6th Battalion, 56th Artillery (HAWK)

Hon tre Island Missiles

Hon Tre Island HAWK missile Firings

Hon Tre Island Vietnam HAWK missile firings 1968


Verbal concurrence and approval was received from USARV on or about 30 March 1968 to change the site for HAWK Annual Service Practice (ASP) from Cam Ranh Bay (Battery A, 6th Battalion, 71st Artillery) to Hon Tre Island (Battery C, 6th Battalion, 71st Artillery).


A request for interservice agreement was submitted to USARV on 22 March 1968 to obtain the following services:

a.      A helicopter for drone recovery.

b.      Engineer support for construction of drone launcher pads, range tower and viewing stands.

c.       Air transportation for personnel involved in Annual Service Practice (ASP)

d.      Landing Craft utility (LCU) to move personnel and equipment from the mainland to Hon Tre Island.

e.      Aircraft for range sweep prior t each missile firing.

f.        Aircraft for aerial observation and target drone location upon completion of missile firing and for calibration runs prior to each firing.

g.      Surface missile range patrol to assure safety during firing phases.

h.      Surface vessel sweep of range prior to firing.


During the period 17 – 21 April, two representatives for the 97th Artillery Group (AD) visited the HAWK firing site at Taiwan to resolve major problems as to the installation of Ryan Aeronautical Company Firebee/Towbee equipment at Hon Tre Island, Vietnam. The 18th Engineer Brigade built the drone facilities.


Telemetering missile transmitters were shipped from Okinawa to Hon Tre Island range and were installed in the missiles to be fired by personnel assigned to the Direct Support platoon (DSP), 6th Battalion, 71st Artillery.


An An/TSM-43 (Shop 4) van was transported from Cam Ranh Bay to Hon Tre Island to perform appropriate missile checks after installation of the telemetering transmitter.


HAWK Missiles in The Vietnam Sky


Eight firing batteries were scheduled for ASP evaluation, in four-day cycles, starting on 26 May 1968 and ending 26 June 1968. Each unit received administrative and tactical briefings the first day. The equipment preparation phase, prefire test phase and firing phase were conducted on the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th days respectively.


The firing results for all eight batteries were as follows:


Date               Battery                                                                                 Score

29 May          C Battery, 6th Battalion, 71st Artillery                            96.4%

 2 June           B Battery, 6th Battalion, 56th Artillery                          94.6%

 6 June           D Battery, 6th Battalion, 71st Artillery                           95.2%

10 June         A Battery, 6th Battalion, 56th Artillery                          95.7%

18 June         D Battery, 6th Battalion, 56th Artillery                         97.35%

19 June         A Battery, 6th Battalion, 71st Artillery                           95.75%

22 June         B Battery, 6th Battalion, 71st Artillery                            95.00%

26 June         C Battery, 6th Battalion, 56th Artillery                           98.10%


The following VIPs attended the HAWK missile Annual Service Practice (ASP) on Hon Tre Island Vietnam 1968.


Name                                                Organization                                   Dates Attended

LTG Palmer                          DOG, USARV                                   6 June 1968

MG Scott                              CG, 1st Log Cmd                              6 June 1968

C Battery, 6th Battalion, 71st Artillery (HAWK). HAWK missile firing battery on
 HOn Tre Island, Vietnam

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