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Department of Defense (USMC) A 190978


A crane replaces a barrel of one of the U.S. Army M107
175mm self-propelled guns stationed at Camp Carroll. The 175mm gun had a maximum
range of more than 32,000 meters.


During January, with the perceived increasing threat in the north, the Marine
artillery, like the infantry units, participated in Operation Checkers, the
northward deployment of the Marine divisions. With the establishment of the
1st Marine Division Task Force X-Ray at Phu Bai and the relinquishment of units
by the 3d Marine Division, there was a corresponding shuffling of Marine artillery
between the two Marine divisions.* The idea was to concentrate the 12th Marines
in northern Quang Tri and for the 11th Marines to cover both Quang Nam and Thua
Thien Provinces.


In mid-January, Task Force X-Ray at Phu Bai and the 11th Marines assumed operational
control of the 1st Field Artillery Group, now under Lieutenant Colonel John
F. Barr. The 12th Marines also gave up operational control to Lieutenant Colonel
Barr of the 1st 155mm Gun Battery and a provisional 155mm Howitzer Battery,
both at Phu Bai. Lieutenant Colonel Hendricks also received the return ot his
1st Battalion which remained in support of the 1st Marines at Phu Bai and deployed
his 2d Battalion from An Hoa south of Da Nang to the Phu Loc sector northwest
of the Hai Van Pass area in southern Thua Thien Province. To



available to them. He pushed his own officers to offer support: "Artillery
does not do anything on its own. It's all in support of that infantry commander."
He did not believe his weapons were employed to the best of their capabilities,
but the situation improved in time as facilities were made available. He related
that he was able to convince the Seventh Air Force to send Air Force personnel
to become part of the 3d Marine Division Fire Support Coordination Center to
provide for better coordination and to limit the number of artillery restrictive
fires when Air Force aircraft were in artillery range. Col Edwin S. Schick.Jr,
Comments on draft, n.d. [1994] (Vietnam Comment File), hereafter Schick Comments.


* See Chapter 6 also for the establishment of Task Force X-Ray.

Page 536 (1968: The Defining Year)