Sunday, December 21, 2014
FAIRFIELD-SUISUN, CALIFORNIA
99 CENTS

A veteran’s experience, Vietnam 1967

I should like to commemorate Veterans Day by remembering a very gallant Marine Corps Artillery unit, Charlie Battery, First Battalion, 12th Marine Regiment, commanded by Capt. Rich Guinn (deceased).

They were a part of the First Provisional Artillery Battalion, an outift that had been formed to increase the pressure on North Vietnam. On Feb. 26, 1967, the battalion established a fire base near the village of Gio Linh, located about six kilometers southwest of North Vietnam, on the east coast.

The rest of the First Provisional Battalion, commanded by Lt. Col. Bill Rice, USMC (deceased), consisted of an Army 175 Gun Battery, (Bravo Battery, 6th Battalion, 127th Regiment), a Marine Rifle Company (Bravo Company, 1st Battalion, Fourth Marines), two Marine tanks, two quad 50 caliber machine guns (vehicle-mounted), and two twin 40 mm guns. The 175 mm guns were for long-range missions into North Vietnam.

This provisional battalion had the distinction of receiving the first incoming artillery from the NVA, in March and April 1967. The firebase received approximately 3,000 mortar rounds since first arriving. However, the first artillery attack on March 20 caught us totally by surprise and lasted for more than eight hours. The unit was fairly well bunkered in by this time due to the mortar attacks, but the thing that saved us was that the Marines of Charlie Battery fired counter-battery fires during the attack. They were firing at muzzle flashes, sounds, crater analysis results and gut instincts.

The battery was equipped with World War II vintage 105 mm howitzers of limited range, but were maneuverable and could get into action quickly. The cannoneers had no overhead protection, and many casualties resulted. The NVA had not anticipated this reaction. Subsequent research after the war revealed that the NVA had assembled an 8,000-man force to attack our position following their artillery fires, and as the result of the counter fires, they called off the attack.

On April 27, 1967, another attack took place, only the NVA had guns with longer range, and our 105s could not reach them. Again, we fired back, and at the end of the attack, Charlie Battery had one serviceable howitzer remaining, resulting in the unit’s replacement the following day. Forty-two members of the Battery ultimately received Purple Hearts for wounds incurred at Gio Linh. Two of them were posthumous.

I stay in touch with several of the Marines from Charlie Battery, but our ranks are thinning and things have not gone well with many of them.

I owe a big debt to all of them.

Jim Jerrell, First Sergeant, Usmc (Ret)

LEAVE A COMMENT

Discussion | No comments

The Daily Republic does not necessarily condone the comments here, nor does it review every post. Read our full policy

.

Solano News

Shining bright for all to see: Locals deck out yards, homes

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: C1, 1 Comment | Gallery

 
The Salvation Army serves 1,000-plus across 2 days

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A1, 7 Comments | Gallery

Blue Christmas service offers reflection, hope

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A1

 
Time for annual Solano County quiz

By Brad Stanhope | From Page: A2

 
Bevy of holiday activities at Western Railway Museum

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A3 | Gallery

 
State Fair scholarship applications available

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A3

Get tested, know your status

By Morgan Westfall | From Page: C4

 
 
New development fees start Jan. 1 in Vacaville

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A5

Free New Year’s celebration slated

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A5

 
A word of warning for Senator Warren

By Bud Stevenson | From Page: B7, 10 Comments

 
New technology chief will join McNaughton Newspapers

By Tanya Perez | From Page: B7 | Gallery

 
Fairfield police log: Dec. 19, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A9

Suisun City police log: Dec. 19, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A9

 
Sky-high price has VA rationing hep C drug

By Tom Philpott | From Page: B10

.

US / World

Air Force admits nuke flaws, but will fixes work?

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1

 
 
Design of Golden Gate Bridge suicide barrier OK’d

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5, 1 Comment

Officials: Missing dog was dyed to deceive

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

 
Immigrants build document trails to remain in US

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

California officer kills teen after machete attack

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5, 2 Comments

 
4 teens die in fiery head-on crash in Pennsylvania

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

2 dozen injured in southern Indiana bus crash

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

 
Texas ranchers seeking alternative incomes

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7, 1 Comment

 
North Korea proposes joint probe over Sony hacking

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

2 car bombs rock southern Sweden’s city of Malmo

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

 
Bombings kill 12 in Iraq

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10, 1 Comment

US sends 4 Afghans back home from Guantanamo

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

 
Panama’s Noriega in prison 25 years post-invasion

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

Burying the dead after Pakistan’s school massacre

By The Associated Press | From Page: A11

 
A chance to breach divide for young in Cuba and US

By The Associated Press | From Page: A12

.

Opinion

Editorial Cartoon: Dec. 21, 2014

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8, 1 Comment

 
Season’s greetings from the Obamas

By Alexandra Petri | From Page: A8, 1 Comment

New school finance strategy lacks accountability

By Dan Walters | From Page: A8

 
Sound off for Dec. 21, 2014

By Daily Republic | From Page: A8

 
.

Living

Today in History: Dec. 21, 2014

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2, 4 Comments

 
Why celebrate Christmas?

By Noel Reese | From Page: C3, 2 Comments

Vatican offers olive branch to US nuns

By The Associated Press | From Page: C3, 1 Comment

 
Horoscopes: Dec. 21, 2014

By Holiday Mathis | From Page: C4

Should I ask grandson why we weren’t included in wedding photos?

By Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar | From Page: C4

 
.

Entertainment

Review: ‘Five’ by Ursula Archer is intriguing

By The Associated Press | From Page: C6

 
PUBLISHERS WEEKLY BEST-SELLERS

By The Associated Press | From Page: C6

Publisher hopes to sell books through Twitter

By The Associated Press | From Page: C6

 
Chris Colfer has multi-book deal

By The Associated Press | From Page: C6

Jerry Lee Lewis: Sustained by brief blaze of glory

By The Associated Press | From Page: C6

 
TVGrid

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B11

.

Sports

New Giants 3B McGehee eager to play back home

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

 
Interim coaching jobs present challenges in bowls

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

49ers squander 21-point lead in 4th straight loss

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

 
Raiders place cornerback Brown on injured reserve

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

No. 11 Lady Vols trounce No. 7 Stanford 59-40

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

 
Eagles near elimination, fall 27-24 to Redskins

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

Big moves bring big hope for Chicago baseball

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4

 
US skier Nyman wins Gardena downhill for 3rd time

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4

Vonn wins women’s World Cup downhill in France

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4

 
This date in sports history for Sunday, Dec. 21, 2014

By The Associated Press | From Page: B5

 
.

Business

 
Your info has been hacked. Now what do you do?

By The Associated Press | From Page: B7

On the money: 4 ways to hold on to your cash when renting a car

By The Associated Press | From Page: B7

 
Recalls this week: Bean bag chairs, toy monkeys

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

 
Scarecrows outnumber people in dying Japan town

By The Associated Press | From Page: B12

.

Obituaries

Dominic C. Scolaro

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

 
Perry Michael Smetts

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

Luzdivina B. Banks

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A4

 
Arnold Howard Evans

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A4

Anthony Hanson Elder

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A4

 
Barbara Jean Bidstrup Braker

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

.

Comics