7th BN 15th Artillery v3

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Tour of Duty 1970 - 1971


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7th Battalion 15th Field Artillery Military Region II Central Highlands:

7 th Battalion 15 th Field Artillery Military Region II Central Highlands Drafted 21 Jan 70 Vietnam Tour of Duty 23 Sep 70 – 22 Sep 71 175 mm Gun 8 inch Howitzer

Slide 2:

21 Jan 70 – 31 Mar 70 Basic Training, Ft. Leonard Wood, MO Bravo 4/2

Slide 3:

April - August 1970, On the Job Training Fort Carson, CO 6 th Bn, 21 st FA, 5 th ID Mechanized Honest John Missile

Trip Over Oakland Army Base - Honolulu - Wake Island - Philippines - Bien Hoa - Nha Trang - An Khe:

Trip Over Oakland Army Base - Honolulu - Wake Island - Philippines - Bien Hoa - Nha Trang - An Khe Oakland Army Base, CA Wake Island Friendly Skies Unfriendly Skies Ready to go, turned 23, overseas uniform, PFC, levied out of 5 th Division, heading for airport.

Slide 5:

First Field Force Vietnam * LZ Oasis * RSB Schueller LZ Blackhawk *

Surveyors, December 1970 – April 1971:

Surveyors, December 1970 – April 1971 Long, Sweeney, Kitsemble Pitts, Stamps, Eldred, Zinke, Sweeney, Kitsemble Blair Holman, Eastman Stamps, KC, Long MOS 82C Smokey

An Khe Pass QL 19:

An Khe Pass QL 19 6 Oct 70 convoy to Phu Cat

Camp Radcliff, An Khe October 1970:

Camp Radcliff, An Khe October 1970

Slide 10:

Camp Fidel, Phu Cat 7 Oct 70 - 7 Dec 70 Monsoon Season

Slide 11:

Artillery Hill, Pleiku Arrive 8 Dec 70 00:01 hour, 1 Jan 71 Pleiku

Slide 12:

LZ Blackhawk, 25 Dec 70

Slide 13:

25 Dec 70 Survey

Duc Co 7 Jan 70:

Duc Co 7 Jan 70 LZ Crusader raid site

Duc Co Survey:

Duc Co Survey

Polie Kleng 13 Feb 71:

Polie Kleng 13 Feb 71 Fighting 15th Aid ARVN By SP4 Thomas Cooper, 7/15th Arty IO Reprinted from a 1971 ARTILLERY REVIEW newspaper POLEI KLENG -- Executing a rare field artillery maneuver involving the road march of several 175mm guns to a single raid site located 21 miles from the Cambodian border, 7th Battalion, 15th Field Artillery recently provided solid U.S. heavy artillery support for the 22nd ARVN offensive operations in the northwestern Central Highlands. Enemy routed After routing the enemy from the Plei Trap Valley by heavy fire concentration, the guns pounded decisively on relocation movements undertaken by the 66th NVA Regiment. Operating in the field with the ARVN maneuver battalions, forward observers Second Lieutenant James E. Nyberg and Second Lieutenant Thomas C. Wagner called in enemy grid coordinates for the guns. With additional rounds expended on radar and intell targets, firing was both rapid and accurate. Supplying fire support on an on-call 24-hour basis, the composite battery proved, in the words of Battalion Commander, Lieutenant Colonel Barry B. Bannister, that "The unit was able to move from a static position to a highly mobile situation with no loss of efficiency." Forded rivers Tracking through dense jungle terrain comprised of winding dirt trails and bridge-less rivers, the track-mounted self-propelled guns arrived at the site and were fired shortly after being laid. Commented Captain Chester R. Smith, Jr., commanding officer of the battery, "We went over bridges that were completed right before our approach and, if they weren't, we forded the rivers." "This operation," noted LTC Bannister, "has resulted in the tactical deployment of a 175mm gun battery --- the first time in over a year that First Field Force Vietnam Artillery has deployed an entire 175mm gun battery."

Slide 18:

Polie Kleng survey

Slide 19:

Ben Het, Tan Canh, FSB 6, Dak To II Jan – Apr 1971 Ben Het 20 Feb 71 Ben Het FSB 6 6 Mar 71 - Smoke from 4 x 122 rocket attack on survey squad at Tan Canh, first of many fired at 7/15 th FA 8 inch round out at Tan Canh

Slide 21:

1 May 1971 S-3 Lessons  Learned Activity remained stabilized throughout the area of operations with attacks by fire continuing in the Ben Het/Tan Canh area. The Pleiku area also became a prime target as Pleiku Air Base received an attack by fire in which 60mm mortar and B-40 fire was employed in conjunction with a sapper probe. Also, Camp Holloway received 5 x 122mm rocket rounds on 26 March which resulted in light damage to two aircraft. Elsewhere in the Pleiku area, enemy activity increased in the resettlement villages to the West of Pleiku. Plei Blang received a major assault on 21 March which resulted in 6 civilians and RF cadre killed while the enemy lost 16 personnel in the attack. Plei Yan received a ground assault by an estimated VC company which produced 3 friendly KIA. Two assaults by fire were directed at the RF groups in the area as the enemy attempted to disrupt the GVN resettlement program. The highpoint of the reporting period came at 0600 hours, 31 March at FSB 6. The enemy launched his assault with a coordinated program of B-40, recoiless rifle, and mortar fire from an estimated battalion sized force. As the ground attack intensified, the enemy engaged the friendly positions with grenades made from "Coke" cans which used powder fuzes. The high volume of grenades directed against friendly positions drove the defenders back and the enemy soon occupied the perimeter bunkers on the Northeast portion of the compound from which the enemy directed B-40, grenades, and flame throwers at the ARVN forces. It was suspected that the enemy was employing B-47 rockets in that air bursts were observed. Despite artillery and air support which was called In directly upon the postion by the US Integrated Observation System team leader, the enemy continued the assault throughout the day and at 1720 the fire base was evacuated. The escape and evasion effort met scattered resistance from the time of its departure as snipers took their toll and a pursuit element constantly harassed the rear of the retreating forces. Air support by Cobra gunships finally succeeded in halting the pursuit, thus permitting the extraction and rescue of friendly elements. Despite heavy casualties from air and artillery strikes delivered against the base the enemy tenaciously held his ground throughout 1 and 2 April 1971. At one point during the attack the abandoned howitzers were turned and fired against friendly positions in Ben Het, Dak To II, Tan Canh, and other friendly positions along Highway 512. Battery A, 7/15 FA fired 38 x 8", and 25 x l75G High Explosive, fuze VT, rounds onto FSB 6 in counter battery fires. ARVN assault elements regained the firebase the following day after heavy air and artillery fire support was directed on the enemy held positions. The enemy managed another probing assault against the position, but this assault failed. Enemy artillery remained active throughout the period with rockets and mortars directed against friendly installations at FSB 5, Tan Canh, Ben Het, and Dak To II. Casualty figures are recorded as being US -3 KIA, 4 WIA and 2 MIA; ARVN -7 KIA, 54 WIA and 1 MIA. Equipment losses included four 105mm Howitzers destroyed and one IOS destroyed. Enemy losses were heavy. Over 500 KIA were recorded along with several prisoners and large amounts of munitions. Enemy elements participating in the assault on FSB 6 were the 66th NVA Regiment and the 40th NVA Artillery Battalion. The sharp upswing of enemy activity indicated that the spring offensive had begun and demonstrated the enemy's ability to attack any installation, sustain heavy losses and continue to be effective. After the ARVN forces regained FSB 6 they began operations to push the enemy from the area. Most of the engagements during the early part of operation were with relatively small units, but these small groups proved to be determined and well trained fighters. Sweep operations continued to uncover hundreds of enemy bodies from ground, artillery, and air strikes. On 3 April 1971 Hoi Chanhs attempted to gain sanctuary with ARVN forces and were fired upon by the NVA as they made their escape, critically injuring all three. These individuals indicated that they were from the K7 and K9 battalions of the 66th NVA Regiment. They further reported that the K7 battalion had been completely destroyed and that the K9 battalion had been 75 percent destroyed. All three men died from the wounds they received In their escape from their NVA units. In spite of the heavy losses, the enemy continued offensive action as they launched 13 assaults by fire against the allied positions in Tan Canh, Dak To II, and Ben Het.

Slide 22:

Bombing NVA rocket position FDC dug in Dennis Ortega in 122 rocket crater Tan Canh FSB 6

Slide 23:

SP5 Zubke from B battery 7/15 th went MIA on 1 Mar 71 following a NVA attack on his position. His body was never recovered. SP5 Deland W. Zubke was serving as a radio operator for a U.S. Artillery forward observer attached to an ARVN unit in South Vietnam. On February 28, 1971, at about 1700 hours, his unit came under enemy attack, and was forced to occupy defensive positions. At 1410 hours on March 1, the ARVN unit's perimeter was breached and the unit began to break up, with the survivors attempting to evade capture. The three other Americans serving with this group evaded capture. Survivors report last seeing SP5 Zubke inside the defensive perimeter. While the surviving escaped, they called an air strike on their former position. Zubke was not seen again. Zubke was presumed to have been killed in the air strike called in to protect the surviving members of the team.

Slide 24:

Shrapnel damage Tan Canh Surveyors arrive at Tan Canh

Slide 25:

Road mine on QL 14 South of Tan Canh

Slide 26:

Operational Report-Lessons Learned, Headquarters, 7th Battalion, 15th Field Artillery for Period Ending 30 April 1971 RCS:CSFOR-GS(R-3). ROUNDS FIRED BY THE 7/15TH ARTILLERY MONTH BTRY A BTRY B BTRY C BN TOTAL Nov 70 419/151/0 235/229/0 379/374/0 1033/754/0/130/126 Dec 70 201/171/6 162/126/0 138/216/0 501/513/6/93/64 Jan 71 288/209/2 481/244/0 252/284/0 1021/737/2/238/116 Feb 71 960/125/0 251/149/0 243/489/0 1454/763/0/337/99 Mar 71 4055/271/0 589/184/0 217/272/0 4861/727/0/805/88 Apr 71 2719/2148/22 1352/419/0 2120/1834/7 6191/4400/29/724/461 LEGEND:  175mm RDS / 8" RDS / FC / 175mm MSNS / 8" MSNS C Battery, 7th Battalion, 15th Field Artillery Gun #1 - 1971 (these projos weighed over 200 lbs each) November 1970 thru April 1971 The 7/15th fired 7,894 of these 8" projos in this 6-month period, and 15,061 175mm projos. Total rounds fired by the three firing batteries of the 7/15th in this 6-month period: 22,955

Slide 27:

One year later on 3 Apr 72, the NVA began the take over of the entire area. The Vietnamization program was failing. 7/15 7/15 7/15 7/15 7/15 7/15 – gun positions Spring 1971 7/15 Wednesday, April 26, 1972 Highlands Staggering Under NVA Assault By PETER ARNETT PLEIKU, Vietnam (AP) --South Vietnam's rolling unpopulated central highlands used to be a war theater where neither side tried very hard to win, an "economy of force" war in military terms. Until Sunday night. Then North Vietnamese tanks roared in along a dirt road from Laos. Heavy artillery guns opened up from hidden mountain positions. A South Vietnamese division headquarters was engulfed and overrun.

Siege of Phu Nhon 19 Apr 71:

Siege of Phu Nhon 19 Apr 71

Slide 29:

The Phu Nhon District has been identified as the focal point for attacks in Pleiku Province. The K394th Composite Battalion and the K1 Battalion of the 95B Regiment, Both Regular NVA units, were identified as units active in the area. Activity during the period of 1 FEB through 15 MAR consisted primarily of company-size ground attacks, harassment, stand off attacks and interdiction by mining and ambushes. A regimental-sized unit under the command of the HQ 95B Regiment, made a well-coordinated attack on 15-16 March 1971. 95B Regiment, in addition to K394th and the K1 BN/95B Regiment, the K20 Sapper Battalion and elements of the 408th Sapper Battalion are also believed to have participated. A detainee picked up on April 4, was a member of C-1 Company K32 BN. 40th Artillery Regiment. This Regiment also took part in the attack. KIA 13 Jun 71 C battery 7/15 th FA moved near Phu Nhon to provide heavy artillery, Lt. Gray was killed by an enemy artillery attack on that position.

Phu Nhon Survey LZ Zulu:

Phu Nhon Survey LZ Zulu

ARVN Infantry Arrives 22nd Division :

ARVN Infantry Arrives 22 nd Division

Integrated Observation System 29 May 71 – 20 Aug 71 Kontum, Dak To II, Oasis, Schueller:

Integrated Observation System 29 May 71 – 20 Aug 71 Kontum, Dak To II, Oasis, Schueller Starlight scope, binoculars, laser range finder, azimuth

Dak To II, “D” Battery position consisted of two 8” guns and IOS along with ARVN perimeter security. This was the worst place I was sent and the only place I had to dig a foxhole. Very muddy place, one night gun crew dropped 8” round that sunk so deep in mud it could not be found. Two ARVN soldier died while cooking using left over gun powder bags that exploded. Fortunately I was pulled out for R&R and when I returned, the IOS hand been relocated to LZ Oasis.:

Dak To II, “D” Battery position consisted of two 8” guns and IOS along with ARVN perimeter security. This was the worst place I was sent and the only place I had to dig a foxhole. Very muddy place, one night gun crew dropped 8” round that sunk so deep in mud it could not be found. Two ARVN soldier died while cooking using left over gun powder bags that exploded. Fortunately I was pulled out for R&R and when I returned, the IOS hand been relocated to LZ Oasis. LZ Mud

Rest & Relaxation Taipei, Tiawan 14 Jun 71:

Rest & Relaxation Taipei, Tiawan 14 Jun 71 Camp Alpha, Saigon Tan Son Nhut AFB

LZ Oasis 27 Jun 71 – 10 Jul 71:

LZ Oasis 27 Jun 71 – 10 Jul 71

RSB Schueller 10 Jul 71 – 20 Aug 71:

RSB Schueller 10 Jul 71 – 20 Aug 71

Slide 40:

QL 19 approaching Schueller RSB Schueller 122 Rocket Bridge protection east of Schueller Mang Yang Pass looking east towards Schueller

Slide 41:

20 Sep 71 Farewell on Arty Hill Sept 22 Clark Butler Holman Butler, Clark, -, Sieck Butler

Going home September 22, 1971:

Going home September 22, 1971 Pleiku to Cam Rahn Bay to Tokyo to Seatle ****

Cindy & PFC Long August 2009:

Cindy & PFC Long August 2009

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