Personal Diary of Whiskey Battery
By: David C Kent, Jr. PV 2 #22920244
Gun 2 # 0811 January-July 1969 An Hoa
January 20th 1969:
On Jan. 20 1969 Battery "D" displaced from Liberty Bridge. Provisional Battery 2/11 PLT from Mortar Battery 2/11 occupied the position vacated by Battery "D". In support of our mortars we fired 3,036 rounds for the 5th Marines,109 for the ARVN.
January 22nd 1969: (personal log)
I recall it being midmorning when I arrived in Da Nang, and while walking to the building to turn our orders into the First MArine Division, we recieved light incoming mortars on the airfield. That evening I reported in to the Eleventh Marines Headquarters. After staying my third day, I had recieved all my field equipment and my rifle. The same day I boarded a helicopter going to An Hoa. I asked what do I do when I get there, they told me to ask for Whiskey 2/11. Just before dark I reported in to Whiskey Battery and they assigned me to gun two.
February 1st to the 28th 1969:
My position from the 1st of February was AT 879465 An Hoa under the command of Lt. Lazott. Several minor incidences occurred on the road between An Hoa and Liberty Bridge with enemy activity relatively light until February 23rd 1969. While traveling along this road we were subjected to and sustained mortar and rocket attack. During the month the battalion was credited with 55 KIA's 48 structures
destroyed or damaged 12 secondary explosions.
February 12th 1969:
Gave fire support to the Fifth Marine Regiment Battalion Landing Teams 2/26, 3/26.
February 15th 1969: (personal log)
During the day I had walked past the Fifth Marines who were in tents behind my position. Since we had been engaged in constant firing in support of the Fifth Marines, we engaged in conversation with those Marines on what was happening in the jungles and the rice paddies. The most that stands out in my minds now is the casualty rate seemed to be continually at 50% per company.
February 16th-17th 1969:
Daily attacks by fire on An Hoa and increased enemy activity throughout the 5th Mar AO, coupled with ground probes and mortar attacks against the Fire Support Base.
February 18th 1969:
One Gun was moved from Liberty Bridge to An Hoa.
February 22nd \23rd 1969:
An Hoa Combat Base and units throughout the Task Force Yankee AO came under both ground and fire attacks. The attack against An Hoa resulted in the loss of Approximately 30,000 rounds of artillery ammunition. Subsequently An Hoa received 8 attacks by fire, and minor probes against the strong points.
February 23rd 1969:
Several mining incidents occurred on the road between An Hoa and Liberty Bridge with enemy activity relatively light until the morning of 23rd Feb. when the An Hoa Vital Area was subjected to sustained mortar and rocket attacks. These attacks continued sporadically throughout the remainder of the month. Although intelligence reports indicated possible ground attack, this threat was not realized. The battalion fired several counter-mortar and rocket fires and was credited with at least 4 explosions.
The An Hoa combat base received an unknown number of 82mm and 120mm mortar fire from several suspected launch sites. Under the cover of the mortar attack the enemy was able to cut the outer perimeter wire and toss satchel charges into one of the ammo berms causing the ammo to ignite. As the ammo began to detonate it tossed fire and exploding ordnance into the remaining HE storage berms in the area. The enemy were repelled by the use of organic weapons, Marine artillery and Spooky. The enemy broke contact and fled to the northeast. Results of contact were 4 USMC KIA, 3 PFC KIA 49 USMC WIA(E) 39 USMC WIA (M), 17 VC KIA, 1 TWC and the fire ammo brem resulted in the loss of all HE ammo for 105mm, 155mm, 8" and 175mm artillery pieces.
February 23rd to March 8th 1969:
Durning the period from Feb. 23rd to March 8th 1969, An Hoa Combat Base was subjected to intermittent attacks by fire. The 122mm rockets, which impacted at An Hoa Combat Base during the post TET Offensive, were the first of that caliber used against the base since 6 Feb. 969, when 5, 122's impacted on the airstrip.
February 24th and 25th 1969:
On the 24th and the 25th of February the resupply of operating units was transferred from the LSA at An Hoa to the alternate LSA at Hill 55. This transfer was due to the destruction by enemy action of six ammunition storage revetments and 27,845 rounds of artillery ammunition at LSA An Hoa, causing extensive shrapnel and debris to be scattered throughout the area, with continued cooking off of additional rounds for a 48 hour period.
February 27th 1969: (personal log)
While taking our daily exercise, we had become accustomed to having 122mm rockets and mortars landing around us as we walked up the road. After a while we just ignored them.
March 1st \31st 1969:
During March 1969, 2/11 was credited with 113 confirmed KIA's 128 probable KIA's, 146 bunkers destroyed, 79 dwellings damaged or destroyed and 2 AA sites neutralized. 4.2" Mortars fired 4792 rounds for the 5th Marines, 2457 rounds fired for the 26th Marines and 40 rounds fired for the ARVN.
March 4th 1969:
During the post TET Offensive period, An Hoa Combat Base received rocket attacks from the vicinity of AT 815427 and mortar, recoilless rifle fire from the area in the vicinity of AT 8448.
March 5th 1969: (personal log)
During the evening of this date, we recieved incoming and a marine named Dale Gensicke received a hand wound while in a fox hole, we managed to give him medical aid. Gensicke continued under difficult situation helping to repel a small group of advancing VC. His concern was his mission and not his own health and welfare. He remained in position and continued to fire his weapon.
March 8th 1969:
The An Hoa Combat Base received 122 rounds of mixed 82mm recoilless rifle, mortar and 122mm rocket fire. Results of this attack were 1 USMC WIA (E) and 17 USMC WIA (M).
March 19th 1969: (personal log)
While returning from an ammo run from Da Nang we came under heavy ground attack at Liberty Bridge. I do remember my job was to replenish ammunition, grenades to the perimeter force. In doing my job, the enemy had already, within a short time entered the compound. We were under heavy artillery fire while getting the supplies and encountering enemywithin the compound. I managed to prevent the ammo bunker from being blown up,and remembered field artillery on the other side, and that they were being overrun. In the early hours of the morning, the enemy withdrew. My left leg being struck by several pieces of flying metal did not require treatment.
March 19th 1969:
While located at Liberty Bridge, 2/11th came under a heavy ground attack by a Battalion size unit of enemy equipped with automatic weapons, satchel charges and flame throwers. The enemy managed to breach the wire and enter the position, doing damage to several bunkers and putting two howitzers out of action temporarily with flat tires, damaged wheels and a damaged breach block. The Battery managed to repulse the enemy killing 79 of them, while suffering moderate casualties (12 KIA, 32 WIA). Echo Battery provided fire support during the attack, firing within 25 meters of Delta Battery's position.
RAY, DAVID ROBERT (posthumous) Congressional Medal of Honor, Hospital Corpsman Second Class, U.S. Navy, Delta Battery, 2d Battalion, 11th Marines, 1st Marine Division (Rein), FMF., Quang Nam Province, Republic of Vietnam, 19 March 1969.
David R. Ray Hospital Corpsman Second Class United States Navy For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty while serving as a Corpsman with Delta Battery, 2nd Battalion, 11th Marines at Phu Loc 6, near An Hoa on 19 March 1969. During the early morning hours an estimated battalion sized enemy force launched a determined assault against the battery's position and succeeded in effecting a penetration of the barbed wire perimeter. The initial burst of enemy fire caused numerous casualties among the Marines who had immediately manned their howitzers during the rocket and mortar attack. Undaunted by the intense hostile fire, Petty Officer Ray moved parapet to parapet, rendering emergency medical treatment to the wounded. Although seriously wounded himself while administering first aid to a Marine casualty, he refused medical aid and continued his lifesaving efforts. While he was bandaging and attempting to comfort another wounded Marine, Petty Officer Ray was forced to battle two enemy soldiers who attacked his position, personally killing one and wounding the other. Rapidly losing his strength as a result of his severe wounds, he nonetheless managed to move through the hail of enemy fire to other casualties. Once again, Petty Officer Ray was faced with the intense fire of oncoming enemy troops and, despite the grave personal danger and insurmountable odds, succeeded in treating the wounded and holding off the enemy until he ran out of ammunition, at which time he sustained fatal wounds. Petty Officer Ray's final act of heroism was to protect the patient he was treating. He threw himself upon the wounded Marine, thus saving the man's life when an enemy grenade exploded nearby. Through his determined and preserving actions, courageous spirit, and loyalty to the welfare of his Marine comrades, he served to inspire the men of Battery D to heroic efforts in defeating the enemy. Petty Officer Ray's exemplary conduct, steadfast determination, and unwavering devotion to duty reflected great credit upon himself and were in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service.
Richard M. Nixon, President of the United States
April 5th 1969:
Well no nice way to put it but we all have jobs to do that we don''t relish, and the one job that leaves an aroma that you can never forget is the job of burning the shitters.
April 7th 1969:
Another unpleasant task that we all have to take a turn at is unloading body bags off the Choppers. This job really gets to you.
April 21st 1969:
Whiskey 2/11 fired 386 missions, expending 10,762 rounds which accounted for 59 confirmed KIA's and 62 probable KIA. 36 Structures were destroyed. Naval Gunfire. During Muskogee Meadows, the following ships were made available for support:
USS OKLAHOMA CITY (CLC-5)
USS NEWPORT NEWS ( CA-148)
USS NEW JERSEY
There were 25 hours of ship availability. During 23 of these hours AOs were available for observation. Ships fired a total of 724 rounds which resulted in 3 confirmed KIA, 4 probable KIA and 25 bunkers damaged or destroyed. There were 4 secondary fires or explosions. Commander's Analysis: Operation Muskogee Meadows was one of the shorter operations in which 2/11 participated. The 2 /11th fired on suspected VC, grid AT 814531, resulting in 40 KIA's. The mission was observed by an observer.
During May 1969 2/11 was credited with 172 KIA's, 157 probable KIA's 103 structures damaged or destroyed, 20 secondary explosions, 2, 50 caliber machine gun sites destroyed, and 6 boats destroyed.
May 9th 1969:
2/11th fired on a 100 VC in the open, grids AT 884535, AT 888528, resulting in 9 KIA's. Mission observed by 1-5
May 23rd 1969:
I find it being a touch of reality to be on the headset with
Fire Direction Control (FDC) and hearing of the results of the
mission that we are firing. We were also killing innocent men,
women and children. Such are the casualties of war.
May 24th 1969:
We had an Army chopper come over and give a burst of their guns on our position.
During June 1969, 2/11 was credited with 101 confirmed KIA's, 183 probable KIA's, 12 confirmed WIA's 42 hooches destroyed, 8 bunkers destroyed, 6 secondary explosions, 1 boat destroyed, 6 AK-47 rifles, 2 SKS rifles, 1 Mortar Base Plate captured.
June 3rd 1969: (personal log)
Two occurrences during this time that I have been talking about, was that we had a big rock painted white in front of our position, and on Sunday it was traditional to have an Army helicopter fly above and drop out VC and see if they could get close enough to hit the rock. Second was that at noon the village that was supposed to be controlled by special forces, was over run and the VC would put their flag up, we were then ordered to shoot that flag down .
These are the meanings of the abbreviations for those of you who do not know.
AA = Anti Aircraft
AO = Area Operation
ARVN = Army Republic Viet Nam
AT = Direction
HE = High Explosive
KIA = Killed In Action
PFC = Private First Class
PLT = Platoon
USMC = United States Marine Corps
VC = Viet Cong
WIA = Wounded In Action