The video above is strictly for reference. If you've never seen white phosphorus munitions explode, you probably should watch it - otherwise, just settle back and read:
My old friend Kirk Dabney is publishing a sort of a serialized memoir on Facebook. Something he wrote the other day reminded me of an event I witnessed at Ft. Hood back in 1966.
As the one-man radio and TV section of the 2nd Armored Division's Public Information Office, I often observed field training of the various line units that made up the division. One day, I joined an infantry company as they began training on the use of the four-deuce mortar.
The company was seated in bleachers out on the range, and the training sergeant and his cadre started the lesson with a fire-for-effect of six mortars firing white phosphorus. Their timing was perfect - all fired at once at a group of old junk cars out on the tank range. The result was a huge, roiling white cloud with sparkles shooting out of it that had all the soldiers in the stands cheering and hollering.
Then from out of the smoke came an an old VW Beetle with a young couple inside. She was desperately trying to get her blouse back on and he was just trying to maintain control of the car as they - as the training sergeant called it - unassed the area.