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Provided by: Daniel P. Gillotti, MS, MA, First Sergeant, USA Retired.
 {Note: Those of us inside the TOC were knocked off our feet like a bunch of bowling pins from the force of the explosion. All of our maps and charts were blown off the walls and the dust was so thick it choked you. Your Historian was standing next to CPT Doering looking at a map when he was hit. Your now scared and shaken Historian used a 155mm Graphical Firing Table (GFT) and a belt as a tourniquet to squeeze CPT Doering's leg to try to stop the bleeding. The writers of Field Manual 6-40 for Artillery Fire Direction Procedures would tell you this was not the proper use of a GFT, but it got the job done. CPT Doering was medevaced out. He spent about three weeks recovering from his wound and was awarded the Purple Heart w/OLC. He had been wounded earlier in the year while serving in Service Battery as the Bn Motor Officer.}

Also wounded that day was SGM William J. Heidbreder Jr., the Battalion Sergeant Major, who was a WW II and Korean War Veteran. In spite of being wounded, he was the one who led the effort to pull the severely wounded SP4 Sanders from the burning and destroyed generator shed. In addition to the Purple Heart, SGM Heidbreder also received the Soldiers Medal for his actions. Following this incident, C-1-30th FA moved from the A Shau Valley on 10 May 1968, and occupied A-1-30th FA Position at CAMP EVANS. Also, C-1-30th FA displaced a two-gun Platoon to LZ JACK to provide additional coverage of Base Area 114.

This movement was followed by A-1-30th FA, who returned from OPCON to the 3rd US Marine Div near the DMZ, on 17 May 1968, and moved to LZ JANE. On this same day, Operation DELAWARE was terminated by the 1st Air Cav after capturing 2,371 individual weapons, 13 NVA 37mm AAA Guns, several machineguns, 42,000 large caliber rounds, 169,000 small arms rounds, 40 tons of food, two bulldozers, 73 wheeled vehicles, three tracked vehicles, and one tank still operational. Additionally, they had killed 737 enemy soldiers. The down side of this operation is that the 1st Air Cav suffered 86 Killed in Action, 47 Missing in Action, and had 530 Wounded in Action. One of the NVA 37mm AAA Guns and a Russian truck captured in the valley were presented to the 1-30th FA as a tribute to their efforts in this operation. The 37mm AAA Gun was displayed at the entrance gate to the Hqs Complex and the Russian truck was used to haul trash, which was about all it was worth.

On 19 May 1968, CAMP EVANS sustained many casualties when the Division's Ammo Supply Point (ASP) was destroyed after incoming 122mm NVA rockets started a fire in the powder storage area. The heat from this fire caused the entire ASP to eventually erupt in a million explosions. Every type of ordnance from M-16 rounds to 8" Howitzer rounds cooked-off and exploded, causing several casualties to personnel and heavy damage to many helicopters and structures. Also, 500-gallon rubber fuel bladders were exploding around the airstrip, and the fireballs they formed were seen at least 10 miles away. {Note: Your Historian spent about three very nervous hours, sitting in a drainage ditch near the HHB Mess Hall, in-charge of a 12-man Quick Reaction Force.

MAY 2016 - 6
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