|Don Graham's Memory of Shipping to Vietnam|
Donald J. Graham, member of Alpha Battery 6/27th Arty, arrived at Vung Tau, Vietnam aboard the USS Gordon in October 1965. Contrary to what the official orders and the battalion history state, Don says the ship did not arrive in Vietnam until late October. He should know since he was on it. The Battalion traveled together on the USS Gordon with over 3900 soldiers from Ft. Bliss, Texas. [Quite a bit different then the lucky lads that followed later in chartered jets.]
Leaving the port at Oakland, CA the trip to Vietnam took thirty days and Don says hundreds of the men were so seasick when they stopped in Hawaii en route many were sent home. After weeks at sea the men of the 6/27th Artillery arrived at Vung Tau, but not their Big Boy guns. It seems the guns had been mistakenly shipped to Australia, believe it or not. For the next month all that was left for the men of the 6/27th was to cool their heels in a staging area while the guns were reshipped to Vietnam. Heads surely rolled over that mistake.
According to Don, after finally securing their equipment, the men of the 6/27th Artillery convoyed to Phouc Vinh. They and the guns, escorted by the 2/4th Cavalry, left via land route in mid November. On November 20 they were at last escorted into fighting position near Phouc Vinh in War Zone "D".
Within a few months Alpha Battery moved to a new location just north of Bien Hoa. In June 1966 Alpha again relocated to a location near Ben Cat, while Bravo Battery in October 1966 convoyed from Phouc Vinh to the docks in Saigon where it boarded ships and sailed to the Marine base in Dong Ha in I Corps. From there it convoyed to Camp J J Carroll on the DMZ where it became the very first Army combat unit in Marine controlled I Corps. Here, it is the first U.S. artillery unit to fire into North Vietnam. It is attached to 2/94th Arty as D Battery from 20 October 1966 to 13 September 1967 and it is here that it does battle with the NVA at Gio Linh as a part of the 2/94th Artillery.
In January 1967 Alpha moved from Ben Cat and then again on to Quan Loi where it remained for its longest post anywhere in Vietnam. Just a year later, in January 1968, HHB as well as Battalion Headquarters moved from Phouc Vinh to Quan Loi where it remaine until March 1970 when it movee to Phu Loi. [If you know the history of Service and Charlie Batteries or have corrections to this partial history as presented, please email the webmaster]
The following photos of the men of the 6/27th Artillery were provided by Don Graham except for two photos, as designated, that were provided by Gene Long of Bravo Battery. Thanks guys for sharing your memories with the site.
|Click Here to View Don Graham's Photos|
Ron Altier Memory of
Shipping to Vietnam
Go To: John Anderson's Memory of Shipping to Vietnam