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The 1/92nd Field Artillery
Association - Vietnam

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Story by Dennis Johnson

Just an added note on working with the Montagnards in Vietnam.

In early 1969 as a member of HQ-Btry I was assigned to Ben Het predominately as FDC support for the 1/92nd platoon that I believe was from B-Brty at the time (later replaced by A-Brty).

For a couple of months myself, Ron Terwilleger, both in fire direction control and Sgt Ralph Pfeiffer (sp?) that was a gunnery sergeant from B-Btry trained several members of the Special Forces CIDG force on the operation of the 105mm howitzers they had at the top of the hill.

All of the CIDG forces were Montagnards except the commanding officer that was Vietnamese. The Vietnamese officer didn't speak English but one of the Montegnards, "Birdman" did, so most of our communications obviously used this low ranking Montagnard as the interpreter. He was a wonderful young man and from him we learned much such as the distain and distrust of the Vietnamese that had always discriminated against the Montagnards. They "hated" the South Vietnamese about as much as they "hated" the North Vietnamese. At the same time they were extremely trustworthy because of their overall distain for all Vietnamese and they were also fierce fighters. it's no wonder that US Special Forces relied on them so much.

I learned much from Birdman and came to understand the Montegnard culture as we often shared meals with his family that was also at Ben Het (not uncommon at a Special Forces base from what I understand). I have long since given up hope that he survived the Vietnam War or it's aftermath but he will always be someone, other than my friends in the US military, that I cared about in Vietnam. They were a wonderful culture that really had little hope regardless of who "won" the Vietnam War.

Dennis Johnson
HQ-Brty 1/92
Oct 1968-Dec 1969

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