Unit History

The 1/92nd Field Artillery
Association - Vietnam



Republic of Vietnam
Part I
1967 to 1969

NOTE: This portion of the 1/92nd FA history covers the years of service in RVN. This is intended to be an accurate overview of the 1/92nd FA's service and for those of you whose entire tour of duty has been reduced to a sentence or a few words, we apologize. If you would like to expand on this history, please forward your stories, comments or suggestions to webmaster@bravecannons.org.

Personal experiences and information related to this portion of the unit history can also be found on the Stories page, History page and the Maps page.

Richard D. Branch provided the following account of deployment to Vietnam.

"I was at Fort Carson, Colorado and was alerted in October 1966 to proceed to Fort Bragg, North Carolina and join the 1st Battalion 92d Artillery for movement to Vietnam. Things were very hectic when I arrived because of the many things to do in preparation for the moement. The Battalion was receiving many new personnel. Battery and Battalion tests were taken. Rebuilt howitzers were received and test fired. Equipment was packed and all personnel were giving pre-deployment leave."

"The advance Party departed on one C-130 aircraft February 19 th from Pope Air Force Base.

These cards and/or others like them were issued to all Vietnam Military Personnel.
The far right card is the 'Nine Rules for Personnel of the US Military Assistance Command Vietnam'.
The center card is 'Tips on VC/NVA Mines and Booby Traps'.
The card at right is related to treatment of prisoners.

"The Party consisted of myself, LTC Amenson, CSM Jessie Kittrell, CPT Hoyle Boles (B Battery Commander) PFC Mescievich (B Battery Supply Clerk) PFC Brennan (A Battery, later killed in a vehicle accident) and approximately 14 others representing each of the Batteries. Supplies accompanied the advance party consisted of everything from morning reports forms to chain saws and also included toilets seats. The trip was to have taken three days but due to mechanical and weather difficulties, it stretched into six days. We were scheduled to go from Hawaii to the Philippines but were rerouted to Kwajelein Island and then to Guam where two engines were replaced. We arrived in Pleiku on 26 February 1967, very tired but in high spirits." "We were sponsored by the 14 th Field Artillery at Artillery Hill. They had constructed the wooden buildings, which made our job a little easier. The first few days were spent in orientations and briefings given by the 14 th F.A. in preparation for the arrival of the main body and our equipment."

RVN Coins 13 February 1967 the main body departed for Vietnam from Oakland Terminal on the USNS Gordon. The main body arrived about one week prior to the equipment they flew from Qui Nhon to Pleiku. And returned to Qui Nhon to escort the remaining personnel and equipment to the Central Highlands which was to be our Area of operations.

Under the Command of LTC Raymond C. Amenson, the main body arrived at Artillery Hill by convoy on 11 March 1967. 12 March 1967 it became attached to the 52 Artillery Group.

Shortly after arriving, the Unit became engaged with its big 155mm (towed) howitzers in the defense of the Northern Two Corps Tactical Zone.

19 March 1967 The 1st Battalion 92nd Artillery fired the first round against the enemy, Battery A fired on enemy cave and bunker complexes north of the Battalion base camp, Artillery Hill.

The mission of the 1st Battalion 92n Artillery varied with the tactical scheme of maneuver, from the direct support of RVN Forces and all Free World Support forces. The Mission of the Unit was as flexible as the situation demanded. Fighting both the weather and the natural elements, the Unit had the reputation of doing the best job under the most severe hardship. Moving by road or air presented no great obstacles to the Unit, which was completed Air Mobile. In late 1969 the 1st 92 Aviation Company joined the 1st Battalion 92n Artillery with Four Helicopter Pilots and Eight Crew Members assigned to Headquarters Battery. 10 April of 1967 the Battalion formed Battery D, which was four 105mm howitzer manned by Headquarters and Service Batteries. These men had no formal training and learned thru on the job training, many times under fire. The Battalion also formed Battery E, which included Battalion FDC and two 155mm howitzers from Battery C. The Battalion manpower was never increased and spent most of the war undermanned. The Unit had it’s own Forward Observers and these men were often sent to other units both U.S. and ARVN. The Batteries moved to new positions without Infantry and provided it’s owned security. Batteries were often separated with just two or three Guns moving to a new position. The Brave Cannons were one of the last U.S. 155mm. howitzer Units to leave Vietnam, and one of the Most Decorated.

The 1st Battalion 92d Artillery Batteries mod oer one hundred and eleven times in the first four months in Vietnam. The unit fired 39,865 155mm rounds and 4,374 105mm rounds in this time period.

Throughout the remainder of the year, the Battalion moed its firing batteries often to support operations at QL 19, AO Spatz, Polei Kleng, Dak Pek, FSB 1, FSB 6, Ban Me Thout, Duc Co and many more. Headquarters and Service Batteries not only manned Battery D Howitzers but also resupply the other firing Batteries and completed their other assignments.

25 October 1967, the Battalion supported the 4th Infantry Division, and 173d Airborne Brigade in the Battle of Dak To. Enemy activity increased in early November in the Central Highlands. Battery A at FSB 6 and Battery B, at LZ Hambone provided artillery support. Battery B received the Presidential Unit Citation for the Battle of Dak To. (See History Page, Battery B in Dak To). Also Map #6538_III.

#4 Gun Crew - B Btry - '67/'68

Front Row, L to R - William Santo/Snake, Uhl/Porky, Chief Johnson/Lifer, John Conley/Rufus and Wilmont/Wilpot
Back Row - L to R - Becket/Dagwood, Gillions/Cool Cat, Nolan/Squad Leader, Hugh Glenn Morrison/Goofey and Mitch

March of 1969, Ben Het was being subjected to almost daily enemy artillery fire, to counter the threat, by providing a high volume of counter-battery fire, a Platoon of Battery A (-) was emplaced with over head cover (History Page-Ben Het).This enabled them to provide continuous counter-battery fire while still receiving incoming artillery. The main body of A Btry was positioned at FSB 1 with B Btry at FSB 6 from March to June.

March 9, 1035 hours, Dak TO (FSB 1) FSB 6 and Ben HET (FSB 12) began receiving constant stand off attacks. During the week that follows, the three positions received a total of 397 rounds of almost every caliber in the enemy arsenal. April 1969 FSB 1 received 703 rounds of incoming. 13 May a 122mm rocket landed in a gun pit. This resulted in four men KIA and eleven WIA. Thirteen Volunteers were flow in from Artillery Hill that night as replacements. The battalion continues to fire heroically in support of the maneuver forces and in their own defense despite the devastating attacks. June brought no respite for the enemy was turning the brunt of its attack toward FSB 12 at Ben Het. 12-15 June, Units of the Battalion continued to provide support for maneuver units in the face of daily enemy standoff attacks and artillery barrages. The period 15 – 27 June became know to the press as the Siege of Ben Het, receiving the most determined enemy attacks on the base. 24 June a Platoon from Battery C (-) was moved into Dak TO as reinforcing fire. 27 June, after throwing a final 223 rounds into Ben Het, the NVA Regiment returned to their camps in Cambodia, after suffering over 1800 killed. Throughout the Battle of Ben Het the Battalion expended 49,041 rounds against the enemy forces estimated more than 5000.

There were 35 WIA during this period, also the Battalion had 9 men killed in action: PFC Porter, PFC Burgess, SSG Kraft, PFC Wieser, PFC Davis, SP4 Connell, PFC Carter of Battery A were killed by hostile fire. An exploding breechblock killed PFC Sisneros or A Btry. SP4 Greco of HHB was on a Forward Observer Mission (KIA).

A platoon of Battery B(-) under the command of XO Lt. Michael Walters occupied Ben Het from October to December of '69. The Corps of Engineers built two gun bunkers that were oriented towards Cambodia. They also built two concrete firing “rings” adjacent to the bunkers so that fire could be directed in all other directions.

A Valorous Unit Citation and Streamer embroidered ‘Dak To- Ben Het" was awarded to the 1st Battalion 92 Artillery for this battle.

To Vietnam Part II - >

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