War - 6/15th
15th Field Artillery
Vietnam War - 6/15th
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.
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
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.
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
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
The Field Artillery School and Mac McGuffin
Tribute to an Artillery Battery
Where were they headed?
Carriers of a piece
of the end for someone.
Now fire G.I., yes fire
At our command,
fuse timed, fuse quick.
shell HE and WP
Or spread them out,
A thousand little darts
One for each Gook
Who doesn’t knock.
Let them go,
One hundred rounds more.
Getting closer to the end of this war.
of spent canisters
thrown in the rubble.
More boxes of ammo,
the cure for this trouble.
Don’t cut a wrong charge,
And send a short round.
Don’t want to hit friendlies,
Taking enemy ground.
to kill V.C.;
they are not people.
They all have one name,
And Charlie is out there,
So they said.
We can’t see him.
Don’t know if he is dead.
Now cease fire G.I.,
And clean up the mess.
Left wonder about our success.
will be another fire mission.
THE DEFENSE OF SAIGON
8 June 1968, the 6th Battalion 15th Field
Artillery was ordered to Saigon where the Battalion Operations
Element (BOE) was directed to become the Fire Support Element for
the newly activated Capital Military Assistance Command (CMAC). The
mission of CMAC was to coordinate the defense of Saigon during Tet
1968. On 9 June the Battalion moved to Newport Bridge and Tan Son
Nhut. Its principle mission was the defense of Saigon against
rockets and mortars.
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.
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.
Battalion’s planning was successful. During the period of 10 June
through 25 July the target acquisition systems employed by the
Battalion successfully identified enemy firing locations as soon as
they began firing and the firing batteries either dispersed or
destroyed them through the use of quick reaction fires.
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.
Hellfire Herald, 6th Bn, 15th FA, RVN, 30
THE GUN CREW
the organization of the Army each of the Combat Arms have their own
unique tight knit groups. The Armor has its Tank Crew, the Infantry
has its Squad and the Field Artillery has its Gun Crew. But nowhere
in the Field Artillery will you find a more closely-knit group than
the gun crew.
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.
lined up on a gun parapet tell the story of action seen; of
“short timers” and new arrivals, through the shade of color
of the camouflage covers. While Fire Missions show the
professionalism of the group, the time between fire missions shows
how close they are as buddies. If a man needs money, his buddies see
that he has it. They share their letters and their Care packages
from home, their cigarettes and their beer. Men who live with each
other know when its time to be quiet or time to cut up. Their
friendship and professionalism is evident in the way they deal with
each other, day and night, through good times and bad. They exchange
addresses and phone numbers and promise to get together when they
get back to the “world”. Some do, but unfortunately, most do not.
But while they are together as members of a gun crew, they are one
of the finest teams in the Army.
Hellfire Herald, 6th Bn, 15th FA, RVN, 9
|The above two documents were contributed by John Sarantakes.
work for giants... to serve well the guns!"