Sp5 Danny L. Fort

Fire Direction Chief, "B" Battery, 2/9th Arty, from Sept 67 - Sept 68.  AKA "Cowboy"


I reached "B" battery around the 25Sep67.  It was the policy at the time if you were 13E20 to go out as an RTO.  I was at the battery overnight, then hooked out to Hq Company, 1/14th, I think.  It could have been "A" company.  They were on a bridge detail when I got there. The next day or so, we moved over to the beach getting ready for a push.  I recall a typhoon coming that night and we ended up in the surf. My notes from that time were lost during my first marriage, but I recall the SSgt was a tall guy he and the Sp4 were both from Oklahoma. The SSgt had came over with them from Schofield Barracks. The Sp4 was from Pryor, OK; can't recall his name. The FO, I don't recall much about him.  He stayed with the Infantry Company Commander.  Anyway, we moved in to the bush and for the next couple of weeks, we were on the move all the time. I got word I was needed back in the FDC; that was the later part of October, 1967, maybe the 27-28.  My time was short as RTO and I don't recall a lot of it.  



I read about "Freddie FADAC" in the "War Stories".   Well, let me tell you about my experience with "Freddie".  He arrived some time in the fall of 1967 all by himself...not programmed...with only a Tech Manual (TM)  and three tapes, one for each size gun.  Myself and Terry Stuber, as I recall, were the only school-trained FDC personnel at that time in the Btry.  The rest of the guys were from the guns or the supply section, you know how that goes.  Well, I had been in an STR unit (4/14 Hqtrs Btry) at Ft Sill and had seen a FADAC sitting on a table a couple of times out at the Moway house for the fire power demonstrations. So the FDO at that time (can't recall his name), thought Terry and I could program it.  Well, having the TM...no problem.  After about three days,  we finally got it running and put the right tape in it.   Now we just had to learn how to operate it.   We soon found out we were a lot faster on the sticks for the initial firing data.   From that day forward, it was a running battle with Freddie to keep him going.   I recall a time that I had to take him to Pleiku, but that would be another story.  The generators at that time weren't much trouble.   We did, however, use Freddie to figure the data for the 500,000th round (which was designated as the "half-millionth" round), because there was a lot of brass on hand.  It was a Willie Peter round with time fuze shot out over the South China Sea, some time in April to the best of my memory.