Regimental Day

15th Field Artillery Regiment

15th Field Artillery
Regimental Day

 15th Regimental Day with the  
 2nd Bn, 15th FA  

By: Dan Gillotti, Historian, 15th FA

Ft. Drum, NY
27 July 2001

The 2nd Bn, 15th FA, commanded by LTC Drew Turinski, held the 2nd Annual 15th FA Regimental Day at Ft Drum, NY, on Friday, 27 July 2001.  The day started with a Battalion Run led by COL (R) Robert Brand, Honorary Colonel of the 15th FA Regiment.  This was followed by a Continental Breakfast in the Holloway Room, named for MSG Jimmy Holloway who was awarded a DSC (Posthumously) for bravery in combat with the 15th FA Battalion during the Korean War.  

Following this, COL Brand was presented a set of Regimental Colors by LTC Turinski and CSM Turner.  This event was followed by an NCO Induction Ceremony for four recently promoted Sergeants from the 2nd Battalion.  Then Dan Gillotti presented the Regiment with a picture of the 15th FA Regiment, camped in a tent city at Pine Camp, NY in 1917.  This picture was donated by Dr. Dave Jackson from Iowa City, Iowa.

Dan Gillotti, Historian, 15th FA Regiment 
standing with SGT Morgan and his 
105mm Howitzer display


Dan Gillotti also presented the Regiment with a picture of the Commander and Staff of the 2nd Bn, 15th FA, taken in December 1936, at Ft Sam Houston, TX.  This picture was dedicated to the members of the 7th Bn, 15th FA Killed in Action during the Vietnam War.  

Also presented was a three-ring binder of historical data and other pictures directly related to the 15th FA Regiment.  The guests and members of the 2nd Battalion then enjoyed a picnic, viewing of static displays of equipment, and fun and games.  

Beginning at 1800 hours that evening a Regimental Social was held at Leray Mansion.  At 1900 hours, a Memorial Service was conducted for all the members of the 15th FA Regiment Killed In Action in WW-I, WW-II, the Korean War, and the Vietnam War.  A tribute was also paid to the 5 members of the 15th FA Regiment awarded the DSC in WW-I (one Posthumously), the two members awarded the DSC and MOH during the Korean War (both Posthumously), and the member awarded the MOH during the Vietnam War (Posthumously).  

I would personally like to thank LTC Turinski and CSM Turner, and all the members of the 2nd Bn, 15th FA for the genuine hospitality and warm companionship extended to Theresa and me during our visit with the 2nd Bn.  I would also like to proudly salute them for their hard work, dedication, patriotism, and professionalism for conducting a first class Regimental Day.  I had the honor and privilege of shaking the hands of some of America’s finest, brightest, and best soldiers in the world.  Sleep well tonight knowing the “Fighting Fifteenth” is ready to go Anywhere-Anytime.

ALLONS  (Let's GO!)
Dan Gillotti, Historian, 15th FA


 Regimental Day 2000 

10th Infantry Division (Mountain)
Fort Drum, New York

28 July 2000

As the Historian for the 15th FA Regiment, I was invited to attend the 15th FA Regimental Day Activities. This event was hosted by the 2nd Bn, 15th FA, commanded by LTC Sam Johnson. The 2nd Bn, 15th FA has been designated as the official custodian of the 15th FA Regimental Colors. The activities began at 0700 hours on 28 July, as guests cheered the 2nd Battalion on their way for their Battalion 4-mile run. They were joined on the run by COL (R) Robert Brand, the Honorary Colonel of the 15th FA Regiment. Col Brand commanded the 5th Bn, 15th FA at Fort Ord, CA, when it was assigned to the 7th Infantry Division back in the late 1980’s.

After the run, we were treated to a tour of the Battalion Headquarters Building. The 15th FA Regimental Room within the Bn HQs has been named the "Hartell Room" in honor of 1LT Lee Hartell.  1LT Lee Hartell was awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor (Posthumously) for his actions while serving with the 15th FA Bn during the Korean War.

Later we were invited to a "Continental Breakfast" in the Battalion Classroom. I had brought along nine uniforms from my collection for display along with 300 pieces of Artillery collar insignia extending back to the Civil War. The uniforms and equipment covered parts of WW I, the 1920’s-1930’s, WW II, Korea, and a set of my Vietnam Jungle fatigues. The soldiers of the 2nd Battalion seemed to really enjoy seeing the old insignia, uniforms and equipment of the past.

Dan Gillotti's display at Regimental Day

Part of Dan Gillotti's display

After breakfast LTC Johnson conducted a formal Dedication Ceremony. During this ceremony a Brass Plaque naming the Bn HQs as "Durham Hall" was formally dedicated. 2LT Harold "Pinky" Durham was awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor (Posthumously) for his heroic actions on 17 October 1967, while serving in Vietnam with the 6th Bn, 15th FA. In attendance was Pinky’s brother John Durham, his sister Genie Knapp, his childhood friend Charlie Coxwell, BG (R) Frank Serio (Bn CO, 6th Bn, 15th FA), Colonel (R) Clark Welch (Co D Company, 2nd Bn, 28th Inf), the members of the 2nd Bn, COL Bartell (10th Inf DIVARTY CO), and MG James Campbell, Commanding General of the 10th Infantry Division.

Dan Gillotti and John Durham at Regimental Day

Dan Gillotti and John Durham

Additionally, an M102, 105mm Howitzer complete with 6th Bn, 15th FA bumper markings, was officially named "PINKY" in honor of 2LT Durham. Also, the mate to this M102 Howitzer was been marked with 7th Bn, 15th FA bumper markings in honor of those men lost in Vietnam. These two Howitzers sit to the right and left of the entrance doors leading into the Bn HQs. This very moving experience was followed by a Regimental Picnic complete with hamburgers, hot dogs, and sausage on the grill.

Afterwards I had the privilege to sit in a two-hour meeting in which COL Welch provided a detailed explanation of the battle that resulted in Pinky’s heroic actions and death. Also in attendance was the former PFC Joe Costello, who won a Silver Star in the same battle by taking charge of the situation after all the leaders were wounded or killed. Additionally, BG (R) Jim Shelton was on a speaker phone adding his comments. He was the Brigade Operations Officer from the 1st Infantry Division who monitored the battle on the radio. This battle started when two under-strength Infantry Companies, with only a total of 144 men, walked into the middle of the 271st Viet Cong Regiment entrenched in fortified bunkers. Four hours later, only 12 Americans walked out unhurt, 80 were wounded , and 52 were killed including Pinky Durham. He was wounded 3 times before he died including having a hand blown off. But he continued to fight by calling in artillery fire. With his last breath he warned one of the Infantrymen of an approaching enemy soldier, who was quickly shot and killed. This meeting was the first time that all of these folks had been together to hear the account of the battle, and was an extremely emotional meeting for everyone in attendance.

About an hour after the meeting ended we attended a Formal Reception at the Leray Mansion located in the old part of Fort Drum. This beautiful house and its adjacent gardens were built back in 1827 and is on the National Historical Register. Additionally, a small group of musicians and a vocalist from the 10th Infantry Division Band were playing some great modern music on the front veranda of this magnificent house. My wife and I were asked to be part of the receiving line and were fortunate enough to shake the hands of about 150 soldiers and their ladies from the 2nd Battalion. And I was actually able to fit into my Dress Blue uniform after 20 years!

After drinks and a round of finger food the Battalion conducted a Memorial Service. This service was complete with the National and Regimental Colors and was staged with seven inverted M-16 rifles and bayonets, with helmets on top and a set of boots in front of each rifle. After the posting of the colors, the citation was read for MSG Jimmie Holloway who was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross (Posthumously) while a member of the 15th FA Bn during the Korean War. Then the citations were read for both 1LT Lee Hartell and 2LT Harold "Pinky" Durham. The seven-rifle display symbolized the four conflicts in which members of the 15th FA Regiment shed their blood (WW-I, WW-II, Korea, and Vietnam), and for the three men who symbolized the best and the bravest of the 15th FA Regiment.

Following this ceremony Pinky Durham’s family and friends were given the opportunity to speak about him. I was then given the privilege to speak about the history of the Regiment and specifically about the casualties suffered in the four major conflicts. I also took this opportunity to thank the members of the 2nd Bn for their successful return after six months on Peace Keeping duties in Bosnia. And I asked everyone to also remember our brothers in the 1st Bn, 15th FA, who have been on continuous duty on the DMZ in Korea since 1965.

The 2nd Bn, 15th FA conceived, planned, and executed a magnificent 15th FA Regimental Day. They are extremely well led by LTC Sam Johnson who ensures they are superbly conditioned, skillfully trained, and highly motivated. All former and current members of the 15th FA Regiment should know the Regimental Colors are safely in the hands of dedicated professionals who will respect them, honor them, and protect them with their lives if necessary. We proudly salute them and say ALLONS!, Lets Go! 

Dan Gillotti, Historian, 15th FA Regiment


The Gillotti's of the 15th Field Artillery...
1960's and 2000's

SFC Dan Gillotti at An Khe in 1968 (left); Dan's cousin SFC John Gigliotti, Counter-Mortar/Artillery Radar Chief with 2nd Bn, 15th FA at Ft Drum (right)



1st Battalion, 15th FA

2nd Battalion, 15th FA

2/15th Photos

WW1 Photos - D/2/15

2/15th Decorations

Ft. Drum Homepage

19th Theater Support Command