Vietnam War Tunnel Rats

Vietnam War Tunnel Rats

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Imagine crawling your way through a seemingly never-ending series of foreign underground tunnels, armed only with a flashlight, a knife, and a small pistol.

For the Vietnam War tunnel rats, these missions formed part of their day-to-day lives.

Hundreds of fearless American and Australian soldiers were chosen by the Army specifically for this task. They were selected not only due to their short stature and svelte physiques but also due to their intrepidness and attention to detail.

Gathering enemy intelligence and disarming bombs inside these underground structures came with plenty of risks. The booby traps the North Vietnamese Army used against them have gone down in history as some of the most ingenious yet terrifying methods of defense…

Dark Docs brings you cinematic short military history documentaries featuring the greatest battles and most heroic stories of modern warfare, covering World War I, World War II, the Korean War, the Vietnam War, the Gulf War, and special forces operations in between.

As images and footage of actual events are not always available, Dark Docs sometimes utilizes similar historical images and footage for dramatic effect and soundtracks for emotional impact. We do our best to keep it as visually accurate as possible.

All content on Dark Docs is researched, produced, and presented in historical context for educational purposes. We are history enthusiasts and are not always experts in some areas, so please don’t hesitate to reach out to us with corrections, additional information, or new ideas.


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  1. My father went to alpine high school and was taught English by Mr. Fred LaSoya. Mr. LaSoya was my substitute teacher throughout high-school and until I talked about him with my dad I had no clue he was a tunnel rat. His health is declining as I heard last. I had no clue that the same man who taught English to my father was crawling through tunnels during the war.

  2. My ex-boss… the man I replaced at work 15 years ago was a Tunnel Rat. We spent many hours together. RIP Jim. I will always think and talk about you.

  3. guess this job had to be the worst nightmare for any soldier in this war…
    but imagine you are a VC and practically use those tunnels for years? even live down there? now thats another level of horror nobody really recognizes.
    dont forget that the VC also had to endure years of horror 😉

  4. I knew a guy when I was stationed on the DMZ in South Korea in 1975. His name was Joe Perez. One of the best soldiers, men I have ever met. He was a tunnel rat in Vietnam, Cu-Chi I think. He had a great disposition, funny, and stood about 5'6", but his stature was 7ft 5in. Hell of a man, never talked about it, but he prayed about it. I feel privileged to have even met him.

  5. My grandpa served in the Navy for over 30 years and served in Vietnam, Korean War and WWII. He was a tunnel rat on top of countless other dangerous missions. My grandma would tell me so many stories as a kid and I’ve never heard stories as graphic and horrible as hers. I could write a book on my grandpa because there is so much to talk about. All I know is for everything he did for this country they put his name on the MOON for it.

  6. Even with modern equipment like night vision, an IR laser and supressor on some small high capacity weapon being a tunnel rat would suck going in with 6-7 shots,a bayonet and a light would be a nightmare.

  7. Use common sense, they didn’t place venomous (not poisonous) animals in the tunnels as that would endanger them as much as anyone. The animals just invited themselves in as they do all over the world into caves holes and tunnels.

  8. What I heard is that the Anzac s were first to check the tunnels out and once all the information they got the us go involved to and bang ,away they go to. Training was in OS's and used bye us ,NZ and the USA to