The 1/92nd Field Artillery
Association - Vietnam


(-) through Humping Joes

Terms, and Tactics explained



(-): 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.


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.

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.

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