B Battery Stories

The 1/92nd Field Artillery
Association - Vietnam

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My Recollections with B Battery
December 1967 to September 1968


By Jeff Danielson - February 1, 2011 Start Date

I didn't start out as the webmaster of the Brave Cannons website. I reluctantly volunteered to assist Steve Ollerton when he need help. He had put together a small site on his AOL space with David Powells input. I set up server space and registered the bravecannons.org domain name. We then discussed at length the goals, purpose or mission of the website and laid it out to have an area for historically documented information, links, Honor Roll and a place for members to tell their stories. We set standards that have lasted the test of time such as no politics, religion and defamation of members. I have to say we have quite a volume of work giving a good depiction of what it was like to serve with the 1/92 FA in Vietnam. It was about ten years ago that Steve Ollerton (Ollie) passed on. Prior to Ollies death we worked together on the website with many stories, research and photos provided by David Powell. So in total my time in service to the Members of the 1/92d FA Association - VN was about 12 to 14 years to date.


After Steve Ollerton's death on 3/25/2002, I became the webmaster by default. During that time I hand typed almost all of the unit history documents, stories and all of the various information herein. I also designed the layout of the site as it now is and modified, created did quite a bit of photo and graphic work to just about every photo or graphic on the site.

I would like to add that this site would not be nearly as extensive as it is without the Members of the 1/92 FA's contributions. I only typed, added and modified the photos and graphics that went with the submissions from the Members. I only say this to support my claim that I am probably one of the most well versed on the content. I am not asking nor expecting any accolades for my services. I did it for the Members, past and present, of the 1/92d FA and their Families and Friends. To say that I am proud of my Battalion wouldn't suffice. I am damn proud of our Battalion.

Because I have read all the historical documents, stories, and looked into all the links from this site, I have always felt that the majority of them, especially the ORLL's and like reports, to fall far short of telling the story of the Bn. Indeed, in places the information about events where I was there, on the ground, are in error or completely missing. I know many of the members have come away with the same experience.

After talking directly with, exchanging emails and phone calls with other members of B Battery who were there during this time frame I feel I have cleared the fog away from, and/or confirmed those events as they happened and decided to put into words the 'true' account as best I can with the knowledge I have to date. The reason being that I would like to honor the memories of those I served with by giving a more factual account of how, where, when and why events unfolded that either isn't in any of Historical Documents or is incorrect.

I was amazed at the amount of information lacking and surprised by incorrect data that was reported. I know that almost everyday we gave Battalion HQ Sit Reps or Situational Reports for I was in the FDC section of B Battery and of course that meant radios/communications. Also, I have communicated with others including my Battery Commander for 6 months of my tour, Captain John B Eustler, and confirmed those reports. They included things like: incoming enemy fire; bunkers or vehicles damaged or destroyed; WIA's and KIA's; the number of guns available for fire missions; medi-vacs; number of men at the location; personnel on R & R or sent back to Base Camp for medical or other reasons; and munitions inventories. Whatever happened to all those reports is a mystery to me. They could have been used, at a minimum, as a resource to formulate more accurate and complete ORLL's. The loss of these reports is a great historical loss. In one ORLL, for example, there was no mention of our taking extensive recoilless rifle fire and mortar fire. Nor does it mention the direct hits on bunkers including one that hit a OP on the FDC bunker and killing the section chief, Robert E Alexander. No mention, nothing. You would think it would be significant enough to report. That was on the 16 Feb 68'.

If the reader is still with me, I will now try, while making every effort at being unbiased or prejudiced, to relate the events as I experienced them and as well as my memory allows. In some places I know I will have to stop and contact someone or research in some way, the events, names and locations. In other places I will either omit or make note on some events because I am not sure my memory serves me well, and I cannot locate any one or any information to support my view.

One other thing before I start. I am doing this for those who served during that time frame, and their family or friends. But, I am also committing myself to as accurate a history as I can for my three Children, my eight Grandchildren and perhaps there Children. I cannot bring my self to deceive or mislead them, but relate as best I can what it was like with myself, my brothers in arms and Bravo Battery 1/92d Field Artillery.

I was drafted on October 4th or 5th, 1966 in Minneapolis MN. I was flown to El Paso TX and Fort Bliss where I completed two months of Basic Training. I must have tested out fairly high because I was offered the opportunity to go to Officer Candidate School (OCS) but turned it down. I thought I'd just keep the status quo and complete one thing at a time. OCS would have meant I would have to serve longer than my two year tour of duty and at the moment I wasn't sure of my abilities and if I wanted to increase my length of duty. The reason I mention testing high is that besides OCS, I was also put in for an NCO (Noncommissioned Officer) school, which didn't happen. And instead I was sent to Fort Sill OK after Basic Training and trained as an Artillery Fire Direction Personnel. This was a military job title or MOS of 13E20. The 20 meant that I was slotted in a position of eventually being a Sergeant or Specialist 5. Most draftees ended up with a 'B10' or infantry slot of PFC. I felt fortunate but later found out that the Army was short of 13E20's because they got shot at a lot. When I did get to Vietnam I found out just how short they were. But that's for later.

The training was for two months and like many schools and training, most of what I learned wouldn't apply in the 'real' world, as I was to find out. I then was sent, not to Vietnam, which everyone always expected and many were, but I was sent to Fort Hood TX and to an Honest John Rocket Battalion. 'Old Ironsides' Division, 3rd Bn, 2nd Arty HJ. There is a lot of difference between firing a Howitzer, which most of my training involved, and a Honest John Rocket which we barely spent an hour or so in training. I was truly a novice and on the low part of the learning curve in my new 'posting'.

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