||31 Oct 1967
||31 Jul 1968
||30 Apr 1969
||31 Jan 1970
||31 Oct 1970
||31 Jan 1968
||31 Oct 1968
||31 Jul 1969
||30 Apr 1970
||30 Apr 1971
||30 Apr 1968
||31 Jan 1969
||31 Oct 1969
||31 Jul 1970
||31 Oct 1971
DEPARTMENT OF THE ARMY
8TH BATTALION (17 5MM/8 Inch) (SP), 4TH ARTILLERY
SAN FRANCISCO 962969
10 November 1970
|SUBJECT:||Operational Report-Lessons Learned, Headquarters, 8th Battalion, 4th Artillery, Period Ending 31 October 1970, RCS CSFOR-65(R2) (U)|
1. Operations Significant Activities.
a. General(1) The 8th Battalion, 4th Artillery arrived in the Republic of Vietnam on 12 August 1967. The battalion has continuously engaged in combat operations since 15 August 1967.
(2) This is the thirteenth Operational Report submitted by this organization.
(3) Organizational list and structure are attached as Inclosure 1.
b. Historical Data(1) Deployment and status of the 8th Battalion, 4th Artillery and its subordinate elements at the beginning of the reporting period (1 August 197b) were as follows:
UNIT LOCATION MISSION AND STATUS 8/4 GS-XXIV Corps-Rein fires of 5th Battalion 4th Artillery HHB/8/4 YD223587
(2) On 6 Aug 70 LTG Sutherland presented the meritorious unit citation to the 8th Battalion, 4th Artillery.
(3) On 10 Aug 70 XXIV Corps Artillery Forward Observer Course 4-70 began. Eleven students were graduated 15 Aug 70.
(4) On 17 Aug 70 XXIV Corps Artillery Fire Direction Officer?s Course 7-70 began. Ten 9tudents were graduated 22 Aug 70.
(5) On 5 Sep 70 a meeting was held at I Corps Artillery regarding an ARVN training program.
(6) On 7 Sep 20 XXIV Corps Artillery Forward Observer Course 5-70 began. Eight students graduated on 26 Sep 70.
(7) On 21 Sep 70 XXIV Corps Artillery Fire Direction Officer’s Course began. Twelve students were graduated on 26 Sep 70.
(8) On 24 Sep a rice thrasher was presented to Cam Lo village chief by CO, 8th Bn, 4th Arty, LTC Buckley.
(9) On 5 Oct 70 XXIV Corps Artillery Forward Observer Course 6-70 began. Fourteen students were graduated on 26 Oct 70.
(10) On 12 Oct 70 The 8th Battalion, 4th Artillery assumed the responsibility for the 108th Artillery Group Chief of Section School and began course 1-70. Fourteen students were graduated on 16 Oct 70.
(11) On 19 Oct 70 XXIV Corps Artillery Fire Direction Officer?s Course began. Eleven students were graduated on 24. Oct 70.
(12) On 22 Oct 70 8th Battalion, 4th Artillery conducted an artillery raid at LZ Vandergrift.
(13) During the reporting period this battalion and its units came under fire four tines.
(14) During the reporting period this battalion destroyed eighty-four bunkers and was credited with 21 enemy KIA confirmed.
(15) Missions and rounds fired during the reporting period:
BATTERY AUGUST SEPTEMBER OCTOBER A/8/4 191 missions
B/8/4 104 missions
C/8/4 157 missions
TOTAL 452 missions
(16) The cumulative total of rounds fired by this battalion since its arrival in country through 3124DOH October 70 is 324,883.
(17) Deployment and status of the 8th Battalion, 4th Artillery and its subordinates at the end of the reporting period were as follows:
UNIT LOCATION MISSION AND STATUS 8/4 GS-XXIV Corps Rein fires of 5th Battalion, 4th Artillery HHB/8/4 YD223587
c. Training: In addition to continuing its normal 24 hour operational capability, this battalion conducted a total of 111 hours of scheduled training for all personnel. ARVN training progressed from planning phase and concept phase into actual organization and preparation for training. The ARVN will train their own men in FDC and firing battery procedures; The US will train the instructor cadre.
d. Observation: During this period the battalion provided five forward observer teams to ground forces in Northern I Corps. These teams consisting of a forward observer, a recon sergeant, end a radio telephone operator, included assignments to the 2nd ARVN Regt, 108th Gp, and 3/5 Cavalry Squadron.
e. Logistics:(1) During the reporting period the battalion completed a unit mess hall at FSB C-2.
(2) Average Doily Deadline Rate for the reporting period was computed using the number vehicles on hand, with exceptions of wheel vehicles. The deadline rate for wheeled vehicles was computed utilizing the number of vehicles authorized. The average daily deadline rates are as follows:
ITEM PERCENT SP Artillery (l7Smm/8inch) 3% Other Tracked vehicles 15.4% Wheeled vehicles 15.2% FADAC Generators 21.9%
f. Civic Action: Supported the disaster relief program of the 1st Inf Div, 5th Bde (Mech) for the Gio Linh district. (27-31 Oct 70). On 24 September 70 a rice thrasher was presented to the village chief. Corn Lo MEDCAP teams were held in Doug Ha and Gio Linh districts; contributions of money, food, clothing, and materials were presented to orphanages in Quang Tn and Gio Linh.
g. Personnel and Administration:(1) Strength at the end of the period:
RANK AUTHORIZED ASSIGNED Officers 37 36 WO 6 5 EM 522 566 TOTAL 565 607
(2) Significant shortages at the end of the period:
MOS TITLE AUTHORIZED ASSIGNED 13E20 Field Artillery operations and intelligence assistant 41 30 13B40 Chief of section and gunners 52 38 31B20 Radio repairman 3 2
2. Lessons Learned:
a. Commander's Observations, Evaluations, and Recommendations.(1) Personnel-None
(3) ammunition resupply:(a) Observation: Ammunition supplied by support units to operational firing positions is not always as ordered, causing delays in firing.
(b) Evaluation: Critical supplies such as ammunition that are supplied from sources outside of the unit need to be thoroughly checked and coordinated, especially when the ammunition is to supply or resupply a unit participating, in an operation or artillery raid.
(c) Recommendation: Ammunition after being issued at ASP should be thoroughly checked by the using unit even though the ammunition is to be delivered by a support unit. Personnel should have radio communication with the forward using unit at all times for CP, RP, SP, ETO, and ETA times and any changes in requirements.
b. Bunker construction in or near l75mm gun positions.(1) Observation: Because of the excessive concussion of the 175mm gun, ammunition and powder bunkers have shown various degrees of damage.
(2) Evaluation: 3” by l2" lumber is presently used to construct these bunkers.
(3) Recommendation, Heavier material such as 6" by 12" lumber should be used to preclude bunker destruction.
c. Gun Pad Damage:(1)Observation: Drainage is critical in a gun pad, especially in a tropical monsoon climate. Culvert and powder casings are not strong enough to withstand pressures of a heavy artillery piece.
(2) Evaluation: The spade on a heavy (SP) artillery piece will buckle and crush canisters and culvert used for draining.
(3) Recommendation: It is recommended that steel 6" or 8" pipe be used for gun pad drains.
d. Artillery Raids(1) Observation: A heavy artillery unit participating in a raid needs both battalion recovery vehicles, M578 VTR, and 5 ton wrecker.
(2) Evaluation: The need for both recovery vehicles is to off load the ammunition from delivery vehicles and to assist in road marches. These vehicles are especially useful during the monsoon season.
(3) Recommendation: Units should be encouraged to use both the M578 VTR, and 5 ton wrecker for all operations or artillery raids with heavy artillery.
e. Organization: None
f. Training: None
g. Logistics: None
h. Communications: None
i. Material: None
j. Other: None
PAUL R. BUCKLEY LTC, FA Commanding 1 Incl DISTRIBUTION: 2-USARPAC, ATTN: POP-DT 3-CG, USARV, ATTN: AVADO-DO 6-CG, XXIV Corps, ATTN: AVVII-GCT 3-CO, 108th, Arty Gp., ATTN: AVIID-C 5-CO, 8th Bn 4th Arty, ATTN: AVIIDD-CO