The 1/92nd Field Artillery
Association - Vietnam



Operational Reports/Lessons Learned

1 Nov '68 to 31 Jan '69

APO 96318

AVGG-BJ                                       5 February 1969

SUBJECT: Operational Report of the 1st Battalion, 92d Artillery for Period Ending 31 January 1969 RCS CSFOR-65 (R1) (U)

See Distribution

1. (C) Section 1, Operations: Significant Activities.

a. (C) General:

(1) The 1st Battalion, 92d Artillery remains attached to the 52d Artillery Group, I Field Force Vietnam Artillery, with its Forward Command Post in Dak To, Republic of Vietnam, operating normally in general support of US/RVNAF and FWMAF. The unit has been continuously engaged in action against hostile forces in the Area of Operations Binh Tay - MacArthur, II Corps Tactical Zone, Republic of Vietnam.

(2) Location, status and mission of each unit organic to and/or controlled by this battalion are as follows:

(a) Forward Command Post: Grid ZB003215 (Fire Support Base 1, Dak To); organic; Coordinates fire support for Dak To - Ben Het area.

(b) Battalion Headquarters: Grid ZA226535 (Artillery Hill, Pleiku); organic; General Support.

(c) Battery A: Grid ZA064311 (Rock Quarry, 25KM southwest of Pleiku); OPCON to 3rd Howitzer Battalion, 6th Artillery; General Support.

(d) Battery B: Grid YB933188 (Fire Support Base 6, 7KM west of Dak To); organic; General Support.

(e) Battery C: Grid YA835747 (Fire Support Base Delta, 45KM southwest of Kontum) OPCON to 6th Battalion, 14th Artillery; General Support.

(f) Service Battery: Grid ZA226535 (Artillery Hill, Pleiku) organic: General Support.

(g) Metro Section: Grid ZA004217 (Fire Support Base 1, Dak To) organic; supports artillery and air weather service.

(h) Battery B, 6th Battalion, 14th Artillery: Grid YB869256 (Fire Support Base 12, 15 KM north west of Dak To); OPCON to 1st Battalion, 92d Artillery; General Support.

(i) 25th Radar Detachment: Grid YB869256 (Fire Support Base 12, 15KM northwest of Dak To); OPCON to 1st Battalion, 92d Artillery; provides counter mortar surveillance for the Dak To - Ben Het area.

(j) Battery A, 5th Battalion, 22d Artillery: Grid BR034535 (Fire Support Base Black Hawk, 26KM east of Pleiku); OPCON to 1st Battalion, 92d Artillery; General Support.

(3) The battalion is organized under the provisions of TO&E 6-425G, effective 15 June 1968. The battalion strength is:

                  OFF     WO     EM      TOTAL
(a) Authorized    37      6      555      598

(b) Assigned      30      3      535      571

(4) There were 23 personnel in Battery B, 1st Battalion, 92d Artillery wounded during November 1968 as a result of hostile action at Landing Zone Vera, YA834178 (5KM south of Duc Co). PFC Greg Stiger Battery B, 1st Battalion, 92d Artillery lost his life as a result of this hostile action. PFC Weeks was wounded in a mine incident. CPL Hutchinson was wounded while a member of an FO party. One of the individuals wounded at LZ Vera received multiple Purple Heart Awards.

(5) Personnel in the Battalion received 17 Bronze Stars (9 for Valor), 3 Air Medals, 17 Army Commendation Medals (9 for Valor) and 27 Purple Hearts during the report period. Two men nominated for Silver Stars were given interim awards of Bronze Stars for Valor, VOCG, I Field Force Vietnam Artillery.

b. (C) Intelligence:

(1) Observation:

(a) One forward observer party (Lt Petty, SP4 Bailey, PFC Kernan, C Battery, 1st Battalion, 92d Artillery) was provided to support Mike Strike Force, Company 223. This company was conducting a sweep north of Pleiku from 9-13 December 1968. On 13 December the village of Plei Chi Tu, Grid AR781597, was cordoned and searched. The operation produced no significant findings.

(b) An observer party (Lt Johnson, SP4 Bailey, PFC Griffith) was provided to support the 11th Ranger Battalion (ARVN) in operation Binh Tay 48/49 from 2 January 1969 to 26 January 1969. The area of operation was approximately 30 KM northwest of Pleiku. During the conduct of operation, the 11th Ranger Battalion found medical supplies, arms caches and food caches.

(c) One observer party ((Lt Walters, CPL Hutchinson, SP4 Borders) was provided to support the 23rd Ranger Battalion (ARVN) in operation Binh Tay 50 30 KM northwest of Pleiku. Lt Walters and his party were wounded from hostile fire and were extracted on 26 January 1969. On 28 January a replacement observer party (Lt Schalk, PFC Davis, PFC Pearson) assumed the duties of the party headed by Lt Walters.

c. (C) Operations and Training Activities.

(1) Operations:

(a) Battery A, 1st Battalion, 92d Artillery was located on Fire Support Base 6 and supported the Dak To area until 3 December 1968. On 2 December 1968 A Battery was instrumental in preventing a possible rocket and mortar attack on Dak To. The timely fire and employment of "Fire Cracker" rounds on an enemy force observed along a ridge line, known as "Rocket Ridge", forced the enemy to retreat. On 3 December 1968, Battery A was air lifted to Dak To and then traveled by road to Kontum (AR818737) to support a 24th Special Tactical Zone operation. On the night of 11 December 1968, A Battery was attacked by enemy forces utilizing 82mm mortar, small arms and 122mm rockets. The attack was repelled with negative friendly casualties or damage. On 13 December 1968 Battery A left Kontum to support elements of the 1st Brigade in operations in the vicinity of Mang Yang Pass and Suoi Doi. For these operations the battery had the mission of General Support-Reinforcing the fires of the 6th Battalion, 29th Artillery. The battery then moved to Suoi Doi on the 22d of December to prepare for a move to a new location. While in this position the battery was called on to fire heavy night firing programs. On 24 December 1968, the battery minus moved from its Suoi Doi position (BR034535) to a position named LZ Christmas (BR0963) leaving two howitzers to fire a prep for an LZ. These two howitzers joined the battery on 26 December 1968. Battery A supported Task Force Winner while located at LZ Christmas. Battery A moved to Suoi Doi on 4 January 1969 to support a 4th Division Sweep operation. The sweep was completed on 18 January and on 19 January 1969 Battery A airlifted back to LZ Black Hawk at Suoi Doi (BR034535). Upon completion of the air move the battery then moved by convoy to Artillery Hill. Upon arrival at Artillery Hill, Battery A occupied a firing position, Grid ZA225536. The battery remained at this location until moving to its present location ZA064311, 25KM southwest of Pleiku, on 22 January 1969. Battery A presently has the mission of general support and is OPCON to the 3d Battalion, 6th Artillery.

(b) Battery B continued its mission of General Support-Reinforcing the 2d Battalion, 9th Artillery, which is the direct support artillery battalion for 3d Brigade, 4th Infantry Division. On 12 November 1968 the battery moved to Landing Zone Vera (YA834178, 50 KM southwest of Pleiku) to continue this support. While at this location the battery and its infantry security force came under ground attack on 13 November 1968. Two days of intense enemy action ensued in which 23 battery personnel were wounded, one (1) man was killed and three (3) howitzers were damaged. The battery was highly commended for its valorous action which helped repel a ground attack leaving seven VC dead inside the perimeter and suppressed the subsequent hostile mortar, rocket and artillery attacks with counter-battery fire.
On 16 November 1968 it was moved to the Rock Quarry (25 KM southwest of Pleiku) then to Artillery Hill on 18 November; on 19 November they were placed in the Plei Trap Valley region. On 19 November 1968, the battery moved by convoy from Artillery Hill to Fire Base Mary Lou (ZA223829, vicinity of Kontum). One (1) platoon remained at Fire Base Mary Lou, while the remainder of the battery continued on to Dak To (ZB004217). On 20 November Battery B(-) was air lifted from Dak To to Fire Support Base 20 (YB823082, 20 KM southwest of Dak To). The platoon which had remained at Fire Base Mary Lou moved by convoy to Landing Zone Bass (ZA028935, vicinity of Polei Kleng) on 21 November 1968. On 22 November 1968, the platoon was air lifted to Landing Zone Swinger (YB933188, 40 KM west of Kontum). Upon completion of the operation in the Plei Trap Valley on 3 December 1968, Battery B was air lifted from both locations and regrouped at LZ Bass (ZA028935). The battery then moved by convoy to Dak To on 4 December 1968 and was air lifted to Fire Support Base 25 (15KM Northwest of Dak To), on support-reinforcing to the 6th Battalion 29th Artillery, the direct support artillery battalion for the 1st Brigade, 4th Infantry Division. On 25 January 1969, Battery B displaced from Fire Base 25 to Fire Base 6 (YB933188). Upon arrival at Fire Base 6, the battery's mission was general support.

(c) Battery C remained in the Duc Lap area and continued its mission of General Support-Reinforcing to the 4th Battalion, 42d Artillery. During the early part of November the battery supported Task Force Bright, an operation conducted by 2d Brigade, 4th Infantry Division. Upon the disbanding of this Task Force, Battery C remained at LZ Saber (YU864766, vicinity Duc Lap) to provide support for Duc Lap Special Forces Camp, US Forces and ARVN Forces remaining in the area. The Battery was air lifted to Ban Me Thuot on 19 November 1968 and road marched to Artillery Hill on 21 November 1968, for further deployment. On 25 November 1968, the battery traveled by road to Fire Support Base Mary Lou (ZA223829). Upon arrival at Fire Support Base Mary Lou the battery again assumed the mission of General Support-Reinforcing to the 4th Battalion, 42d Artillery. As a part of this mission on 5 December 1968, two howitzers were moved to a position Grid ZB151131, 25 KM north of Kontum for support of the 24th STZ. The howitzers returned to Fire Support Base Mary Lou on 12 December 1968. Battery C(-) was assigned to support Task Force Winner and departed Mary Lou by road for Suoi Doi (BR034535) on 24 December 1968. The remaining platoon continued to support the pacification operation from a position at Fire Support Base Mary Lou. Upon phasing out of Task Force Winner, Battery C(-) moved to Artillery Hill, Pleiku on 3 January 1969 and to Plei Mrong (ZA117673) on 4 January 1969. The purpose of the move was to support a three battalion ARVN Operation Binh Tay conducted by the 24th STZ. On 6 January 1969, the four howitzers were air lifted along with the 24th STZ tactical command post to a location at ZA035665 (8 KM west of Plei Mrong), where it fired in support of the 24th STZ Operation Binh Tay. On 15 January 1969, a platoon of C Battery displaced from LZ Mary Lou to LZ Monica (ZA112678, Plei Mrong). The platoon was OPCON to the 3d Howitzer Battalion, 6th Artillery with the mission of General Support-Reinforcing 2d Battalion, 9th Artillery. The platoon was air lifted on 29 January 1969 and rejoined battery C(-). Enemy casualties in the Binh Tay 48/49 operation were 391 KIA, estimated 545 WIA an d1 CIA. Battery C was credited with a large number of these casualties.

(d) During Operation Task Force Winner, the battalion operated a tactical OP; Toll House Charlie (an aircraft advisory station); and a liaison section to the 2d Squadron, 1st Cavalry at Fire Support Base Black Hawk (BR034535, 26 KM east of Pleiku).

(e) The Metro section was commended by the I Field Force Vietnam Artillery Meteorological Quality Control Team for its high degree of accuracy and dependability during the period 16 November to 15 December 1968. This was the only section in the II CTZ to achieve the maximum 180 soundings in this 30 period.

(2) Training:

(a) A course in observed fire procedures was given on 7 December 1968 to a group of Special Forces personnel from Kontum. The one day course was instructed by Lt Mears, Battery A and was taught in Kontum. The instruction was followed by a live fire service practice in which Battery B, 1st Battalion, 92d Artillery fired for the class who observed from Fire Support Base 12. While at Fire Support Base 12 the class was the guest of Battery B, 6th Battalion, 14th Artillery.

(b Members of the battalion assisted the 52d Aviation Battalion in presenting a course of instruction on the proper methods of rigging material for air movement. This instruction was given to selected personnel from the 52d Artillery Group.

(c) On the job training continued for personnel in all batteries during the quarter. Emphasis was on maintenance, fire direction, crew drill and communications.

(d) During this reporting period newly arrived personnel began attending the replacement training course conducted by the 4th Infantry Division at Camp Enari in addition to the orientation conducted by the battalion.

d. (C) Logistics:

(1) Batteries B and C continue to rely on air movement of supplies to the fire bases. Each battery has established a rear staging area with qualified rigging personnel to insure that resupply is properly maintained. Battery A is presently resupplied by motor convoy from Artillery Hill Pleiku.

(2) Since this battalion is the only airmobile battalion in the 52d Artillery Group, it is frequently called upon to assist 52d Group and other units in preparing equipment for air movement. Among some of the items prepared and rigged for movement have been radar equipment, ammunition, rations and barrier materials, as well as the medium howitzers.

(3) On 7 November 1968, three howitzers from Battery A developed an unusual maintenance problem in the recoil system. The recoil guide key liners located at the breech end of the recoil systems were ejected fro the howitzers during recoil. The three howitzers were airlifted to the Forward CP, at Dak To, and an ordinance team from the 62d Maintenance Battalion and a crew from Battery A, replaced one liner and two recoil systems. The howitzers were placed back in action by 9 November 1968 at Dak to and were air lifted back to Fire Support Base 6 on 10 November 1968.

(4) Because of the age, normal wear and damage from hostile action, the howitzers of this battalion were replaced in a closed loop exchange program. The battalion now has 18 new or rebuilt M114A1 howitzers.

e. Civil Affairs:

The battalion surgeon and personnel from Headquarters and Service Batteries continued to make Civil Affairs and Medcap visits to villages in coordination with our associate ARVN Battery, Battery A, 37th ARVN Battalion. There were 5 Medcap visits during which 435 Vietnamese were helped of which two-thirds were children. General medical care was provided.

f. Personnel:

(1) 13 November 1968: CPT Martin LeBlanc replaced CPT Edward D Ray as commander of Battery B. CPT Ray was wounded and evacuated from Landing Zone Vera.

(2) 22 December 1968: CPT Richard W. Pederson succeeded CPT Charles Edwards as Service Battery Commander. CPT Edwards was evacuated to CONUS for correction of a back ailment.

(3) 28 December 1968: CPT James K. Mawhorr replaced CPT Martin LeBlanc as Commander of Battery B.

(4) 22 December 1968: Major Richard R. Bolt replaced Major James K. Strozier as Battalion Executive Officer.

(5) The battalion lost through normal rotation the services of its three technical warrant officers: CWO Mitchem, personnel; CWO Gathright, supply; and CWO Closser, maintenance.

g. Artillery:

(1) During the quarter, elements of this battalion made a total of 31 tactical moves, of which 19 were by road and 12 by air.

(2) During the reporting period the battalion fired 25,885 rounds in support of tactical and pacification operations.

On 13 and 14 November, Battery B located at Landing Zone Vera (YA834178) came under a ground attack supported by rocket, mortar and 100mm gun fire. The battery continued counter-battery fire though sustaining losses of 23 wounded, 1 killed and three howitzers damaged. The effectiveness of the counter-battery fire and additional artillery support resulted in breaking the enemy attack.
Battery A, while firing in support of the 24 STZ south of Kontum, received a ground and mortar/rocket attack (AR818737). From 2 November 1968 through 22 December 1968 fire bases in the Ben Het area (Fire Support Base 29 and Fire Support Base 12) experienced 15 enemy rocket/mortar/recoiless rifle attacks. Batteries A and B fired counter-battery fires in support of units on fire bases 29 and 12.

h. Other:

(1) Engineer.

(a) A program of bunker inspections was coordinated with engineer representatives located in the various brigade areas of operation. The purpose of these inspections was to verify the construction of the bunkers built underground. The bunkers passed this safety inspection.

(b) Among engineering projects undertaken on behalf of the battalion or its OPCON units were:

1. The building of two underground tactical operations centers (TOC), one at Dak To Forward CP and one at the battalion headquarters located at Artillery Hill, Pleiku. The TOC at Dak To was built by the 299th Engineer Battalion, while the one in Pleiku was built by the 20th Combat Engineers.

2. The 299th Engineer Battalion also built a new maintenance building at Artillery Hill for the Battalion Maintenance Section.

3. Company A, 4th Engineer Battalion, provided a bulldozer to Battery B, 6th Battalion, 14th Artillery so that underground protection could be constructed for the 175mm guns located at Ben Het.

(2) Visits by General Officers and other VIP's: During the reporting period three dignitaries visited the 1st Battalion, 92d Artillery. (See Incl 2)

2. Lessons Learned: Commander's observations, Evaluations and Recommendations:

a. Personnel: None

b. Operation: Personnel and ammunition protection:

(1) Observations: Whenever a battery occupies a new firing position, immediate steps should be taken to provide protection for personnel, ammunition and equipment in that order. Battalion SOP requires that personnel bunkers with at least three layers of sandbags for overhead cover must be constructed upon occupation of position before anyone sleeps. Culvert Sections, PSP or timbers may be used for hasty construction to support sandbags.

(2) Evaluation: Adherence to the SOP for "overhead cover before sleeping" has already saved lives. Battery B arrived at LZ Vera late in the afternoon on 12 November 1968. Overhead cover was completed before midnight. The position was attacked shortly after midnight. One personnel bunker sustained a direct hit by an 82mm mortar round which penetrated only one and a half layers of sandbags. All men in the bunker survived. Without this overhead cover, all men in the bunker would probably have been killed.

(3) Recommendation: Every unit subject to mortar attack should strictly enforce a policy of "overhead cover before sleeping".

c. Training: None.

d. Intelligence: None.

e. Logistics: None.

f. Organization: None.


                                  Nelson L. Thompson
                                  Lieutenant Colonel, FA
2 Incl                            Commanding
1. Organizational Chart
. General Officers and VIP Visits

6 CO, 52d Arty Gp


1st Battalion, 92d Artillery


General Officer and VIP Visits

1. 21 November 1968:

a. Edwards, Richard A. Jr., Brigadier General, Commanding General, I Field Force Artillery.

b. Forward CP, Battery A, Battery B, 1st Battalion, 92d Artillery.

c. Command Visit.

d. General Edwards was briefed at the Forward CP and inspected progress in construction of FSB 6 and FSB 20.

2. 19 December 1968:

a. Edwards, Richard A. Jr., Brigadier General, Commanding General, I Field Force Artillery.

b. Battalion Headquarters.

c. Command Visit.

d. General Edwards was given an update briefing.

3. 25 December 1968:

a. Edwards, Richard A. Jr., Brigadier General, Commanding General, I Field Force Artillery.

b. Battalion Headquarters, Battery A, Battery C, and Tactical Command Post.

c. Command Visit.

d. The Commanding General made a Christmas visit.

3. 10 January 1968:

a. Edwards, Richard A. Jr., Brigadier General, Commanding General, I Field Force Artillery.

b. Battery B.

c. Presentation of awards.

d. The Commanding General presented awards to the officers and men for their actions at LZ Vera. There were 9 Bronze Stars for valor, 18 Purple Hearts, and (8?) Army Commendation Medals for Valor.

5. 3 November 1968:

a. Martha Raye.

b. Battery A, 1st Battalion, 92d Artillery.

c. Entertainment.

d. Martha Raye entertained the troops in her unique way and the visit was well received by the men of the unit. She was escorted by LTC Thompson.

6. 21 January 1969:

a. Gypsy Rose Lee.

b. Battery B, 1st Battalion, 92d Artillery.

c. Entertainment.

d. Gypsy Rose Lee visited the fire base for just a short period of time visiting with the men. The visit was well received, (illegible).


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