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a single-hole outhouse

Vietnam 1966

The M107 (175 SP gun) was able to launch a 147 lb (67 kg) projectile out to 21 miles (34 km). The projectile left the tube supersonic and had a sonic boom all the way to the target. If I were close to the gun-target line the sonic boom would rattle the aircraft.

One day, I happened to be on the ground at my firebase when an urgent and very unusual fire mission came in. The mission was to fire over the city of Pleiku, the Air Force base, and Holloway Army Airfield to support troops. The guns had to reposition to the southeast of the hill within the firebase. The first gun, after being laid (pointed in the right direction) was higher up on the hill but directly over a single-hole outhouse that was a few hundred feet from the gun.

Because this was such an unusual fire mission (firing over the city what had previously been restricted) most of the troops that were not gun crews were watching the rumbling and commotion of the guns being repositioned near the area of the Battalion headquarters. There were dozens of troops watching and waiting for the first gun to fire.

The muzzle blast from the 175mm gun is horrific and will break sewn seams in tents, eggs, and anything else that is subject to over pressures. We were waiting to see what the muzzle blast was going to break this time.

The gun fired. Our ears were ringing but we did not see anything fly up. As if in slow motion, the dust started to rise from the ground in front of the gun like a fog rising from a lake and in the center of the dust the outhouse was falling apart like a banana being peeled. There sat a sergeant on the one-hole plank that had not given way. The sergeant look around at the crowd, then got up pulled his pants up and walked away to the laughter, cheers, and applause of the crowd.

Re: a single-hole outhouse

now thats funny i dont care who you are, 14th handled the mission & had a good laugh too. best unit in the military.

Re: a single-hole outhouse

That is funny. Although this never happened that I know of in RVN I did see something very simular here in the states. C/1-160th FA of the OK ARG was on a field Training execise with the M102, 105mm. They got a fire mission directly over the one and only port-a-poddy at about 200 feet in front. Nobody checked to see if it was in use. While a battery of one did not destroy the port-a-poddy I'm sure it emtied the bowls of the poor private inside. He fell out of the door with his pants around his ankles and field gear and rifle falling with him. As the evaluater for the unit I had a long talk with the battery commander while trying not to laugh too much.

Re: a single-hole outhouse

The story is true. I don't remenber the date but it was during my tour 65-66. I can over with the "Boat people" on the Gordan.