6th Battalion, 56th Artillery (HAWK)
79th Ord Det (GMGS HAWK)

           
79th Ordnance Detachment (GMGS) (HAWK)         
perimeter of the Tan Son Nhut Air Base, Sensitive Area, Vietnam
30 September  1965 to 25 October 1968
 

 
Unit Patch
USARV (U.S. Army Vietnam)

               History of the 79th Ordnance Detachment (GMGS) (HAWK)

Motto “Ready-Rapid-Reliable”

The 79th Ordnance Detachment unofficial unit patch in Vietnam was, a red triangle outlined in yellow, with a HAWK missile and an Ordnance bomb centered in the inner triangle.

The 79th Ordnance Detachment (GMGS) (HAWK) was activated at Redstone Arsenal, Alabama on 22 April 1960 by general Order Number 48, U.S. Army Ordnance Training Command, Aberdeen Proving Grounds, Maryland, dated 14 April 1960. It was then assigned to the 79th Ordnance Battalion (M&S), Fort Bliss, Texas on 1 October 1960.

The unit remained at Fort Bliss, Texas from 1 October 1960 until 20 October 1962 when the Cuban crisis caused it to be transferred to Florida in support of HAWK missile units defending the United States from possible hostile aircraft from the South. The 79th Ordnance Detachment was subsequently awarded the Meritorious Unit Commendation for outstanding service rendered during the period of 20 October 1962 to 1 June 1963 by Headquarters, Department of the Army, General Order Number 33, dated 23 July 1963.

In June 1963 the unit returned to Fort Bliss, Texas. On 8 September 1965, the detachment was attached to the 97th Artillery Group (AD), Fort Bliss, Texas by paragraph 2, General Order number 117, Headquarters, U.S. Army Air Defense Center, Fort Bliss, Texas, dated 2 September 1965. On 8 September 1965, the 79th Ordnance Detachment departed Fort Bliss, Texas for Oakland Army Terminal, Oakland, California by rail, arriving 11 September 1965, to depart for Vietnam aboard the USNS Gaffey.

The 79th Ordnance Detachment (GMGS) (HAWK) was assigned to the 97th Artillery Group (AD), Tan Son Nhut Airbase. The 79th Ordnance Detachment (GMGS) (HAWK) arrived in Vietnam on 30 September 1965

The 79th Ordnance Detachment (GMGS) (HAWK) was awarded the Meritorious Unit Commendation (First oak Leaf Cluster), General Order number 5311, dated 18 October 1967 for exceptionally meritorious achievement, August 1966 to May 1967, theater: Republic of Vietnam.

The 79th Ordnance Detachment (GMGS) (HAWK) was the only Army HAWK Missile Support Detachment presently stationed in the Republic of Vietnam.

In accordance with USARV 568, dated 20 September 1968, the 79th Ordnance Detachment (GMGS) (HAWK) was inactivated in Vietnam effective date 25 October 1968.

 

 


Pictures are courtesy of Jim Becraft, member of the 79th Ordnance Detachment Vietnam
http://becraft.net/albums/military/79ord/79ord.aspx



79th Ordnance Detachment (Guided Missile General Supply) (HAWK) Award of the Meritorious Unit Commendation (First Oak Leaf Cluster), (General Order No. 5311), dated 18 October 1967.
 
       

      

The 79th Ordnance Detachment (GMGS) (HAWK) was assigned to the 97th Artillery Group (AD). The 97th Artillery Group arrived in Vietnam on 30 September 1965.

The Mission of the 79th Ordnance Detachment (GMGS) (HAWK) was to provide a general support supply and maintenance facility for the 6th Battalion, 56th Artillery (HAWK) and the 6th Battalion, 71st Artillery (HAWK).

The officers and men of the 79th Ordnance Detachment (GMGS) (HAWK) labored long and hard to ensure that the supply requirements of the Army and USMC Hawk Battalion needs were met.

One of the other tasks assigned to the 79th Ordnance Detachment (GMGS) (HAWK) was airbase ground defense of Tan Son Nhut Airbase in the air sector. The detachment’s compound was located on the perimeter of Tan Son Nhut Airbase.

Major Al S. Medlock, who had been commanding the 79th Ordnance Detachment, departed for CONUS on 24 July 1966 and was replaced by Major Duane D. Miller. This command assignment was only an interim measure. The command will, in the future, be turned over to an Ordnance Office. Operational Report of Headquarters, 97th Artillery Group (AD) for Period Ending 31 July 1966, confidential

On 12 September 1966, the responsibility for personnel activities of the 79th Ordnance Detachment and the 459th Signal Detachment were removed from the 6th Battalion, 56th Artillery, and placed in the personnel section of the 97th Artillery Group (AD).

During the period ending 31October 1966 contract construction of the 79th Ordnance Detachment compound area was begun by the construction company RMK-BRJ. Priority was given first to the erection of a 70’ X 140’ warehouse on the compound for storage of HAWK repair parts. And construction finally began on building of the troop billets.

During the period from 040125 December 1966 to 060700 December 1966, three units of the 97th Artillery Group (AD); the 79th Ordnance Detachment, 459th Signal Detachment, and C Battery, 6th Battalion, 56th Artillery, participated in the defense of Tan Son Nhut Air Base against a determined Viet Cong attack. They assisted in the successful allied defense by manning an exposed sector or the Tan Son Nhut defense. No direct enemy action was taken against these units. Operational Report of Headquarters, 97th Artillery Group (AD) for Period Ending 31 January  1967, secret

An Interservice Support agreement with the Marine Corps became effective 1 January 1967.  This agreement allowed the 79th Ordnance detachment to provide expendable repair parts support to the 1st and 2nd LAAM Battalions USMC (HAWK).

On or about 9 May 1966 the following items of the 79th Ordnance Detachment compound were completed. The men now had their own compound and some creature comforts:

(1)   Twelve (12) troop billets

(2)   Warehouse

(3)   Two (2) maintenance and repair shops

(4)   Two (2) depot supply buildings

(5)   Generator shed

(6)   Orderly room

(7)   Unit supply building

(8)   Latrine and shower facility, and

      (9)   6000 gallon water tank and a deep well

During this same period the Quarterly Supply Activity for the 79th Ordnance Detachment HAWK Depot was:

Items

Number

Number of line items stocked

19,544

Total number of requisitions received

9,853

Number of requisitions received that match stocking list

8,310

Number of requisitions received not matching stock list matching stockage list (fringe)

1,543

Number of requisitions matching stockage list issued from stock

6,379

Number of customer requisitions passed to CONUS

3,804

Percentage of demands received that match the stockage list

86.5%

Percentage of demands satisfied from available stock assets

77.0%

Incoming 122MM Rocket Impact 79th Ordnance Detachment Compound

A 122MM rocket round impacted in the 79th Ordnance Detachment compound warehouse storage area on 020316H April 1968. A fire resulted the men of the 79th Ordnance Detachment fought the fire with 2 ½ gallon hand pump fire extinguishers, sand and water buckets, but was not able to extinguish the fire. The fire was later brought under control by an Air Force fire fighting unit. Operational Report of Headquarters, 97th Artillery Group (AD) for Period Ending 30 April 1966, confidential

TET Security Platoon

On 31 January 1968 (TET 68), the 79th Ordnance Detachment and C Battery, 6th Battalion, 56th Artillery organized and equipped a security platoon of 1 officer and 24 enlisted men to assist the 2d Svc Bn (ARVN) in the defense of the 058 Gate, Tan Son Nhut Sensitive area. This platoon served as a quick reaction force during daylight hours and physically manned the perimeter at the 058 Gate during the hours of darkness. This commitment did not terminate until 10 February 1968 when the security platoon was relieved by and armored cavalry unit of the U.S. Army. Operational Report of Headquarters, 97th Artillery Group (AD) for Period Ending 30 April 1966, confidential

79th Ordnance Detachment Located – Perimeter Tan Son Nhut Airbase Sensitive Area

The 79th Ordnance Detachment was located on the perimeter of the Tan Son Nhut Sensitive Area. The only means of communications available to the detachment, with the 97th Artillery Group (AD) was a VHF radio. This equipment was operated by the 459th Signal Detachment (AD Sym Comm).

The detachment lacked any backup communication capability it the VHF equipment became non-operational or damaged by enemy action. In addition the detachment any capability to communicate with quick reaction forces deployed outside of the detachment perimeter.




Reaction Force Tan Son Nhut Airbase

The 79th Ordnance Detachment was relieved of its commitment to provide a reaction force to the Tan Son Nhut Air Base Defense Force on 20 September 1968. Operational Report of Headquarters, 97th Artillery Group (AD) for Period Ending 25 October 1968 secret

Stand Down and Inactivated 97th Ordnance Detachment (GMGS) (HAWK)

In accordance with USARV 568, dtd 20 Sep 68, as amended, the following units were inactivated:

Unit                                                                             Effective Date

HHB, 97th Arty Gp (AD), UIC: WC6S                                       25 Oct 68

79th Ord Det (HAWK) (GMGS), UIC: WB9Q                            25 Oct 68

459th Sig Det, UIC: WC5N                                                       25 Sep 68

Operational Report of Headquarters, 97th Artillery Group (AD) for Period Ending 25 October 1968 secret

 

 

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