Unit History

The 1/92nd Field Artillery
Association - Vietnam


'Red Devils' of Vietnam

By David Powell

The 92nd Field Artillery whether self-propelled or towed, will always be the "Brave Cannons" as the motto under the Units shield proclaims.

But what about the Red Devils? When I served with the 1/92nd in 1970-71, almost everyone in Charlie Battery wore a Red Devil Patch on his left breast fatigue pocket. I knew nothing about the Brave Cannons at that time... I thought our unit was the Red Devils, but that was not the case.

When the 92nd Artillery was formed for action in WWII, it was a self-propelled 105mm unit and was assigned to the famed "2nd Armored Division". After WWII, the unit realized that everyone had a nickname: the "Ivy Division" of the 4th Infantry, the "Screaming Eagles" ofthe 101st Airborne, why even the 2nd Armored Division, to which they were attached had the nickname "Hell on Wheels". Therefore, in January of 1949 a contest was held to establish their nickname. Red (was chosen) for the color of Artillery, and the Devil from the 'Hell on Wheels' Division. The unit was detached from the 2nd Armored, on 10 November 1950. When the unit went to Korea, it was still a self-propelled unit, and they traded their 105mm Howitzers in for 155mm Howitzers. The "Red Devils" nickname was used far more prolifically than the nickname of "Brave Cannons". After the Korean War, and during inactivation, something was lost.

When activation occurred again for the Vietnam War, the troops of the 92nd Field Artillery were indoctrinated in the History of the "Brave Cannons" tradition. In 1967 the unit was very "Spit and Polish" and NO sign of the Red Devils was seen anywhere. 1968 was not as rigid as 1967, and there WAS a sign, or presence of our famed mascot on display at Battalion Headquarters on Artillery Hill.

Then in 1969, the devil got into a very creative Forward Observer by the name of John Parrish. John took his idea to a tailor in the Dak To area, and the first pocket patch was born. Finally the realization became known, you could build "Morale" and "Esprit de Corps" by utilizing the nickname and image of the "Red Devil".

By the end of 1969, the Howitzers of A Battery not only displayed the Paratrooper wings from the 173rd Airborne Brigade, but each gun shield had the Red Devil insignia painted on them. Each gun section had a flag made displaying the Red Devil. It is said the VC (Vietcong) and NVA (North Vietnamese Army) in the Central Highlands not only knew, but also hated and feared the Red Devils of the 1/92nd Field Artillery. When 1970 and 1971 rolled around, the flags may have been gone, but there WAS evidence of the pocket patch in all three Firing Batteries.

Even though the location of the wording changed from Battery to Battery, the important details were in essence the same. WE were the 1/92nd Field Artillery AND we were the Red Devils. I hope we never lose sight of the fact; it took a lot of Red Devils to fire those Brave Cannons.

B Btry's 'Red Devil' just after '68 Tet at Kontum
My thanks and appreciation to all the members who responded to my questions regarding the "Red Devil" patches, signs and flags. Thanks for your images and your help in writing this piece.


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