When Our 175's Saved the Marines
Giving the SPLASH Warning
On a Close Contact Fire Mission
By Carl Lanier

I remember firing for a recon patrol. I had one gun follow them as they patrolled. They started out in front of us, and as they moved, the gun would stay with them. Occasionally we would fire rounds so they could locate themselves in the jungle. Anyway, this gun had turned around 3200 mils when the Marines called for fire. The gun started firing, but they wanted more, so I turned another gun around and they still wanted more. I turned the other two guns around and we were firing all around them. They kept dropping the rounds closer to their position until they got scared of our rounds and called Check fire. They told the recon Battalion CO that they wanted 155's . He told them that we were all that could reach them, and they could call for fire from us or he would. WE told them we would give them "SPLASH" and that would give them time to take cover. WE saved them, but they lost one man who was up firing and did not hear "SPLASH." The Battalion CO told us not to feel badly about losing the one man. If we had not fired, all of them would be dead. The 175 in my opinion was a very accurate gun. It all depended on the FDC and the gun crews.