This monograph will illuminate some of the more important activities with attendant problems, shortcomings, and achievements of the U.S. Army Field Artillery in Vietnam. The wide variations in terrain, supported forces, density of cannon, friendly population, and enemy activity which prevailed throughout South Vietnam tend to make every action and every locale singular.
Though based largely upon documents of an historical nature and organized in a generally chronological manner, this study does not purport to provide the precise detail of history. Its purpose is to present an objective review of the near past in order to assure current awareness, on the part of the Army, of the lessons we should have learned and to foster the positive consideration of those lessons in the formulation of appropriate operational concepts. My hope is that this monograph will give the reader an insight into the immense complexity of our operations in Vietnam. I believe it cannot help but reflect also the unsurpassed professionalism of the junior officers and noncommissioned officers of the Field Artillery and the outstanding morale and esprit de corps of the young citizen-soldiers with whom they served.
I would like to express my appreciation to the following people who assisted in this effort: Major General Roderick Wetherill, as commandant of the Field Artillery School, authored the monograph from November 1972 until his retirement in May 1973, when authorship was transferred to me. To General Wetherill go my sincere thanks for getting this project off the ground. Under his direction the initial outline was developed, a research team formed, and initial research conducted.
Major General Gordon Sumner, Jr., presently with the Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense (International Security Affairs), must be credited with conceiving this project and finding support for its accomplishment.
Major General W. D. Crittenberger, Jr., presently Deputy Director, Plans and Policy Directorate, J-5, Joint Chiefs of Staff, sponsored this project and helped to lay the initial groundwork. During the research and writing of the monograph his advice, based on his experiences as II Field Force Artillery commander in Vietnam, has been invaluable.
Brigadier General Robert J. Koch, assistant commandant of the
Field Artillery School, has been my principal assistant in this effort (as he was for General Wetherill before me). He has helped me to steer the activities of all those who participated in producing the monograph. Beyond that, he has provided valuable input to the monograph based on his experiences as the commander of the 23d Artillery Group and the XXIV Corps Artillery in Vietnam.
Colonel Vincent G. Oberg, director of the Army-Wide Training Support Department of the Field Artillery School, with the help of two of his division chiefs, Lieutenant Colonels Ray K. Casteel and Carl W. Sullinger, coordinated this effort within the Field Artillery. School. He developed a plan of work, sought out source material, and formed the monograph research team. The monograph research team consisted of officers and clerks assigned to various field artillery activities on post and of officers who had recently completed the field artillery officer advance course and were on casual, or "blackbird," status awaiting further assignment. The monograph team must be credited with accomplishing the leg work researching the topic and expanding into more detail the general guidance they received. Members of the team were Lieutenant Colonel Calvin DeWitt III, Major Bob W. Garner, Major Ronald N. Funderburk, Major Craig H. Mandeville, Captain Richard L. Murphy, Captain Fred R. Franzoni, Captain Richard H. Reed, Captain Nicholas A. Radvanczy, First Lieutenant Melvin M. Yazawa, Mrs. Pamela K. Morales, and Private First Class C. Foster Deen.
Last, I extend my sincere thanks to all field artillerymen who contributed much of the source material for the monograph either by relating to us their personal experiences and observations or by lending us their personal files.
15 March 1975
DAVID E. OTT
Major General, US Army
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