Service Battery Stories

The 1/92nd Field Artillery
Association - Vietnam


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First Mortar Attack

by Robert LaPlant

I was in the Service Battery of the 1/92nd and we did many different things and here are some of them.

We delivered ammo to the gun batteries and sometimes we got shot at while waiting on road clearance so we wouldn’t hit a land mine. We went on hip shoots with the gun batteries. We went on Recon patrols when we were back at base camp at Artillery Hill and we lived through several mortar attacks on the hill.


I especially remember my first mortar attack.

I had hurt my foot and was the only one in my section at base camp. It was early in the morning. I was in the tent alone, asleep, and the mortars landed all around the buildings and tents. They woke me up but at first I didn't realize what it was until one hit by the end of my tent. A ball of fire came in and it sounded like someone had thrown a handful of gravel on the wood floor of the tent.

Then I knew what it was, and I rolled out of the bunk, put on my steel pot, flack jacket, pistol belt and boots. I laid beside my bunk and counted the time between the mortars (like we had been trained) and a good thing, if I had taken off running, one hit the end of the tent where I was headed. I waited until one hit, then I took off running until another one was about to hit. I got down and waited until it hit.

finally got to the bunker I was assigned to, and I was the only one in that bunker. All I had on was my underwear and tee shirt. I had no cigarettes, I was all alone, and didn't know if the VC were coming through the wire. I was in the bunker about two hours with flares going off (scared to death) for what seemed like a lifetime. Finally it started to get light out and I was cleared to leave the bunker.

That was one night I'll never forget, 1967.

EDIT NOTES: Transcribed by Chuck Gall

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