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Department of Defense (USMC) Photo A371665

A Marine M 109 self-propelled 155mm howitzer at
Phu Bai fires in support of Marine infantry. The 155mm howitzer had
a range of slightly more than 15,000 meters.



take up the slack at An Hoa, Hendricks created a Provisional Battery' Quebec which included a section of 8-inch howitzers and a section of 155mm guns to support the ARVN, Marine units, and Marine reconnaissance Stingray missions. He also moved five LVTH-6s from the 1st Armored Ampliibian Company to Hoi An to cover the operations of the Republic of Korea Marines operating in that sector.4

With the implementation of Operation Checkers and the added reinforcement
ot Army units into I Corps through January, the 11th Marines controlled
at the height of the Tet Offensive more than 190 artillery pieces. At
Da Nang, the regiment played an important role in the disrupting of
the 2d NVA Division attack before it ever really starred by
the placement of accurate artillery fires upon enemy troops in the open.*
Further north at Phu Bai, the 1st FAG supported the 1st Marines and
ARVN in the defense and recapture of Hue city. According to the regiment's
account, the Marine artillery during the month-long battle for the city
fired 1,821 missions, expended 12,960 rounds, and reported 328 enemy
dead.** Even with the expansion of the 11th Marines during Tet, the
attention ot both III MAF and MACV remained riveted upon the 3d Marine
Division operations along the DMZ and at Khe Sanh.5

The Guns in the North

For the Marines at Khe Sanh, 21 January literally opened up with fireworks.
While the Marine defenders repulsed several enemy assaults on hill outposts,
enemy mortar and 122mm rocket bombardment exploded the main ammunition
supply point on the base itself. About three or four rounds made a direct
hit "and the ammunition cooked off for the next 48 hours." Despite the
destruction of nearly 11,000 rounds of ordnance, the number of casualties
was surprisingly low, 14 Marines dead and 43 wounded. Hundreds of "hot
duds" fell near the firing positions of three guns of Battery C, 1st
Battalion, 13th Marines. One of the enemy rounds knocked out the artillery
battalion's generator for its field artillery digital automatic computer
(FADAC), bur the Marine artillerymen, relying on manually computed firing
data, continued to return counter-battery fire at suspected NVA firing
positions.6***

While the enemy bombardment resulted in a temporary shortage, resupply
flights soon brought the Marine ammunition stockpile at Khe Sanh up
to adequate levels. The American artillery, nevertheless, worked at
some disadvantage. With some of the enemy's large guns at Co Roc in
Laos, some 15 kilometers to the west, just outside of the maximum range
of the 105mm and 155mm howitzers of the 1st Battalion, 13th Marines
at Khe Sanh and the U.S. Army 175mm guns at Camp Carroll, the North
Vietnamese 122mm, 130mm, and 152mm howitzers


* See Chapter 8 for the attacks of the 2d NVA Division at
Da Nang.

** Nearly 800 of the missions and 5,000 of the rounds were fired during
the last few days of the operation. According to the 11th Marines in
its February report, the artillery in support of the Hue battle had
fired during the month 1,049 missions and 7,357 rounds as contrasted
to the much higher figures contained in the March report which covered
the period 1 February-2 March 1968. Interestingly enough, the March
report on the number of enemy dead was about 200 less than the February
report. 11th Mar ComdCs, Feb and Mar68.

*** See Chapter 14 for the events of 21 January at Khe Sanh.







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