Hard Charger News: NOVEMBER 2014 - In the last few issues of the SABER I’ve asked for prayers for a number of Hard Chargers who are seriously ill. It is with a heavy heart that I must report that Jerry Peck lost his 2 plus years battle to cancer on 29 October 2014. He was buried In Hudsonville, MI on 3 November 2014.
Hard Chargers that attended his wake and funeral include Wayne & Jill Crabtree who traveled from Oklahoma, Tom & Brenda Pullen from Missouri, and my wife Theresa and I, from Ohio. We met with Jerry’s family including his wife Mary, his mother, sisters, and his brother, his children, grandchildren, and several of his friends. Jerry never talked about his experiences in Vietnam with his family or his friends.
But those that served with him in B-1-30th FA know the real Jerry Peck who earned a Silver Star, a Bronze Star for Meritorious Service, and the Vietnamese Cross of Gallantry with Gold Star. May this true and faithful Hard Charger Rest in Peace. Amen.
Hard Charger History: It was during April ‘69 that B-1-30th FA occupied LZ CAROLYN just north of Tay Ninh near the old Prek Klok Special Forces Camp. Tragedy struck B-1-30th FA on 28 Apr ’69 when SP4 Gerald F. COULTHART was killed during a rocket attack on LZ CAROLYN. He was awarded a Bronze Star and Purple Heart (Posthumously). By early May ‘69, the 2-8th Cav operating out of LZ CAROLYN along with its supporting artillery had become a thorn in the side of the NVA after sixty-two separate contacts within 24 days. At the time LZ CAROLYN was occupied by a reduced-strength 2-8th Cav, along with A-2-19th FA (105mm DS) and B-1-30th FA (155mm GS).
In Shelby L. Stanton's book "Anatomy of a Division - 1st Cav in Vietnam, he wrote, "In the early morning darkness of 6 May, the NVA retaliated with an intense rocket and mortar barrage, followed by a massive 95th (NVA) Regiment pincer ground assault against two sides of the base an hour later. LZ CAROLYN's garrison was reduced by the absence of several line Companies on patrol, and the withering defensive fires of the 2-8th Cav’s Company C and E were unable to prevent the onrushing (NVA) Battalions from storming through the wire and into the LZ from both directions.
Six perimeter bunkers were overrun, one of the Medium Howitzers was captured, and the enemy threatened to slice through the center of the base. The Americans counterattacked with all available personnel, with officers involved being killed at the head of their troops. Artillerymen, Supply, Signal personnel, and Combat Engineers fought and died as emergency infantry reserves. The counterattacks were hurled against both enemy penetrations, but the most violent fighting occurred on the northern side, where a seesaw battle raged for possession of the 155mm Howitzer position (B Battery). During the course of the battle, this weapon exchanged hands three times in hand-to-hand fighting decided at close range with rifles and entrenching tools.
Provided by: Daniel P. Gillotti, MS, MA, First Sergeant, USA Retired.
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