Quick Answer: What was a tunnel rat in Vietnam?

During the Vietnam War, “tunnel rat” became an unofficial specialty for volunteer combat engineers and infantrymen from the Australian Army and the U.S. Army who cleared and destroyed enemy tunnel complexes. Their motto was the tongue-in-cheek Latin phrase Non Gratus Anus Rodentum (“not worth a rat’s ass”).

What was the life expectancy of a tunnel rat in Vietnam?

The life expectancy of a tunnel rat is about two seconds.” Garza described the underground tunnels as treacherous. “You would go into a hole and come out 10 or 15 miles away. There were houses down there and hospitals,” Garza noted.

What was it like being a tunnel rat in Vietnam?

The tunnels could collapse, could be booby trapped or flooded; you could become lost or trapped. Booby traps could be sharpened sticks, snakes, scorpions or poisoned gas. Tunnel rats often risked not wearing a gas mask as they restricted vision, hearing and breathing.

What was death rate of tunnel rats?

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.

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Who is the most decorated soldier of the Vietnam War?

He earned 38 military decorations during his career, and has been called the most decorated U.S. soldier of the Vietnam War.

Jorge Otero Barreto
Years of service 1959–1970
Rank Sergeant First Class
Unit 101st Airborne 25th Infantry 82nd Airborne 173rd Airborne Brigade Combat Team
Battles/wars Vietnam War ( WIA )

How many helicopters did the US lose in the Vietnam War?

In total, the United States military lost in Vietnam almost 10,000 aircraft, helicopters and UAVs (3,744 planes, 5,607 helicopters and 578 UAVs ). The Republic of Vietnam lost 1,018 aircraft and helicopters from January 1964 to September 1973.

What did tunnel rats do?

The tunnel rats were American, Australian, New Zealander, and South Vietnamese soldiers who performed underground search and destroy missions during the Vietnam War.

What was the job of the tunnel rat?

”The Tunnel Rats were combat engineers,” Mangold says. ”They had to be small and thin, volunteers, and highly skilled at hand-to-hand combat. The job was to kill, capture or entomb Viet Cong with explosives. The favored weapon was a small-caliber revolver.

Why did tunnel rats use revolvers?

Because they weren’t as loud, didn’t produce as much flash, and were more resistant to being dragged through the muddy tunnels cut into the Vietnam jungle than M1911s, . 38 revolvers were most prized among tunnel rats, who also used cut-down M1 Carbines, if possible.

Do Tunnel Rats still exist?

Today, some of the tunnels used in the war still exist, preserved and maintained by the Vietnamese government. 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!

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Are there still tunnels in Vietnam?

Now part of a Vietnam War memorial park in Ho Chi Minh City (formerly Saigon), the Cu Chi tunnels have become a popular tourist attraction.

What did the Navy do during Vietnam?

American naval operations in the Vietnam War had multiple goals during the period of 1965 to 1973, but most operations can be classified as aerial bombing and surveillance, surface interdiction of supplies along the coast and inland waterways, gunfire support, logistical support, military advising, and humanitarian …

What were spider holes in Vietnam?

“Spider hole,” the phrase used to describe Hussein’s hiding place, is a term from the Vietnam War. The Viet Cong created networks of tunnels with well-camouflaged holes. When fighting began, they could pop out of these holes or disappear into them.

What were sappers in Vietnam?

The Naval Sapper was responsible for attacking shipping, bridges, and bases located near waterways. The Field Sapper conducted operations against deployed US and South Vietnamese troops, trained other communist troops as sappers, and gave the communist leadership an elite force for lightning raids.

Did the Marines have tunnel rats?

American “tunnel rats” were combat engineers on underground search and destroy missions — small, thin and highly skilled in hand-to-hand combat, armed only with flashlights, knives and pistols.