Artillery vs. Rain

Kilo Battery on Hill 65

Wednesday, October 16, 1968

During the night we heard extended fire missions coming from the direction of Hill 52.  The distance of 9 miles muted the sound, but it was unusual to have long fire missions at night.

I wondered if the rain affected the accuracy of the rounds and decided to find out in the morning.  After breakfast I went to FDC and asked Sergeant Kelly about adjusting for the rain.  He said, “There is no adjustment in the calculations.”  The 95-pound rounds weren’t affected by the weather.  Kelly thought there was a better chance of the barometric pressure having an effect, but there was no adjustment for that either.  It all came down to the laws of physics; the calculations had consequences.

FDC was an impressive bunker.  One wall was a battery of radios and communication equipment.  The desk where all the plotting took place was close to the door and was illuminated with bright lights.  Although we had no guns on our hill, Kelly still maintained the FDC desk.

My job running the mess hall seemed unimportant compared to FDC.  If they made a mistake it could cause a friendly fire casualty.  If I made a mistake someone might go hungry or even worse, get food poisoning.  We all had a job to do and depended on each other.

Command Chronology – Kilo 4/11 – October 1968

Next Edition:  CID

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