The 1/92nd Field Artillery
Association - Vietnam

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50's in Germany


By Ray A Grafflin,
265403006, SSG (Ret'd)

I'm a member of the Brave Cannons - although I didn't serve in Vietnam. I was with a Gyroscope unit that was formed in Fort Sill in 1955 (548th AFA Bn, "With Steel we Lead") and gyroe'd to Germany to Bad Kissingen as an Armored FA Battalion. The unit was redesignated as the 1/92d on 15 July 58 while we were in Germany. We rotated as a unit back to Fort Bragg, NC and were located on Smoke Bomb Hill, opposite the 10th Special Forces (with whom we had a very shaky relationship indeed).


I was Personnel Sergeant by this time, having joined the unit at Fort Sill to train as a Surveyor, and when I was fully trained, was assigned to Alpha Battery as Instrument Man, under a MSG Floyd Beach who was Chief of Survey. Beach was frequently 'off color' so I had the job of being both the Instrument Man and Cof S.

The Battery Commander at that time was a Capt Powell, who due to having had a bad measles attack as a kid was badly pockmarked. We nicknamed him after the Dick Tracy character "Pruneface Powell" or simply Pruney as the mood took us. He had a habit of playing quick draw with us NonComs, and really hated being beaten.

The Battalion Commander was replaced by a Lt Col Lutz, who had a bad larynx which had been badly done in Korea - so couldn't speak very loudly. Naturally he became Whispering Smith. He was a really good CO, sharp, fair, and a great leader. The troops liked him, and worked really hard for him. His predecessor (whose name escapes me) was not any of those things, and had the added burden of a terrible wife, who was known by the Ladies of the Battalion as the Black Magnolia - very much the Southern Belle - and apparently pretty bitchy to the ladies.

We were based in Bad Kissingen at a former German Army barracks with the 2/14th Armored Cavalry. Our mission was to help defend (read hold for a few hours) a section of the Czech Border which was only 14 miles to our East. I think we might have lasted a few hours before being overwhelmed. Glad that we never had to prove that one way or the other.

I have some old orders, photos etc of the time which I can donate if wanted. I was pleased to see the unit went on with the same pride we had. (Webmaster note: Ray has been contacted about the this).

Ray A Grafflin, 265403006, SSG (Ret'd)


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