Updated: August 15, 1998.


Unit Crest

Btry B (SLT)
29th Artillery
Historical Summary


1965 - 1967


Battery B (SEARCHLIGHT) 29th Artillery was activated a Fort Sill, Oklahoma on 25 June 1965 to furnish direct or indirect illumination in support of tactical night operations within Divisions and Corps areas. This activation was the fifth in the units history that dates back to 1918.

Under the Command of Captain Gary S. Schultz, Battery B trained during the months of June through September 1965. During this training period, on 30 July 1965, the unit received its initial notification of unit alert for overseas movement to Southeast Asia.

On 3 October 1965, after having completed BUT and AUT at Fort Sill, the unit departed San Francisco aboard the USNS Gordon for the Republic of Vietnam. Twenty days later, on 23 October the unit arrived in Qui Nhon and received orders attaching it to the 1st Cavalry Division (Air Mobile). The unit debarked from the USNS Gordon on 26 October 1965 and proceeded by convoy from Qui Nhon to the 1st Cavalry Base Camp which was located at An Khe.

On 31 October 1965, on the An Khe Base Camp perimeter, the first searchlight was deployed in the combat zone. During the month of November the battery deployed lights to the Pleiku area in support of the 6th Battalion, 14th Artillery. These units participated in the battle of the Ia Drang Valley. The remainder of the battery, supporting the 1st Cavalry and the 1st Brigade, 101st Airborne Division, aided in clearing Highway 19 from Qui Nhon to An Khe.

In January and February 1966 the battery continued operations in Pleiku and participated in Operation White Wing-Masher with the 1st Cavalry (AM). On 20 February 1966 the Viet Cong attacked the base camp of the 1st Cavaly. Elements of the battery on Hong Kong Mountain and on the Camp Radcliff perimeter were under attack for approximately four hours. One generator was a combat loss as a satchel charge exploded next to it. A detailed description of the battle is on file in the Organizational History files.

In late March 1966 the unit received two jeep mounted and two tower mounted experimental searchlight. The jeep mounted searchlight was to pave the way for the unit's current searchlights.

Early summer 1966 saw the unit participating in Operation Abe Lincoln I, again with the 1st Cavalry Division. On 6 May 1966 the unit suffered its first fatality. PFC David C. Carpenter died of injuries sustained in a truck accident in the An Khe Pass.

On 2 June 1966, Captain Riley J. McVeay became the unit's second Battery Commander, replacing Captain Schultz. The battery participated in Operation Abe Lincoln II and sent its first section south to Nha Trang. The remainder of June and all of July was spent supporting the 1st Cavalry on Operation Crazy Horse, Nathan Hale, and Paul Revere I.

In August 1966, Captain Edwin V. Bickerdike became the new Battery Commander, replacing Captain McVeay. The unit supported the 1st Cavalry on Operation Paul Revere II.

September 1966 saw the battery sending two sections on Operation Thayer I in support of the 1st Cavalry. Two sections at Nha Trang moved south to Phan Thiet in support of the 2/7 Cavalry on Operation Byrd. The first platoon headquarters moved to Pleiku to support the 3rd Brigade, 25th Infantry Division on Operation Paul Revere III.

In October 1966, the first platoon in Pleiku supported operations of the 2nd Brigade, 4th Infantry Division; the second platoon supported operations of the 1st Cavalry and Operation Thayer I; the third platoon moved its headquarters to Tuy Hoa in support of the 1st Brigade, 4th Infantry division and 1st Brigade, 101st Airborne on Operation Adams. Also in October 1966 the Battery moved its headquarters from An Khe to Camp Thomas near Qui Nhon. The battery became OPCON to the 52nd Artillery Group and was released from the 1st Cavalry. The second platoon maintained its headquarters in An Khe.

In November 1966, the battery received notification of its conversion from the 30" Carbon Arc Searchlights to the 23" Xenon Searchlight (AN/MSS-3). During the months of November and December, the battery supported Operations Byrd, Adams, Irving, Thayer II, and Paul Revere IV.

In January 1967, the Battery added Operation Sam Houston to its participation credit. The unit was detached from the 52nd Artillery Group and attached to the 1st Field Forces Vietnam for OPCON.

In February 1967, the unit converted to the 23" Xenon Searchlight. The Xenon Searchlight replaced the old 30" Carbon Arc Searchlight on a two for one basis. During this month the battery continued its support of Operations Byrd, Faragot, Pershing, Sam Houston and Adams.

On 9 April 1967 the battery suffered its second fatality when PFC Alan D. Fredrickson's light position was overun by Viet Cong, killing him and injuring the other searchlight crewman present. This action occurred near the An Khe Base Camp of the 1st Cavalry Division. Also in April 1967 the unit was detached from 1st Field Forces Vietnam and attached to the 41st Artillery Group.

During late spring and early summer the battery continued its support of Operations Byrd, Pershing, Greely, Francis Marion and other minor operations. The first platoon maintained its headquarters in An Khe supporting the 1st Cavalry operations near Bong Son. The third platoon moved its headquarters from Tuy Hoa to Phan Rang and supported operations of the 1/101st Airborne and the 1/7 Cavalry.

In July 1967, First Lieutenant Stephen R. Morrissey became the Battery Commander, replacing Captain Edwin Bickerdike.

In August 1967, the battery continued its participation in Operations Francis Marion, Byrd and Greely. The second platoon moved from An Khe to Bong Son in support of the 1st Cavalry.

In September 1967, the third platoon moved its headquarters from Phan Rang to Tuy Hoa. It participated in Operations Boiling I and II and supported the 9th ROK Infantry and the 173rd Airborne. The third platoon also continued supporting elements of the 1/101st Airborne and the 2/7 Cavalry. It also supported elements of the 1st Infantry Division. The second platoon continued support of the 1st Cavalry in Bong Son on Operation Dazzelem. The first platoon continued support of the 4th Infantry Division in Operation Francis Marion and Greely.

In December 1967 the unit received notification of the award of the Presidential Unit Citation for action in October and November 1965 while in support of the 1st Cavalry Division (Air Mobile). Also in December 1967, the unit was reorganized to include many combat essential items that were not part of the original TO&E 6-558E. The effective date of the MTO&E 6-558E was 15 November 1967.


NOTE 1: This information was trancsribed from the official historical summary!
NOTE 2: Also included with this was a black and white drawing of the unit
patch of Battery B, worn on the center left breast pocket, for wear only
while in Vietnam. If anybody can provide me with a color copy, I'll post
it here for everyone!



Our Regimental History ] Our Seperate Unit Histories ]
Our Memorial Tribute of Honor to Fallen Comrades ]
He Was My Friend, And, I Remember... ]
Our Vietnam War POW-MIA Pages ]Our Korean War POW-MIA Pages ]
Our Medal of Honor Tribute ]
Individual Combat Awards ]Individual Service Awards ]
Email Listing ]Postal Listing ]
Message Archives ] Related Links ]Favorite Links ]
Acknowledgements ]Our Site Awards ]
About the Author ]
Message Board ]Guestbook ]
Our Member's Personal Home Pages ]
Stories of WWII ]Stories of Vietnam ] Stories of the Gulf War ]
WW I Photo's ]WW II Photo's ] Vietnam Photo's ]Gulf War Photo's ] Bosnia Photo's ]Peacetime Photo's ]
Awards We Give ]

Master Site Index ]