VIETNAM ALERT, DEPLOYMENT, EMPLOYMENT

 During the period from 4 January 1963 to 23 July 1965, the Battalion trained and became Combat Ready after passing an AIT, for which it was given the mission of school support. In this mission, the Battalion became capable of manning and displacing each artillery weapon at Fort Sill, including the M102 that was being developed at the time.

On 23 July 1965, the Battalion was alerted for deployment to Vietnam. After procuring eligible personnel, training for a one month period, and packing the Battalion headed by troop train and air transport to Oakland, California. On 4 October, the Battalion boarded the USNS General William H. Gordon and embarked for Vietnam. It should be noted that although it was the last of three battalions to be alerted at Fort Sill, the 2d Battalion, 32d Artillery was the first to move out.

Upon arrival in Vietnam on 4 November, the Battalion was assigned to the 23d Artillery Group for employment in the Ill Corps Area; it was also reorganized to include two 175mm gun batteries and an 8 inch battery, thus Continuing its reputation for establishing "firsts". On 19 November 1965, from a position near the Bien Hoa Air Base, the first 175mm round in combat was fired in a volley of three rounds from the base piece of each firing battery.

When November ended Battery B had moved to a position near Lai Khe with the 3d Brigade, 1st Infantry Division.

December was a month of movement as the remaining four batteries cleared the staging area. Headquarters and C batteries moved to a position east of Bien Hoa near the village of Chu Gia Vien. Battery A occupied a position to the north of the Bien Hoa airstrip and Service battery established a base at the Tan Son Nhut Airbase.

 

VIETNAM 1966

During the year 1966 the Battalion, in support of II Field Force was very successful in accomplishing its mission in spite of the numerous obstacles employed by the enemy. The Battalion at some time or another was the target of mortar or recoilless rifle attack, claymore or mining incidents, or sniper fire. In almost every position that was occupied one or more of these events occurred.

On 8 January the Battalion moved the first heavy artillery west of Saigon. At 0800 hours Headquarters and C Batteries, with a 155mm battery attached, departed Bien Hoa for positions in the vicinity of Trung Lap to participate in Operations Crimp and Buckskin. Battery A moved to Phu Loi and Battery B was able to support the operation from its base camp at Lai Khe. After the operation on 25 January Headquarters and Batteries A and C moved to a position near Cu Chi to set up a base camp. On 27 January, the Battalion welcomed the 25th Infantry Division as it arrived in its new base camp at Cu Chi.

During the initial displacement of Headquarters and C Batteries, Battery A was located near Bien Hoa and Service Battery at Tan Son Nhut. Both batteries later moved to Cu Chi, while Battery B remained at Lai Khe.

On 21 February, Battery C departed Cu Chi for a position north of Trang Bang to fire in support of Operation Mastiff, during which it continued to fire missions with deadly accuracy. After returning to the base camp, Battery C remained in position to support Operation Waikiki for the 25th (US) Infantry Division. When Operation Waikiki ended on 4 March, the Battery was given the mission of GS II Field Force Vietnam, reinforcing the 25th Division Artillery in Operation Del Ray on 8 and 9 March.

On 14 March, Batteries A and C fired on landing zones in support of Operation Honolulu. Battery A was attached to the 25th Division Artillery during the operation and occupied a position in the vicinity of Bao Trai. Battery C supported the operation from the base camp.

On 28 March, both Batteries A and C commenced support of Operation Akilene and Circle Pines. On that same day Battery A moved to a firing position in the vicinity of Bien Hoa to support Operation Abilene. Battery C supported Circle Pines from its base camp location, until 2 April when two 175mm guns along with a Headquarters element displaced to Trung Lap for continued support of the operation that terminated on 5 April.

On 10 April, Battery C supported Operation Makaha and on 13 April Operation Kaena from the base camp.

Upon the termination of Operation Abilene, Battery A moved to a firing position near Bien Hoa to support Operation Lexington.

On 22 April Battery B supported Operation Kona for the 25th (US) Infantry Division. After the operation, the Battery continued its mission of providing artillery support for the 1st (US) Infantry Division and firing in defense of the Special Forces Camp at Minh Thanh. 

Battery A located near Bien Hoa was preparing for its move back to Cu Chi May. Upon their arrival at the base camp, the unit joined with Headquarters and C. Batteries in preparation for Operation Birmingham. On 6 May the units departed for firing positions near Soui Da to support the operation in War Zone.

After returning to Cu Chi on 16 May, Batteries A and C began immediate preparations to support Operations Fort Smith and Makiki which were conducted by the 25th (US) infantry Division and the 25th (ARVN) Infantry Division. The Operations commenced on 3 June. On 13 June Battery C was attached to the 25th Infantry Division Artillery to fire in support of Operation Fresno and Santa Fe.

On 30 June at 1030 hours Battery B fired the Battalion’s 25,000th round. Colonel Thomas H. Sayes, 23d Artillery Group Commander pulled the lanyard for the ceremony.

Battery A now located at Xuan Loc was called on to support the 173rd Airborne Brigade and the 25th (US) Infantry Division on Operations Auora and Kahana. On 12 August until 4 September, Battery A supported Operation Toledo, conducted by the 173rd Airborne Brigade. The Battalion had a change of command ceremony on 2 September. At that time LTC Leon L. Decorrevont turned over the command to LTC Philip D. Haisley.

On September 19, two 175mm guns from Battery C departed Cu Chi for Tay Ninh to assume a new mission in support of the 196th Light Infantry Brigade. On 5 October, the 25th Division Artillery attached an 8 inch platoon to Battery C (forward) to supply more heavy artillery support for the 196th Infantry. C Battery’s remaining two 175mm guns departed Cu Chi on 15 November for Tay Ninh where they joined the forward element and moved to Soui Da to support Operation Attleboro. The Battery returned to Tay Ninh on 20 November till within range to support the operation and fire defensive concentrations for the Special Forces Camps at Soul Da and Trai Bi.

On 2 December Battery A, still located at Xuan Loc, received several fire missions from the 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment to fire on a large Viet Cong force which was boxed in near Gia Ray. The accurate fires of Battery A contributed to a total body count of 99 VC KIA.

Battery A returned to Cu Chi on 24 December after being relieved of its mission at Xuan Loc by Battery C, 1st Battalion, 83rd Artillery Division.

Since the Battalion’s arrival in Vietnam, Battery positions have been separated by as much as 80 air miles. As of 31 December 1968, Headquarters, Service and A Batteries were located at Cu Chi, Battery B at Lai Khe, and Battery C at Tay Ninh. The Battalion has been employed as true Corps Artillery in support of the 1st Infantry Division, the 25th US Infantry Division, the 25th ARVN Division, the 10th ARVN Division, the 173rd Airborne Brigade and the 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment.

  

VIETNAM 1967

During period 8-17 January 1967, Battery B. occupied firing position at coordinates XT 723353 and XT 659310, the latter position in the middle of the "Iron Triangle" in support of Operation Cedar Falls. The battery missions was reinforcing 1st Infantry Division for this operation, battery was made a four 8 inch Howitzer battery.

During period 13-15 January 1967, 8 inch platoon, Battery A, occupied firing position at coordinates XS 770936 in support of Capitol Military District to destroy fortified installations.

During period of 17-25 January 1967, Battery B located at Lai Ki base camp continued support of Operations Cedar Falls in GSR 3d Battalion, 319 Artillery. On 17 January, the Battery reverted back to composite (8-inch/175mm/weapons.)

On 24 January, the 8-inch Howitzer platoon from Battery C deployed to XT 299568 to support two operations on Nui Ba Den. All missions were direct fire to destroy bunkers and tunnels.

On 11 February 1967, Battery A departed Cu Chi base camp to participate in Operation Godsden in Tay Ninh Province to a position at Trai Bi coordinate XT 125568. During Operation Godsden, Battery A fired a total of 1,085 rounds 8 inch.

During February 1967, all batteries and Battalion Headquarters  participated in Operation Junction City.

On 20 February 1967, Battery B moved from Lai Khe base camp to a new base camp at Suai Da.

On 20 February 1967, Battalion Headquarters consisting of S2 & S3 Section, 1 Survey Team, Communications Section, and Maintenance Section departed Cu Chi and deployed as a forward command post to Trai Bi XT 125568. At that time command post assumed tactical control of Batteries B and C with a mission of general support of II Field Force Vietnam.

On 15 March command post forward march order and close back to Cu Chi.

On 9 April 1967, Battalion was directed to deploy a forward command post to Tay Ninh base camp with the following responsibility: (a) Control of all US artillery firing out of Tay Ninh Base Camp. (b) Artillery defense of Tay Ninh base camp to include the H & I and counter mortar program. (c) Operation of artillery air warning station.

On 14 April Headquarters and Service Batteries were directed to deploy to Tay Ninh base camp as a permanent location. The move was completed by 30 April, 1967.

On 21 April, Battery A converted to an 8 inch battery, departed Cu Chi for Sui Da XT 457268 for participation in Operation Manhattan with mission of reinforcing 25th Infantry Division and remain there until 8 May 1967 when it returned to Cu Chi.

During the period 27 April, 1967 through 1 June, 1967, Battery C deployed from Tay Ninh to Trai Bi for support of Operation Diamondhead and return to Tay Ninh base camp an 1 June, 1967.

During period 6 June through 1 July Battery B at Sui Da and Battery C at Tay Ninh supported a Special Forces Sigma operation in eastern War Zone III.

On 23 May 1967 Battery B fired the 100,000th round of the 2d Bn, 32d Arty in the Republic of Vietnam. The lanyard was pulled by Col. Koch, commanding officer 23d Artillery Group.

On 14 July 1967, this Headquarters became the only artillery air warning control station for Tay Ninh Province. This includes broadcasting air data from all permanent and temporary firing positions in Tay Ninh Province and routing aircraft into clear traffic patterns.

On 13 October, 1967, Battery C moved from Tay Ninh base camp to a new base camp at Dau Tieng. Battery A moved from Cu Chi base camp to Battery C’s old position at Tay Ninh base camp.

During October 1967, Battery A conducted a few artillery assaults to Trai Bi to attack targets along northern most edge of Tay Ninh Province.

On 12 October, 1967, Battery C fired the 150,000th round for 2d Bn, 32d Arty. in Republic of Vietnam.

During month of November Battery A conducted a few artillery assaults up to Trai Bi to engage in targets along Cambodian border and Battery B conducted artillery assaults up to French Fort to engage in targets along the northern edge of Tay Ninh Province.

On 8 December, 1967, Battalion participated in Operation Yellowstone. Battery A moved from Tay Ninh to Trai Bi. Battery B closed out base camp at Sui Da and moved to USSF Camp Prek Kiok. Battery C moved from Dau Tieng to Lock Ninh, and Headquarters and Service remained at Tay Ninh base camp the mission was GSR to the 25th Infantry Division.

 On 16 December, Battery C moved from Lock Ninh to Tay Ninh.

On 13 December, Engineers started work on a new fire support base for Battery B at Camp Saint Barbara (French Fort) to be occupied after Operation Yellowstone.

On 30 December, an awards ceremony was held at Battery C, Tay Ninh. The Battalion was presented with Meritorious Unit Award and Valorous Unit Award for Vietnam and the streamers were placed on Battalion colors by Col. Koch Commanding Officer 23d Artillery Group.

The Battalion throughout the year of 1967 was assigned to 23d Arty GP and in general support reinforcing of 25th Infantry Division and 1st Infantry Division and in direct support of all USSF Camps in Tay Ninh Province. .

 

VIETNAM 1968

During January the Battalion continued to support the USSF camp at Thien Ngon and RF/PF companies in Tay Ninh Province. On 17 January, a platoon from Battery C conducted an artillery assault via XT 088880 to attack targets along the Cambodian border. Battery A at Fire Support Base Sherman near Trai Bi received attacks by mortar, rocket, and ground elements on 22 and 23 January, a misplaced mortar round detonated some CS gas, resulting in more chaos.

On 26 and 27 January, Batteries A and C rotated between Tay Ninh and FSB Sherman.

On 29 January, FSB Sherman was closed. Battery C returned to Dau Tieng. The 105mm platoon (B/6/77) was detached. All other elements remained attached.

On 5 February, A Battery displaced to Cu Chi. B Battery moved to Tay Ninh Base Camp to support the final phase of Operation Yellowstone.

On 19 February, A Battery returned to Tay Ninh Base Camp battery position.

On 20 February, B Battery occupied the new base camp at the French Fort, known as Camp Saint Barbara.

On 19 March, an 8 inch platoon from A Battery moved to Di An.

On 16 April, the 8 inch platoon from A Battery moved to Thu Duc and continued back to Tay Ninh on 17 April.

On 24 and 25 April, Battery B moved from Camp Saint Barbara to Tay Ninh and Battery A moved from Tay Ninh to Camp Saint Barbara.

On 22 May, Tay Ninh Base Camp was attacked by fire, 200 rounds of 82mm and 60mm mortar, 30 RPG rounds, 10 rockets, hand grenades, satchel charges and ground elements. B Battery suffered 1 - 175mm, 1 - 8 inch howitzer and 1 - M548 carrier destroyed, 3 KIA and 14 WIA.

On 5 September, the road to Saint Barbara was closed due to increased enemy activity. Subsequent re-supply was made entirely by air.

On 25 October, the 25th Infantry Division escorted elements of the 588th Eng. Bn. to Camp Saint Barbara to extend the Fire Support Base site in order to base an infantry company and a light artillery battery there. The operation effectively secured the area and ended the mortar and rocket attacks that had significantly restricted the fires of Battery A.

November and December were quiet months. Enemy activity was exceptionally light. Only four attacks be fire were made against the battalion.

By the end of 1960 the battalion had become firmly established in Tay Ninh Province. During the year the battalion had fired more than 100,000 rounds of 8 inch and 175mm HE in support of the 25th US Division, the 1st US Division, the 1st US Air Cavalry Division, the 25th ARVN Division, the US Navy, the US Air Force, the 5th US Special Forces Group, and CIDGI RF and PF.

The battalion supported the following major operations: Yellowstone, Saratoga, Wilderness, Lan Thang (complete victory), Snake, Rocket, Lancer and Badger. Forward observer parties were provided to Special Forces, Regional Popular Forces, ARVN Marines, and ARVN Airborne Battalions.

 

VIETNAM: 1969

The situation in the 2d Battalion, 32d Artillery’s area of operations was calm in the first month of 1969, and things were again relatively quiet in the final month of the year. There was, however, increased activity during the intervening months.

For the 10 months prior the battalion’s eight inch howitzers and 175mm guns expended over 100,000 rounds, which boosted the total number of rounds fired in Vietnam to 381,483. With the mission of general support, II Field Forces Vietnam, batteries of this battalion fired for the 25th Infantry Division, 1st Cavalry Division (Airmobile), 1st Infantry Division, 9th Infantry Division, United States Navy and ARVN Marines, 5th Special Forces Group, 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment, 1st ARVN Airborne Division, 5th and 25th ARVN Division and Regional and Popular Forces.

Significant surveillance obtained during 1969 included 567 enemy killed by artillery (KBA). 50 probable KBA, initiation of 151 secondary explosions and eight fires, the destruction of 1,188 bunkers, 39 anti-aircraft positions and 176 fighting positions, 43 sampans, 106 buildings, 13 bridges, six supply dumps, and several vehicles, and the closing of 239 tunnels, caves, foxholes, and trench lines.

Elements of the battalion received approximately 2,500 rounds of enemy rocket, mortar, RPG and recoilless rifle fire within or near their positions during the year. In addition, A Battery at FSB St. Barbara (XT272680) received two enemy attacks in which two battery personnel were killed. The first was when five Viet Cong were spotted with a starlight scope just outside the camp. Fire from M79 grenade launchers and .50 caliber machine guns were directed on them resulting in two seriously wounded and captured VC. In the early hours A battery received approximately 90 RPG and mortar rounds inside the support base followed by a sapper attack. The action resulted in eight VC KBA while the battery lost one KIA and five wounded. Despite the heavy mortar and ground attack the battery continued firing in support of FSB Buck which was receiving a simultaneous attack. A Battery received a letter of commendation from the commanding officer, 1st Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division (Airmobile), for its fire support during the enemy attack.

The dawn of a new year found elements of the battalion in three locations. Headquarters and Headquarters Battery, Service Battery and B Battery were located at Tay Ninh Base Camp (XT165515). C Battery was at Dau Tieng base camp (XT492479) and A Battery was at FSB St. Barbara. Basically the firing batteries operated from these locations but they were far from being static for the batteries moved either by platoon or by entire battery in support of maneuvering units throughout Tay Ninh Province while conducting artillery raids.

A Battery remained rather static during the year supporting maneuver units in the northwestern portion of Tay Ninh Province from FSB St. Barbara.

During the year B Battery moved fourteen times in support of maneuvering units and executed twenty-five artillery raids, twenty-three of which were conducted on Nui Ba Den the 3,200 foot mountain that stands as the most prominent terrain feature in Tay Ninh Province. The Nui Ba Den raids resulted in 10 enemy killed by artillery. C Battery also moved several times during the year supporting maneuvering units in the southeastern portion of Tay Ninh Province.

Throughout the year firing elements of the battalion occupied the following fire support bases:

Name 

Location

St. Barbara  

XT 272683

Rowlins III  

XT 298485

Missy 

XT 293554

Washington 

XT 146568

Elcino 

XT 559047

Mitchell

XT 168458

Hull

XT 264380

Trai Bi

XT 120584

Devins

XT 555174

On 17 October, the battalion was released from the 23d Artillery Group and assigned to II Field Force Vietnam Artillery.

The month of December saw a reconfiguration of the weapons in the battalion. The 175mm guns of B Battery were changed to eight inch howitzers during 21-24 December. On 22 December, C Battery’s 175mm guns were re-tubed as eight inch howitzers leaving A Battery at FSB St. Barbara as the only intact battery and the sole possessor of 175mm guns.

The year end found the battalion headquarters still at Tay Ninh. B Battery had one platoon at Tay Ninh and the other at FSB Hull. C Battery also occupied two locations, one platoon being at Dau Tieng and the other at FSB Devins. A Battery was at FSB St. Barbara with the battalion’s only 175mm guns being used extensively in support of Special Forces camps at Katura and Thion Ngon as well as against infiltration routes and enemy locations along the Cambodian border in western and northern Tay Ninh Province.

  

VIETNAM: 1970

The year 1970 saw a sharp increase in activity throughout the AO 2nd Battalion, 32nd Artillery. The firing batteries were almost constantly on the move to lend support to US and ARVN forces. Also significant is the fact that the batteries were split into platoon configurations during the first half of 1970. These factors, as well as the accompanying heavy volume of fire and consistent enemy pressure, severely taxed the battalion. But time and again the battalion proved itself more than equal to the challenge. Dramatically displaying this success was the Cambodian campaign, in which all batteries played an active and influential role.

Elements of the battalion received 145 rounds of incoming, the majority of it outside the perimeter of Tay Ninh base camp. None produced casualties or damage within the battalion. Mission surveillance obtained during January included six KBA, the initiation of 13 secondary explosions, the destruction of 76 bunkers, 34 fighting positions, and five buildings. In addition, A Battery closed six caves and caused two secondary explosions when, on 11 January, it displaced a 175mm gun to FSB Bliss II (XT284616) for direct fire onto Nui Ba Den. Expenditures for the month were 7,017 eight inch rounds and 1,235 175mm rounds.

Before the month was out there was an indication of things to come. On 30 January, two A Battery eight inch howitzers from St. Barbara (XT272683) moved to FSB Carolyn (XT277786) for what was scheduled to be a seven-day operation involving the 1st Bde, 1st Cavalry Division (Airmobile), 1st Squadron, 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment; and the 3rd ARVN Airborne. The battery was not united again for three and one-half months. B Battery, on 31 January, sent two weapons (eight inch) from Tay Ninh base camp (XT165515) to FSB Washington (XT146568) to support the 3rd Battalion 22nd Infantry. The howitzers returned to Tay Ninh on the same day.

Again in February there were no major enemy attacks against the battalion. Tay Ninh did receive 32 rounds of 120mm caliber rockets on 17 and 27 February, but no casualties or damage resulted. An M548 from C Battery was hit by mortar fragmentation on 19 February, and one individual was injured when his vehicle struck a mine.

On 2 February, two B Battery eight inch weapons departed FSB Hull (XT264380) en route to night defensive position (NDP) Kristine (XT306853) to operate in War Zone C with the 1st Squadron, 11th ACR. The howitzers spent that night at FSB St. Barbara and closed NDP Kristine on 3 February. The eight inch pieces moved to FSB Cindy (XT382797) on 13 February and FSB Sarah (XT386755) on 28 February. They continued to move with the 11th ACR for the next two months. C Battery’s two eight inch howitzers at Devins (XT555174) rejoined the other platoon at Dau Tieng base camp (XT492479) on 3 February. On 22 February two eight inch howitzers left Dau Tieng for FSB Marsha (XT597822) to support the 2d Sqd, 11th ACR in the eastern portion of War Zone C. This working relationship continued for over a month. Battalion expenditures for February totaled 2,471 eight inch rounds and 1,720 175mm rounds: Expenditures resulted in 10 enemy KBA, six probable KBA, 77 bunkers, 12 fighting positions and 17 structures destroyed.

On 3 March, two eight inch pieces displaced from Tay Ninh to Lai Khe base camp (75376) to cover withdrawal of 1st Infantry Division troops. These howitzers went north to FSB Thunder II (XT780552) on 11 March and returned to Lai Khe the following day. They went back to Hull on 20 March and from there closed back in Tay Ninh on 25 March. The battery’s other two eight inch pieces moved from to FSB Cindy on 4 March still with the 11th ACR. Two of C Battery’s howitzers left FSB Marsha for FSB Ft. Defiance (XT503833) on 7 Mar, moved to Rickey (XT497757) on 22 Mar, and went back to Ft. Defiance on the twenty­fifth. A Battery’s weapons at FSB Carolyn had a hipshoot at coordinates XT 276790 on 4 March.

On 11 March, this platoon departed FSB Carolyn and settled at FSB Beverly (XT 333802) in support of the 1st Bde, 1st Cav. It was replaced at Carolyn by A Battery’s two 175mm guns on the same day. One week later the 55’s returned to St. Barbara and the eight inch platoon moved west to Thien Ngon (XT082813). Because of security problems, A Battery moved from Thien Ngon to SB Illingsworth (XT 037792) on 21 Mar. It still supported the 1st Bde, 1st Cav. On 27 March, A and B Batteries switched homes, with two weapons from B Battery going to St. Barbara (where they were re-tubed as 175 guns) and two A Battery pieces displacing to Tay Ninh (where they were changed to eight inch howitzers). Battalion Headquarters, Headquarters and Service Batteries were relocated at Cu Chi base camp (XT 661155) on 15 March, while the Tactical Operations Center (TOC), Air Naming Control Center (AWCC) and a re-supply detachment remained in Tay Ninh.

For the month, only Tay Ninh received any significant enemy attacks. The base camp received approximately 80 rocket and mortar rounds on three occasions. On 12 Mar, rounds landed inside B Battery’s firing battery, wounding two and destroying one bunker and one building.

In the early hours of 1 April, A Battery Platoon at Illingsworth came under a heavy rocket and mortar attack of approximately 200 rounds, followed by a sapper strike and small arms and automatic weapons fire. Three members of the battalion were killed when their sleeping bunker took a direct hit.. Twelve personnel were wounded, including the Battalion S-3, who was seriously injured when the Battalion Fire Direction Center, housed in a double conex, was heavily damaged by fragmentation. Four hundred rounds of eight inch ammunition were destroyed as the ammunition bunkers blew up. Also, one eight howitzer and two M548s became combat losses after being hit by mortar and rocket barrages. On 2 April, four personnel from C Battery were slightly wounded when Dau Tieng received incoming. At FSB Kramer (XT020732), on 13 Apr, one individual from B Battery was slightly wounded as the result of incoming, one M548 was destroyed when hit by a 107mm rocket.

On 2 April, the A Battery platoon at Illingsworth was replaced by the battery’s other two eight inch howitzers, which occupied a position at FSB Wood (XT040798), northeast of the abandoned Illingsworth. From FSB Wood, this platoon supported the 1st Cav and 25th Infantry and was to shoot preparations and contact missions for the first ground troops to cross into Cambodia south of the Dog’s Face region. With two new eight inch howitzers, A Battery moved from Tay Ninh to FSB Mitchell on 8 April, for a three-day operation  by the 4th Battalion, 23rd Infantry near the Straight Edge woods. The C Battery platoon at Ft. Defiance displaced to Lai Khe on 3 April and departed for Hull on 4 April with the 11th ACR, two of B Battery’s howitzers moved west from Cindy and relocated at FSB Kramer. They marched east again on 21 April to FSB Hazel (XT446818) and to FSB Burkett (XT555845) on 30 April. On 29 April, B Battery’s 175mm guns left St. Barbara for Katum (XT334912) to shoot along the Cambodian border for the 1st Cav and the 11th ACR.

Effective 28 April, two eight inch howitzers from A Battery and four weapons (two each, eight inch and 175mm) from C Battery became attached to Task Force Baker to support operations in the Angel’s Wing (Parrot’s Beak) area of Cambodia. For the seven-day maneuver, A Battery’s 175 Platoon moved from Tay Ninh to FSB Murray (XT098430) on 28 April, to Murray II (XT170330) on 30 April, and to Murray III (XT333152) on the night of 1-2 May. On 5 May, in a lateral transfer of weapons with the 7th Bn. 8th Artillery at FSB Blue (XT258282), A Battery exchanged its eight inch howitzers for 175mm guns and returned to Tay Ninh. C Battery, meanwhile, moved two howitzers from Hull to FSB Laurel (XT200343) on 28 April and then to FSB Lew (XT194293) on 30 April. Its other two weapons, having been changed from eight inch howitzers to 175mm guns at Dau Tieng, positioned at FSB Phillip (XT303282) on 28 April and Laurel on 30 April. Released from Task Force Baker on 5 May, C Battery’s four weapons moved to Tay Ninh. Firing by both batteries for Task Force Baker was moderate; the 175 platoon provided the majority of fires in support of ARVN forces in Cambodia.

Battalion expenditures for April were 3,854 eight inch and 2,614 175mm rounds. Surveillance included 12 KBA, six secondary explosions, 15 bunkers, six fighting positions and one bridge destroyed.

A Battery at Wood went through another enemy attack, less damaging than the one at Illingsworth, on the night of 3 May. Immediately following a routine "mad minute" at 0200 hours, approximately twenty 60mm and 82mm mortar rounds were launched against the 1st Cav fire support base. Several landed in the A Battery area, wounding three and causing extensive damage to several vehicles. Eight inch and division artillery fire, and mortar, automatic weapon and small arms fire were used to suppress the attack; one A Battery "killer Junior" knocked out a .51 caliber weapon which was firing on gunships in the area. In all, combined US fire killed 35 of the enemy and destroyed 12 rocket positions. A Battery’s eight inchers returned to Tay Ninh on 14 May.

On 6 May, B Battery’s two eight inch weapons from Burkett joined the 175 gun platoon at Katum. C Battery’s eight inch howitzer platoon displaced from Tay Ninh to Thien Ngon on 7 May, and one 175 gun closed Thien Ngon the following day. On 10 May, the three pieces from Thien Ngon plus the 175 gun which had remained a Tay Ninh moved into Cambodia to FSB Sharon I (XTC58928). While en route to FSB Sharon 1 on 15 May, a convoy was ambushed, taking automatic and small arms fire, RPGs and B-40 rockets. Three C Battery vehicles were destroyed, but the battery suffered no casualties. From FSB Sharon I, C Battery shot defensive targets along the road and was responsible for three KBA. C Battery moved a short distance to Sharon II on 20 May and then further into Cambodia to Krek (X7039031) on 11 June. The Battery remained at Krek throughout the Cambodian operation and returned 800 meters across the red line to FSB Lanyard (XT073895) on 28 June.

Stopping at St. Barbara and the howitzers continuing 10 miles into Cambodia to FSB Oklahoma (XT425098). The two guns united with the other half of the battery at Oklahoma three days later. On 22 June, A Battery left Oklahoma for Katum, where with B Battery’s four weapons, it provided an artillery umbrella for withdrawing forces. A Battery established a new home at Ben Sal (XT089473) on 3 July. B Battery operated from Katum during the entire Cambodia campaign, except for an overnight occupation of FSB West II (XT290910) on 21-22 May.

Although indirect fire attacks were common during the April-through-June Cambodian operation (particularly at Oklahoma and Katum), incoming rounds caused no damage or casualties within the battalion. An abortive ground probe at Krek on 15 June was equally ineffective. A sapper attack at Katum during the night of 23 July resulted in several friendly KIA, but A and B Batteries were not scratched. The battalion did, however, suffer the deaths of two individuals and injuries to five when a convoy from Katum to Oklahoma was ambushed on the afternoon of 27 May. This incident (which included RPGs, mines, small arms and automatic weapons fire) marked the fifth consecutive time that the re-supply convoy was hit when travelling through the Memot rubber plantation in Cambodia, however, previous ambushes had produced no damage. For the duration of its stay in FSB Oklahoma, A Battery was re-supplied by helicopter.

At FSB Oklahoma, in support primarily of the ARVN Airborne, A Battery expended close to 7,000 rounds in the 35-day period. Among its significant missions was a 90 round output of eight inch fire on 24 May for 91st Company, 5th Bn, 1st Bde, 1st ARVN Airborne. ARVN forces, plus US Advisors and a downed crew from a Medvac ship, who were trapped in an isolated spot for three days without food or water. By shooting close-in support, A Battery’s eight inch howitzers were able to break the enemy’s position and allow for the pickup of friendly forces. A Battery also fired numerous preparations and contact missions for the ARVN ground troops and, with B Battery at Katum, expended a heavy volume of rounds against the bunkers and cache sites in the Fishhook region of Cambodia. From its positions at Thien Ngon, Sharon 1 and II and Krek, C Battery fired over 3,000 rounds in Support of the Cambodian operation. For the entire campaign, both north and west of Tay Ninh Province, from 26 Apr to 30 June, the battalion shot nearly 20,000 rounds. Expenditures for May were 5,438 eight inch and 3,030 175mm, and for June, 6,514 eight inch and 4,202 175mm.

  

VIETNAM 1971

January

In January, 1971, elements of the battalion received 18 rounds of incoming, the majority outside the batteries’ positions; none produced casualties or damage within the battalion. Mission surveillance obtained during January included four KBA, initiation of four secondary explosions and destruction of five bunkers, four sampans, 63 hootches, two bridges and two oxcarts. Ammunition expenditures: 3,045 175mm rounds, fired during 872 missions, eight inch – 2,400 rounds fired during 610 missions. On 6 January, one eight inch platoon, B 2/32, moved from (XT 2795100) and returned to Firebase Elsenberg. On 15 January, one 8 inch platoon, B 2/32, moved from Firebase Elsenberg to Phu Fang II. On 28 January, one 8 inch platoon, A 2/32, moved from FSB Katum to FSB Elsenberg. On 29 January, one 8 inch platoon, A 2/32, moved to Phi Fang II to replace the 8 inch platoon of B 2/32, which returned to FSB Elsenberg. All unit movements were completed without incident.

February

During the month of February, 1971, the battalion continued its mission. Twenty-eight incoming rounds were fired against the battalions’ positions, causing only slight damage to two buildings and no casualties. Mission surveillance included 26 KBA, 51 bunkers destroyed, 42 secondary explosions, 2 AA positions destroyed, one tunnel destroyed and 3 carts destroyed. Ammunition expenditure: 175mm – 2,425 rounds fired during 551 missions; 8 inch – 2,408 rounds fired during 563 missions. During the month, significant changes occurred; between 1 February and 14 February, the batteries changed positions, at the close of February A Btry occupied Phu Dong II, B Btry occupied FSB Katum and C Btry occupied FSB Lanyard. C 2./32 participated in an artillery raid on 19 February, firing from FSB Illingsworth and returned to their FSB the same day. In the only command charge of the month, Captain Gerald J. LaVesque assumed command of B Btry replacing CPT William H. Taskopulos.

March

During the month of March, 1971, enemy mortar and rocket activity was light, only 12 incoming rounds were reported, causing no casualties or damage to equipment. Mission surveillance included: 1 KBA, 1 PKBA, 108 bunkers destroyed, 7 secondary explosions and 20 houses destroyed. Ammunition expenditures for the month: 175mm – 3,706 rounds fired in 737 missions; 8 inch – 2,423 rounds fired in 623 missions. 11 and 12 March, B Btry participated in artillery raids, 175 Ptn to Katum West on the 11th, and "B" Ptn to Katum West on 12th. On 30 March, sappers attacked FSB Lanyard. Five sappers were killed and one captured, the unit did not sustain any casualties and did not have any equipment damaged. 1 AK47, 1 K54 pistol, 4 B40 grenades and a number of satchel charges were captured.

April

During April, 1971, enemy rocket and mortar attacks were moderate. Incoming rounds were reported at Phu Lio, Tay Ninh and FSB Katum. Ten rounds were received causing no casualties and no damage to equipment. Re-supply convoys to FSB Lanyard and FSB Katum struck mines on 14 April at grid X7292822. causing heavy damage to vehicle and 2 US WIA’s. Mission surveillance included destruction of: 60 bunkers, 51 hootches, 2 sampans, 4 fighting positions, 1 tunnel, 1 truck, 1 bridge, 1 rice cache, 1 cart, 5 KBA’s and 9 secondary explosions. Ammunition expenditure: 175 – 4,275 rounds fired in 897 missions; 8 inch –2,323 rounds fired in 689 missions. Two artillery raids were conducted on 17 April A Btry and C Btry moved to FSB Illingsworth and returned the same day. On 27 April, A Btry’s 8 inch Ptn moved to Trung Lap and one 175mm gun moved to FSB Lanyard.

May

During the month of May, 1971, enemy rocket and mortar activity was at a minimum - only 2 incoming rounds were reported, causing no casualties or equipment damage. A 5-ton truck struck a mine at grid XT28461 8, suffering extensive damage, but no casualties. Mission surveillance included destruction of 2 bridges, 10 hootches, 3 sampans, 27 fighting positions and 11 tunnels. Ammunition expenditure: 175mm -3,404 rounds fired in 784 missions; 8 - 3,196 rounds fired in 609 missions. A Btry moved to FSB Warrior; one platoon of 175mm guns, B 2/32, conducted an artillery raid to Katum West on 4 May and returned to FSB Katum the same day, without incident. Captain Fred C. Parker assumed command of B Btry, 2/32, replacing CPT Gerald J. LaVesque, in the only command change of the month.

June

During the month of June, 1971, 12 incoming rounds were reported, causing no casualties or damage to equipment. Mission surveillance for the month included destruction of: 16 bunkers, 9 hootches, 5 tunnels, and 1 kitchen. Ammunition expenditure: 175mm – 1,527 rounds fired in 383 missions; 8 inch – 1,657 rounds fired in 371 missions. There was one command change during the month, CPT Francis L. Campbell assumed command of Svc. Battery on 4 June, replacing CPT Ray E. Murphy.

July

During the month of July, 1971, no incoming was received. Mission surveillance included destruction of 40 bunkers, 13 hootches, 1 barge, 2 rafts, 1 mortar tube, 2 barrels, 1 lean-to, 1 cave entrance, 1 tunnel entrance and confirmation of 13 KBA’s and 8 WBA’s and 2 secondary explosions. Ammunition expenditure: 175mm – 1,331 rounds fired in 328 missions; 8 inch – 2,173 rounds fired in 370 missions. On 8 July, an 8 inch platoon, A 2/32, moved from FSB Warrior to FSB Hull and returned 10 July. 17 July, an 8 inch Ptn, A 2/32, moved from FSB Elsenberg to FSB Buell with a general support mission to Tay Ninh Sector. 21 July, an 8 inch platoon, A 2/32, moved from  FSB Buell to Soui Da for artillery raids and returned the same day. 22 July, an 8inch platoon, A 2/32, moved from FSB Buell to grid XT275513 for artillery raids and returned the same day. On 25 July, 8 inch platoon, A 2/32, moved from FSB Buell to Soui Da for artillery raid, then moved to FSB Elsenberg.

August

In August, 1971, enemy activity was low during the month, with two rockets reported at Phu Loi, causing no casualties or damage to equipment. Mission surveillance included destruction of 14 bunkers, 3 bicycles, 3 packs, 12 hootches, 1 supply cache, with two secondary explosions and 3 WBA. There were no artillery raids conducted during the month. Ammunition expenditure: 175mm - 893 rounds fired in 187 missions; 8 inch - 813 rounds fired in 205 missions. On 20 August, LTC Robert J. McCaffree assumed command of the Battalion, replacing LTC Whitaker.

September

During the month of September, 1971, enemy activity increased; reports indicate that over 100 rounds of rocket, mortar, and recoilless rifle were fired at FSB Pace and  FSB Katum. They were under constant mortar and rocket attacks from 26 September on, FSB Pace receiving most of the pressure. Mission surveillance included destruction of 7 bicycles, 1 pack, 3 bunkers, 4 hootches, 1 bridge, 1 supply cache, and 7 secondary explosions. Ammunition expenditure: 175mm – 1,402 rounds fired in 350 missions; 8 inch – 1,692 rounds fired in 374 missions. On 30 September, B 2/32 evacuated FSB Katum and started their road march to Tay Ninh West. On convoy, B 2/32, occupied night defensive position along TL4 near the abandoned FSB St. Barbara, the rest of the battery returned to FSB Katum due to equipment failure. There were two changes of command during the month. 7 September, CPT Thomas H. Timmons replaced CPT Ross L. Nagy as commander of C 2/32; and CPT Richard Dale assumed command of A 2/32, replacing CPT Alan D. Catron.

October

During the month of October, 1971, enemy pressure was at its highest for the year. Ground fire, rocket and mortar attacks at P58 Pace and Tay Ninh were experienced almost daily. There was considerable damage to equipment, and the battalion had 1 KIA and 38 WIA’s. Mission surveillance included destruction of 35 bunkers, 1 supply cache, 2 hootches, 1 KBA and 7 secondary explosions. Ammunition expenditure: 175mm – 1,989 rounds were fired in 471 missions; 8 inch – 2,635 rounds were fired in 564 missions. On 1 October, B 2/32 arrived at Tay Ninh West, and was laid and ready for fire the same day. During the road march from FSB Katum, one vehicle was damaged by a mine and there were 2 WIA’s. On 2 October, A 2/32 departed FSB Elsenberg and assumed firing positions at Phu Loi. The move was made without incident. A Btry, 2/32 conducted one-day artillery raids on 23rd, 26th and 28th October. Three command changes occurred during the month; 1 October, CPT Joseph C. Antoniotti assumed command of Service Battery, replacing CPT Francis J. Campbell Jr., 7 October, CPT Craig H. Stoudnor assumed command of C 2/32, replacing CPT Thomas H. Timmons, 9 October, CPT Richard C. Ashley Jr. assumed command of C 2/32, replacing CPT Craig H. Stoudnor.

November

There was relatively light enemy activity during November, 1971, causing no casualties or damage to equipment. Mission surveillance included destruction of 16 bunkers, 7 122mm rocket launching sites, 1 bridge, 1 tunnel complex and 12 secondary explosions. Ammunition expenditure: 175mm - 160 rounds fired in 40 missions. On 2 November, the guns and equipment of C Battery were extracted from FSB Pace, making a two-day road march to Phu Loi. On 4 November, 8 inch Ptn, A 2/32, occupied P58 Andrews, also on 4 November, the battalion’s forward TOC at Tay Ninh West ceased operations. On 7 November, B 2/32 departed P56 Hann and occupied a firing position at Phu Loi. On 10-11 November, B 2/32 8 inch Ptn conducted an artillery raid at FSB Michelle and returned to Phu Loi. On 16 November, 8 inch Ptn, A 2/32, conducted an artillery raid at grid XS 943970 and returned the same day. On 18-19 November, 8 inch Ptn, A 2/32, conducted an artillery raid to Va Oat. On 24-29 November, B Battery conducted an artillery raid at An Loc. There was one change of command during the November month; CPT Craig M. Stoudnor assumed command of Headquarters Battery, replacing CPT Charles P. Suter.

December

During the month of December, 1971, there were no enemy rocket or mortar attacks. Mission surveillance included: 20 bunkers destroyed, 3 sampans destroyed, and 3 KBA’s. Ammunition expenditures for the month: 8 inch – 1,659 rounds fired in 260 missions. There were 4 moves during the month: 2 Dec., B Btry Ptn replaced A Btry  8 inch Ptn at FSB Andrews, 22 Dec., 8 Btry returned to Phu Loi, 26 Dec., B Btry 8 inch Ptn moved from FSB Blackhorse to Phu Loi, 28 Dec., A Btry 8 inch Ptn returned to Phu Loi from FSB Oleson. Three artillery raids were conducted: 14 Dec., A Btry 8 inch Ptn to grid XT745328, 18 Dec., A Btry 8 inch Ptn to Ben Cat and 22 Dec. A Btry 8 inch Ptn to grid XT831336.

During 1971 the Battalion fired: 175mm - 24,157 and 8 inch - 24,924 for a total of 49,081 rounds.  By late December all units were located in Phu Loi and had begun turning in equipment in preparation for deactivation.

Transcribers Note:

Every effort was made to make a correct and accurate record of our service in Vietnam. Please forward any comments to  healeycj@ptd.net