4th Missile Bn
517th Artillery
Canal Zone


Empire Range 

The Empire Range, located to the west of the canal in the vicinity of the Pedro Miguel locks, was used to train with individual and squad weapons.  Enlisted originally carried the M-1 Garand and officers were issued the M-1 carbine.  Later in the Battalion's existence the enlisted were armed with the M-14 and officers carried the .45 cal. M-1911 pistol.  The light squad weapon was the M-1919 .30 cal. Browning machine gun and the heavy squad weapon was the .50 caliber M-2 Browning machine gun.  3.5" rocket launchers were also part of the armament.  


Empire Range
Photos by F.W. Cole

Headquarters Battery at the Empire Range for Battle Site Zero 1969

Sp5 Nunn, HHB Battery Clerk

Lt Cory ????

Ok boys, on the downbeat this time.

Sp4 "Grumpy" Gundel, S1 Clerk

Sp4 Jimmie Dunn, Sp4 Withers

The shortest and tallest in HHB, Sp4 Dunn 5'4", PFC Cobbs 6'7"

Right, Sp4 Smith, S3 Draftsman

Sp4 Dunn & PFC Cobbs with his chaw

HHB used the .50 caliber Browning M2 as a heavy machine gun.  Battery member familiarize with this weapon at Empire in spring 1969.

Sp5 Wages, 1Sg Elliston, Sp4 Murray (glasses), Unknown, SFC Duguie, Sp4 Dunn

Sp4 Dunn removing hot barrel, 1Sg Elliston with replacement; crouching unknown & Sp4 Parham?

Sp5 Wages spotting the fall of rounds

Sp4 Cole spotting the fall of rounds

1Sg Elliston directs set up of .50 M2

SFC Duguie overlooks policing of brass

By mid-1969 Batteries C & D were inactivated, the AADCP, Atlantic and Pacific Radar sites were closed.  There was a reshuffling of manpower.  Headquarters Battery and Battery B received many of the reassigned personnel.  This necessitated a trip to the Empire Range as newly issued M-14s required a battle sight zero.

SSG Odel Harvey (r)

Sp4 D. Gallagher, Headquarters Battery transferred to B Battery

SSG Odel Harvey (l with helmet), Lt. Corey (4th from right)

Sp4 D. Penzler, Battery C transferred to B Battery

Sp4 F.W. Cole, Headquarters Battery


1 Lt Frank Lipson who served as Range Control Officer at Empire Range during 1966.