4th Bn HAWK-AW 517th Artillery
Panama Canal Zone
517th ADA.jpg (108741 bytes)

Pina Range, Atlantic Side... June 1968 Photos...  Headquartered at FT CLAYTON,  the 517th Artillery filled the air defense requirement for the Canal until 1970.  The battalion had two AW (gun) batteries, and two HAWK (missile) batteries, with one of each on each end of the canal.  Charlie Battery was stationed at Ft Amador, at the end of the causeway.  Delta Battery was at Fort Sherman.  Fort Clayton had the main motor pool, Headquarters Company, and Bravo Battery, which could reach the N. American side of the canal by crossing the Thatcher Ferry Bridge.  Alpha Battery was at Fort Davis, but was split into two firing sections, one on each side of the Canal.

The 517th also had two radar sections, one on Taboga Island, and the other atop the high ground northwest of Gatun.

In addition to the AA role, we provided a limited ARMOR role for the brigade that was USARSO. 

THERE is no other home page or site for this unit.  Though there are other 517th batteries listed as in Texas and in North. America where it provided Air Defense by Nike HERCULES and the old sky sweeper 90mm Cannon.   THE unit's distinctive crest was gold with a red enameled keystone, in which a circle symbolize a spotlight silhouetting an airplane.  The unit's motto was WE SWEEP THE SKIES.

During the time I was in Panama, Malcom Woods had just made COL, and was leaving the 517th, he was followed by Javier Laucirica, and later by Alvin Gorby, who, I believe was the last Battalion Commander as the unit was deactivated.


Photo Album 1
Tracks Number 4 and 3
M42-A1 "Dusters"

From Tower - Looking Across the Chagres to Ft. San Lorenzo
Firing Line at Piņa Beach
Looking Past Tower to San Lorenzo
Chute Deployment to Refuel Drone
The Brass
Atlantic End of Gatun Locks
Things Go "as planned"
... Sometimes They Don't
Range Safety Officer
Ammo Truck

These photographs are the exclusive property of the photographer.  Reproduction by any means is prohibited without the written permission of CZBrats.

March 27, 2001