Unit History

The 1/92nd Field Artillery
Association - Vietnam


Looking SE from the Guard Tower
FSB Miller - 1971
Photo Craig Stevens

Siege of Phu Nhon
March 1971

DEPARTMENT OF THE ARMY HEADQUARTERS,
1ST BATTALION, 92ND ARTILLERY
APO SAN FRANCISCO 96318

AVGG-FAA-OP
29 APRIL 1971
1st Battalion 92nd Artillery's Liaison Team Headquarters, Headquarters Battery and Battery C
were awarded the VALOROUS UNIT CITATION, for this action.

SUBJECT: After Action Report-Phu Nhon Relief Operation


1. General Summary: This report covers U. S. Artillery operations in support of the defense of Phu Nhon during the period 152355 March 1971 to 212400 March 1971. The following is the disposition of artillery during this period:

FSB Weigt Davis (AR897117) 2 X 155mm, 1st Plt, Btry C/1-92nd FA 1 X 8" and 1 X 175mm, Btry B/7-15th FA 2 X 40mm, Btry B/4-60th Arty

FSB T. C. Miller (AQ870998 2 X 155mm, 2nd Plt, Btry C/1-92nd FA 2 X 40mm, Btry B/4-60th Arty 2 X 105mm (ARVN) 214th Sector Platoon

LZ Lonely (AQ852871) 2 X 155mm, 3rd Plt, Btry C/1-92nd FA 2 X 40mm, Btry B/4-60th Arty

FSB St. George (AR847148) 2 X 105mm (ARVN) 223rd Arty 4 X 155mm (ARVN) 223rd Arty

LZ-FSB? (AQ862905 6 X 105mm (ARVN) Btry C/232nd Arty

Enemy activity in both Kontum and Pleiku Provinces were increasing during the past six months. GVN pacification areas have been the targets of VC/ NVA attacks. The Phu Nhon District has been identified as the focal point for attacks in Pleiku Province. The K394th Composite Battalion and the K1 Battalion of the 95B Regiment, Both Regular NVA units, were identified as units active in the area. Activity during the period of 1 FEB. (link to a story by David Powell) through 15 MAR consisted primarily of company-size ground attacks, harassment, stand off attacks and interdiction by mining and ambushes.

1st Battalion 92nd Artillery ordered 2nd platoon from Battery C (-) to Phu Nhon District Headquarters on January 7th 1971. This was to provide direct support to the 20th Engineer Battalion. This Fire Support Base would later be named LZ T C Miller, in Honor of PFC Miller who was killed in action on FEB 1, 1971

1st February 1971 FSB at Phu Nhon (FSB Miller) was attacked, eighteen rounds of 82mm mortar. Battery C 2nd Platoon had six casualties, one KIA, five WIA. Battery C 1st Platoon (at5 Weigt Davis) fired 35 rounds of illumination in support of Phu Nhon (FSB Miller) but could not fire counter-battery fire because of 100 man RF night location 300 meters away from VC/NVA mortar grid AQ878984.

Over the next two weeks FSB T C Miller, FSB Weigt Davis and LZ Lonely received enemy fire. 3 February 1971 FSB at Phu Nhon was designated LZ T.C. Miller, later designated FSB T.C. Miller

A regimental-sized unit under the command of the HQ 95B Regiment, made a well-coordinated attack on 15-16 March 1971. 95B Regiment, in addition to K394th and the K1 BN/95B Regiment, the K20 Sapper Battalion and elements of the 408th Sapper Battalion are also believed to have participated. A detainee picked up on April 4, was a member of C-1 Company K32 BN. 40th Artillery Regiment. This Regiment also took part in the attack.

On the evening of 15 March at 2355 Hours, A North Vietnamese force of regimental size, initiated a sustained attack against Phu Nhon District HQ (Compound Diagram).
FSB MILLER, Attached Regional Forces, co-located U.S. Artillery forces 2nd Platoon, Battery C 1st 92nd Artillery and supporting Dusters of 2nd Platoon section from Battery B, 4th Battalion, 60th Artillery. During the course of the initial evening attack, The North Vietnamese forces attempted to over run the position by utilizing sapper attacks, assaults by fire with 62 mm mortars, 120 mm mortars, B-40 rockets and ground assaults. The initial attack came from the Southeast against the US. Artillery sector of the perimeter held by the dusters from 4th BN. 60th Artillery and C Battery 1st BN. 92nd Artillery. The enemy was unable to penetrate this area due to the heavy volume of fire and the aggressiveness of the U.S. Soldiers in defense of the artillery sector. The Main attack then moved to the East side, in the vicinity of the ARVN Artillery. The enemy penetrated the wire inflicting damage to the facilities and causing causalities to the South Vietnamese defenders. The 1st Bn. 92nd Liaison Officer directed all gun ships and other aircraft during the first night and morning of the attack. Very little artillery from surrounding Firebases could be called in because the aircraft and the enemy were to close to the position. The U.S. Artillery and Duster personnel proved their ability by the fact that they had killed 21 sappers within 10 meters of their compound. (The numbers of sappers killed would rise to over fifty before the battle would end.) These sappers were heavily armed with satchel charges, B-40 rockets, bangalore torpedoes and M16 rifles. But not one enemy gained access to the compound and were unable to inflict any major damage to the compound or wound any artillery men .One Duster personnel was seriously wounded by a .51 cal. round after 16 hours of fighting. Confidence in their leadership and training, and a great deal of individual initiative were displayed by the Artillerymen throughout the 5-day Battle. Despite lack of sleep, C Battery was able to perform their mission of firing and securing their position in an outstanding manor.

The ground attack, which was directed against the eastern and northeastern sides of the perimeter, ran into very little resistance from the ARVN's. Their men on the perimeter were never reinforced as those on guard duty remained inside their bunkers with their families. No reaction force was formed until daylight. When the MACV compound was over run, the ARVN soldiers brought their families to the American bunkers. The ARVN artillery fired no more than 40 rounds and did not fire direct fire. Sappers were running freely thru their compound with little resistance. They occupied several key bunkers and one building while holding dependents as hostages. Finally at 1600 hours 16 March, GS gas grenades were deployed to clear the enemy from the bunkers.

The enemy was able to cut off the road north and south of Phu Nhon, surrounding the defending forces and cutting off normal land re-supply during the period 16-20 March. Villages held by the enemy were AR865027, Plei Tao-AR863045, Phu Quang-AR870050, and Phu Nhon-AQ862997. 2nd BN. 47th REG. (ARVN) was tasked to move South to clear QL-14, at 1635 hours, on 16 March they encountered a platoon-sized Element of NVA. They exchanged small arms fire, and were pinned down. Gun ships were called in and the NVA broke off the engagement. On 18 March the 1st and 3rd Company 2/47 REG. ran into heavy resistance North of Phu Nhon. A U.S. convoy escort attempting to re-supply our troops arrived on the scene; the Commander of the convoy offered his assistance to the ARVN unit. The convoy had 4 Dusters and one APC. The ARVN troops started another attack. The dusters and APC moved faster than the ARVN, at one point being more than 100 yards in front. The Dusters Rebuilding Defensescame under heavy fire, one being destroyed. The other Dusters leveled the village. The NVA moved back North to their former position. Vehicle re-supply was impossible because of the enemy strength. Throughout this period, the Artillerymen were under constant attack. The enemy showered them with 82mm mortars, 120mm mortars, and small arms fire. U.S. Helicopters, (including 1/92 Aviation) provided re-supply by air but were under devastating ground to air machine gun fire. The 1st BN 45 REG. proceeded towards LZ Lonely and linked up with the 3rd Cavalry troops. With the 3rd Cavalry leading the advance, were ambushed but continued their advance towards Phu Nhon. The 45 REG. linked up with the 3rd Cavalry and advanced. They came under intense enemy fire. The 3rd Cavalry received heavy causalities and became ineffective and moved to the rear. The 1st BN. 92nd Artillery Forward Observer with this Task Force was SP-4 Richard Parrish, he did an outstanding job during these assaults. On 20 March an extensive artillery preparation was fired on the enemy position and after it was completed the 1/45th, 4/45th, and the 2/3rd Cavalry conducted an assault on the objective and overcame enemy resistance. The forces split, moving North and South meeting at Phu Nhon District HQ. The enemy encirclement had been broken.

The U.S. Artillerymen distinguished themselves throughout the siege by repeated acts of Individual heroism. The other platoons from C Battery at FSB Weigt Davis and LZ Lonely were instrumental in ending the attack.


Six Day Totals:

1. Attack Totals:
13 Assaults
6 Significant Contacts
5 Road Ambushes
6 Incidents of Ground to Air Fire

2. Re-supply Routes for 94.3 Tons of Supply:
SVC Btry 1/92nd Artillery Convoyed to Weigt Davis
CH-47 Hook sorties to Weigt Davis and Lonely
UH-1 sorties to Phu Nhon from Weigt Davis

3. U.S. Artillery Expenditures (1401 Rounds):
155mm: 1280 Rounds
175mm: 99 Rounds
8 Inch: 22 Rounds

4. Enemy Losses (Personnel & Equipment):
387 KIA's (178 KBA)
48 Small Arms
23 Crew Served
2 Radios (Communist Chinese)
40/B-40(RPG-2) Rounds
12/82mm Mortar Rounds

5. Friendly Losses (Personnel & Equipment):

  1/92nd Other U.S. ARVN RF/PF
KIA 0 1 45 25
WIA 5 16 101 36
MIA 0 0 0 10

Distinguished Service Cross, Sliver Star and Purple Heart Awarded to:
SP4 Richard L. Parrish

Distinguished Flying Cross Awarded to:
1st LT. Glenn E. Smith

Bronze Star with "V" Device for Valor Awarded to:
CPT. Clyde L. Jonas, CPT. Daniel R. Limbaugh, 1st Lt. Roger T. Hargrove, 2nd LT. Alejandro R. Morales, SSG. Charles E. Caughorn, SSG. Charles E. Green, SGT. Larry M. Evans, SP4 William L. Harlan, SP4 Dale Loseke, SP4 Mark A. Mittleman, SP4 Ricky L. Sutton, SP4 Steven Winchell

Air Medal with "V" Device for Valor Awarded to:
WO1 Randall Marcuson

Army Commendation Medal with "V" Device for Valor Awarded to:
SFC Roy Ward, SSG. Raymond S. Powers, SP6 Preston E. Travers, SGT. Michael T. Barrett, SP5 Howard C. Jenkins, SP4 Frank Ansaldua, SP4 Paul S. Austin, SP4 Henry A. Bortnowski, SP4 Bennie Decker, SP4 Robert D. Duper, SP4 Michael E. Ford, SP4 Richard O. Gallagher, SP4 Steven Gill, SP4 Thomas Jennings, SP4 Thomas Joyce, SP4 Patrick J. Maloney, SP4 Robert J. Mentz, SP4 Michael Reynolds, SP4 Timothy Shipman, SP4 William E. Stevens, SP4 Michael D. Yates, PFC Barry D. Baird, PFC John Hayes, PFC Michael Hunter, PFC Johnny K. Miller, PFC Raymond Reynaga

* All of the Awards are not listed.
1 Silver Star
1 Distinguished Flying Cross
9 Bronze Stars with "V"
27 Army Commendations with "V"
1 Air Medal with "V"
1 Combat Medic Badge
ARVN Unit Award
Valorous Unit Citation


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