The 1/92nd Field Artillery
Association - Vietnam



Operational Reports/Lessons Learned

1 May '67 to 31 Jul '67



AGAM-P (M) (30 Nov 67) FOR OT RD-670645 11 December 1967

SUBJECT: Operational Report - Lessons Learned, Headquarters,
1st Battalion, 92d Artillery, Period Ending 31 July 1967


1. Subject report is forwarded for review and evaluation by USACDC in accordance with paragraph 6f, AR 1-19 and by USCONARC in accordance with paragraph 6c and, AR 1-19. Evaluations and corrective actions should be reported to ACSFOR OT within 90 days of receipt of covering letter.

2. Information contained in this report is provided to insure appropriate benefits in the future from Lessons Learned during current operations, and may be adapted for use in developing training material.


                    KENNETH G. WICKHAM 
1 Incl              Colonel, ACG
  as                Acting The Adjutant General

 Commanding Generals
  US Continental Army Command
  US Army Combat Developments Command
  US Army Command and General Staff College
  US Army War College
  US Army Air Defense School
  US Army Armor School
  US Army Artillery and Missile School
  US Army Aviation School
  US Army Chemical School
  US Army Civil Affairs School
  US Army Engineer School
  US Army Infantry School
  US Army Intelligence School
  US Army Medical Field Service School
  US Army Military Police School
  US Army Ordnance School
  US Army Quartermaster School
  US Army Security Agency School
  US Army Signal School
  US Army Special Warfare School
  US Army Transportation School

Copies Furnished:
 Office, Chief of Staff, US Army
 Deputy Chiefs of Staff
 Chief of Research and Development
 Assistant Chiefs of Staff
 Chief of Engineers
 The Surgeon General
 The Provost Marshal General
 Research Analysis Corporation (Library)
 Dr. Martin J. Bailey, OSD (SA)
 Joint Action Control Office
 Documents Control Officer, Bell Aero Systems

 Commanding Officers
  5th Battalion, 42d Artillery
  6th Battalion, 84th Artillery
  6th Battalion, 33d Artillery
  1st Battalion, 92d Artillery

APO 96318

AVGG-BJ-C                                            3 August 1967

SUBJECT: Operational Report for Quarterly Period Ending July 1967
(RCS CSFOR - 65)

TO: See Distribution


1. (C) General

a. During the reporting period this battalion has furnished artillery support to the 4th Infantry Division, 173rd Airborne Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division (AM), 11th Ranger Battalion (ARVN). Meteorological support (visual) has been furnished the battalion's firing batteries and batteries of the 4th Infantry Division and 173rd Airborne Brigade. The battalion has participated in Operation FRANCIS MARION and Operation GREELY.

b. This battalion is attached to the 52nd Artillery Group.

c. Batteries of the battalion have made one air move by C-130 and five more moves by helicopter during the reporting period.

d. Current missions of the batteries:

   Battery A: Attached 173rd Airborne Brigade
 Battery B: GSR to 6-29 Artillery (4th Inf Div)
   Battery C: GSR to 4-42nd Artillery (4th Inf Div)
   Battery D: GS, Pleiku Defense
   Battery E: GS, Francis Marion AO (Battery E is composed of two howitzers from Battery C and an FDC from battalion).

The batteries have answered all ARVN and U.S. Forces request for fires within range.

e. Days spent in movement, training and operations are as follows:

1. Movement: 3

2. Training: 12

3. Operations: 77 (Movement and training done in conjunction with operations. Battalion spent all days of reporting period on operations).

2. (C) Intelligence: Target intelligence was obtained for the firing batteries through the direct support battalions. Target intelligence was also obtained by the battalion forward CP, our forward observer with the 11th Ranger Battalion (ARVN), battalion forward observer with the 1st Parachute Regiment (ARVN), visual reconnaissance flights by battalion personnel. Study of II Corps intelligence summaries, and from Company B, 5th Special Forces. Patrols conducted by the 52nd Artillery Group have also provided target intelligence.

3. (C) Operations and Training Activities:

a. Plans: No significant reports.

b. Operations:

(1) The battalion has participated in Operation FRANCIS MARION during the entire reporting period.

(2) The battalion has participated in Operation GREELY from 17 June through 31 July.

(3) The battalion has experienced little difficulty in having firing batteries support three different units. The only problem was scarcity of transportation for command and control and coordination.

(4) The metro section has been providing visual mets since mid-May. Metro was established at locations where it was most needed.

(5) The battalion survey section is used to extend survey control to the firing elements, (illegible).

(6) A chronological list of operational activities during the quarter follows:

1 May 67: Battery C (YA893372) fired heavy contact mission against NVA battalion at YA795328 (significant in that the battery was firing for 20 minutes (and 100 rounds) prior to any other artillery, to include DS batteries). The FO's still with 11th Ranger Battalion (ARVN) at Edap Enang. Battery B fired 500 rounds H & I.

6 May 67: Headquarters Battery 2 1/2 ton truck fired on at ZA219598.

24 May 67: Three howitzers from Battery B and a FDC from battalion moved to AQ862991 (PHU NHON District Headquarters) to provide DS for a search and destroy mission conducted by Regional Forces-Popular Forces. Also one FO was provided.

30 May 67: Battery B released from GSR 4-42nd Arty, and assigned GSR 3-319th Arty.

31 May 67: R. C. Amenson, battalion CO, promoted to Colonel.

1 June 67: Battery B moved to ZA081212, GSR 3-319 Arty.

4 June 67: Visual Metro team sent to Battery B.

4 June 67: Two tubes from Battery A and a battalion FDC closed BR035549.

7 June 67: Two tubes from Battery A departed BR035549 and returned to Battery A.

8 June 67: Two howitzers from Battery A and a battalion FDC moved to AQ998867. DS of search and destroy operation by Regional Force-Popular Force elements.

10 June 67: Artillery Hill mortared. 31 rounds of 60mm and 82mm received in 1/92 Arty headquarters area. 38 WIA. Countermortar fire, to include beehive (direct fire), conducted by battery D. Unconfirmed reports indicate 80 casualties inflicted on the enemy. Minor equipment damage.

11 June 67: LTC Joe B. Myers assumed command of 1/92 Artillery.

12 June 67: Battery B moved to PLEI ME (ZA164062). GSR 3-319th Arty. Battery D fired vicinity ZA14755625 and observed very large secondary explosion. Battalion forward CP at ZA119288 closed out.

15 June 67: Battery B closed Artillery Hill.

16 June 67: Battery B replaced Battery A at BR128548. Battery A closed Artillery Hill.

17 June 67: Battery A prime movers and howitzers, FDC 3/4 ton truck, First Sergeant 3/4 ton truck and BC 1/4 ton truck and appropriate personnel moved by C-130 aircraft to DAK TO. Battery trains and battalion support vehicles moved by road to DAK TO. Battery A attached to 173rd Airborne Brigade. Visual metro team sent with battery.

18 June 67: Battery C moved to ZA119288. Released from GSR 6-29th Arty, and assigned GST 4-42nd Arty.

19 June 67: 2 1/2 ton truck from Headquarters Battery carrying 25 Montagnards struck a mine at ZA208599. Truck destroyed. Only injury was driver got a split lip.

22 June 67: Four howitzers from Battery B and a battalion FDC moved to BR035549. DS 173rd Airborne Brigade, S & D operation north of Highway 19E. Battery C moved by helilift (four howitzers) to ZA023087. Remaining two howitzers attached to C 3-18th Arty at ZA119288 until battalion FDC commitments eased and battalion could assume fire control.

26 June 67: Battery B moved to Kontum. Attached 3rd Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division (AM). Battalion forward CP established at Kontum.

28 June 67: Battery B helilifted to YB902082. One FO assigned to 1st Parachute Regiment (ARVN) until 26 July.

3 July 67: Battery B helilifted to AS9016. Sky-crane carrying a Battery B howitzer crashed at LZ, AS9016. Howitzer later recovered and repaired.

6 July 67: Visual metro team moved from Battery A to Battery C.

8 July 67: Battery D firing at ZA(illegible) obtained two secondary explosions.

9 July 67: Battery B helilifted to AS935211.

21 July 67 Battery D conducted an artillery raid, firing at AR843673.

22 July 67: Battery B moved by road to AR8992.

24 July 67: Battery B moved to Kontum. Released attachment 3rd Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division (AM).

25 July 67: Battery B moved to Artillery Hill. Battalion Forward CP at Kontum closed out.

26 July 67: Battery B moved to DUC CO, GSR 6-29 Arty.

28 July 67: Battalion forward CP established at OASIS.

c. Training: Training in selected subjects is conducted weekly at battery level.

d. Chemical: No significant activities.

e. Psywar: No significant activities.

f. Other: No significant activities.

4 (C) Logistics: Logistics have presented no problems. FSA's are utilized for resupply. Currently ammunition resupply is being run by the S4 for Battery C and Battery B from Pleiku. Aircraft sorties this quarter:

C-130: 17
CH-54: 27
CH-47: 360

5. (U) Civil Affairs: No significant activities.

6. (C) Personnel:

a. Casualties: 39 WIA.

b. During the period the following personnel actions occurred:

(1) Personnel losses: 61

(2) Personnel gains: 91

(3) Present for duty strength as of 31 July: 583

(4) Promotion allocations:

(a) E4: 46

(b) E5: 35

(c) E6: 2

(5) Mail: Mail support is good.

(6) R and R quotas: 56

(7) Pay has been timely and accurate.

7. (C) Artillery: Rounds expended during the period:

155MM Howitzer HE 31022 PD 31581 39,865
ILL 1433 MTSQ 168
SMK 885 CVT 125
  M501A1 466
105mm Howitzer HE 4101 PD 2639 4,374*
ILL 1433 MTSQ 128
SMK 385 CVT 61
* Since 1/92 assumed control of Battery D.

8. (U) Other: No significant events.



Part 1. Observations (Lessons Learned)

1. (C) Personnel:

a. Item: MOS 13E20

Discussion: This battalion has four firing batteries. The TOE FDC personnel are insufficient to operate 24 hours a day. The battalion FDC furnishes additional personnel to the firing batteries, but the battalion FDC operates the fire direction center for Battery D and furnishes an additional FDC when a battery splits. This limits the assistance battalion can give the firing batteries to build up their FDC's.

Observations: Battalion and batteries train additional, non-critical personnel in fire direction. Such personnel are wiremen, survey, etc. There is no need to increase FDC TOE strength.

2. (C) Operations:

a. Item: Helilift

Discussion: The battalion has moved batteries by helicopter with two different divisions. With both divisions preparation and planning by the battalion and battery has been identical, indicating that no difference exists between major units in helicopter moves. The only difference lies in control of the helicopters assigned to lift the battery. One division controlled the helicopters throughout the move, including pick-up and touch-down. This resulted in the battalion and battery not knowing when the next pickup would be and having howitzers put down in positions not desired by the battery. The other division allocated the required sorties and the battalion and battery controlled the entire move, to include pathfinder team (battery advance party). No problems encountered when the battalion controlled the move of the battery.

Observation: When a battery is helilifted the battalion should have the helicopters on its own control frequency and the helicopters responsive at all times to the battalion. On congested LZ's the battery advance party can coordinate incoming sorties with the LZ control party.

b. Item: Air Moves (C-130)

Discussion: One battery (minus) was moved by C-130. The aircraft were allocated by the major headquarters making the move. Planning for such a contingency as an air move was done by the battalion operations section well in advance. Coordination between the battalion S3 and S4, utilizing the advance planning, was effected and no problems were encountered.

Observations: Units must always be aware of the many different means of transportation available to them and plan accordingly. Preparation prevent problems (PPP).

c. Item: Assisting Maneuver Forces to Locate Themselves

Discussion: In the flat, heavily overgrown areas of the central highlands, the infantry sometimes has difficulty establishing their exact location. In addition to marking rounds, the 1/22 Infantry utilizes the defensive targets fired around their positions and the artillery plots the location by resection.

Observation: The artillery can establish within 50 meters the location of friendly units by resection.

d. Item: Towed Medium Artillery Maneuverability

Discussions: The towed 155mm Howitzer can be moved into areas inaccessible to self-propelled artillery through the use of helicopters. This gives the infantry added artillery firepower in remote areas. However, in the monsoon in the central highlands, the towed 155mm howitzer is moved on the ground with great difficulty. The five ton prime mover cannot negotiate the wet roads and trails pulling a six and on-half ton weapon. Some of the areas the batteries have been into had little more than trails for access. Movement into these areas was possible only with APC's pulling both the prime movers and the howitzers. Planning moves on poor roads it is necessary to triple the time normally required for a move to allow for the prime movers and howitzers to be pulled from the mud or back onto the road. It is also necessary to plan for APC's whose sole duty is to pull prime movers and howitzers.

Observation: Maneuverability of the towed 155mm howitzer would be tremendously improved if the XM548 full tracked cargo carrier were used as a prime mover. This would give the towed howitzer the same cross-country maneuverability as the self-propelled howitzer and retain the airlift capability. Towed 155mm howitzers of the battalion should not be replaced by self-propelled weapons. Simply increase their mobility.

e. Item: Artillery Fortifications, Priorities

Discussion: Artillery units must build fortifications immediately upon occupation. Priorities must be established.

Observation: The priorities of fortification within this battalion are the following: personnel overhead cover first, ammunition second, weapon, third miscellaneous last. Personnel are the most vulnerable. In any type attack, casualties would mean a slowdown in mission. Before night fall, all personnel have cover. The howitzers are least likely to suffer damage. Also, the parapets for the 155mm howitzer, towed, are so large that the parapet offers little protection except from small-arms attack. The priorities established have already proven themselves.

f. Item: Field Expedient Bangalore Torpedoes.

Discussion: In fire support bases, brush and small trees can be cleared through the use of excess powder charges from the artillery. Punch a hole in a discarded powder canister, stuff excess powder charges in it, place one-half pound of primed TNT inside, seal it, and an excellent bangalore torpedo is made.

Observation: A useful purpose for excess powder charges rather than burning them.

g. Item: 155mm Firing Positions.

Discussion: In every firing position that batteries of this battalion have occupied except one, the fire support base or LZ has also been occupied by a 105mm battery. The infantry and the direct support battery are always first there and lack of knowledge of space requirements for a 155mm battery is always evident. In every case the 105mm battery occupies more space than the 155mm battery. The infantry and direct support artillery, being first in, take the space they require and plan the perimeter. The 155mm battery is then squeezed into whatever real estate is left. This gives less than maximum benefit to the infantry in sheaf. Lack of transportation to this battalion means no staff planning can be done at a fire support base of LZ to allocate real estate.

Observation: All personnel occupying a fire support base and especially the senior man, should be aware of relative space requirements for 105's and 155's.

h. Item: Maximum Utilization of Battalion Staff

Discussion: The potential of this battalion is limited due to lack of TOE aviation section. Mobility of the commander and Staff is extremely limited. Coordination, planning, fire control, accuracy of fires, prevention of artillery incidents, defense and other items cannot be accomplished satisfactorily because batteries are so spread that wheel transportation is not feasible (72 miles by 25 miles) nor safe. It takes two days of travel by road to reach two batteries. One cannot be reached by road. With organic aviation section, problems can be prevented rather than solved.

Observation: The tremendous potential of this battalion cannot be reached until the aviation section is assigned. The command supervision and the experience of senior staff officers is not available to a battery as it should be.

i. Item: Artillery Surveillance

Discussion: This battalion gets little if any surveillance of its missions. When artillery surveillance is passed by FO's and infantry it goes to the direct support artillery and not back to the GS or GSR unit. Consequently, this battalion gets no experience factor on effectiveness of fire by shell, or fuze or quantity.

Observation: Artillery surveillance must be disseminated in order that all artillery learn from experience.

j. Item: Crater Analysis.

Discussion: When mortared, units tend to be tied down to preplanned countermortar programs and in the excitement of action, disregard the importance of crater analysis to determine as a minimum direction. Also, the enemy is well aware of the capabilities of countermortar radar and usually plans his attack so that the countermortar radar is limited.

Observation: Crater analysis must be made during or immediately after a mortar attack to determine direction so that countermortar fire may be effective and not diluted over a large, unknown area. The first thought in mind for any countermortar fire must be, "From which azimuth did they come?"

k. Item: Artillery Firing During Air Strikes

Discussion: Artillery, in our experience is always lifted, rather than shifted, during an airstrike on preplanned targets. And when lifted, lifted as much as thirty minutes before an airstrike.

Observation: Artillery should be shifted, not lifted, when an air strike comes in, especially on "hard" targets. A pause in fire support allows the enemy time to escape. A shift in fires creates a blocking force by fire.

l. Item: Artillery and Helicopter Gunships, Same Target at Night.

Discussion: In the defense of Pleiku, targets are sighted at night. Gunships fly over these targets and seldom can observe them. They cannot fire unless they see the target. The artillery battery can fire without seeing the target if it is cleared. However, the artillery cannot fire because of gunships in the target area.

Observation: Artillery should fire first, then the gunships should go in when targets are clear for firing by artillery.

Part 2. Recommendations

1. (U) Personnel: None

2. (U) Operations: None

3. (C) Training and Organization: None

4. (U) Intelligence: None

5. (U) Logistics: None

6. (U) Other: None

                              s/JOE B. MYERS
                              t/JOE B. MYERS
1 Incl                        LTC, Artillery
Organizational Chart          Commanding

1CO 1/92 ARTY


AVGG-OP (3 Aug 67)                    1st Ind
SUBJECT: Operational Report for Quarterly Period Ending 31 July 1967


TO: Commanding General, I FFORCEV ARTILLERY, APO 96350

1. Forwarded.

2. Concur with contents of basic report.

                        T. E. FITZPATRICK JR.
1 Incl                  COL, Arty
  nc                    Commanding

AVFA-AT-D (3 August 1967)         2d Ind
SUBJECT: Operational Report of Lessons Learned for Quarterly Period Ending 31 July 1967, (RCS CSFOR-65) (UIC WA2NA) (1st Bn, 92d Arty) (U)


TO: Commanding General, I Field Force Vietnam, ATT: AVFA-GC-OT, APO 96350

1. Concur in the observations and recommendations contained in the basic communication.

2. Reference Section 2 part 1 paragraph. Headquarters, I Field Force Vietnam Artillery is requesting, by MTOE, that the present authorizations be increased.

3. Reference Section 2 part 1 paragraph 2d. Recommend the XM548 cargo/ammunition vehicle be field tested to determine the feasibility for its use as a prime mover for 155mm Howitzer (Towed).

4. Reference Section 2 part 1 paragraph 2h. The commanding officer 1st Bn, 93d Arty will be advised that the policy established by DA to deploy Combat Support and Combat Service Support units to RVN with aviation sections at zero strength, the present DA moratorium on submission of MTOE's for fill requirements of these units, and the existing shortage of aircraft preclude action at this level to alleviate the problem. CINCUSARPAC has recommended that DA review existing criteria for aviation sections of Combat Support units. Artillery units will be notified when the DA moratorium has been lifted.

5. 1st Bn, 92d Arty UIC is WA2NA.


                        s/Leo E. Ellis
                        t/Leo E. Ellis

1 Incl                  LTC, Artillery
  NC                    Commanding

AVFA-GC-OT (3 Aug 67)                 3d Ind
SUBJECT: Operational Report of Lessons Learned for Quarterly Period Ending 31 July 1967, (RCS CSFOR-65) (UIC WA2NA) (1st Bn, 92d Arty) (U)


TO: Commanding General, United States Army Vietnam, APO 96375

Concur with the recommendation of the basic communications as modified by the 2d Indorsement.


                   s/B. L. Chenault
                   t/B. L. Chenault
1 Incl             2LT, AGC
  NC               Asst. Adjutant General

AVHGC-DST (3 Aug 67)               4th Ind
SUBJECT: Operational Report-Lessons Learned for the Period Ending 31 July 1967, (RCS CSFOR-65) (U)


TO: Commander in Chief, United States Army, Pacific, ATTN: GPOP-OT, APO 96558

1. (U) This headquarters has reviewed the Operational Report-Lessons Learned for the period ending 31 July 1967 from Headquarters, 1st Battalion, 92d Artillery as indorsed.

2. (C) Pertinent comments follow:

a. Reference item concerning MOs 13E20; paragraph 1a, page 6, and paragraph 2, 2nd Indorsement. There is a conflict between paragraph 1a, page 6, which states there is no need to increase FDC TOE strength and paragraph 2, 2d Indorsement which states Headquarters I Field Force Vietnam Artillery is requesting, by MTOE, that the present authorizations be increased. The solution to the problem is adequately stated in paragraph 1a, page 6.

b. Reference item concerning maximum utilization of Battalion Staff; paragraph h, page 9 and paragraph 4, 2d Indorsement. Concur with action stated in paragraph 4, 2d Indosement. The moratorium referred to does not influence current DA policy. Additionally current DA standardization program recognizes the requirement for aviation sections in artillery units. Copies of the standardization documents will be provided all concerned when publication is completed.

3. (U) Unit will be notified of actions and comments by routine indorsement which returns this report.


                    E. I. KENNEDY
                    Cpt. AGC
                    Asst. Adjutant General

GPOP-DT (3 Aug 67)                       5th Ind (U)
SUBJECT: Operational Report for the Quarterly Period Ending 31 July 1967 from HQ, 1st Battalion, 92d Artillery (UIC: WA2NAA)(RCS CSFOR-65)


TO: Assistant Chief of Staff for Force Development, Department of the Army, Washington, DC 20310

This headquarters has evaluated (illegible) report and forwarding indorsements and concurs in the report as indorsed.


                     K. F. OSBOURN
1 Incl               MAJ, AGC
  NC                 Asst AG

1st Battalion, 92d Artillery



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