What was a tunnel rat in the Vietnam War?

What was a tunnel rat in the Vietnam War?

Tunnel rats were usually soldiers who were physically small—able to fit inside the tight spaces of the Viet Cong tunnels. They traveled light, carrying only a pistol, a knife and a flashlight.

What was the average height of a tunnel rat in Vietnam?

Tunnel rats were generally men of smaller stature (165 cm (5 ft 5 in) and under), who were able to maneuver more comfortably in the narrow tunnels.

What percentage of tunnel rats died?

A tunnel rat checks out a possible ventilation shaft. Marrett reportedly spent weeks in the bush locating and disarming mines, “During that period 36 of us were killed and around 200 were wounded, giving us a casualty rate of 33 percent, high even by Vietnam War standards.

How long did it take to dig the tunnels in Vietnam?

History. When the War took place in Vinh Moc from 1965 to 1973, the United States Army released over 9,000 tons of bombs in the area, with a ratio of 7 tons of bombs on average per person. The locals began to dig tunnels in 1965 and finished in 1967 with simple tools in 18,000 labor days.

How many officers were fragged in Vietnam?

Savage, estimated that up to 1,017 fragging incidents may have taken place in Vietnam, causing 86 deaths and 714 injuries of U.S. military personnel, the majority officers and NCOs.

Are there still tunnels in Vietnam?

Tourist destinations The 75-mile (121 km)-long complex of tunnels at Củ Chi has been preserved by the government of Vietnam, and turned into a war memorial park with two different tunnel display sites, Ben Dinh and Ben Duoc.

What did Tunnel Rats do in the Vietnam War?

Douglas Graybill Jr., an American tunnel rat in the Vietnam War, speaking to Robert Naeye in 50 Plus Life, stated “My job was to crawl through tunnels and then blow them up…That was my job; somebody had to do it. That’s what I was trained for.” Graybill was then sent to Vietnam in 1970, two months before his 18th birthday.

Can you crawl through the tunnels in Vietnam?

Visitors can crawl through sections of the tunnels used by Vietcong troops and Tunnel Rats alike – but now, at least, there are no mines, booby traps or poisonous snakes to contend with!

What was the Vietcong tunnel system?

Cross-sectional diagram of Vietcong tunnel system used by the communist insurgents during the Vietnam War. Because the tunnels were so narrow and cramped, only men of a smaller stature could be effective as Tunnel Rats.

Who were the Tunnel Rats of Cu Chi?

In their 1985 book, The Tunnels of Cu Chi, BBC reporters Tom Mangold and John Penycate told the story of the American Tunnel Rats, a saga they learned about for the first time from the Viet Cong, who admired the Tunnel Rats as the best soldiers among the American forces. The Tunnel Rats, those who survived, did not tell their own story.