VC Rockets, Mortars
Pinpointed By Radar
3D BDE - When Charlie calls at the base camp of the 3d Brigade, 25th Infantry Division with mortars or rockets, he is likely to receive a prompt answer in the form of artillery.
Providing the answering service are radarmen of Headquarters Battery, guiding the 105mm howitzers of the 2d Battalion, 77th Artillery.
“Our goal is to put artillery fire on the enemy before his last round leaves the tube,” said Staff Sergeant Robert March of East Berlin, Pa., NCO in charge of the radar. “We’ve done it many times.”
“We can pick out Charlie’s location within 10 meters,” added March, who mans the radar with a warrant officer and five enlisted men.
A computerized screen prints out the exact coordinates from which the rounds are being sent. The location is relayed to artillerymen who respond with 105mm howitzer fire.
The radarmen, who live and work in a sandbagged bunker complex, have frequently known the wrath of VC rocket attacks.
“The radar makes a pretty big target,” commented Sergeant Kenneth Zepernick of Owensboro, Ky., senior radarman.
Despite frequent efforts, enemy rounds have never more than grazed the installation, putting three small holes in the “dish.” The radarmen point with pride to craters which virtually encircle their bunkers, all of which missed the mark.
“They keep missing us,” March said, “but we aim to keep hitting them.”