Alpha "A" Battery
30th Field Artillery Battalion
1/30 Field Artillery
Vietnam Images

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Cannon Cockers, Red Legs or Gun Bunnies were just a few of the names they were called. Cannoneers are a special breed, truly one of a kind when it comes to soldiers. Where the infantryman can find some comfort behind his rifle, the cannoneer felt more at home behind the breech of a howitzer.

The 155mm towed used separate loading ammunition, and it took more work to serve than the 105mm. The projectile alone weighed 96 pounds and the powder charge could go as high as 22 pounds. The projectile is rammed into the chamber, the powder charge goes in, and the breech is swung closed and latched shut. When the gunner announces "set and ready", the Gun Chief announces that the gun is ready to fire. A tug on the lanyard or slap of the hand fires the primer and the gun recoils back as the round heads for the target.

An experienced gunner will have the firing lock out and the breech open before the gun returns to battery. Gunner Number One swabs the chamber with a wet swab to remove any traces of the powder bag, and the gun is ready for the reloading process.

Cannoneers sweated in the heat, bathed in a plastic bowl or helmet, took showers under a canvas bucket or in the monsoon rains. They lived in foxholes, half-culvert hootches or bunkers. Never far from their guns, they rallied to the call "Fire Mission." Thanks to Chuck Stevenson for this great group of pictures.

Hal Pullum, at left provided the following images of the life of a Red Leg in the 1/30 FA. Hal served with several batteries and these pictures are devoted to his time with "A" Battery.
No matter what happened we could always count on making a move to a new base every few weeks.

Moving day was always hectic. The ammunition had to be loaded on the trucks or into the nets.
The moves were made with trucks (above) and by helicopter (left). Hal Pullum, provided the following
Operating throughout Vietnam, a cannoneer in the 1/30 got to see a lot of country. It could be the soft sands along the coast, an easy place to fill sandbags.
It could also be the mountains of the Central Highlands where the digging was harder, the jungle thicker and, if anything, it was hotter.
Moving day was always the same. The work was hard, and it was hot and dirty. What had once been a hilltop covered with jungle, suddenly became home to the gunners of the 30th.
One of the few advantages of being on a ridge or a hilltop was that the water could drain off during the monsoon season.
At least the water that did not fill your foxhole, sleeping bunker, the XO Post, and the FDC.
Besides sandbags, culvert sections, perforated steel plating (PSP), and materials provided by the engineers, one material was readily available, or soon would be.
That was the 105mm ammo box. Stack them up, fill them with dirt, and you had a ready made wall. Cover the walls with timbers, PSP, and sandbags and you had your bunker. Use it for work or use it for sleeping, it was home for a week or more. Then it was time to move again.

LZ GRANT - 3/12/1969

A special thank you to Jim "Doc" Valinoti for sending these pictures and comments.

Photo taken across LZ Grant the morning of 3/12/1969 with Nui Ba Dien looming in the background.
Another shot across LZ Grant showing a gun position, troop hooches and bunkers.
The people in the tiger fatigues are members of a film crew.
Troops gather to talk and reconstruct the events of the previous night. Still stunned by the loss they turn to each other for moral support.
One of the few NVA to survive the assault, a POW awaits evacuation.
An inventory is made of the AK-47s and RPD machine gun recovered in the area.
More captured weapons, bangalore torpedoes, mortar rounds, RPGs and launcher.
Troops try to relax, but keep their flak jackets on.
Troops work to repair damages,
and police up the vast quantity of ammunition and weapons the NVA left behind.
LTC Wilson visited the troops in their gun positions. A good commander, LTC Wilson was there when his troops needed him.
A CH-54 arrives to back haul a damaged gun and deliver a replacement. Troops work to rig others for the move to LZ Dolly.
Troops from 2/12 Cav prepare to move to the field.
CH-47 Chinook helicopters moved supplies and personnel to LZ Dolly.
Time to clean up on LZ Dolly.
"Doc" Valinoti sits on ammo boxes in his cleanest set of fatigues.
General Elvy B. Roberts, Commanding General, 1st Cavalry Division, arrives on LZ Dolly for a visit.
A shot across LZ Dolly.
LZ Dolly was a little higher and the mosquitoes were not as bad.
Another shot from LZ Dolly. THe white smoke marks a strike going in.
A A Chinook delivers a blivet of fresh water
to be used in a very welcome Australian water bucket shower.
Two predominate features of III Corp were Nui Ba Ra near Song Be and
Nui Ba Dien near Tay Ninh.

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