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badbob
07-15-02, 08:41 PM
Now here’s an interesting MOS that has no official designation.

Be all that you can Be, The Few, The Proud, The Tunnel Rats

Want to test your metal?
Want an adventure?
Want to scare the SH!T out of yourself?

Become a Tunnel Rat

Qualifications: CPL or below and small, weighing less than 150 lbs and no taller than 5’ 6”

Us little Grunts always got the honors!

Tunnels in Nam or tunnels anywhere in WAR zone for that matter, have to be checked out. We always end up blowing the HE!! Out of em, but, you never know, there may be documents, maps or other interesting material that can enhance our intelligence gathering mission. I guess that’s why they always picked the most intelligent Grunts to go into those tunnels!!!!!!!

Some of the tunnels we found in the Que Son Valley, actually led down into very large reinforced chambers. We once found an armory fully stocked with enough weapons and ammo for Battalion.

I was breaking in a Boot LT my last couple of months in NAM by the name of 2nd Lt Forrest Goodwin. He was with us maybe 4 weeks when we came upon a tunnel near Hill 81. We looked it over, it was narrow, about shoulder wide and appeared to go some distance from its opening, the ideal situation for the professional Tunnel Rat and I had seen a few tunnels in my day, weighing in at almost 143 lbs and no taller than 5”6”.

LT Goodwin ordered me to check it out, so I asked him for his .45 sidearm (stating that “you can’t easily go into a tunnel with an M-14”) so he pulled this rusted hunk of steel from his holster. I swear to God his pistol had not been cleaned since it was first issued to him. It was as red with rust as the red clay was on DaNang Air Base or any number of the surrounding hills.

I looked at the pistol and looked at Lt Goodwin, then took the pistol from his hand and pulled the slide back to chamber a round. One minor problem, the slide locked up half way back and wouldn’t move, so I calmly handed the pistol back to the LT Goodwin and mumbled something along the line of “If that were my sidearm, you could have me Court Marshaled.“

I then pulled a Grenade from my belt, pulled the pin, yelled “Fire in the Hole” threw in the grenade in, and ran like hell (you never know if the tunnel contains ammo, which could trigger a large explosion) so you always run like hell.

LT Goodwin never mentioned the incident again, and this episode successfully ended my career as a Tunnel Rat.

Simply put. Short Times don’t make very good Tunnel Rats!


Bob Neener
G/2/9 L/3/3
Vietnam 1965-1966
http://3rdMarines.net