First Field Force

Viet Nam 1967
The Hard Chargers Shoot, Move, and Communicate
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As the year began the battalion was once again fragmented. The headquarters and "A" battery and two attached batteries were in support of the ROK Capital Infantry Division. Bravo battery was in support of the 1st Brigade, 101st Airborne Division during Operation PICKETT; and "C" battery attached to 7-13 FA in support of Operation PAUL REVERE IV with the 1st Cavalry Division.

The battalion lost its first members in Vietnam when a Forward Observation Team (1LT Morton E. Townes, Jr., SGT Harold E. Lee and SP4 Raymond C. Davis) were killed by a booby trapped artillery round near Bao Loc on 3 February.

To be effective an artillery battalion must be able to "Shoot, Move and Communicate." That is exactly what the 1st Battalion did during 1967. LZs named Dog, Uplift, English, Two Bits, Crystal, Laramie, Glenn, Geronimo, Montezuma, Sandra, Olly, Camp Townes, Baldy, Ross, Pony and many more without names were etched into the battalion's history. Locations such as Bong Son, Kontum, Khanh Duong, Bao Loc, An Hoa and the An Lao Valley; along with the names of Operations such as Farragut, Le Jeune AO, Pershing, Task Force Oregon, Wheeler / Wallowa, and Thayer II became part of the vocabulary of the cannoneers of the 1st Battalion.

On 15 May, the battalion fired its 200,000th round since entering the combat zone. The expenditure may seem high, but many actions resulted in this ammunition consumption. When "C" Battery moved four guns onto a ridge to support the 1st of the 7th Cavalry they were only supposed to be there for a few hours. Forty hours and 966 rounds later the battery finished firing close support for the maneuver battalion. The 155mm round with its "bunker busting" power and accuracy was becoming such a good friend to the infantry that at times the expenditures of the 1st Battalion exceeded those of the entire 1st Cavalry Divarty.

During many periods, Service Battery with the battalion's ammo section worked over time to keep the guns supplied. Between 1 May and 30 September they planned, coordinated and executed the movement of 10,000 tons of ammunition and supplies to forward battery areas. During peak periods of firing, as much as 209 tons were airlifted to the LZs. The best example of "peak firing period" is found when "B" Battery, operating in the Cay Giep Mountains, fired 1,076 rounds in a 12 hour period. During the 218 days that the 1st Battalion supported Operation Pershing it supported 2 batteries for 181 days and 3 batteries for 76 days, all by air. During this action the 1st Battalion expended more than 300,000 rounds in actions on the Bong SonPlains, Duc Pho and the An Lao Valley.

The year ended on a sad note with the loss of 1LT Daryl L. Ligons, a Forward Observer from Headquarters Battery. The CH47 he was flying in was apparently hit by ground fire, crashed and burned. 1LT Ligons was pulled from the wreckage but succumbed to his injuries the next day.

The history covered here is brief, and it does not tell the entire story. Each individual involved in a conflict has his own story as he saw it. Personal accounts and stories may be found in the Oral History and Buddies area. If you were a member of the 30th during this time period, your stories are welcomed and encouraged.