Any "tunnel rats" out there?


May 8, 2005, 04:30 AM
Cheers people,

I flew "slicks" for three months in Nam - then I got transfred to "guns" - but I covered a bunch of "t-r's" and I would like to know if any of them survived.

My tours were mostly III corps, but I had some "out of country" experiences also.

I believe my e-mail is valid - if not - then post it here and I'll respond.

Gentle winds,

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May 8, 2005, 05:49 AM
He believes, and probably rightly so, that if everyone who says they were a rat really was, then there wouldn't have been enough room left in the tunnels for the VC.
I did work with an EMT who was a gunner on a heli. Little short guy about 5'5". He said he was asked to join the ranks, but said he'd much rather stay in the ait where it was safe.

May 8, 2005, 06:18 AM
Growing up I knew a guy that got pretty messed up in the head from Vietnam. He was a tunnel rat, he told me about the time he had to slit the throat of some teenage vietnamese kid in one of the tunnels. Man that guys is screwed up in the head now....

May 8, 2005, 06:37 AM
The Tunnels of Cu Chi (1985) Tom Mangold and John Penycate
A book that tell the tunnel rats story Originally called Tunnel Runners by the 25th Inft Div and Ferrets by the Australian army.

Their motto "Non Gratum ???? Rodentum" english "Not Worth A Rat's Ass". This was to mean they would never leave a man behind in the tunnels.
I this book is on my buy list one of these days. Many must of came home to help write the above book.
The offical tunnel rats were attached to Combat Engineering units.
Found this patch online

May 8, 2005, 06:37 AM
When my old man joined the military he was 5'3" and weighed about 110 lbs. Give or take. They wanted him to volunteer for TR duty but his response was something along the lines of "hell no."

May 8, 2005, 03:12 PM
Author Michael Connelly's LAPD Detective Harry Bosch was a tunnel rat. Fictional but he seems to have a handle on it. I haven't read anything negative about his writing at least on that subject.

May 8, 2005, 07:50 PM
Their motto "Non Gratum ???? Rodentum" english "Not Worth A Rat's Ass". This was to mean they would never leave a man behind in the tunnels.

i dont get it, how does "not worth" end up meaning "not leave behind?"

is there any further explanation on this????????

May 9, 2005, 09:16 PM
My dad said he checked out the beginning of a couple of tunnels with a flashlight and a .45 but he was not a tunnel rat, he was in artillery but attached to armored cav as a forward observer/spotter at times. I have never met anyone who was one either. I almost never meet anyone who was in the military especially in a wartime era who admits to being a clerk or such.

I would one day like to see the tunnels as I have seen on TV that the Vietnamese have preserved some and even widened some for us big westerners to explore!

ETCss Phil McCrackin
May 9, 2005, 09:58 PM
At the 2004 PACFLT EIC Service Rifle match I was teamed up with a retired Marine who after much prompting in the pits related that he was; “A radioman in Nam.”, “Got out after only a couple of years as a CPL.” And finally after a lot of prodding from myself and a couple of the devildogs present said that he was one of his unit’s occasional tunnel rat volunteers.

We were all so rapt that it was getting kinda hard to spot impacts, but his best tales can be summed up as: “Me and two other short guys had the duty, but my platoon leader was real understanding, we usually went into holes on a rotating “your turn” basis, but if we had a bad feeling about one the Capt said, “If none of those REMF SOBs has got the stones to do this, then they don’t get to tell you guys when to do it. If you got a bad feeling, then I never saw the hole.”” He also showed us the HUGE scar on his leg which “retired” him from the Corps. Amazing stuff…

May 9, 2005, 11:19 PM
Exactly, my uncle drove trucks in Nam. How many people claim to have done that job? Everyfreeking body was a sniper or some such bs. Ever wonder why that is? I had a guy claim his son was a 50 cal sniper in sand box and showed me a picture of him with his "sniper rifle". It was a M2 iron sight. Maybe that's where all the snipers/rats stories come from.

50 Freak
May 10, 2005, 02:14 AM
I remember one time I was crawling through the tunnels at Cu Chi following a NVA regular. I'm 5'10 200+#s (little big for this line of business) and the guy I guestimate was maybe 5'4 and 130ish. Tunnels were tight and pretty hard to move around in. Pretty dark, but good thing I had my flashlight. Took about an hour but I finally caught up to the little bastard. :fire: :fire:

He had went ahead of the tour group and made lunch (consisting of boiled and dried roots) for us. Told me he works 29 days a month for the military and gets paid something like $15 bucks a month.

May 10, 2005, 10:58 AM
All I can say is anyone who even stuck their head into a tunnel (in VN) is one bad-ass-tough-brass-balls MAN. I salute them all.

HI express
May 10, 2005, 11:57 AM
My buddy was a rat.
He is still in a ward trying to "assimilate" into society. He was placed there by a parade ground colonel who said that my buddy wasn't in uniform when he had just landed stateside. Poked him in the back with his swagger stick...
Buddy jumped him...reaction to all that time in the tunnels...would have zapped that colonel if other guys hadn't grabbed him.
Psch evaluation...he is still under the care of the VA hospital.

I was a Cambodia...we weren't there officially.

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