Preserving The Oral HistorIES of Combat Veterans

COMBAT STORIES FROM Vietnam

Frank Farrell | 4th Infantry Division

5:17   |   Frank Farrell grew up in an 'army family' with a father who served in the military as an artillery officer, which inspired him to do something similar with his own military career. He went to West Point before going off to Ranger school, then to Airborne school, and finally to artillery school.

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Keywords   :     Frank Farrell    training    artillery    West Point    Fort Leavenworth    Kansas    Ranger School    Airborne School    Artillery School    Fort Benning    Fort Sill Oklahoma    Germany    infantry    Eglin Air Force Base    parachute    82nd Airborne Division    jungle warfare    mountain training

Videos ( 7 )
Vietnam
  • Frank Farrell  |  Vietnam  |  4th Infantry Division  |  6:23

    Upon finishing a grueling 8 weeks of Ranger school and 4 more weeks of Airborne school, Farrell took on artillery school with the intention of following the path of his father. He wound up in artillery training at Fort Sill, and at this time he also got married at Fort Bragg. Before he even went to Vietnam, he was deployed to Italy as nuclear support for a total of three years and returned back to the states in 1966.

  • Frank Farrell  |  Vietnam  |  4th Infantry Division  |  7:37

    After his deployment in Italy, Frank Farrell was finally sent over to Vietnam in 1967. He talks about what it was like for him to hear about his friends' deaths prior to him going over, and his first job when he reached Vietnam. He was tasked with tending to all the different artillery batteries in his unit and making sure they were all successfully operating and able to complete their missions.

  • Frank Farrell  |  Vietnam  |  4th Infantry Division  |  7:19

    According to Farrell, one of the biggest issues the batteries had was obtaining more ammunition. Many batteries would run out of ammo fairly quickly, and so had to be replenished quickly and effectively. He talks about that struggle as well as what the area around Pleiku, Vietnam was like. In addition, he documents two separate attacks his division made in the middle of Vietnamese tea plantations.

  • Frank Farrell  |  Vietnam  |  4th Infantry Division  |  6:18

    Occasionally, Farrell would be riding in a helicopter to tend to different batteries across a 200 mile parameter. There were unfortunate times where the helicopters would be malfunctioning, forcing the pilot to land it in unauthorized territory. Much of this territory was occupied by the Montagnard, who had many friendly interactions with Farrell and the other men. Upon arriving at the fight in Dak To, his unit was met with heavy enemy fire almost immediately.

  • Frank Farrell  |  Vietnam  |  4th Infantry Division  |  3:49

    While in the process of shipping supplies over to different batteries, there were times where the supply lines themselves would get attacked, causing a delay in replenishing weapon amounts. Once the battle at Dak To had concluded, Farrell and his men went back to carrying out their traditional search and destroy missions around the area.

  • Frank Farrell  |  Vietnam  |  4th Infantry Division  |  7:45

    Right before the Tet Offensive, Farrell's unit received an extremely powerful new weapon to use against the enemy. The sheer strength and nature of detonation of this weapon forced them to keep it on very secure lock down, stored separately from all the other weapons they had. They'd been suspicious of the NVA's plans prior to the Tet Offensive, but never expected something on as big a scale as that in such little time.

  • Frank Farrell  |  Vietnam  |  4th Infantry Division  |  6:55

    While working in South Vietnam, Frank Farrell remembers a handful of civilian interactions from the war, as they happened a lot of the time. He also talks briefly about leaders that stood out to him and what it was like to hear about US citizen morale upon returning to the states. Following his time in the service, he went on to graduate school in New York and returned to Vietnam many years later to find it was no longer the war zone it once was.

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