and the whole thing including the coax ripped from the ceiling of
the van. We worked our butts off the rest of the day and into the wee hours of the morning getting
the gear back up and completing the bunker. After the bunker was complete, we would bounce a
couple of inches or so when they fired a charge 3. Better to be bounced by our own than theirs. Like
so many things you got used to it and it just became another background occurrence in the daily

Account by Lieutenant Larry Vinyard of D Battery concerning the event above: “If this is October,
1966, that Marine CPL Fowler is talking about, that was "D" Battery No. 1 piece. Yes, the Marines
cussed us a number of times. However; they learned to love us, in a manly sort of way of course,
when we started providing patrol support.

                               Article from USARV-IO: Camp J.J. Carroll

"U.S. Marines are fighting three North Vietnamese Army (NVA) divisions in Quang Tri Province with
the aid of the Army‟s 175mm guns.

This camp, just six miles from the demilitarized zone (DMZ), is the base for the big guns of the 2nd
Battalion 94th Artillery. Since the Battalion fired the first rounds on Oct. 23, 1966, over 70,000
projectiles have been fired.

The artillery unit is the only Army unit of its type supporting the Marines. All fire missions in the
area go through the 3rd Marine Division.

The Battalion has supported ten Marine operations, including Operations Hastings and Prairie and
the recent fighting in the DMZ.

The 175‟s move around the province so that their 20 mile range can support the Marines, Special
Forces, or the Army of the Republic of Vietnam (ARVN) as they are needed.
Batteries have gone to Gio Linh to fire deeper into North Vietnam.

The big guns have fired across the DMZ since February 22. Forward observers, in Bird Dog spotter
planes flown by Army, Marine, or Air Force pilots, give the targets.
Targets have been SAM missile sites, anti-aircraft emplacements, staging and assembly areas of
troops, and convoys."

                                Information Office, U.S. Army - Vietnam

“U.S. Army units in Vietnam back the Marines with Action - The artillerymen of these units along the
DMZ don‟t talk much about how they live in mud-filled bunkers and brave the incoming rocket and
artillery rounds. They are too busy keeping the enemy busy ducking the shells and small arms fire
they throw at him day after day”.

The U.S. Forces opposing the North Vietnamese Army was a composite unit. The U.S. Marines were
the first to be committed. As the enemy force threat developed, the US Army deployed some of its
Artillery units to reinforce the Marines and counter the growing threat. These Army Artillery units
came under the operational control of the Commanding General of the III Marine Amphibious
Force. The 2/94th, 1/40th, and 1/44th, with G Battery 65th Arty attached, were all part of that
commitment to the Marines in October of 1966.
The enemy had grown from 23 main force Battalions to 52 Battalions in I Corps. The U.S. Forces
were only seven (7) Marine Battalions along with the three (3) additional Army Artillery Battalions
supplied to reinforce the Marines.

        Article from Newspaper written by PFC Bob Kersey, Stars and Strips Correspondent:
                                  CAMP J.J. CARROLL, Vietnam

"Thanks for the good nights sleep."

"That is the only reward expected and the only reward received by the men of the 2nd Battalion 94th
Artillery, the words of appreciation from the Marines they support.
Located at Camp J. J. Carroll, just eight miles south of the DMZ, the men of the 2/94th are the
northernmost Army unit in South Vietnam.

Their mission is to support the 3rd Marine Division and to protect the Special Forces camp at Khe
Sanh, near the Laotian border. The Marines sleep better when the big guns keep the enemy

Why was the Army sent up here in Marine territory?

They fire 12 of the largest field artillery pieces that the United States has in its arsenal, the
self-propelled 175mm gun. The 175s are capable of firing a 147-pound projectile 20 miles. They are
accurate and can kill everything inside a 250-foot radius.

When a call comes in from a unit in trouble, the Fire Direction Center calculates the direction,
elevation, and powder charge to be used and relays the information to the gun crews. Working
often in darkness and two feet of mud, the gun crews can be ready to fire in minutes. The guns are
capable of firing across the DMZ into North Vietnam, or out to sea on the east.

The Battalion was organized at Ft. Sill, Oklahoma, in June 1966. Most of the NCOs were transferred
from Germany to mold an entire combat-ready Battalion from men straight out of the Artillery
Training School. The job was expected to take 90 days, but the men had attained combat proficiency
in less than half that time.

The units arrived in Vietnam October 15, 1966 at Da Nang.

The big guns were transported by boat up the coast to Dong Ha, while the rest of the Battalion went
north by truck. From Dong Ha the guns and men were driven the 18 kilometers to their present
site. The unit was operational on 20 October 1966.

The 2/94th is the largest 175mm gun unit in Vietnam due to an extra Battery being attached to it from
the 6th Battalion 27th Artillery. They remain only at normal strength because one of the Batteries is
stationed at Chu Lai.

They make up only a small part of the complex on the plateau; Marine 105mm howitzers, 155mm
self-propelled howitzers, tank and anti-tank units, and security forces also are based at the camp.

The Marines provide the main security force and run many patrols and reconnaissance missions out
of their camp, while the Army guns provide the artillery support.

Usually located in the center of a camp, the 175s are also located on the perimeter. The Army gun
crews man many foxholes and defensive positions 24 hours a day outside their positions.

KP and guard duty are common. The rain and mud are constant. Temperatures drop to the 40's.

They can be called any time of the day, to fire a few rounds or to help defend a unit under attack.

Suspected enemy infiltration routes, troop concentrations and command posts are common targets
of fire."

On 13 November 1966, General Walt, Commander of the Third Marine Amphibious Forces, visited C
    A funny military story during the visit of General Walt to the Marine emplacements by Marine
                                         Corporal Jim Fowler:

“I was on watch while the other two members of the team were out, and it was muddy and raining.
We had set up a coffee mess and a lot of guys came by for coffee and whatever else was available.
One of the First Sergeants, H&S 3rd Marines I think, would give us a health and comfort pack once a
week and who ever had anything to share would put it out on the table made of ammo box boards.

I heard footsteps clomping on the entrance porch. We had covered the bunker with runway rubber
(similar to inner tube rubber) and had enough left over for the floor so the bunker was dry and
comfortable. We would remove our boots before entering. Thinking it was probably a returning
patrol, since they would often stop by I yelled, "Take off your *!!*** boots before you come in our
hooch!" I heard boots clomp as they were removed.

The poncho covering the entrance was pushed aside and there stood General Walt, CG of III MAF.
He was followed by the Division Commander, the Regimental Commander and two Sergeant Majors.
General Walt asked a few questions about how we were doing, communications, etc as he walked
around the bunker. Just before he left he looked at the regimental commander and asked why the
rest of the bunkers didn't look like ours? The Sergeant Majors looked on me with real disfavor.

I left Carroll in 67 and went to III MAF and later to Khe Sanh. The first of October of 67 I left Khe Sanh
to return to Da Nang and assume duties as a Radio Relay Section chief where I remained until I
rotated out on 24 December 1967."

 On 12 November 1966 at 1412 hours, C Battery fired in support of Third Marine Recon. 2 rounds
expended. Defensive concentrations at 943346.

 On 12 November 1966 at 1540 hours, C Battery fired in support of Third Marine Recon. 5 rounds
expended. Defensive concentrations at 945456.

 On 13 November 1966 at 0859 hours, C Battery fired in support of Third Marine Recon. 3 rounds
expended. Defensive concentrations at XD928426.

 On 13 November 1966 at 1029 hours, C Battery fired in support of Third Marine Recon. 4 rounds
expended. Defensive concentrations at XD943437.

 On 13 November 1966 at 1455 hours, C Battery fired in support of Third Marine Recon. 2 rounds
expended. Defensive concentrations at XD937451.

 On 13 November 1966 at 1615 hours, C Battery fired in support of Third Marine Recon. 3 rounds
expended. Defensive concentrations at XD938436.

 On 14 November 1966 at 1130 hours, C Battery fired in support of Third Marine Recon. 3 rounds
expended. Defensive concentrations at 9455451.

 On 14 November 1966 at 1420 hours, B Battery fired in support of Intel sources. 6 rounds expended.
Target not specified at XD933629.

 On 14 November 1966 at 1500 hours, C Battery fired in support of Third Marine Recon. 4 rounds
expended. Defensive concentrations at XD925425.

 On 15 November 1966 at 0100 hours, B Battery fired in support of ARVN. 8 rounds expended.
Target not specified at 177453.

On 16 November 1966, C Battery received eleven enlisted replacements.

On 17 November 1966, LTC Trefry visited the 12th Marine CP.

On 17 November 1966 at 2050 hours, Division FSCC reports cease fire for all H&I.

On 17 November 1966 at 2145 hours, Division FSCC reports cease fire for all H&I is now lifted.
On 20 November 1966 at 0930 hours, Division FSCC reports NFZ for Phy warfare drop.

On 20 November 1966 at 0955 hours, Division FSCC reports NFZ for Phy warfare drop is cancelled.
New one at 1000 hours to 1600 hours. No fire zones. 1159 to 1959 and 1951 to 1151

On 20 November 1966 at 1025 hours, Division FSCC Phy warfare drop is complete.

On 21 November 1966 at 1800 hours, Battalion fired grid saturation fires 1000 meters GS at center
coordinates. Grid = YD134470, YD100470, and YD102448. 313 rounds expended.

On 21 November 1966 at 1845 hours, Battalion fired grid saturation fires at center coordinates. Grid =
YD030484. 155 rounds expended. VC Battalion reported by agent in area.

 On 23 November 1966 at 1130 hours, B Battery fired in support of Third Marine Recon. 5 rounds
HE-Q expended. Target at 883571.

On 23 November 1966 at 1345 hours, C Battery fired in support of AO. 4 rounds expended.
Defensive concentrations at 832481. (Khe Sanh area)

On 23 November 1966 at 1450 hours, C Battery fired in support of Third Marine Recon (SUN). 6
rounds expended. Defensive concentrations at 887592.

On 23 November 1966 at 1750 hours, C Battery fired in support of Third Marine Recon. 1 round HE-Q
expended. Defensive concentrations at XD890560.

On 24 November 1966, C Battery and a guest, Col Hammerbeck, Commanding Officer of Camp JJ
Carroll, celebrated Thanksgiving.

                       Report from the Associated Press, 26 November 1966:

“The war in South Vietnam has come to a standstill because of the build-up there. One of the
newest arrivals in country is the 2nd Battalion 94th Artillery. It has been credited with bringing the
war almost to a standstill in the areas in which its Batteries are operating. This is due to the gun‟s
deadly accuracy. The unit has been beefed up with one more battery, D Battery. This makes the unit
the largest of its kind in Vietnam.”

On 24 November 1966 at 0733 hours, Battalion fired prep fires in support of Third Marines.
Coordinates 0945, 0947, 1145, 1147. Expended 282 rounds.

On 24 November 1966 at 1415 hours, C Battery fired in support of Third Marine Recon. 7 rounds
expended. Cave entrance at XD926545. Good coverage on target.

On 24 November 1966 at 1827 hours, C Battery fired in support of Marine 1/3. 2 rounds expended.
Defensive concentrations at 776546. Reports good effect on target.

On 26 November 1966 at 1015 hours, D Battery fired in support of Third Marine Recon. 4 rounds
expended. Target at 915468.

On 26 November 1966 at 1015 hours, C Battery fired in support of Third Marine Recon. 4 rounds
expended. Target at 890568.

On 26 November 1966 at 1300 hours, C Battery fired marking round for Third Marine Recon (SUN). 1
round HE-Q expended at 89645600.

On 26 November 1966 at 1320 hours, C Battery fired at VC Harbor site. Expended 2 rounds HE-Q at

On 26 November 1966 at 1325 hours, C Battery fired in support of Third Marine Recon. 5 rounds
HE-Q expended. Marking rounds at 914468.

On 26 November 1966 at 1458 hours, C Battery fired in support of Third Marine Recon. 18 rounds
expended. VC location at XD890565. Recon reports excellent target coverage.

On 27 November 1966 - The following units were assigned to IFFV by USARV, General Order 6524,
27th of Nov 1966, and were further attached to the 3rd Marine Amphibious Force for OPCON,
administrative and logistical support, less Army peculiar administrative and logistical support.

1. 1st Bn 105 SP 40th Arty
2. 2nd Bn 175mm SP 94th Arty with B Battery 6th Bn 8” SP 27th Arty attached
3. 1st Bn AA SP 1st of the 44th Arty with Battery G (Machine Gun) 65th Arty attached

On 28 November 1966 at from 0803 hours to 0820 hours, C Battery and D Battery fired in support of
Third Marine Recon. 60 rounds expended. VC build up area at 8756, 8856, and 8955.

On November 28 1966, C Battery has remained at Camp Carroll to this date and expended a total of
2,417 expended rounds.

On 29 November 1966, the Battalion experienced its first loss. Private First Class Terry P. Pierce
from HHB was swept down the Cam Lo river while washing a truck. Body was recovered on 14
December 1966. PFC Pierce was from Hopewell, Virginia.

On 29 November 1966 at 1323 hours, B Battery fired defensive concentrations for Provisional
Battalion at 111174. 8 rounds expended.

On 29 November 1966 at 1640 hours, C Battery fired marker round for Third Marine Recon (VENUS).
1 round expended at 904524.

On 29 November 1966 at 1710 hours, FSCC reports no fire zone for Recon patrol (VIPER). 0064 to
0066 to 0266 to 0264.

On 30 November 1966 at 0103 hours, FSCC reports cease fire for 30 minutes. Photo plane in area.

On 30 November 1966 at 0124 hours, FSCC reports cease fire lifted. Photo plane has completed

12th Marine FSCC reports indicate a total of 5,001 175 mm rounds expended in November of 1966.

By December of 1966 the first “hardback billets were erected for Headquarters Battery. Most of the
Battalion still occupied tents, but were beginning to get tent frames and wooden floors.

On 2 December 1966, South Vietnam‟s Premier Nguyen Cae Ky and his staff paid a visit to the
Battalion. The Premier was meet by Colonel Hammerback, CO of the Third Marine Regiment and
Lieutenant Colonel Trefry, CO of the Battalion.

The Premier was escorted to Bravo Battery for a mission briefing. This was followed by a Firing
Demonstration conducted by Lieutenant Wilmeth, B Battery XO. The Number Four gun section,
Bravo Battery, gave the demonstration.

On 3 December 1966, 1st Field Forces Artillery (Forward) was established in Dong Ha.

The mission of the forward 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 7 December 1966, Lieutenant Colonel Trefry commented in the Plateau Outpost; ….

“Your unfailing good humor, your dedication to duty, your ability to improvise, and your conduct as
American soldiers should be a source of great pride to yourselves as it is to me to serve with you.”

                                     Quote from Plateau Outpost

                    “Many people pray for mountains of difficulty to be removed,
                        when what they really want is courage to climb them.”

Account from 'Letters Home' by Lieutenant Greg Smith, C Battery FDO: (Quoted from
Lieutenant G.T. Smith, C Battery FDO, in a letter dated 8 Dec 1966 from Camp Carroll:)
"All four guns in the Battery are laid on azimuth 5100 as of now. We have 840 projo's on hand along
with 930 PD fuzes and 841 propellant charges. The current Battery average VE for charge 3 is
+1.7. Gun 1 has fired over 1000 rounds through its tube now and is due to be the 1st gun in the
Battalion to have the tube changed. The current GFT setting has a total range correction of -440
with a deflection correction of L10."

On 8 December 1966, A Battery, in the south, displaced from (BS636785) to support search and
destroy operations being carried out by the 1st Marines. The Battery was accompanied by a
reinforced platoon of Marines. A Marine Engineer squad swept all bridges for mines. It is thought
the Battery returned on 12 December 1966.

                             Comments on A Battery Activity in the south

Account by Captain Jerry Heard, A Battery Commander in the South. “One Fire mission was the
time a Marine Artillery battery co-located with us and was to fire support for a mission on the east of
our perimeter CP. The Marines came with a Major CO and two Captain platoon leaders with 3 guns
each. They were using 155 guns. Being the Fort Sill 'Red leg', and since it was my location, the CG
had put my Battery in command of the mini-task force. The Marine Major was highly PO'd. We fired
all 10 guns from our FDC. They march ordered quickly after the mission was finished. The A
Battery guys showed them how it was supposed to be done.

The Manual talked about using some wreckers when changing tubes, A Battery had none. The chief
of smoke strapped the equilibrators down and took off the old tube and put a new one on without
having to recharge. We put two 8-inch tubes on about mid-term and fired pinpoint targets with
them. After we burned out all our tubes one night, shooting for the Tra Bong Special Forces Camp,
we used long lanyards and shot from sandbag cover off of the gun. Stuff was stripping out of the
tubes but we added some elevation and just kept firing.”

Account by Captain Jerry Heard, A Battery Commander in the South: “One thing I remember about
the Marines (11th Marines), they rotated their platoons in and out of A Battery; first to the bush and
then our location.

Our Armorer would re-blue their M16‟s, take off the ropes and replace slings, clean and oil them, and
send them out with useable weapons.

One platoon had a mortar tube and no base plate, and would set it down and guess the settings for
mortar fire. Scared me silly!”

Account by Lieutenant Doug Beard, who was visiting A Battery from the north: “I was down at Chu
Lai with Captain Heard's A Battery for the Marines‟ birthday party. We made them a cake, and since
the Marines did not wear unit patches, we made one for them. It had the Corps Emblem on it and
the slogan around it said;

"191 Years of Tradition Unhampered By Progress, USMC, One Good Deal
After Another"

Some of them TA Marine officers sure could not take a joke. Perhaps it was because the slogan
touched a nerve. They went into that war so poorly equipped that it was not funny. They had out of
date radios, helos, weapons, everything.

I lived with them most of the time. I remember writing official reports to division on stationary that
we bought in the PX because they did not have paper in Regimental HQ.

At least they were not short on guts, and they could party very well. They may not have had good
weapons, but of course one of them was able to produce a beautiful sword to cut that damn cake.”
                        End of Comments on A Battery Activity in the south

On 15 December 1966, Colonel J.P. Lanigan assumed command of the Third Marine Regiment and
Command of Camp Carroll. Colonel Lanigan replaces Colonel Hammerbeck who was assigned to
the G3 Section, Third Marine Division.

On 16 December 1966 at 2130 hours, C Battery fired the Battalion‟s 10,000th round in
Vietnam. Battery was firing at a target near the DMZ, in support of a Marine recon element.

On 19 December 1966, a 2½-ton truck from Service Battery received moderate damage when it hit a
Viet Cong mine north of Dong Ha, while being used to haul sand to the Battery area. Eight men
aboard the truck escaped serious injuries, two of which were thrown from the truck with injuries.

PFC Daniel Kempton was one of the first two WIA's the 2/94th would have during its stay in Vietnam.
PFC Kempton would spend two months in Okinawa with a knee operation and rehabilitation. After
his return to the 2/94th he would be wounded the second time during a rocket attack at Dong Ha
sometime in May or June of 1967.

The other solder wounded in the first combat event of the 2/94th was PFC Robert C. Lopp of Service

On 19 December 1966, Private Charles Seals of C Battery received a Letter of Appreciation from
General Walt, USMC for his outstanding accomplishments in the Battery mess. The Letter of
Appreciation was presented by the Battalion Commander.

On 22 December 1966, a memorial formation was held in Headquarters Battery for Private First Class
Terry P. Pierce.

On 22 December through 25 December 1966, Dr. Bernard Fall (Author of "Street without Joy") paid a
visit to the hill.

On 22 December 1966, "Pro-Jo", the Service Battery mascot, fell dead from his perch.

 Articles from a copy of "The Plateau Outpost" published Christmas Day 1966; saved by Lieutenant
 Martin McKnight: Outpost was a bimonthly publication by the 2/94. Editor was Captain Charles A.
                          Adamson. Reporter was Specialist George L. Pyle.

Captain Heard announced that Lieutenant Andy Tenis has a new daughter.

The 2/94th welcomes the popular Mike Battery, 4th Battalion, 12th Marine Artillery. The Battery was
OPCON to the 2/94th on 18 December 1966, after repositioning of its parent Headquarters. Mike
Battery, commanded by Captain Jim Way has acquired for itself a fine reputation and we of the
Battalion are proud to have them as associates.

The Plateau welcomes with open arms Battery C, 1st Battalion 44th Artillery commanded by Captain
R.E. Neily Jr. The Battery armed with its twin forties (Dusters) and quad fifties (Whispering Death),
adds tremendous firepower to Camp J. J. Carroll.

Another new arrival to the Plateau is A Battery, 1st Battalion, 40th Artillery, commanded by Captain

John Steinbeck, former war correspondent and contemporary novelist, honored the 2nd Battalion
94th Artillery with a too brief visit on 20 December 1966.

Note from Chronicler: The Quad Fifties were from Battery G, 65th Artillery, attached to the 1/44th.

On 24 December 1966, Colonel Dunn from IFFV visited the hill.

On 25 December 1966, Colonel Dunn and LTC Trefry would fly to Chu Lai to visit with A Battery.
                      Christmas Message 1966 from the Battalion Commander
                               Lieutenant Colonel Richard G. Trefry

   “It is natural at this time of year we pause to consider the future, and reflect on the past, while
remembering where we are and why we are here. I am sure this has been an eventful year for every
   individual in this Battalion and for his family. I need not elaborate on your present activities.

 I hope next year at this time will see you safely re-united with your families and friends in the more
                                     familiar surroundings of home.
 To each of you here with the Battalion, and to your families, wherever they are. I wish you a Merry
                                   Christmas and a Happy New Year.”

On 25 December 1966, Christmas Dinner Menu - Roast Tom Turkey, Baked Ham/Candied Yams,
Grilled Steak w/Mushrooms, Creamed Potatoes, Bread, Coffee, Beverage, Assorted Candies, Nuts,
Fruit Cake.

The entire Battalion celebrated the first Christmas and New Years in Vietnam with 48 and 72 hour
cease fires, respectively.

During this time, as usual, the enemy forces did not respect the cease fire. Continual probing
brought in Marine reinforcements to the hill.

                      Poem by 13 year old brother of Sergeant Bland, B Battery

                                       To all the men in Vietnam
                                  First the torch was theirs to bare,
                                But now the torch is passed to you.
                               The feelings of your hearts we share,
                                 the feelings of your hearts so true.
                                      Some men have perished,
                                           But yet they exist.
                                        Like jewels we cherish,
                                             But yet I insist
                                      That you keep on fighting,
                                          and keep on living,
                            and do what you can with what God is giving
                                  So to you and the men in Vietnam
                                   I say farewell, farewell, so long.

                                           by Curllon Bland

Comment by Lieutenant Greg Smith regarding C Battery FDC: “Traditionally in Artillery Batteries, the
Exec post and FDC were separate. In C Battery, Lieutenant Andy Tenis and I always housed the XO
post and FDC in the same bunker.

C Battery was designated as the back-up to Battalion FDC. In fact, for a few days in December
1966 , Battalion shut down to move into a newly constructed bunker, and C Battery took over as the
Battalion FDC.

The more the Marines insisted on moving the 175mm Batteries around as though they were direct
support 105mm batteries, the less Battalion FDC was involved, and FO's, Marine Recon, FAC's and
12th Marine Regiment FDC sent fire missions directly to the Battery FDC. At least that was the case
in C Battery. ( I can't speak for A, B, and D Batteries.)

Battalion FFE missions were rare and most were in the first few months on Carroll. When things
heated up, it was not unusual to have guns within the same Battery laid on different azimuths of fire
because of the constant missions. For this reason, FO's using C Battery usually got two guns in
Toward the end of January 1967, the Battalion began a series of Platoon and Battery displacements,
which increased the firing load and consequently increased the burden of ammo re-supply.

On 26 January 1967, B Battery was the first to be called upon to move.

At 2350 hours, B Battery displaced a platoon of guns to a position just southwest of the Rockpile, to
support an operation near the Laotian border. The movement occurred at night, the most
dangerous time for movement in Vietnam and was the first such night movement of 175mm guns to
date. Protection for the displacement consisted of two Dusters and a security force of 40
Marines. The mission was to support a large patrol and Marine extraction force.

Account by a Marine helo pilot: “I remember you guys!!!!!!! I was a USMC helo pilot from spring '66
to spring '67. You guys had the 175's there at Camp Carroll. But, I never took any photos because
we never stopped there. We were always going from Dong Ha to somewhere west.

I remember the night of 26 Jan 1967. Our squadron had two H-46s down in Laos, just across the
border west of Khe Sanh. There were 31 Marines trapped and surrounded on Phou Loutoukou
Ridge. You guys moved two 175s to the base of the Rockpile so that you could reach the ridge in
Laos. Once you got to the Rockpile, you fired in support of the men on the ridge all night

One FO party is usually kept atop the Rockpile (XD9856), located with the Marine force. This location
provides excellent observation of the three major valleys south of the DMZ.

Account by Lieutenant Barry DeVita, C Battery FO, regarding the Rockpile and the Road to Khe
Sanh: “There were Marines up on top before us and with us; but RTO Dave Bennett, call sign
Peterson Charlie 13 Alpha Oscar, and I were the 1st Army guys up on top of the Rockpile to provide
FO/RTO communications for 2/94, 1/40, and the Marine 155 unit (whose designation escapes me).
Note by chronicler: M Battery 4/12 155‟s was OPCON to the 2/94th at that time.

When we arrived atop the Rock, the Marines were accustomed to firing at any sound, usually with
magazines full of tracers, at any time of night (which both gave away their precise positions as well
as made it virtually impossible to get any sleep at all - as if trying to sleep in an arched position on
the ledge of your choice was any help.

I taught them to throw rocks interspersed with occasional grenades in a random sequence instead,
rather than give away their locations via muzzle
flashes magnified by all those tracer rounds, particularly when they were often silhouetted against
the clear (even when only star-lit) night sky.

The preferred way of dispensing with C-ration cans was to chuck them over the side, so that
"Charlie" would shake, rattle, and roll on his way up - it made a fool-proof early warning system...

(This is how the Rockpile got nicknamed the "Garbage Pile" by those who spent time on top ; and
also how the rats got so big and had a lustrous sheen to their fur - much like collies [from all the
high protein that they got a hold of]...)

That most rudimentary of LZ's also served as the anchor point for the huge ship's scope that we
used to scan the horizon for "NVA troops in the open". It had to be dismantled whenever a
re-supply chopper was on the way in.

When we were there, the NVA had a 50 caliber in a cave on the Razorback. Typically, every so often
they would take a few shots at us; and we'd try to stick some 106 rounds (from the Marine Ontos
Armor at the forward outpost north of the Rockpile) into the cave.
I'm pretty sure we were up on the Rockpile before Christmas of 1966.

My Rockpile memories are from on top of the Rockpile not the firebase itself. . . (7-10 days / month) .
. . although, one time Dave Bennett and I had to climb down and walked home (actually we hitch
hiked back) to JJ Carroll. Why you ask? Because it had rained for sooo long and the ceiling was
sooo low and thick that choppers couldn't get in to pick us up as we ran out of supplies (and
besides we couldn't see at all. So we weren't in a position to even "suggest" a fire mission); AND
THEN IT SNOWED ON US (in jungle fatigues, with a poncho liner for "warmth" and a shelter half for

. . . THAT WAS THE LAST STRAW !), so we climbed down, with a fire team of Marines (H 2/3, if I
remember correctly ), who offered to provide fire support on the way down; and then they turned
around and climbed back up, after a hand shake and a mutual wish of "good luck" . . . [they later
took heavy causalities at Con Thien].

The COLDEST I HAVE EVER BEEN (any where at any time) was that stay on top of the Rockpile. In
an alleged "jungle", where we were told "it will be either hot and dry or hot and wet.
Note by chronicler: See Jim Lary Article from the Stars and Stripes 1966: “Viet Weather Just Ain‟t
So." Located in the Reactivation.

My Call Sign was 'Peterson Charlie 13' officially. However 'Bear' was used most often by C Battery
personnel and by the Marine units that Dave Bennett, RTO, and I supported. (Much to the
displeasure of Battalion.)

In addition, this same FO Team was assigned to the 11th Marine Engineers, who had the task of
reopening Highway 9 (QL9) to the Khe Sanh area. Task was to clear the mines, then widen the road
and bypass all the bridges that had been strategically blown so that they were useless to vehicles
but could still be used as foot bridges, and eventually replace the bridges.

We then led the 1st convoy through to Khe Sanh in 14 years, stopping at the coffee plantation just
SSW of the Marine Compound to pay our respect to the owners and apologize for the billowing
clouds of red dust descending upon their coffee trees as the convoy rolled through, to which, they
graciously responded to with "damn fine" cups of coffee.

That would have been in late Jan/early February of 1967. Obviously concluded a week or two before
9 April 1967.”
Note by chronicler: The Lieutenant was severely wounded in action on 9 April 1967 and Medevac'd.

Account by RTO David Bennett referenced above: “During my tenure with the outfit, we spent
several week-long stints on top of the Rockpile; and much time was spent also on the road to Khe
Sanh with the Marine engineers who were rebuilding bridges, etc.

Seems I remember that this Private First Class had to wait by his ¾-ton and didn't get any of the
Frenchman's coffee because a certain Lieutenant (like the one referenced above) burned up the
clutch. That same Private First Class did however get an ass chewing for letting that Lieutenant

I remember quite vividly the LZ on top of the Rockpile. Ahh let me, see a certain unnamed Lieutenant
hanging off a Helicopter wheel strut up there in the air.

Then there was a large explosive devise that fell from a fast moving low flyer one night and as near
as I can calculate missed hitting the LZ by just a few inches. From the location of the crater at the
base of the vertical drop off I am guessing it was the south side of the Rockpile.

A Marine sniper who fired on a VC rock ape.

The kid in the only hooch up there had a Benjamin air pistol for shooting the well fed Rock-pile rats
that visited him during the night.

The rats were well fed as the c-rations that were not fit to eat (selected by each individual person)
had to have been opened before being chucked into the jungle. In order to provide a fool- proof
early warning system.

Also remember while placing fire concentrations on the road to Khe Sanh, an errant 155 round that
put us, as well as the Marine tourists who decided to watch what we were doing, scampering over
the road and down the bank into the jungle for cover. That one was too close for comfort because
we were on the gun target line.”
 Note by chronicler: RTO, David Bennett would be wounded in action after being transferred to the
3/18th as part of the infusion program.

Account by Lieutenant Barry DeVita, C Battery FO: “I would like to mention Marine Lieutenant Phil
Sauer... He would often release an Ontos to trail along behind RTO Dave Bennett and myself on our
travels along Highway 9, for which Dave and I will be eternally grateful. He was both a great guy
and a great friend. Right after I got hit (within a week or so), I heard that he went up onto Hill 861 or
one of the other nearby knolls, during the "hill fights" to offer support (as was his way) and got hit.

When I finally went to The Wall (which took 10 yrs) and found his name and Stillwagoner's, 6 rows
apart (which covered only a 6 week time frame), it visibly shook me - something I'd never felt prior or
since... I had always felt that I'd let Phil down, by not being there for him as he always was for me... I
also finally visualized just how close I came to being there between them.”

Comment by Chronicler: Marine Platoon Commander, 1st Lieutenant Phillip Sauer, was killed in
action on Hill 861, 24 April 1967. The Lieutenant was covering the escape of five other Marines that
were left in the team. Marine Lieutenant Sauer was submitted for the Navy Cross. He was a friend
to the 2/94th FO team above and not forgotten.

Since the monsoon season was in full swing the air observations were at a minimum.
With the Battalion being deployed in the 3rd Marine Division area, there was no Army logistics
support. Forward support elements of the 1st Logistical Command were being set up at Dong Ha
and Chu Lai.

Transportation of supplies and equipment to both the Dong Ha and Chu Lai areas has been a
problem. They must be shipped by air, or LCU from Dong Ha and from Da Nang using LST‟s. Road
networks from Da Nang to Dong Ha and Chu Lai are in contested areas.

A MEDCAP program was started and the Marines assigned 7 villages to the 2/94th. However, only
two of those are in a secure area.

Villages were:
Cam Lo – YD128595
Phouc-Tuyen – YD120590
An Hung – YD125590
Dau Binh – YD121589
Tan-Dinh – YD115585
Van Ba Thung – YD114590
Van Quat Xa – YD110588

                       Notes and discussion from Oct 1966 to 31 January 1967,
                                  1st Battalion Operational Report

There has been one non-battle death during this reporting period.      PFC Terry Paul Pierce,
Headquarters Battery, from Hopewell, Virginia.

Two men were injured on 19 December 1966, a 2½-ton truck from Service Battery received moderate
damage when it hit a Viet Cong mine north of Dong Ha.

25 Men were admitted to in-country hospital.

3 Men were evacuated out of country.

2 Men contracted Malaria.

28 Article 15‟s were issued and 2 Special Courts.

Mission assignments: Provide GS for the 3rd Marine Division. In addition, supporting fires for Khe
Sanh Special Forces camp can be provided as required.
A Battery provides GS for the 1st Marine Division in the vicinity of Chu Lai and can fire in support of
the Special Forces Camps Tra Bong, Ha Thanh, and Minh Long.

Initially there was a shortage of tents and 16 personnel were assigned to an 8-man tent.
Mail was a problem, as the last CONUS duty station was APO 96291 and it was then changed to APO
96289. The Air Force at Dong Ha handled the Army mail for some time at APO 96362 until the Army
finally got their own Post Office, which was APO 96269.

25% of the 175mm powder was deemed unsafe to fire, under existing inspection criteria, when it
reaches the gun positions. Lot 63318-57 was suspended when the primer burned a hole through the
igniter pad but failed to set of the charge, thus causing a dangerous hang fire. Two hundred
forty-two containers of this lot were trucked 19 miles over marginally safe roads to the gun positions
before attempting to fire them. The powder was dry, however lacked odor of powder.

The majority of unserviceable powder is unsafe because of mishandling in transit. Severely dented
canisters from which powder cannot be extracted are found daily. The denting caused broken and
flaked igniter tubes which, under present inspection procedures, must be destroyed. Some powder
had been found to be wet when opened, although the amount to date has been insignificant part of
the total.

Powder canisters are relatively thin and fragile containers and must be treated as such in the supply
chain. Care by fork-lift operators, in particular, will help eliminate or reduce this unsatisfactory

The Battalion has exercised operational control of Mike Battery 4th Battalion 12th Marines (155mm
SP) since 16 December 1966.

Targeting – The Battalion has tried several different methods of targeting the enemy. The following
works the best for rapid response. Using available intelligence, studying the trends of the enemy
movements and his fondness for attacking lightly defended areas; some guns are aimed at most
likely candidates. Other guns are aimed at suspected NVA harboring points; while some guns are
aimed at infiltration routes. Guns are laid after dusk to deny the enemy fire direction.

Enemy body recovery – The NVA will try and recover their dead. Therefore this unit waits 15-25
minutes after a mission and then fires randomly into the same area with a few rounds.

The preponderance of 175mm gunfire has been expended on unobserved neutralization and H&I
missions. Marine patrols or aerial observers have observed several fire missions fired upon using
targets of opportunity. The usual immediate surveillance report is “Effect on Target” or Good
Coverage”. Rarely, because of dense trees or thick vegetation, has specific effect surveillance been
available surveillance reports.

Fuzes – Because of the variety of vegetation in the Northern area the selection of fuze is an
important part of mission planning. See below.

Dense heavily canopied jungle: 100% delay will penetrate to ground level causing tree blow-up and
wood fragmentation.

Lightly forested regions: Mixed fuze quick and delay. This causes immense damage, with tree
blow-up, cratering, and depending on the angle of fall, air bursts.

Elephant grass and brushwood: Fuze quick (VT on troops in the open) produces excellent effect.

Cold weather equipment, especially field jackets and mountain sleeping bags are required for this
sector of Vietnam. The temperature can drop to and stay in the 40 to 50 degree range.

The unit did not bring any tent stoves with them, as it was deemed not necessary.
Meteorological section continues to provide excellent data. From 3 to 6 met messages a day are
Tubes in the electronics were a problem with the humidity and shock from the 175mm Batteries
firing. Keeping the equipment up 24 and 7 rather than turning them off and on eliminated this
problem. In addition, the equipment was mounted a homemade type shock platform. Also, some
tube sections were converted to solid-state using SCR switching modules.

                    End of notes & discussion from Oct 1966 to 31 January 1967,
                                 1st Battalion Operational Report


The Battalion would realize that the TOE was not satisfactory and adaptable for twenty-four hour
operations in the FDC. The requirement for sustained operations, coupled with the safety checks
involved, required the Battalion to cross train some of the Battalion Survey Section for help in this

In addition to the survey and FDC assignments, the Battalion Survey section would assist the
Marines on Carroll by surveying the observation towers, bunkers, tank locations, and howitzer and
mortar firing positions. The survey section could provide fifth order surveys at all times. They
were a valuable asset to the Battalion and its overall performance.

With the tactics of the enemy and the terrain encountered the Battalion. The Battalion realized the
need for additional Air Observers. Two additional officer AO slots were added to the Battalion by
special letter.

It was deemed imperative that every 175 mm Battalion have its own organic air section.

While under hostile fire it is a valuable asset to locate the source and assist in destroying it. Where
intelligence may report enemy activity the AO can be dispatched to evaluate. Recon by fire can be
used to confirm or reject the suspected enemy activity. The aircraft can be used as an additional
supplement to keep the batteries up and firing. Transportation of parts for dead-lined guns in
widely separated areas would have eliminated down time and enhanced the operational capabilities
of the Battalion.

The Meteorological Section has not only played a big part in the success of the 2/94th. They also
have been asked by at least eight other firing units in the area for meteorological data. The section
has preformed at least three flights daily is the normal routine. Consisting of ten to twelve lines of
electronic data.

One of the major obstacles is equipment failures due to the vibration caused by the constant firing
of the 175s. The Meteorological section has always overcome these equipment issues and has
never missed a scheduled observation.

The Meteorological Section is very essential to the successful operation and firings of the 175 mm
gun system.

On 2 February 1967, D Battery displaced a platoon to the vicinity of Dong Ha to (YD228583) to
support Marine operations east of Quang Tri. D Battery platoon returned to Carroll on 17 February.

On 6 February to 20 Feb 1966, gun pads were constructed in C Battery.

On 7 February 1967, C Battery displaced a platoon to the base of the Rockpile
(XD983543). Movement was to support a Marine Recon patrol near the Laotian border. C Battery
platoon returned to Carroll on 9 February.

3rd Marine Recon call sign was Rain Belt. The 2/94th shot frequently in support of these Recon

2/94 was call sign „Peterson‟ and the Marine Regimental FDC was „Punjab'. „6‟ was the CO, „9‟ was
the FDC, „5‟ was the XO; therefore C Battery FDC was „Peterson Charlie Niner‟. etc.
On 9 February 1967, Battery M 4th Battalion 12th Marines displaced from Carroll to the base of the
Rockpile. Movement was to support 3rd Marine operations. M Battery returned to Carroll on 21

On 9 February 1967, C Battery platoon returned to Carroll from the Rockpile.

From 8 - 12 February 1967, the U.S. Forces declared cease-fire in honor of the Lunar New Year (TET).

The cease-fire was broken on the third night, 10 or 11 February 1967, when B Battery fired in support
of a surrounded Marine platoon.

On 17 February 1967, D Battery platoon returned to Carroll from Dong Ha.

On 17 February 1967, B Battery displaced one platoon to the vicinity of Dong Ha
(XD228583). Movement was to support the Third Marine operations.

On 18 February 1967, C Battery displaced one platoon to a firing position at the base of the Rockpile.

On 21 February 1967, C Battery platoon returned to Carroll.

On 21 February 1967, M Battery 4/12 returned to Carroll from the Rockpile.

On 22 February 1967, C Battery fired a 64 round mission into North Vietnam.

Newspaper article dated 2/24/67 from Oklahoma City Times, saved by Lieutenant Martin McKnight:

On Wednesday, first shelling of North Vietnam. The 175's fired 64 rounds against AA that had fired
on a U.S. spotter plane just north of the DMZ.

 Comment by chronicler: That would have made the firing date Wednesday, 22 February
1967. Unknown at this time if a 2/94th FO/AO called in the missions from the plane.

On 23 February 1967, C Battery displaced one platoon to the vicinity of the Rockpile. Movement was
to support a CIDG patrol sweeping to the south from Ca Lu (XD013458). A reconnaissance for
further movement to Ca Lu was evaluated. However the patrol was extracted before further
movement was necessary.

On 24 February 1967, C Battery platoon returned from the Rockpile.

On 25 February 1967, Washington Politics „finally gave permission‟ for the Marine and Army Artillery
units to fire at military targets across the DMZ into the enemies homeland.

The NVA responded to this new authority given to the DMZ Artillery units with heavy artillery
barrages of their own against Carroll, Gio Linh, and Con Thien.

On 26 February 1967, C Battery displaced one platoon to the Rockpile (XD983543) to support a
Marine Recon Patrol Striker. Platoon returned on 1 March.

                                         The Gio Linh Battle

Comment by chronicler: This first displacement to Gio Linh (Operation HIGHRISE) would, in a very
short time, eventually become the first major artillery duel of American Military Firing
Battalions/Batteries vs. NVA Firing Battalions/Batteries of the war; for both Army and Marine
Artillery. 1000‟s of rounds would be exchanged before the NVA would finally withdraw. It would
involve B Battery, D Battery and C Battery.

This raging, on and off artillery duel would last until the 17th of July 1967 when C Battery would
return to Camp Carroll as the NVA had withdrawn. It would result in both B and D Batteries being
withdrawn with guns battle damaged, non-operational. This victory would cost many many Army and
Marine casualties.

I think it also was a learning experience for the use of Heavy Artillery in Vietnam. If you will notice
as C Battery rotated up to Gio Linh they eventually moved around some behind Gio Linh and took
tactile advantage of the 175mm range vs. the range of the NVA 152mm Russian piece.

On 26 Feb 1967, B Battery was the first to move in response to this new enemy activity. Displaced
to Gio Linh YD218732 just two miles south of the DMZ along Route 1, as part of Operation
HIGHRISE. Their mission was to fire pre-planned, unobserved targets into North Vietnam and the

On 26 February 1967, B Battery Platoon departed Carroll at 0900 hours and was accompanied by
Battery C, 1st Battalion, 12th Marines, a towed 105mm Battery, and I Company, 3rd Battalion 4th
Marines, Infantry. Convoy was accompanied by Dusters from the 1st Battalion 44th Artillery
reinforced by Quads from B battery 65th Artillery- attached 1/44th. After arriving at Dong Ha the
Platoon joined with the Platoon that had been sent to Dong Ha on the 17th of February. The entire
Battery then displaced at 1130 hours to Gio Linh (YD213741). They arrived from Dong Ha at Gio
Linh on 26 February 1967 and were hit the first night with hostile mortar attack, numbering 300 to
400 rounds.

While at Gio Linh, Marine Lieutenant Colonel William Rice, 1st Battalion, 12th Marines commanded
this composite Artillery group for this time period.

Account by Lieutenant Ed Smith about the first day of B Battery at Gio Linh: “The Battery moved to
Dong Ha and then moved up to occupy this nice little area which was just outside the Peacekeeping
Compound at Gio Linh. We got there mid-afternoon and the FDC APC was put in this trench that the
engineers had dug. We didn't think much about all this as Lieutenant Jackson, Lieutenant Wilmeth
and I pitched our nice little hex tent just above the FDC. Lieutenant Jackson and I were sitting
outside the tent in our nice folding chairs when the first mortar attack hit us that day, just about at
sundown. 700 or so rounds of incoming. Not pretty!”

Account by Lieutenant Doug Beard about the first day(s) of B Battery at Gio Linh: “My jeep was at
the end of our convoy from Dong Ha. My duffel bag got peppered from the mortar round that hit our
tent. Lieutenant Jackson's new 35mm Honeywell camera was destroyed. I had to stay up there
about a month before I was able to get back to my beloved flight pay.

I do recall an incident in the early weeks of Gio Linh when shelling caused us to lose much of our
ammo. Service Battery sent a night convoy up from Dong Ha, led by Lieutenant Martin McKnight,
and it got ambushed just south of us on RT 1. One deuce and a half loaded with ammo blew up,
leaving a large crater in the road. At least two from Service Battery were wounded in that one.

In another incident at Gio Linh, I was in tower #2 when the daily shelling started. There was one of
our Sergeant (E5)'s up there with me taking pictures. He got down low to hug the sandbags on the
tower floor. I told him to sit up and look for muzzle flashes because the shells hitting the ground
could not hurt us up that high and if one hit the tower (which it did a week later) hugging the floor
would not help. During the first lull, he decided to go down the ladder. A shell hit at the tower base
while he was on the top step, putting about a quarter-sized piece of fragment right into the fat part of
his butt. So much for my credibility. I still remember the look of disbelief on his face as I pulled
him back up.”

Account by a 2/94th Artilleryman who was part of the B Battery contingent at Gio Linh: “We were
proud of what we were doing during Operation High Rise. We battled the NVA 304th NVA Division
and took the fight to him. We hit long NVA convoys coming down Highway 1. This red hair war
correspondent comes in on a Huey late one afternoon and stays overnight in the Captain‟s tent. I
was also occupying the Captain‟s tent. The red hair guy was easy to speak to and would listen most
intensely. I had been instructed to look after this person by the Captain. I will never forget this
genuine person who was friendly, spoke openly, and asked a lot of questions. This correspondent
was Ted Kopple who eventually became a network news anchorman.”

Account by Lieutenant Doug Beard regarding Ted Kopple: “I also remember Koppel at Gio Linh
during the early days of B Battery. We were his first assignment there, and he spent the night
also. As usual, we got shelled and he got excited. The next morning he wanted to catch the first
truck back to Dong Ha to call his office in Saigon and file his story. I told him that we had the same
phone connections at Gio Linh that Dong Ha had and he filed his first combat report from our FDC

The nights of 28 February and 1 & 2 March 1967 saw over 750 rounds in seven attacks. Intermittent
mortar rounds hit for the next two weeks, with the next large scale attack occurring on 20 March
1967 when the enemy hit with increased firepower of captured 105mm rounds. An estimated 927
rounds fell that night and the Battery sustained casualties. The Number 3 Gun Chief, Staff Sergeant
Neal received shrapnel wounds to the head. The entire Battery performed courageously under
heavy enemy fire by returning much of the incoming with outgoing, and by exposing themselves to
possible injury extinguishing fires on their guns.

While at Gio Linh, the B Battery forward observers, Lieutenant Ed Smith and Lieutenant Doug Beard
participated in seven Recon patrols. While on patrol near the village of Tan Lich, Lieutenant Smith‟s
patrol made contact with an estimated company size enemy unit of the NVA. During a ten-hour
period, Lieutenant Smith called in over 2500 rounds of 105mm artillery fire.

Account by Lieutenant Doug Beard referenced above: “I was flying two or three missions a day that
summer when Ed shows up at the Dong Ha air field to do some flying. He must have needed the
flight pay or maybe a few more points towards his next oak leaf cluster on his Air Medal. I was
scheduled for a noon convoy cover on route 9 to Khe Sanh in an Army O1. I knew that there was a
pair of Air Force O1's going North so I scheduled him into the back seat of Covey 60 (a new
Lieutenant Colonel in country on his first mission).

About an hour later I was circling Route 9 near the Rockpile when I saw a large explosion at about
5000 feet, five miles north. It left an ugly orange cloud with debris falling from it. About that time,
Covey 61 came up on Guard Radio to say that Covey 60 had just been hit with a SAM. I dialed
Lieutenant Tommy Starks at Carroll to announce Ed's probable departure. I imagine that everybody
in Bn FDC must have rushed over to Ed's tent to see if there was anything of value to be had. I think
when they called down to Regimental HQ to see what happened, Ed was there. It seems that his
pilot had second thoughts about this being a good chance for him to get his feet wet. I don't recall
him coming around looking for more flights.

They came in about dark with 9 dead Marines after a day-long hellacious battle. The plan was to
send another platoon sized patrol back in the morning as "bait". When it got hit, they were going to
have two air mobile Battalions drop in to "trap" the ambushers. I spent most of that night writing
goodbye letters to family and friends. Fortunately the powers that be "scrubbed" that operation the
next morning and I didn't get to send my letters.”

Account by Lieutenant Ed Smith regarding the flight account referenced above: “I missed the
Covey flight that Lieutenant Beard thought I would be on. Captain Bowen, B Battery Commander,
had called me at Regimental HQ to tell me I was reassigned as the B Battery FDO, and to get back to
JJ Carroll now! The pilot was disappointed that I was not going with him, since I had flown quite a
few missions north of the DMZ. As I recall his name was Anderson.”

Comment by chronicler: All things considered, probably a pretty good day for Lieutenant Ed Smith.

                                     BATTALION FORWARD OBSERVERS
The 2/94th Battalion Forward Observers were a vital part of the campaigns against the enemy not
only on the ground but in the air also. Our 2/94th Battalion FO's went on sweep operations and
maintained forward FO positions. They not only fired the 2/94th guns, but the Marine Artillery and
the Naval ships off of the coast of South Vietnam. They also went to the air in fixed wing and
rotor, to call in artillery and air strikes as an AO from an assortment of aircraft, over North and South
Vietnam and Laos as well.

Listed below is a typical resume of a 2/94th Battalion AO taken from his log book during the
campaigns in 66-67.

                          Lieutenant Doug Beard, B Battery, 2/94th Artillery
Total Missions: 117 (242 flight hours)
67 missions in country
47 North Viet Nam
3 Laos
Air Craft flown:
O-1 C, D, E, G, U-10 (Air America), HU-1E, UH-34D, and O-2 A
Fired 42 Artillery Missions (9 with 175's)
Fired 23 registrations (all valid)
Fired 3 Naval Gunfire
Controlled or assisted with 121 TAC Air Strikes
Battle Damage:
Confirmed Kills 31 (countless probables)
Damaged or Destroyed:
12 trucks, 8 AA sites, 2 SAM sites, 4 boats, 7 artillery batteries, countless bunkers and huts.
Plane hit by ground fire 4 times with one crash landing.
Awarded Air Crewman's Wings and Air Medal with 3 oak leaf clusters.
Had the pleasure of writing recommendations for awards on three of my pilots; one Silver Star and
two DFC's.

Comment by chronicler: In addition, Lieutenant Beard was awarded an ACM w "V"
Device. Unfortunately, Lieutenant Beard never received the Medal nor the citation that accompanies
the award of a Valor Medal.

At our 2003 reunion Lieutenant Beard revealed some photos of a bridge being hit just north of the
DMZ. Lieutenant Beard was fly AO on the mission. Four F4 Phantom jets had tried to take out the
bridge with no success. Lieutenant Beard then asked if he could call in for an artillery strike
against the bridge. He was given permission. The 175‟s on Carroll cranked up and three rounds
later with one adjustment the bridge was no longer usable.

                     AIM HIGH - THEN CALL IN THE ARTILLERY!!!
Account by Lieutenant Doug Beard regarding qualifications for the Air Medal Award: "I had to turn
in regular journals to Captain Roger Schulze at Bn S-1 on my flying each month. Flight pay was
based upon hours flown each month. I think I needed about 20 hours to get the extra $110/ month.
Air Medals were based upon points (25, I think). You got one point for each Combat Support Mission
(not per landing) and two points for each Combat Assault Mission in which you actually fired upon
the enemy in some way (artillery, air strikes, firing from the back seat, dropping grenades, dropping
urine sacks, up-chucking out the window over a hostile village, etc.)"

Account by Lieutenant Doug Beard regarding Air America: "Did anybody else have the "pleasure"
of flying with Air America, or was I the lone "fool". I did a few flights out of Chu Lai and they seemed
normal to me. Mostly PSI War flights that included dropping leaf-lets over villages. I was told that
they didn't want to waste regular missions on a new observer that was learning the area. When I
moved north to Dong Ha it was a different story.

The 12th Marines "loaned" me out to Air America for three flights. I should have smelled a rat when I
got to their operations center and they gave me a bag and told me to put my wallet, dog tags and any
part of my uniform that had military markings into it. We then donned generic flight suites. They also
told me not to "log" any of the missions or turn in any of the hours. If I came back at the end of the
month I would get my "flight Pay" in cash. After three missions, we parted company and I never went
back for the "pay". I didn't care for their methods and they didn't care for an observer that regularly
got air sick."

On 27 February 1967, C Battery fired its first round into North Vietnam.

Comment by chronicler: There does seem to be a controversy here as the operational reports show
C Battery firing into North Vietnam on 22 February before official permission was given. It is also
thought that the rules were; that firing into North Vietnam and Laos was OK as long as it was not a
observed mission? It is also thought there may be some semantics in play here. (What a way to
fight a war?)
On 27 February 1967, M Battery 4/12 displaced two platoons to the Rockpile (XD983543) to support
3rd Marine operations at (XD888475) and (XD855472). Due to the weather, the operations were
cancelled. One platoon returned to Carroll while the other platoon stayed at the Rockpile to support
the 11th Engineer Battalion constructing bridges on QL9. The 2nd Platoon would return on 3 March
to Carroll.

Account by a Marine that was around Carroll and Hill 881: “I was a 0311 with "F" 2/3 from 11/66 to
10/67. My company would rotate between Carroll and the bridge down on Highway 9. I don't know if
you remember the Bridge.

On 28 February 1967, we were involved in a battle at Cam-Lo. My squad became surrounded and we
had to call for fire support from Carroll. I don't know if you were there then or you may have heard
that we had to call the 175 rounds on our own position. The guys up at Carroll laid those four rounds
right between us and the NVA, which was only a matter of 20 feet or so. Laying on the ground and
hearing Carroll launch those 175‟s, knowing they were coming right at us makes me numb to this
day. Having those shells rip through the trees and impact right in front of us was the most amazing,
scary, bone chilling experience you could imagine. I guess the NVA figured we were crazy because
they broke off from us.

There is no doubt in my mind that without those well-placed rounds my name would be on the Wall.
We depended on you guys at Carroll many times to get our butts out of a jam and you were always

On 1 March 1967, C Battery platoon returned from the Rockpile.

On 3 March 1967, M Battery platoon 4/12 returned to Carroll.

On 4 March 1967, M Battery 4/12 displaced from Carroll to support Marine operations. (Does not say
where) Entire Battery returned on 5 March.

On 5 March 1967, M Battery returned to Carroll.

Sometime in March, M Battery 4/12 displaced two platoons from Carroll to the Rockpile
(XD983543). Movement was to support 3rd Marine Regiment operations and the 11th Engineer
Battalion improving Route 9 between Ca Lu and Khe Sanh. One section returned to Carroll while
three sections remained in support of the operations.

By 6 March 1967, C Battery fired it‟s 10,000th round and by 31 March 1967 they had fired 14,115
rounds. C Battery had used up twelve tubes in the process.

On 6 and 7 March 1967, heavy heavy attacks on Camp Carroll.

Account by Specialist Pat Lacher, a 2/94th Member who was part of the Camp Carroll Headquarters
Battery contingent: “I joined the unit at Carroll on the last day of February 1967. On the night of, I
believe 7 March; we took around 1000 rounds of 102mm rockets. These were called "Katysha" or
"Stalin's Organs". In WWII they were fired in banks but the NVA used single tubes to fire the 102mm
rockets. A total of six men were killed on Carroll and I believe at least one was from the 2/94th.”

Note by chronicler: The 2/94th soldier killed on 7 March 1967 mentioned above was Specialist Ralph
Lloyd Stillwagoner from Paden City, West Virginia. He was the first battle casualty from the 2/94th

Account from 'Letters Home' by Lieutenant Greg Smith, C Battery FDO regarding the attack on 7
March: “The attack started shortly after midnight Tuesday morning, march 7th. The first barrage
was from about 00:30 to 01:05 then, there was a second attack at about 04:30, and a third near day
break at 06:30. In the first few minutes of the attack, all the incoming hit near the center of Camp
Carroll (where Headquarters Battery was) and then hit C Battery on the northwest perimeter.
Apparently the bad guys thought our FDC; with the lights, generator noise, and 3 large (292)
antennas; was a good target, because most of the stuff in C Battery landed near the FDC and the
gun nearest FDC, Gun 1.”
Account by Lieutenant Larry Rollins, regarding the night of March 7th: “The night of March 7th saw
our first combat casualty. That was the night my tent was hit with me in it. I was under my cot (I was
thinner then) and did not get hit. I was with Battalion FDC at this time, but Lieutenant Tommy Starks
was on duty. I went looking for my FDC shift people and learned that one of my chart guys was in
the same bunker with the soldier that got killed. The missile had hit on the top edge of the bunker.”

                              Report from the Associated Press Saigon:

„Reds Keep Shelling, But Miss Big U.S. Guns‟ – Saigon (AP) – Communist mortars hammered again
at the big American guns just south of the demilitarized zone today with 500 shells in three attacks
as they kept up pressure on U.S. Marines operating in the area.

The shelling of Camp Carroll, latest in a series of such attacks, killed six Marines and wounded 15
but damaged none of the powerful 175mm guns with which the Marines shell North Vietnam and the
demilitarized zone, a U.S. spokesman said.

The Communist failure to hit the big guns was attributed to the elaborate defenses, which the
Americans on the plateau eight and half miles south of the demilitarized zone have thrown up for the

„Secondary Blast Set Off‟ - Counter Mortar fire resulted in one secondary explosion in the hills from
which the Communists were firing, a U.S. spokesman said.

U.S. spokesman reported 14 Americans killed, 44 wounded, and four missing in ground actions
yesterday and today, along with 61 Communist dead.

Two sizable ground clashes were reported.

“Several miles north of Camp Carroll, a Marine patrol made contact with the Communists. Several
companies of Marines were rushed up as reinforcements and contact was maintained through the
night, but the enemy, believed to be North Vietnamese troops escaped this morning.” a U.S.
spokesman said.

Account by Captain Lockhart taken from the C Battery archive reports: "C Battery has proved its
flexibility by the manner in which they were able to displace on the occasions on which platoons
were sent to the Rockpile and again in the manner in which they reacted during the attack on 6th and
7th of March.

During late February - April of 1967, the 2/94th guns on Carroll fired support for the provisional
Artillery units at Gio Linh (YD218732) and Con Thien (YD113703). Like Gio Linh, the Marine base at
Con Thien was under heavy artillery barrages from the NVA. Both encampments were receiving
daily artillery and rocket attacks.

During these artillery duels, it is estimated that 7,500 rounds were fired from J.J. Carroll by the

On date unknown at this time, (early 1967) C Battery fired a lengthy night mission resulting in 485
confirmed KIA‟s.

Both Con Thien and Gio Linh were thought to be manned by contingents of the 4th and 9th Marines
and A Company 3rd Tank Battalion. Elements of the 12th Marine Artillery were present at Gio Linh
along with 2nd Platoon, "A" Company Third Anti-Tank Battalion, and of course the Army units on the
DMZ that became synonymous with perimeter defense and convoy defense; the outstanding men of
the 1st Battalion 44th Artillery‟s 40mm Dusters and G Battery, 65th Artillery, Quad 50 caliber Machine

                     Camp Carroll, the first U.S. Base to be hit by 122mm Rockets

On 6 March 1967, the first military installation in South Vietnam to be attacked by 122mm rockets
was Camp Carroll.

Account by Captain Charles Adamson regarding the attack: That attack caused enough interest that
an Ordinance team was sent from Saigon to JJC to study this and the 102 mm Spin rockets and their

 Following their initial use, these rockets were used not only against military installations, but also
against urban areas, ports, and bridges throughout South Vietnam.

Attacks by these rockets were usually of longer duration than attacks by 140mm rockets, since more
than one 122mm rocket could be launched from the same launch position when using the rocket
launcher. The 140mm rockets were usually launched from individual launch tubes positioned on dirt
or mud launch pads. These tubes were seldom reloaded for follow-on attacks.
The 122mm rocket was fin stabilized and possessed a greater range and destructive power than
either the 107mm or 140mm rocket. Without the need for a thick iron casing, there can be more
explosives and the 122mm rocket also has a greater punch than its equivalent 122mm howitzer shell.

                                   The new 122 mm enemy rocket specifications
             Length - 75.4 inches
             Weight - 101.86 lbs
             Range with spoiler ring - 3,000 to 7,000 meters. Without spoiler ring - 6,000 to 11,000
             Warhead - 14.5 lbs explosive
             Launcher length - 8.1 feet
             Launcher weight with tripod - 121 lbs

On or about 20 March 1967, the increased ammunition output required the Battalion ammunition
section to work from dawn to dark delivering ammunition to all the Batteries, with priority going to B
Battery at Gio Linh.

During the attack on B Battery on 20 March 1967, much of their powder was destroyed. The 12th
Marine Regiment directed a re-supply convoy to be organized at 2400 hours. Service Battery
contributed six 5-ton trucks with trailers, one ¾-ton truck, and the Battery Commander‟s jeep.
Three hundred meters from Gio Linh, the convoy was ambushed, with a resulting loss of four 5-tons
and trailers and a ¾-ton truck. As a result of the professional competence and the valor of the
personnel of the 2/94th Service Battery, along with the rapid reaction of the Gio Linh Marine security
company (I/3/4), no lives were lost.

Captain R. Powell, Staff Sergeant W. Fernandez, and Sergeant R. Zovistowski were awarded the
Bronze Star with V device. Sergeant‟s Seale and Poolo, and Private D.R. Woods were awarded the
Army Commendation Medal with V device. Sergeant Seale was also awarded the Purple Heart as
were Specialist‟s Kramb and Kerns.

                    The Mission of Service Battery Ammo Section was as follows:

                To provide an adequate amount of ammunition to our firing batteries.
                     Neither weather, terrain, nor Charlie will stop our delivery.
                            „They Call, We Haul‟ the 147 lb Cong Buster,
                               Which enables Charlie to give his life.
                                   For our service is guaranteed.
                                    We accept all challenges!
                                        For we are the best!

Account by Lieutenant Martin McKnight, Ammo Officer, regarding Gio Linh: “We were well dug in at
Gio Linh. There were even trenches with built in urinals (my Idea). We had bunkers ( just big holes
in the ground for the ammo but occasionally they were hit.

We could hear the rounds fired from North Vietnam. They were little plops. We jumped to a bunker. A
person can run quite a ways in 5 to 7 seconds. They got some recoilless rifles up close and then
bang bang.

When things were iffy, we would park the ammo trucks on the reverse side of the hill and take in two
at a time to unload. We heard the incoming when my driver and Sergeant Lough got hit. I jumped to
the right and my driver, Specialist Kerns, to the left. Specialist Kerns got a flesh wound to the neck,
but there were so many wounded. Specialist Kerns was Medevac'd to Japan because the hospital
ships were full.

When we had not received any fire for about twenty minutes. I told Sergeant Lough that I would drive
us back. He was wounded in the arm and butt. They wired him up. Silver wire so no infection caused
by stitches. I cranked up the jeep and he hobbled out. When he got in, I floored it and set sail for the
trucks and Dong Ha. All the while he was hollering oh my ass, oh my ass. The road was pretty
bumpy within the camp.

The calves of our legs would get sore from standing on tip toe waiting for rounds. Of course this
was when there was no loud noises from our people.

When Lieutenant Terry Lee was up there and I was delivering ammo one time, he wanted some ice.
So I brought him a big block from Dong Ha. I was walking from where our trucks were parked on the
reverse slope when we started receiving incoming. I was running with a block of ice. I thought to
myself. Someone at home would not believe this."

Account by Lieutenant Martin McKnight, Ammo Officer and FDC Officer, regarding Gio Linh: "I was
eventually attached from Service Battery to the Marines for about 35 days up there. We were not
with our firing Battery when we were at Gio Linh. Rather we did FDC for the Composite Battalion. I
was attached to the Marines, not the Battery up there at the time and I lived with the Marines. It was
different. The firing Batteries or Marines had no officers to spare so some like me were sent. We
worked in the Marine Headquarters. Did not see army Battery unless I was visiting. The FO's and
AO's were not out 2 at a time a lot of time and could be spared for a while.

I would take two jeeps and the ammo trucks to the ammo dump and if the Marines had forklifts
working they loaded the trucks. One of the Sergeants would be in the lead jeep and I would follow
the convoy to help if anything went wrong. When we got to the battery, the men would unload the
ammo and I would visit. When we got back I would finish my western or science fiction novel that I
had read on the way to Gio Linh or Camp Carroll. A nice supper of steak and then write a letter to my

Then one day I was sent to Gio Linh for a 35 day vacation. I think my job was Asst S-3. Worked 8
hours and sleep as much of the 16 that I could; read and wrote to my wife. Someone said we took
over 1700 rounds of artillery, mortars and rockets in that time. I did not stand outside and count. I
cannot remember if I relieved Lieutenant Terry Lee or visa versa. I was the one responsible for
getting urinals put in the trenches. Nothing like taking a leak and taking incoming! The crappers
were too large to put in the trenches.

I remember a pilot giving a target in North Vietnam. We fired at it. Adjusted range a couple of times
and the pilot figured out it was about 30 miles away which was out of our range. We fired at a water
buffalo towing a machine gun, at least that is what the spotter said. We fired a lot of H & I at night at
road crossings, cemeteries, creek fords, etc.

One day a Marine Lieutenant was going on patrol. He asked for some plastic explosives or C-4. After
a few days the person he got it from asked him if he had used it. He said no. When I got back I put it
under your cot.

He went and checked and sure enough it was still under his cot. He was not real happy!!!!

When our Battery in Dong Ha fired a low trajectory over Gio Linh which was on a high spot. It
sounded like frying bacon right above our heads. Rather exciting! Glad non of them had razor blades
under the fuze. Have you ever heard of that? As they screwed the fuze down, they put double edge
razor blades sticking out around the edge. The fuze when it was tight kept the blade in. Made a lot of

On 24 March 1967, B Battery returned to Carroll from Gio Linh.

On 24 March 1967, D Battery displaced to Gio Linh to relieve B Battery.

On 24 March 1967, B Battery was replaced at Gio Linh by D Battery (B Battery 6th Battalion 27th
Artillery attached as 2/94th D Battery) and returned to base camp at JJ Carroll. The entire Battalion
had been involved in Operation HIGHRISE, the first Operation involving heavy artillery firing at
targets in North Vietnam.

The firing into North Vietnam proceeded with an intense rate in an effort to stifle the enemy supply
channels from the north. B Battery 6th Battalion 27th Artillery (attached as 2/94th D Battery)
continued to come under enemy rocket, mortar, and artillery attacks at Gio Linh.

On 30 March 1967, the attached Marine M Battery, 4th Battalion, 12th Marines lost three men killed to
a gun explosion.

Account from 'Letters Home' by Captain Charles Adamson, S2: “...The Marine "Mike Battery" who is
OPCON to us with their 155 MM SP's had a 155 explode blowing the Breech Block thru the back of
their SP resulting in a flash fire from the racked ammo resulting in two Marines burned and killed.
The Section Chief being seriously burned and later dying at our dispensary. Two other crewmen
were seriously burned.”

Comment by chronicler: Unfortunately, this scenario would repeat itself in the year I was on Carroll
with a loss of three young Marine gunners. I do not recall the time frame but I believe it was early in

For those that were with me during that year you may recall my excellent hearing. When I was at the
induction center in Jacksonville, FL going through the physical, I had to take the hearing test three
times. For some reason my hearing was above the average on both ends of the spectrum. The data
on my tests were going off the edges of the IBM cards the data was printed on. The corpsman
would show the doctor and he said I was cheating. So I took the test three times in a sound proof
booth. All three times it came out the same. Even better in one instance. I finally asked the
doctors and corpsman what in the world I would be doing cheating anyway, even if I could? This
was not a contest for anything and the reward for passing was not really something to look forward
to. I would later find out how useful this gift was for me and some of the fellows I served
with. Before going to Vietnam I would have to take this same test, twice more as the same thing
happened at a totally different facility regarding the hearing tests as they had lost all my records.
Or that is what I was told. Seems I kept getting mixed up with a Lieutenant Kelley with the same

I bring this up at this time, even though it is out of time sequence, regarding the Marine gun
mentioned above.

I would be out on LP and those Marine guns on the west side of the hill would be firing at night. To
kill time I would see if I could call the shots and which one would be first. Pretty dumb but it helped
to pass the time away and try and stay awake. The one gun always had a different sound to
it. Something about it was different. I even mentioned it to several of the fellows that it did not
sound like the other ones. Maybe not a catastrophic sound but different never the less. I even
changed my route to the LP exit. I use to walk along behind those guns on the west perimeter road
and changed to walking down the middle road on the hill and weaving through the 105 pits to the
west side. I got to where I could call that gun firing when it was even out of my sight. Whether it
was intuition, pure luck, or if I could really hear something, I do not know? Not really knowing what
I was listening to or for. It was the gun that blew up about three weeks later. I sometimes wonder if
I should have said something? But rather than be thought the real fool, I did not. Even my own
guys did not believe me until I could call that gun out of sight.

Later on, after the word in my section got out. When the new guys came in they would tell
them, "When this guy heads to a bunker you better be behind him." Some of them were a real
Doubting Thomas and Nay Sayers also. So after me leaving them once, and going to the bunker
without saying anything, they also became believers. I would be safely in the bunker as the first
volley arrived while they were still out. Real dumb on my part as I could have gotten someone killed
playing a stupid game!!!! I will say this, "It only took once for them to learn."

In hindsight I should have said something to someone. I guess we will never know if I was actually
hearing a problem or just the sounds of a wore out tired old Howitzer.

On 9 April 1967, Lieutenant Barry DeVita was evacuated and reassigned to MEDUSAHMYIS APO US
Forces 96331 as a result of wounds received from hostile action while on patrol.
On 9 April 1967, Private First Class Richard W. Mackrenroth was also wounded as a result of wounds
received from hostile action while on the same patrol.

Account from 'Letters Home' by Captain Charles Adamson, S2: “...At 12:30 we got word that
Lieutenant DeVita who was about 2500 meters out of the perimeter with a Marine Patrol as a Forward
Observer, was wounded. As the report goes, the patrol had 12 men counting Lieutenant DeVita and
his Radio Operator, someone stepped on a Booby Trap (2 hand grenades wired together across a
path) some of them took shrapnel and about that time a sniper in a tree cut loose on them injuring
two more men, one in critical condition.

We later got word from Division Medical Dispensary that the five men were Medevac‟d to Phu Bai
and that Lieutenant DeVita was listed in good condition. He had a wound on his left ear, in the left
side of the neck and one in each leg, but that he was in good shape..…”

On 9 April 1967, Private First Class James Lawrence Holroyd, C Battery Gun 2, from Roeland Park,
Kansas was killed on Camp Carroll in an incident involving Gun 2 and Gun 3 of C Battery. Eight
men were wounded with three being evacuated. C Battery wounded included:

Private First Class Bruce E. Cheske - Gun 2
Private First Class Jerry E. Coble - Gun 2
Private William W. Glaser - Gun 2
Private First Class Rufus L. Hare - Gun 2
Private First Class Carmelo M. Jimenez - Gun 2
Specialist James E. Cox
Private First Class Gordon L. Howard

One WIA is unknown at this time. Thought to have been wounded in the leg. Ammo Sergeant?
Gun 2 is deadlined for rewiring and a tube change. Gun 2 was back in action within a few days.

On 10 April 1967, Captain James D. Lockhart was reassigned to HQ 2nd Bn 94th Arty. Captain
Chancey K. McCord was assigned to C Battery and assumed command.

On 14 April 1967, C Battery displaced from Carroll to a firing position at Dong Ha. Movement was to
support operations around Quang Tri and Hai Lang.

On 15 April 1967, C Battery, at Dong Ha had a muzzle burst 50 meters out of the tube; no gun
damage and no injuries to personnel. The VT Fuze lot was withdrawn and suspect. Foggy and high
moisture content conditions in the air during firing are also suspect.

On 27 April 1967, D Battery, (B Battery 6th Battalion 27th Artillery) underwent the heaviest single
attack at Gio Linh, withstanding over 1,000 rounds of incoming. During the attacks, the gun section
returned the fire and destroyed two enemy artillery positions and caused numerous secondary
explosions. The attacks continued nightly, and on 30 April 1967, Private First Class Leonard Martin
Jr. from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania was killed in action. Since 26 February 1967 the Batteries at Gio
Linh have gone through 22 separate attacks.

Account by former Marine Corps Sergeant, Michael Hoskins, 0811 (Field Artillery Battery man)- C
Battery 1st Battalion 12th Marines, 3rd Marine Division - "Thanks Army, for standing with us."
"There is some conflict as to whether there was one or two NVA batteries firing that night, 20 March
1967. As you know, we fought from around 6:00 PM until 2:00 AM in the morning when the NVA
battery was located to our northeast. We, as a battery fired 90 rounds into their position which
silenced the artillery and created secondary explosions on the northeast horizon. It is believed to
have been the first battery to battery duel since the Vietnamese war with the French. We have State
side news paper clippings noting the same. March 20th, is believed to have been inside the five mile
buffer to avoid your weapons.

April 27th was a completely different matter as they had redeployed 15-19 heavy guns, all in different
locations, some out of our range, so we could not concentrate fire without being exposed to the
other guns. Charlie Battery suffered heavy causalities that night and your participation in return fire
was and still is noted by us.
Thanks for being there, especially April 27th when most of their guns were spread out and out of our
range. I was a WIA that night as were many others in Charlie Battery.

With all the movies and stories that are told, artillery is generally ignored story wise. I am working on
changing that. The grunts had a very difficult tour of duty. No one would ever question that but... It
took more than guts to stand out in the open in the artillery, rocket, and mortar fire that came in on
us almost daily at Gio Linh. I, for one, am proud to be a "Gun Grunt." I hope all of you carry
yourselves in the same manner. You deserve to after Gio Linh.

Thanks guys for your courage and for standing with us at Gio Linh. Former Marine Sergeant Michael
Hoskins; Charlie Battery, 1st Battalion 12th Marines. Semper Fi."

Account from Lieutenant Larry Vineyard of D Battery, regarding the night of April 27th: Captain
Hiser, Lieutenant Lincoln, and I all survived that night. Lieutenant Lincoln was wounded in early
May, about two weeks later. All four of our D Battery guns were down by about 2:30 AM. The
hydraulic systems were broken from overuse or cut by shrapnel. I remember that the Marines
supported one 105mm tube with lumber to keep it in action. I remember seeing the last walking
Marines and one 105mm towed out the next morning on one truck. That was all that the Marines had
operational. We took up positions on .50 cals after all tubes were down. I do not know how many
rounds impacted in the two Battery positions, but the rounds started early and lasted well into night.
The pounding was steady.

Batteries from Dong Ha, and JJC, a navy cruiser with 8 inch guns, a mini-gun air ship and other stuff
shot counter battery for Gio Linh. It was not a fun evening.

I cannot remember who fired counter battery for Gio Linh, but the Marines and the Army Battery
have an enormous number of Artillery Battalions to thank for saving our hides. I seem to remember
some discussions that identified between 11 and 17 units that fired counter battery. For those of you
involved that night (and several others in April and May, 1967), THANK YOU!

                    Courageous Artillery Marines Withdrawn After Making A Stand

On 28 April 1967, Marine Battery C/1/12 was withdrawn from Gio Linh and replaced by Marine Battery
D/2/12. Marine C/1/12 had suffered 25% casualties on the night of 27 April 1967. In total the Battery
had suffered approximately 80% causalities during its stay at Gio Linh. After many damaged gun
repairs during the attacks the Battery left with one Howitzer still operational.

Comment by chronicler: From the accounts of the 2/94th men that were at Gio Linh during this time
period; reflect total admiration of the bravery shown by the members of this Marine 105 mm Howitzer

The Provisional Artillery Group at Gio Linh now was comprised of: Headquarters element of the 12th
Marines, E Battery 2//12 105‟s, D Battery 2/94th, one section of 1/44 Dusters along with a compliment
reinforced by two squads of G Battery 65th artillery quads, and one Marine Infantry company,
thought to be I Company 3rd Battalion 4th Marines.

The Commanding Officer of the Composite Artillery Battalion and U.S. Free World Forces in Gio
Linh at this time is Marine Major Al Gray, 2nd Battalion, 12th Marines.

On April 28 1967, C Battery underwent a rocket attack in Dong Ha.

On 29 April 1967, Battery M, 4th Battalion 12th Marines released from OPCON from the Battalion.

Article below submitted by Lieutenant Larry Vinyard of D Battery: The authors and the sources of
this story are not known. The story is lifted directly from the six pages in the 6/27 Battalion prepared

The D Battery Story, Article written 1 May 1967, (B Battery 6th Battalion 27th Artillery, attached)

             Extracted from The Redleg Courier, soldier newspaper of 6th Battalion, 27th

Artillery, Phouc Vinh, RVN, Volume 1, Number 7, dated May 1, 1967.
Commanding Officer: LTC Edward C O‟Connor (by 1981, Major General)
OIC: 1LT Thomas R. Stover
Editor: SP4 Paul R. Frederick

                                               Lead Story:
                                          The “B” Battery Story

“ My God, my God, please get something up here!” was the anguished radio call of the leader of a
squad sized patrol from the 3d Battalion, 12 Marines. His squad was surrounded by an estimated two
Battalions of VC. If ever there was a need for fast, accurate artillery fire, this was it – the lives of
these Marines depended upon it. The call went to “B” Battery, 6th Battalion, 27th Artillery, who
responded with 60 rounds of 175mm gun fire in the next 20 minutes. Result – dispersion of the
enemy force and the saving of the day.

It‟s typical of the actions of Bravo Battery since its move into the I Corps area near the DMZ. Proud
of their accomplishments, deadly efficient, cheerful in spite of adversity, the battery has piled
achievement upon achievement. It‟s the battery of firsts: the first Army unit in support of Marines in
the I Corps area, the first artillery unit to fire into North Vietnam, the first unit to fire the 175mm gun
direct fire in combat, the first Army artillery unit to attack and destroy and anti-aircraft site in North

The “B” Battery story really began when the Marine elements first began operating in the jungles of
Quang Tri Province. Right from the start it was evident that these embattled soldiers needed more
artillery support. As the Marines did not have a gun as large and as powerful as the 175mm in their
arsenal, it was up to the Army to supply what was needed. The Army responded with typical alacrity,
issuing a call to the 6th Battalion, 27th Artillery on 19 September 1966 to prepare a heavy artillery
battery for rapid movement to Saigon; and thence northward to the DMZ. Lieutenant Colonel (the
Major) Edward C. O‟Connor, the Battalion Commander, responded to the problem in a novel way. He
created and amalgamated battery by taking the best men from Bravo and Charlie Batteries, then
located side by side in Phuoc Vinh. The result was Task Force 6/27 (or Bravo Battery).

After feverish preparation, this unit left Phuoc Vinh on 23 Sept. 1966. It went to a position just south
of the Song Be bridge (sp) where it remained for two days before moving on to Long Binh. It stayed
at Long Binh until the 27th of Sept. There the vehicles were rechecked and the battery completely
re-supplied. Early on the morning of the 29th, the battery‟s equipment was driven to Saigon and
loaded onto an LST (Landing Ship Transport). Altogether 26 vehicles were loaded onto the boat,
marking the first time a 175mm gun was transported anywhere by LST. The boat was crewed by
Japanese sailors, which created some language problems.

The voyage to Da Nang took four days. The seas were violent, causing horrible cases of seasickness
among the men. The highlight of the trip was at mealtime, when “mess hall goulash,” a savory
delicacy prepared by the Battery Executive Officer was served. This scrumptious feast was prepared
by placing the contents of C ration boxes into a big stew. “It tasted pretty good, but not after four
days of the same stuff,” said the chef, 1st Lieutenant John H. Hiser.

At Da Nang, the Battery‟s equipment was transferred to six LCU‟s (Landing Craft Utility) for further
shipment to Dong Ha. This was necessary as the large LST‟s could not sail up the Cam Lo river (sp)
to Dong Ha, whereas the smaller LCU‟s could. The major portion of the battery‟s personnel was
flown to Dong Ha and met the equipment ships there. Following unloading the battery moved
overland to their new home at Camp J. J. Carroll on the “Artillery Plateau.” The guns were laid and
ready to fire within five minutes after their arrival. Their first fire mission, in fact, came down only 2
hours later.

The Battery was welcomed with open arms by the Marines. These embattled soldiers really know
how important artillery support was. The villagers were amazed, they had never seen such
behemoths pass through their villages before. The battery‟s position was at first right on the
perimeter, in fact one of the perimeter bunkers was located within earshot of the Exec Post. This
situation was alleviated by moving the perimeter further out.

The big threat at first was not the VC, but large poisonous centipedes, some over eight inches long.
Though bites from these ugly animals were not deadly, they could inflict very painful swelling upon
a man. Fortunately no one was bitten, but several men had close calls.
On 18 October 1966 the 2d Battalion, 94th Artillery arrived on the artillery plateau. “B” Battery was
attached to this organization shortly thereafter, eventually becoming known as Delta Battery, 2nd
Battalion, 94th Artillery.

 An unpopular side effect was the loss of the battery‟s cherished call sign, “Redleg.” They had to
adopt the call sign of the 2/94th. Considerable rivalry developed between “B” Btry and the other
units of its new battalion. It is interesting to note that the 6/27th taught 2/94 a great deal about
combat operations. The latter unit was newly arrived from Ft. Sill and knew very little about 6400 mil
(sp) operation. They eventually adopted almost all of the standard operating procedures used by the
“B” Battery Commander, Captain Gary E. Vanderslice.

The Battery received little control from the 2/94th on fire missions. The Battalion usually supplied
only the coordinates of the targets to be shot. All computing and checking of the fire data was done
entirely within the battery‟s own fire direction center. Some missions came directly from the Marines
(often “Redleg” was requested specifically).

October and November saw the beginning of the monsoon season.

Prodigious amounts of rain fell, over 80" between Nov. and Jan., including a 22” downpour on one
day. This created great discomfort and considerable mud. The men were not equipped with adequate
wet weather apparel, compounding the problem. On top of all this the weather turned cold (yes, it‟
cold even in Vietnam), with temperatures often dropping into the 30 – 40 range. The men began to
long for sunny days; at one point the sun did not appear at all for a 27 day stretch.
A major casualty of the bad weather was the battery‟s building program.

Very little building was done due to the constant rain and non-availability of lumber. Eventually the
2/94th supplied “hardbacks” (wooden tent frames and floors) which got the men out of the mud at
least. Wooden gun pads were also built which proved to be quite successful.

A new gun chassis arrived on Thanksgiving Day, giving the battery its full complement of four
175mm guns. It had previously fired with only three as one gun was damaged reroute.

All maintenance was done by the Battery itself. Ordnance support was negligible even in spite of the
presence of a team from the 185th Maintenance Battalion. Although this team changed hands four
times in 4 and ½ months ordnance support still has not improved significantly as of this writing.

The supply system was poor also. The Marines were supposed to provide supplies at first but they
hardly had enough for their own men. Thus support for B Btry was negligible. With the arrival of
other Army units in the I Corps area, plus improvements in the Marine‟s own supply system, the
present supple situation is much improved. Ammunition was always in plentiful supply. It was
brought to Dong Ha by boat, and by truck from there to Camp J. J. Carroll. Ammunition runs were

Captain Albert R. Pannell assumed command of the Battery upon the rotation of Captain Vanderslice
back to the states. Events picked up rapidly thereafter. On 2 Feb 67 a Platoon of guns plus the FDC
section displaced to Dong Ha to support the 12th Marines on Operation Chinook. They stayed 12

On 27 Feb 67 the Battery fired the first artillery rounds into North Vietnam. Almost no one knew it at
the time, for it seemed to be just another fire mission on a bright sunny day. Shortly thereafter whole
crews of newsmen and photographers from NBC, CBS and AFN descended upon the battery, and
the secret was out. Jumping at the chance for publicity, the cannoneers really “hammed it up” in
front of the cameras. “This was something we always wanted to do, to hit Charlie in his own back
yard,” said Staff Sergeant Harry Dulin, the chief of the gun that was the first.

Shortly, thereafter another battery of the 2/94th went to Gio Linh to support Operation HIGHRISE.

This operation was to clear the area around Gio Linh of VC and North Vietnamese units and to nullify
a village which had become so well fortified by the NVA that it resembled a fortress. It was
spectacularly successful. Charlie, however, retaliated with a vengeance.
The camp at Gio Linh became a nightly target for mortar attacks. One night over 600 rounds fell onto
the camp. “B” Battery, still at Camp J. J. Carroll, kept one gun constantly pointed towards Gio Linh
to be constantly ready to fire protective fires for them. This was done several times.
Camp J. J. Carroll was hit hard also. On the night of 6 March 67 over 450 rounds of mortar fire were
directed at the camp. Approximately 45 rounds landed in the battery area itself. Some guns and
vehicles were slightly damaged and four men were wounded by shrapnel (none seriously). Several
tents received direct hits and all were damaged by shrapnel. One man was in one end of a tent when
a round landed in the other end. He was injured. Many of these rounds were 140mm fin stabilized

The Redleg Battery displaced to Gio Linh on 24 March 1967, relieving B Battery of the 2/94th which
was under considerable strain from bearing the brunt of these mortar attacks. B Btry 6/27th was
immediately subjected to the same treatment at Gio Linh; they averaged 20 incoming rounds a night
for the first two weeks.

To protect themselves against these rounds, the men constructed covered foxholes to serve as
shelters. These had walls and roofs made from discarded ammo boxes and were covered with
several layers of sandbags. These bunkers served in lieu of tents as sleeping quarters. “They‟re not
as comfortable as the Waldorf, but I‟m sure glad to have something over my head!” said SP4 Gail
Hallmeyer, the chief computer.

On 8 April 1967, the Battery began receiving mortar rounds from an abandoned schoolhouse approx.
(sp) 1,200 distant. To show the men of the 105mm battery next door that 175mm men can stand and
shoot, even during a mortar attack, and because the situation warranted, Lt. Hiser, now Battery
Commander, ordered his guns to shoot direct fire at the schoolhouse. With the 105mm gun crews
cheering in the distance the big 175s lowered their tubes and literally blasted the schoolhouse to the
ground. Only a portion of a wall was left standing. Eight rounds were fired at the schoolhouse itself,
with three direct hits and one probably being scored. Eight more rounds were fired at the
surrounding area. Needless to say those mortars were not heard from again.

As of this writing the Battery is continuing on in its mission at Gio Linh. It fires mostly at anti-aircraft
positions and troop concentration in North Vietnam, in fact, they have a requirement to shoot 300
rounds per day to the north (once they hit 455). The Battery has constructed a 60‟ tower in the
Battery area from which observers seek targets and direct fire towards them. Spotter planes are not
used extensively (as around Phouc Vinh), however jet pilots have been known to use their planes as
spotter planes for them.

Another novel twist is the use of the Battery as a “flak suppressant.” Here the Battery fires at enemy
anti-aircraft guns which at that time are shooting at friendly planes flying overhead. They fire
fantastic numbers of rounds (17,470 in six months in I Corps, with over 5,400 being shot in a mere
three weeks at Gio Linh). That along is quite a feat."

Account by Lieutenant Doug Beard, FO from B Battery: “The time was late April 67, and the place
was Northern I Corps. The morning of April 29th, myself and my Army pilot were detailed to fly from
Dong Ha to Khe Sanh to support Marine operations there. We landed at Khe Sanh to attend a
briefing on the operation.

I remember standing with a group of about 30 other pilots around a briefing map when I noticed a
Marine Captain in a flight suit on the other side of the group who looked familiar to me. As I was
copying down information from the briefing, I kept trying to place where I knew him from. I thought
back to the airbase at Dong Ha and could not place him there. I thought back to the airbase at Chu
Lai, back to Ft Sill, back to my days in Germany, no luck. What was even more puzzling was he was
looking at me occasionally as if he were trying to place me.

The briefing broke up and we all went off to our various aircraft. As I was lifting off of the runway, it
suddenly hit me where I had known him from. I had not gone back far enough in my past. I had not
gone back to the Fall of 1960, my freshman year at Ohio Northern University. I was a beginning
pharmacy student and Richard was the engineering student that sat next to me for a year in math
class. After our first year, I would see him occasionally around campus for the next three
years. We always spoke to each other.

 I then dropped out of college and joined the Army.
When I realized what had just occurred at the briefing, I told my pilot about it, including Richard's
name. He knew him and told me that Richard was a Marine helo pilot assigned to Dong Ha. The
next few weeks, I made an effort to track down my old college friend. I even located his barracks,
but always missed him.

On May 12th, I was flying VR above a Marine operation just north of Con Thien. A Marine H34 helo
was going into a hot LZ to re-supply and Medevac'd. As it was lifting off, it got hit by ground fire
and crashed hard into a clearing. We flew low over the crash site looking for survivors. Seeing
none, we then attacked the tree line that the ground fire had come from with TAC air.

When we landed at Dong Ha, we went over to the Air Group Mess Hall for a quick lunch, since we
were scheduled up again in a few hours. In the mess Hall, I was eating my lunch, and at the other
end of my table were several Marine pilots talking about their friend that had just been shot
down. They were concerned about any survivors. I asked them if that was the H34 that went down
at Con Thien, and they said yes. I told them that I did not think that anyone had survived. It was
then that one of them mentioned the pilot‟s name. It was my friend Richard.

There were probably a dozen times in my tour of duty that I had witnessed American soldiers die. I
guess that I was lucky that they were always strangers to me. The war had suddenly become very
personal. With Richard's death, a little piece of me died. I suppose that we all have haunting
memories like these that will not leave us.

Some of you mentioned your reluctance to visit "The Wall" when it first opened. I was that way. I
had always managed to keep those memories way in the back of my mind, and I did not want to
confront them. A few years ago, the Traveling Wall came to Akron. I remember driving out to see it,
about 2 AM in the morning in the rain. I was not alone. There must have been at least 50 others
there to, standing in the rain, Vet's, Mom's, Dad's, relatives, friends. With some help, I found
Richard's place on the Wall. I also found a little peace, at last.

Maybe that Wall does help the healing process. I think that these nightly chats with you guys help
to. If there are any of you out there that do not think that you need healing, think again.”

                       Notes and discussion from 1 Feb 1967 to 30 April 1967,
                                 2nd Battalion Operational Report

Mission assignments: Provide GS for the 3rd Marine Division. In addition, supporting fires for Khe
Sanh Special Forces camp can be provided as required. A Battery provides GS for the 1st Marine
Division in the vicinity of Chu Lai and can fire in support of the Special Forces Camps Tra Bong, Ha
Thanh, and Minh Long.

Battalion is having a problem with equipping newly arrived personnel, either from in-country or
pipeline sources. Especially with helmets, liners, and flak jackets. Some of this equipment has been
borrowed from the Marines.

The frequent and number of violent attacks on this Battalion has created a shortage of fire
extinguishers. In addition, some are neither suited for, nor large enough for some fires. Several of
the small extinguishers, used at the same, time work well in gun fires.
From February 1967 to April 1967; B, C, and D batteries expended 38,448 rounds.
A Battery, in the south, expended 6,042 rounds.

In the process, the Battalion expended 57 gun tubes.

Because of the high output of rounds during Operation High Rise an airlift of ammunition was
required. At no time was the Battalion completely out of rounds.

Battalion is under OPCON of the 12th Marine Regiment.

6 men were admitted to in-country hospitals.

10 men were evacuated out of country.
Since the first reporting period, powder canisters have been arriving with two boxes constructed
around them to prevent denting.

Comment by chronicler: Also made for great stacking around a conex bunker or tent.

It is has been noted that powder storage should not be covered. The powder losses at Carroll and
at Gio Linh both were hit, by not being covered, minor lateral damage resulted. The bunker walls
should be as thick as possible. Personnel in covered bunkers should not be affected by either
explosion or debris. This should be pointed out to the troops.

Warning – a rocket with delayed fuze will penetrate any field shelter. However, there is no substitute
for extensive overhead sandbagging of personnel shelters to attenuate the secondary
effects. Sandbags, although torn and shredded by fragments, were primarily responsible for saving
numerous lives in this Battalion.

122 mm Rockets – A 2-3 second noise, similar to an aircraft, precedes the impact of the rocket.
Several effects of impact are considered of significance and are of primary importance when
devising personnel and equipment shelters. The surface burst is characterized by a 360-degree
fragmentation pattern, which not only sprays upward, but sprays horizontally with a grass cutter
effect. Prone personnel without shelter within a 50-meter radius of the impact point probably would
have less than a 50% chance of survival. The rocket motor continues through the blast to imbed
itself in the ground. The second major rocket effect indicates the use of delayed action fuze. The
rocket penetrates the ground and explodes causing camoflet or vented camoflet 6-8 feet deep and
5-6 feet in diameter. In both types of explosion, the rocket motor has been recovered form 21 to 25
feet in the ground past the point of entry. Personnel who saw the incoming rockets described the
high and low angles of fall, indicating an adjustable fin or high angle capability. Gunnery
techniques were obviously of high order, since all rockets landed on or near artillery and
installations, or near installations which the NVA may have presumed importance, i.e. the Mess Hall
of Headquarters Battery was hit, while the FDC was untouched. Both installations were similar in
appearance. The accuracy also indicated a prolonged observation and plotting effort against Camp
Carroll. All rockets were fired indirectly from a northerly direction from an unknown range.

Comment by chronicler: Just before I arrived on Carroll, Marines had searched an individual from
Cam Lo who use to come up to the gate and sell ice. On his person, they found a map with all the
gun locations and various installations on the hill. May account for some of the accuracy and
indeed the targeting itself. In addition, the bunkers that were hit in Headquarters were just offline
from the mess hall from the north.

Fuze quick/delay M572 – Delayed fuze action is absolutely required to penetrate the jungle cover and
extensive bunkering systems in the area of operations. Missions observed by patrols and air
observers indicate that in some instances fuzes set to delay do not function properly.
VT fuzes bursting on impact – This Battalion has experienced some difficulty in obtaining the
desired HOB above the target with the M514A1 VT Fuze. Until just recently, firing was limited to
Charge 1 and Charge 2, as this unit did not have the M514A1 VT Fuze equipped with the Kel F plastic
windshield. This discussion is based results firing VT Fuzed with Charge 2. The procedures listed
in FM-6-40, paragraph 412, were followed on three different missions fired by aerial observers. In
each mission the observer reported that the VT fuzes were bursting on impact. The chart range for
these missions varies from 16,000 meters to 20,500 meters. During one mission, with no friendly
troops in the area, the time of flight read under the elevation gage line was rounded down and 5
seconds subtracted; and an additional factor of 40/R was added, instead of 20/R, to the site
determined for the ground location. The VT fuze still burst on impact. In another mission, by
rounding down and subtracting 7 seconds, an airburst was obtained.

This unit is continuing to experiment with and arrive at a fuze correction from experience, that not
only is safe, but also will function as designed, if and when a target is sighted where the VT fuze
should be employed. Some bad lots of fuzes, the terminal velocity of the projectile, the terrain
characteristics of this area, or the angle of fall may be factors for improper functioning of the fuzes
used to date. An attempt will be made to gain more information to present in the next quarterly

Billets and working areas, which are used at night, are to be sandbagged to provide protection
during the initial phases of a rocket/mortar attack.

Battalion accuracy – excellent results have been obtained at various ranges. A system of average
VE‟s for each charge for each Battery are applied in the MET+VE‟s techniques for every round
fired. All Batteries utilize the graphical firing scales Gun, 175mm, 175AO (REV II) HEM 437.
This unit still has the experimental models, which were obtained from Fort Sill prior to any firing
conducted there in the summer of 1966. Two plot GFT settings are primarily used for any azimuth
on which one or more guns are firing. With this type GFT setting, the full range of GFT may be used
without regard to transfer limits. Utilizing this system, one gun from each of the three Batteries fired
at a registration point at an average range of 20,000 meters. Firing Charge 2, two of the Batteries
had their first rounds within 50 meters of the target and the third battery was within 100
meters. Another example, using Charge 3, occurred at a range of approximately 30,000
meters. One Battery had registered during the previous month at the about range. Firing the same
Battery, but with a different gun, at a point 1000 meters from the registration point, the air observer
sensed the first round as being within 100 meters of the target. However, firing at ranges below
12,000 meters, the decreased accuracy and large range dispersion prevent the 175mm gun from
being desirable for adjustment type missions. At ranges less than 12,000 meters, this unit normally
fires only unobserved missions with a large safe buffer zone.

Firing the 175mm gun at ranges above 12,000 meters using good MET data and by applying the
MET+VE technique with a system of average VE‟s for each charge, excellent first round accuracy
can be achieved. With a bursting radius of 95 meters, a first round within 100 meters of the target
will produce the element of surprise as well as possible casualties. There is however, a definite
need to obtain a more stable propellant for ranges under 12,000 meters in order to increase the
capabilities of the 175mm gun.

Comment by chronicler: Must have worked and continued to work. See Marine FO account in
Counteroffensive Phase III from Hill 861.

Rounds against Camp Carroll - 343 rounds total of 132mm Folding Fin Rockets, 102mm Spin
Rockets, and 82mm Mortar.

Rounds against Dong Ha - 35 rounds total of 140mm Spin Rockets.

Rounds against Gio Linh - 2,042 rounds total of 81/82mm Mortars, 122mm Artillery, 105mm Artillery,
and 102mm Spin Rockets.

From 25 February to Present the unit has fired continuously for Operation HIGHRISE.

From 20 April to 3 May 1967 the unit has fired continuously for Operation PRAIRIE IV.

From 13 May to Present the unit has fired continuously for Operation CROCKET (Khe Sanh).

From 16 May to 28 May the unit has fired continuously for Operation HICKORY I.

The firing battery at Dong Ha gains some additional range into south Vietnam and also provides fire
support for Quan Tri City and fires into the Hai Lang National Forest Reserve to the south.
The Battalion is under OPCON of the 12th Marine Regiment, which is organic to the 3rd Marine
Division. The 3rd Marine Division is part of the III Marine Amphibious Force. This Battalion is
attached to 1st Field Force Vietnam Artillery for command less operational control.

During the month of May, the Battalion conducted a one-week school for 12 enlisted personnel in
forward observer positions and techniques. This instruction provided qualified personnel to man
the observation post towers at Camp JJ Carroll and Gio Linh.

Individual and crew served weapon firing is scheduled once a week. Batteries attempt to send 25
percent of their personnel each week to insure all individuals fire once a month. Each individual
who performs guard duty is required to fire the M60, M79, and his individual weapon within one week
after reporting to the Battalion.

                                     Casualties during this period:
Killed in Action – 3
Specialist Ralph Lloyd Stillwagoner; Headquarters Battery, from Paden City, West Virginia.
Specialist Stillwagoner was killed on Camp Carroll.

Private First Class James Lawrence Holroyd; C Battery, from Roeland Park, Kansas. Private First
Class Holroyd was killed on Camp Carroll.

Private First Class Leonard Martin Jr., D Battery, from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Private Martin was
killed at Gio Linh.

Wounded in Action – 17

Camp Carroll: Private First Class Cheske, Private First Class Coble, Specialist Cox, Private Glaser,
Private First Class Hare, Private First Class Howard, Private First Jimenez

Gio Linh: Staff Sergeant Neal, Sergeant Seale, Specialist Kramb, Specialist Kerns, Sergeant Lough

Patrol: Lieutenant DeVita, Private First Class Mackrenroth

3 Unknown at this time - 1 may have been the ammo sergeant unloading powder on gun 2

Non-Battle Casualties – 1 (Unknown)

20 Article 15‟s were issued and 1 Summary Court.

6 Men were admitted to in-country hospital.

10 Men were evacuated out of country.

                   End of notes and discussion from 1 Feb 1967 to 30 April 1967,
                                 2nd Battalion Operational Report

Letter Dated 9 May 1967
                                          FROM: CG III Mar

Over the past few weeks I have become increasingly aware of the significant contribution to our
success on the battlefield made by the US Army Artillery Units supporting our Marines on the
ground. Please convey my thanks and appreciation to the officers and men of your operational
control. Their evidenced professionalism, dedicated support, and above all their timely
response to so many requests for support strengthen the bonds uniting military men in the
common cause.

Signed by: Lieutenant General Walt Sends, USMC

On 9 May 1967, C Battery underwent a rocket attack in Dong Ha.

B Battery (from JJ Carroll) continued to do its part in Operation PRAIRIE IV by providing support to
the Marines, in action near the DMZ, the Laotian Border, and for RECON elements in the field. From
16 May to 28 May 1967, B Battery fired in support of operation Hickory. In one instance during the
operation, the 9th Marines had been fighting for 3 days to take Hill 117. B Battery massed fires with
another Battery, each firing 124 rounds, and enabled the Marine infantry to walk up the hill without
firing a round.

During the period, B Battery fired 8,942 rounds. 8,576 of which were fired into North Vietnam. They
wore out 19 gun tubes in the process.

 On 18 May 1967, C Battery underwent rocket and artillery attack in Dong Ha. Private First Class
John Charles Gainous, C Battery, from Port St. Joe, Florida was killed during that artillery attack.

Account by Lieutenant Greg Smith, C Battery FDO, regarding the attack on 18 May 1967: "In that
attack on C Battery at Dong Ha we had one KIA and several injured. We had no medics with us in
the Battery area. Because it was so urgent, I called back to 2/94th Battalion FDC at Camp Carroll for
help. I reported the casualties in the clear because I couldn't find my encryption book.

After many, many fire missions in support of the Marine Recon patrols, I had developed a very close
relationship with a lot of the guys at the 3rd Marine Recon Battalion (call sign "Rainbelt") based in
Dong Ha. I visited their HQ whenever I had the chance, when I was in Dong Ha. They had always
been very appreciative of a lot of the special things we did in support of them.

As you know, most of their forward observers were EM with little artillery training. They
always kidded me about how they felt they "owed us one". That day I reported the casualties we
took using our main fire net. Since Marine Recon monitored that frequency, they heard me call it in
and rushed several vehicles with medical personnel over from their area to our area which I think
was on the southwest corner of the Dong Ha perimeter. It was almost dark by then.

They weren't in the Battery area very long and as they pulled out I was coming over to say thanks
when I heard Captain McCord ask them who had sent them over to us because he knew I had called
for help and he was expecting Army Medics. As he was pulling out of the battery area, from his
vehicle, a Marine Sergeant answered back, "No one sent us. We know Lieutenant Smith and heard
he needed some help". I had to turn away and walk off into the darkness because I was so choked
up hearing that. It was one of the most emotional moments of my life and every time I tell that story
it still makes my eyes watery. Another example of how everyone over there was fighting for and
with the guy by this side.

On 28 May 1967, C Battery displaced to a firing position at Gio Linh to relieve D Battery.
During the sixty-six days that D Battery occupied the position, they had received 38 attacks. D
Battery returned to Dong Ha to recuperate from the numerous hostile attacks and to perform
maintenance on their equipment.

Account by Lieutenant Larry Vinyard, FDC, D Battery at Gio Linh: “When Lieutenant Lincoln was hit,
we had been talking between the XO's post and the FDC in late afternoon...about dusk. We heard
rounds being fired. I jumped for the FDC and he went for the stairs to the XO post. The round hit
closer to him. He also had a compound fracture to his right arm.

I remember an FDO being assigned after Lieutenant Lincoln, but I cannot remember his name. I
think that Terry Lee (Lieutenant Terry G. Lee from C Battery) was assigned to D Battery on 17 June
1967; came about ten days after Lincoln's departure. I remember that we operated with just one
officer for about a week before someone was assigned. Things were rather hectic on the
firebase. At the rate we were beginning to lose people, I tried not to get close to anyone.”

Account by Lieutenant Greg Smith, C Battery FDO at Gio Linh: “Gio Linh was the exact opposite of
our training in tactics about the deployment of heavy artillery - specifically of it being in the rear
behind the front lines and used in general support. At Gio Linh, there was NO infantry in front of our
175s, just NVA. Even the 105s were behind us!"

Account by Lieutenant Greg Smith, C Battery FDO at Gio Linh: “I think everyone has a ton of
memories about Gio Linh. That was the most unbelievable month of the whole tour. I remember the
line of guys outside Captain McCord's tent at Dong Ha the day before we went, pleading not to go.

I remember the officer calls that Marine Major Al Gray held outside, with Major Gray sitting relaxed in
his lawn chair smoking a cigar and the rest of us sitting on the front 3 inches of our chairs with one
ear cocked for that" sound" from the north that told you there was 2 or 3 seconds to get down before
the round came in. One time we were attacked during an officers call and Gray just got up and
walked (not ran) to his bunker puffing on his cigar, while the rest of us dove for cover and looked up
at him from a ditch.
One of our powder bunkers at Gio Linh took a hit during one of the NVA artillery barrages. It was
burning like crazy and it looked like everything around that gun was going to go. Lieutenant Tenis
and I watched it from the FDC bunker and decided that the whole situation was way too risky. I
think the conversation between us was something like "I'm not going out there and I'm not telling
anyone to go out there." The other saying "me either". Then that Sergeant, and I can‟t remember
his name now, but it seemed like he felt like he had something to prove (maybe I'm wrong about
that), ran out there amongst all that incoming to the fire burning by all those 175mm rounds; it
looked like suicide. He grabbed a shovel and started shoveling dirt on the fire and saved everything
from blowing up. Can you imagine the secondaries if that ammo bunker went? I'm sure there's an
official write-up somewhere.”

 Note by chronicler: Marine Major Al Gray would eventually be promoted to Commandant of the
Marine Corps.

Account by Lieutenant Andy Tenis, C Battery XO at Gio Linh, regarding Staff Sergeant Cornett: “The
Sergeant was the Motor Sergeant and he had just repaired the hydraulic lines on the gun in
question. When the powder started blowing, he essentially stopped the fire from spreading to the

The following entry is from the 'Plateau Outpost' Newsletter regarding Staff Sergeant Cornett:

Comment by chronicler: An old copy was found by Specialist Bob Matlock in his duffle bag 35
years later.

"The Medal of Honor, the Distinguished Service Cross, the Silver Star--our nations three highest
decorations for gallantry and courage beyond the call of duty. The shades of difference between
them are virtually indistinguishable. The type actions required to earn them are likewise very similar.
One must place his own life in peril beyond the risk ordinarily involved in order to protect American
equipment, or to assure accomplishment of the mission.

Such actions are rare, indeed, and awards of any of out of the three highest decorations are made
only after close scrutiny of the action and extensive review of a recommendation. As might be
expected, few are recommended for such awards and even fewer are approved.
We may be justly proud that in our ranks we have a man who has earned the Silver Star for action
above and beyond the call of duty in the 2nd Battalion, 94th Artillery.

With disregard for his own safety, Staff Sergeant Hubert Cornett saved one M107 and ammunition
stock, and probably several lives by flaunting enemy rounds bursting around him and extinguishing
fires started by those rounds. Hurled to the ground when struck in the chest by shrapnel, he
unhesitatingly returned to his task until all fires were extinguished and the equipment was safe.

Sergeant Cornett's actions were in the finest traditions of military service.
He brings great honor to his Battery, this Battalion, and to his Army comrades-in-arms. His standard
of conduct in action is a splendid example for us all."

Account by Lieutenant Greg Smith, C Battery FDO, regarding the displacement to Gio Linh: “Since
C Battery followed B and D Batteries, by the time it was our turn, the NVA artillery, rocket, and
mortar batteries had precise firing data to every target up there. Captain Mc Cord, CO, lead the
convoy in his jeep. I do not remember his jeep driver's name, but he was probably the biggest guy
in the Battery (height and bulk). I had a good view of everything with my head out of the hatch of
the FDC APC. We were hit right as we started to turn into the Gio Linh firebase off Highway 1.
However, the aforementioned driver of the CO's jeep jumped out and dove in a ditch when the
rounds started coming in. The problem was that he left the jeep right in the middle of the road going
in and effectively prevented the entire convoy from moving, and we were strung out along the road.

After a minute or two, Captain McCord had to get back in the jeep and drive it out of the way himself
so that we could get the guns and FDC into the firebase.

Once in, Lieutenant Andy Tenis was busy trying to get the guns into position and laid and I was
trying to get the FDC track in and the FDC set up. Obviously there's a potential for a certain amount
of chaos and confusion anytime a firing battery moves into a new position, but doing so while
receiving artillery incoming was particularly stressful.

I remember standing outside the FDC bunker, watching shrapnel from the incoming rounds kick up
dirt around me and heard it ping off the metal of the used powder canisters that were used to shore
up the bunkers, when Captain Hiser (Captain Hiser had been the OCS Artillery instructor at Fort Sill)
came up on the side of me. He must have noticed the stunned look on my face as I stood there,
almost overwhelmed by the sheer terror of the Gio Linh environment, when he came up right next to
me and shouted "Candidate Smith!"; just like back in OCS. That quickly snapped me back to reality
(I think I even instinctively came to attention). Then he offered a few words of encouragement,
smiled, shook hands, and said, "It's All Yours, I'm Leaving." I believe that was the last time I saw
Captain John Hiser.”

Account by Lieutenant Martin McKnight of Service Battery: “Here is one for the record books. I got
a speeding ticket at Dong Ha. One afternoon, I got a call that 175 ammo was needed at Gio Linh. I did
some quick calculations and knew we were going to get back close to dark. I told everyone it would
be a hurry up job. We rushed to the ammo dump, loaded up, and headed north. Before we got off
base, I was pulled over and given a speeding ticket by a Marine. What a way to run a war! We did
make it back slightly before dark.

I also got bumped on a flight by a TV repairman. The officers at Da Nang had to see Combat on
TV. Yes, they showed the old reruns of Combat. I got to see it once at a club in Da Nang.”

Account by Specialist John Green C Battery FDC, regarding a direct fire mission on Carroll plus
other fire missions: “Smitty, (Lieutenant Smith) you are right about the direct fire. It was into the
Razorback. I remember it was Sergeant Pugh's gun, Gun 2. We laid the barrel down on the deck,
loaded up put a 100 foot lanyard on, and let fly. I think it was because of Khe Sanh getting rounds
from the caves on the Razorback. They fired quite a few rounds. It had never been done before and
were not sure the barrel would stay on the gun deck, but it did. Probably around the summer of 67.
As for the elephant. They were along the Ho Chi Minh trail and I think it was from a FO in a small
plane. We did get secondary explosions. Sometime between June and September of 67.

I remember the fire mission we had for the unit that was someplace they shouldn't be. They ran into
a big NVA unit. We had two guns on them, one firing into the NVA and the other behind them to
clear the jungle so they could get to a place for pick up. I remember being on the radio with them,
and when they keyed their mike, I could hear the rounds go off very plain, and thinking this guy got a
set of nuts bigger than a elephant to do that with the size of round we were shooting his way. I do
remember they got to the pick up and got out. I also remember when the mission started; we had
trouble getting a save-a-plane to fire and a voice came on the radio with clearance of Mike/Gulf,
which later we found out was Major Gray.

Major Gray showed up one day with the patrol leader who carried an American Flag in his piss pot to
thank us.

Some of the fire missions are as clear as yesterday.

I remember playing records over the radio to some of the guys on patrol. Our call sign was 'DR
NO'. I have some pictures of us doing that. I also have a tape I sent home that was on a reel to reel
that I never heard until 25 years later. When I heard the tape, it had a voice on it that didn't make
it home, THE KID -- Jimmy Holroyd.

It was a tough one to hear after having it for 25 years. Voices like Billy Gilbert, Terry Casteel,
Hinton, and Black and you could here the guns firing in the background. It was odd the day you
called me, as I had just brought my pictures in to show some of the young guys that work for me
what some of the life was like.”

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