15th Field Artillery
Vietnam War - 6/15th
The 6th Howitzer Battalion (105mm) (Towed), 15th Artillery, was reactivated at Ft. Sill, Oklahoma, 1 December 1966, specifically to provide additional fire support to the 1st Infantry Division. The Battalion Commander was LTC Frank E. Serio.
On 1 May 1967, the Division departed Ft. Sill for Vietnam via rail and aboard the ship USNS Gordon. Division Headquarters was established 26 May 1967 at Lai Khe.
On 17 October 1967, 2nd Lt. Harold B. Durham, Jr. distinguished himself by conspicuous gallantry while assigned to Battery C, 6th Battalion, 15th Artillery. 2nd Lt. Durham was serving as a forward observer with Company D, 2nd Battalion, 28th Infantry during a battalion reconnaissance-in-force mission. 2nd Lt. Durham's gallant actions in close combat earned him the Congressional Medal of Honor, but cost him his life.On 28 July 2000, the 2nd Bn, 15th FAR, located at Fort Drum, NY, dedicated their Headquarters Building as Durham Hall in honor of 2nd Lt. Harold "Pinky" Durham. Additionally, an M102, 105mm Howitzer was named "PINKY" in honor of 2nd Lt. Harold "Pinky" Durham, complete with 6th Bn, 15th FA bumper markings.
The 6th Battalion, 15th Artillery participated in most of the 1st Infantry Division's major battles under the call sign "Deadly". The men distinguished themselves at Quan Loi, Da Yeu, Ong Thanh, Loc Ninh, An Loc, Srok Rung, Xa Cat, Tong Le Chon, Bu Dop, Hill 172, and numerous others. The 6/15th served in nine major campaigns from May 1967 to November 1969:
Counteroffensive, Phase III
Counteroffensive, Phase IV
Counteroffensive, Phase V
Counteroffensive, Phase VI
"Deadly" gained a reputation throughout the Division for being quick, accurate, and deadly.
A-6-15th FA firing in support of the US Special Forces
near the Cambodian Border at Katum 1969
Photo: The Field Artillery School and Mac McGuffin
A Tribute to an Artillery Battery
of spent canisters
to kill V.C.;
will be another fire mission.
THE DEFENSE OF SAIGON
accomplish this unusual mission, the Battalion placed personnel with
optical instruments and prefabricated aladades on the tops of tall
buildings and in towers throughout the city A counter rocket and
mortar program consisting of known and suspected launch sites was
quickly developed and disseminated to all clearing agencies.
To decrease reaction times to an attack, the Battalion employed the technique of “quick reaction targets” which it had initiated at Lai Khe and Phouc Vihn. Aerial surveillance corridors were also established and all radars in the area were given pointing azimuths to insure optimum and maximum coverage of rocket areas around Saigon. Everything was “wired in” to the BOE.
Upon its release from CMAC to resume its more tradition Field Artillery mission in III Corps, the Battalion was commended for its outstanding performance of duty in the destruction of the enemy’s capability to harass and terrorize the people of the city of Saigon during Tet 1968 by MG John B. Hay, CG, CMAC.
Anonymous. Hellfire Herald, 6th Bn, 15th FA, RVN, 30 August, 1969
THE GUN CREW
These men live and work together 24 hours a day. When a fire mission is called these men make one of the finest, most organized teams in the Army. They know their jobs and they realize that lives depend on their speed and accuracy. The deflection and quadrant elevation must be set correctly; the bubbles must be leveled; the fuzes must be set correctly; the number of powder bags must be correct. Everything must be correct if the round is to be accurate, on time and on target. Lives may depend on it! When the entire battery is firing, the rivalry and tension can be felt between each gun crew.
|The above two documents were contributed by John Sarantakes.|
work for giants... to serve well the guns!"
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