Khe Sanh Rats

By: Doug Lennon

This story is for all the Marines that served at the Seige of Khe Sanh. As you can remember there was a lot of boredom, if you weren’t filling sand bags with that nice red clay or going on water runs and moving the ammo dumps around so the NVA could not just fire and knock them out. I’m sure you all remember the rat problem we had.

One day our guys decided to have some fun. We made a ring of fire using kerosene made some traps to catch some rats. Once we caught them we would douse them with the kerosene and throw them into the ring of fire. The other thing is at night in our underground bunkers we would put some cheese and crackers from our tasty C-Rations in the middle of floor, then wait to hear for the rats and when there was one moving around one of us would turn on the flash light and shine on it. The rest of us jar heads would throw our K-bars at the rats. You all remember we were more afraid of getting bit by a rat than being hit with incoming.

I can remember walking guard duty one night and went over by the garbage hole that the engineers would dig and I shined my flash light down there, and I seen rats as big as cats. So ending this story there are many memories to share such as where were you the day we got hit with 1300 incoming rounds. I also enjoyed playing back ally bridge for pennies to pass the time away. I was an artillery fire direction control man with the 13th Marines

Sgt Grit wants to hear from you! Leave your comments below or submit your own story!

Sgt Grit wants to hear from you! Leave your comments below or submit your own story!


  • Roger Cox

    I never saw rats, but then I was never inside the wire. I don’t know whether or not that was the better place to be. Life was very hard outside the wire. Lima 3 / 4

  • Bill T

    We were standing lines at Vandergrift and I got attacked one night by one of those monsters as I was sleeping. Damn thing tried to chew my finger off. In the morning I went to sick bay and was told I would have to take the rabies shots. They gave me one every day for two weeks and then had me come back and take one once a week for two weeks. Sixteen shots in all. The syringe was very small but they were given in my belly in the area around my naval just under the skin and I remember they were very painful. Several years later I was at the doctor’s office and I told them I had taken the rabies shots while I was in Vietnam. The doctor told me that rats do not carry rabies and the shots were unnecessary. So, as it turned out, I took all those shots for nothing. The life of a Marine, right?

  • Gary Ross

    Arrived Khe Sanh day before Tet 1968. All hell busted out at 0200/0300 next a.m. That started the “fun times” for 77 days. Yes, I remember the rats too, damn nasty little M.F.’s. If the VC or NVA didn’t get ya, the 4 legged furry vermin just might. Always something to worry about. I was w/F/2nd/26th. Would like to hear from anyone else from Fox company or Khe Sanh. Don’t do Facebook or any other. Semper Fi !!

  • Sgt Angelo J Manos

    Scuttlebutt had it that the reason Khe Sanh was shut down was the fear of Bubonic Plague would breakout

  • DuWayne K. Mueller

    To this day I can not stand the smell of corn beef hash. While in Khe Sanh They would ship us #10 cans of corn beef hash, Warfarin and loads of little wax papers to to put out for bait. Also the Air Force guys in there bunker took out the projectiles for the M16 shells, melted wax to for the projectiles to shoot them at night.

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