The Mighty Ninth

Strive To Reach The Summit


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Hook_N__Go.JPG
Hook_N__Go.JPGThar She Goes!One of our M-102 howitzers hooked up and lifting off for a hip shoot at LZ Cathy, September, 1969.
Guns___Ammo.JPG
Guns___Ammo.JPGMove to LZ Red FoxThis photo and the next are of a shithook lifting a gun and net with 10 rounds and stakes to set up for firing as soon as landed. I wasn't a cannon cocker so I don't remember the name of the delicate gizmo for the gun, which went in with advance party to the new LZ before the guns were lifted.
CH_liftoff-RedFox_Hop.JPG
CH_liftoff-RedFox_Hop.JPGMove to LZ Red FoxMoving to LZ Red Fox for a hip shoot.
Screen.JPG
Screen.JPG"Please don't feed..."I'm standing in front of the B-40 screen around the FDC conex (all the commo antennas made it a tempting target). The sign on the fence reads: "Please do not feed the animals).
Medley_and_Crew.JPG
Medley_and_Crew.JPGMeanwhile, back at St GeorgeReturning back to LZ St. George from LZ Cathy photo of the September '69 crew: Sp4 Denny Mrowzinski, PFC Mike Medley, Sp4 George (Eugene) Jarisch and Sp 5 Clint Curry. With our trusty power generator for the radios in the background. Enlarging the photo, you can see 1st Shirt Mac in the background complaining about something.
Sp4_Jarisch.JPG
Sp4_Jarisch.JPGMy name isn't George, but...Sp4 Eugene ("George") Jarisch manning the horns in the FDC conex June '69. George was the second most junior guy after me and had only been in FDC for a couple of months when I came in. He was very bashful with a heavy Texas twang. When he first joined the battery and was asked his name he said Jarisch, but it was heard as "George". He was too shy to correct anyone for a few weeks and by that time he WAS George from then on.
Hurdle___Medley.JPG
Hurdle___Medley.JPGHurdle & MedleySp4 James A. "Jim" Hurdle and PFC Mike Medley. Taken right after I got to "A" Battery late May '69 at LZ St. George.
SSG_Biggers.JPG
SSG_Biggers.JPGSSG Kenneth "Bodie" BiggersBodie Biggers a proud Texan and shake-n-bake E-6 as the honor graduate of the NCO school at Ft. Sill. Definite lifer tendencies, but a great guy who knew his stuff. He was FDC Section Chief and, I believe, later took over as Chief of Smoke when Chief went home. I think he received the Bronze w/V from the St. George fight. He brought back a pump pellet pistol from his R&R in Hawaii. The person sitting out a hand of Spades would use it to shoot at rats running across the CONEX "window".
McKuen_-_Richardson.JPG
McKuen_-_Richardson.JPGLt Jim McHugh and BC Capt RichardsonLt McHugh, XO, and BC Richardson inside the FDC CONEX. I recall that McHugh's dad was a full bird colonel. He started college at VMI and dropped out first year and went through OCS. He was a 20 year-old 1st LT as XO. Really a great kid (I was 23). Between the two of us we could do a high burst registration, which helped keep me around. He knew his stuff, but we loved to fool around with him. He wanted to fire the battery in strict accordance with the FM6-40, but FDC was more conscious of potential "check-fire" situations. We got the section chiefs on the guns to go along with us, so rather than argue with him we just said "yes sir". So the next thing is McHugh: "Battery" then the Chiefs:"Platoons", McHugh: "fire" followed by a ragged "bang . . . bang bang . . . bang . . bang (we only had 5 tubes at the time). He came into FDC and we offered to show him how to do it. Chief: "Battery ready", Me: "Battery fire" BANG in perfect unison.
(Note. Lt McKugh died on December 8, 2017 from cancer.)
FDO_Benton_and_XO_McKuen.JPG
FDO_Benton_and_XO_McKuen.JPGFDO and the XO"A" Battery officers Lt Jerry R. Benton (FDO) and Lt McKuen (XO) touching the roof of the twin CONEX containers of the portable FDC. Note the trusty ol' pencil sharpener under Benton's right arm and a flashlight magnetized to the joint in the roof. Benton was later promoted to Captain.
Cpt_Williams_NG.JPG
Cpt_Williams_NG.JPGBC John S. WilliamsCaptain Williams was the BC when I got to the battery. He was a great troop leader but I believe he was relieved when rear Battalion brass visited. We were trying to save rounds from a flooded ammo bunker. The brass did not like that all of us were shirtless, including the BC, and that he was actually helping hump rounds. There was a few words exchanged between Williams and the basecamp brass, which they apparently also disliked.
1stSgt_McPeek.JPG
1stSgt_McPeek.JPGFirst Shirt1SG James E. McPeek. This is First Sgt Mac. We didn't get along. He lived in the FDC bunker and he was a big poker player, going to the rear for the $100s of dollar pots. He had a poker game going in the front of the bunker (his domain took up a quarter of the bunker). I was not a poker player and had to write down what-beats-what. I won a few bucks, he got pissed, and from then on wanted me off the FB. Don't know when he went home, but it was none too soon for me. Fortunately McKuen (XO) saved me since I could do a high-burst registration.
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