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The 1/92nd Field Artillery
Association - Vietnam




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Terms & Tactics Explained

| A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M |

| N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | X | Y | Z |

(-): Abbreviation found in ORLL's signifying 4 Howitzers or the remaining part of a Battery when split into more than one location.

Aiming Stakes, Aiming Posts: A set of red and white poles, capable of being lit at night, used by the Gunners to maintain the proper deflection and adjust for displacement of the howitzer during the fire missions.

Air Burst: A round that uses time, or proximity fuzes to burst in the air over the target. Illumination rounds were always air burst rounds.

Ammo Dump: Usually a large bunker, or bunker complex, where the projectiles, fuzes, primers, and powders are stored.

AO: The acronym used for Area of Operation. The area your unit is assigned for a period of time during support of a mission or operation.

ARVN: Abbreviation used for the Army of the Republic of Viet Nam (Vietnam).

AXO: Abbreviation for Assistant Executive Officer

Base Ejection: A projectile which delivers ordnance, or performs a function by blowing the base of shell off, i.e. firecracker, illumination, and smoke rounds.

BN, Bn: Abbreviation for Battalion, generally 3 (three) to 4 (four) Batteries of Howitzers (or Guns).

Bore: Internal name of a cannon barrel containing the lans and grooves.

Breechblock: The mechanism at the rear of the artillery tube that allows the loading, and firing of the piece. The M114A1 breech is described as a step theaded, interupted screw type.

Btry, BTRY: Abbreviation for Battery, generally 6 (six) Howitzers (or Guns).

C4: A military grade plastic explosive equivalent to 118% of TNT. A rubbery, fully plasticised mass, which can be kneaded and formed into any shape. It is insensitive to impact and friction and was often burned to heat food and water. It has a detonation rate of 26,400 fps and requires detonation cord (Det Cord), primers or blasting caps to set it off.

Cannon: The name given to the collective components of the barrel, breech and breech ring of a howitzer.

Chief of Smoke: Nickname given to the senior NCO of the firing battery, typically a 1st Sgt.

Collimator: An 'Infinity Reference Aiming Point' used for the same purpose as the aiming stakes (posts) but with a greater degree of accuracy.

Coriolis Force: An effect that causes any projectile to deflect to the right in the northern hemisphere, and to the left in the southern hemisphere.

Crane, Skycrane, Flying Crane: Slang tern used for the CH-54 Sikorsky Tarhe Helicopter. Capable of carrying 45 combat troops in the "people pod" or 20,000 lbs of payload by cargo hook. Max range was 230 miles at a speed of 126 mph.

Deadmen: Any of a number of devices buried in the ground and used to keep the howitzer from moving/shifting too much during a fire mission. Common items used were powder canister, tree sections, timbers and old sections of tank tracks/treads.

Deflection: The setting communicated to and set off by the gunner on the Panoramic Telescope to aim the howitzer left or right.

Delay: A setting on the point detonating fuze that delays the rounds explosion until it has dug into the ground. Primarily used against hard targets like bunkers.

Det Cord: Acronym for detonation cord. Det Cord was used for many purposes in Vietnam a few of which were to light/detonate Foo Gas barrels, set off explosive charges and cut down trees. Det Cord has a detonation rate of 27,200 fps (the fastest known) and could be wrapped around steel I-Beams a few times and when detonated would actually cut the beam into pieces.

Dud: Any projectile that fails to go off at the proper time.

Elevation: The angle of the barrel of the gun, zero being horizontal. The 155mm howitzer could not only fire high angle, but could depress the tube slightly below horizontal.

FB, FSB: Abbreviation for Fire Base, Firebase or Fire Support Base. A permanent, semi-permanent or temporary base for an Artillery Unit used to fire support of ground troops and other friendly forces engaged or working within range.

FDC: Abbreviation for Fire Direction Center.

Firecracker round: M449 An anti personnel round that air bursts over the target, and delivers dozens of spring loaded bomblets that bounce 5 feet back into the air and explode. The sound from a distance is not unlike a string of firecrackers going off.

FPS: Abbreviation for Feet per Second

Hipshoot: A very temporary position occupied for immediate support. Firebase 6 used to Hipshoot a howitzer for counter mortar and counter artillery fire when they were expecting re-supply because the VC/NVA had the firebase 'dialed in' so well.

Hook, Shithook, Chinook: Slang term for the CH-47 Chinook Helicopter. Capable of carrying 33-44 combat troops, 24 stretchers and two medical attendants or 10,114 lbs of payload internally or by cargo hook. Max range was 230 miles at a speed of 173 mph.

Humping Joes: Carrying rounds from one point to another. Usually to replenish the gun pit bunkers. For each projectile, a like amount of powder canisters also had to be carried.

ICTZ: The acronym used for I Corp Tactical Zone the northern most military zone in Vietnam. Pronounced 'eye core' (see maps pages)

IFFV: The acronym used for 1st Field Forces Vietnam. One of the two original Corp level commands in Vietnam from 1966 to 1971 in 1968 a 3rd command was added.

IICTZ: The acronym used for II Corp Tactical Zone, which included the Central Highlands. Pronounced 'two core' (see maps pages)

IIFFV: The acronym used for 2nd Field Forces Vietnam. One of the two original Corp level commands in Vietnam from 1966 to 1971 in 1968 a 3rd command was added.

IIICTZ: The acronym used for III Corp Tactical Zone. Pronounced 'three core' (see maps pages)

Illum, or Light Round: Short for illumination round. A projectile which base ejects a parachute suspended flare to light up an area.

IVCTZ: The acronym used for IV Corp Tactical Zone the southern most military zone. Pronounced 'four core' (see maps pages)

Killing Radius: A distance from the exploding round that had a high expectation of killing an above ground enemy. A 155mm HE round had a 100% killing radius of 50 meters. At 200 meters it still had a 50% capability.

LZ: Abbreviation used for Landing Zone. This term was often wrongly used as meaning the same as Firebase or Fire Support Base when in fact; most firebases had LZ's. Strictly, the term LZ means a place for insertion and extraction of troops and material. It may be a natural clearing in the vegetation large enough to land one or more helicopters or it may have been created by the use of a Daisy Cutter Bomb.

Mil: An arc described by two intersecting lines whose distance apart at one kilometer is 100 meters. There are 6400 mils to a full circle, versus 360 degrees.

Mortar: A high angle crew served weapon that fired exploding rounds of various sizes. U.S. mortars used in Vietnam were 60mm, 81mm, and 4.2 inch, called a "four duece." NVA used 60mm, 82mm, and 140mm mortars

Munitions: The collective name given to all powder, primers, projos and small arms ammunition. Muzzle: The exit point of a Projo from the cannon barrel.

NCO: Abbreviation for Non-Commissioned Officer, those with ranks of Sgt. E-5 thru Sgt. E-9.

ORLL's: The acronym used for Operational Report-Lessons Learned. The official record of an organization usually stored in the National Archives. Normally produced by the parent organization from reports submitted by the subordinate units. The official records for the 1/92nd Field Artillery in Vietnam can be found in the ORLL's of the 52nd Artillery Group. ORLL's are done quarterly i.e. every 3 (three) months.

Pallets: 155mm rounds came in groups of eight, with wooden pallets top, and bottom. Getting the rounds to the guns was only the beginning of their usefulness. From building material, to furniture, their use was limited only by a persons imagination.

PD: Point detonating. A fuze that detonates upon impact.

Phonetic Alphabet: The alphabet used by the military in an effort to keep from being confused by numerous items in the English language that sound similar or the same. For example, the letter "C" when said over the two-way radio could be mistaken for the letter "B" or "D," so instead we would say "Charlie" or "Bravo" or "Delta"

Pig, Pigs: Slang term used for the M114A1 Howitzer, Medium, Towed 155mm.

Plt, PLT: Abbreviation for Platoon, generally 2 Howitzers (or Guns)

Primer: A device that looks a lot like a blank cartridge for igniting the powder charge.

Propelling Charge: Another name for the Powder Charge for propelling the projectile toward it's target.

Proximity Fuze: Also called a VT fuze, a proximity fuze used the time set on its scale, to arm the projectile. Using radar, it senses when it is within 20 meters of an object, and detonates.

PSP: Abbreviation for Perforated Steel Planking. Large sheets of interlocking steel panels normally used for building airstrips without having to pave them. The artillery used them to form the roofs of their hooch's and bunkers for their munitions.

Quadrant: The corrected elevation, that is the elevation plus angle of site (angel of site accounted for the differences in elevation between the battery and target). This setting was communicated to and set off by the gunner on the Panoramic Telescope Mount to move the howitzer cannon up or down.

Rifling: The series of ridges (Lans) and grooves on the inside of the cannon barrel/tube.

Roadmarch: The dismantling and packing of everything on a firebase and movement of all men, equipment, howitzers and munitions to a new firebase.

RSB: Abbreviation for Recon Support Base. Probably the most famous RSB was located on QL14 in the Central Highlands at the Eastern base of the Mang Yang Pass, although it was called LZ Action it was officially listed as a Recon Support Base. A place for reconnaissance patrols to spend the night, re-supply, deploy from or fall back to for support and cover.

RTO: Abbreviation for Radio Telephone Operator. RVN: Abbreviation used for Republic of Viet Nam (Vietnam).

Sapper: A highly trained communist fighter capable of navigating your perimeter defenses in a matter of seconds.

Setting Pawl: The mechanism on a time fuze setter that actually turns the fuze body to the proper time setting.

Sortie (Hook or Crane): Movement by aircraft from "Point-A to Point-B." For example, from a convoy point or airstrip to a hilltop LZ would be "a sortie." It took 6 Crane sorties (to move the Howitzers) and 23-25 Hook sorties (for the men and equipment) to move the standard 155mm Battery in Vietnam.

Speed Jack: A pivot devise made of steel that the Howitzer Center of Balance rested on between fire missions. The speed jack enabled the gun crew to rotate the howitzer in any direction giving them the ability to fire in any direction at a moments notice. Also known as 6400-mil capability.

SQ: Super quick. A PD fuze that detonates quickly so as to maximize the shells killing radius.

Swing Battery: The battery designated to be today's equivalent to a quick reaction force. This battery moved from Firebase to Firebase as need dictated spending minimal time at any one place.

TAOR: The acronym used for Tactical Area Of Responsibility. The area your unit is responsible for supporting within the entire theatre of battle. The 1/92nd Artillery in Vietnam (the theater of battle was South Vietnam) had a TAOR that covered all of II CTZ.

Time Fuze: Any fuze that used the measurement of time so as to detonate the round while still in the air.

Trajectory: The flight path of the round from the time it leaves the tube, to the time it quits moving.

Tube: The common name of a cannon barrel.

Vernier Scale: The scale around the circumference of a time fuze that allows the fuze to be set to an accuracy of .1 of a second.

Willie Pete, WP, Willie Peter: A white phosphorus round.

XO: Abbreviation for Executive Officer

XXIV Corps: The acronym used for 24 Corps. Formed in 1968 it became the 3rd Corp level command in Vietnam from 1968 to 1972































































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