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!



    We were in bunkers at CamLo, one of our guys was bitten by a rat. They ordered him to have rabbi shots, thirteen of them, in his belly. He had a six pack, and no belly fat. The shots were very painful, for him. When he was near the completion, of his thirteen shots. We were notified from the rear that the rats, in Vietnam, did not carry rabbies. Boy was he pissed.

  • Karen Balske

    Thank you Marines for adding more details about the rats! I had always heard about Khe Sanh and decided it was time for me to read more about it! Therefore, I bought the book “Last Stand at Khe Sahn” by Gregg Jones.I could not put the book down until I finished. As Leatherneck said, the book is a “Classic.” Now I understand what my late Marine and and his friends discussed , and yes, I heard about the rats!

  • Wilfred J Clifford

    Depending on how they were killed or wounded, blasts sometimes strips the clothing right off the body; or the Corpsmem were trying to figure out how to treat the wounds; also many of us did not wear, or have, skivvies.

  • Wilfred J Clifford

    During a typical rocket attack on the base camp, I was running toward my platoon area and as I was passing by a demolished bunker I heard a ungodly “screaming” sound; pausing, and worried shitless, I flashed my flashlight into the debirs and Christ, what a relief to see two rats running in circles along the inside edges, round and round they went, didn’t take the time to shoot them, as it turned out I had plenty to keep me busy with some seriously wounded Marines. I don’t care much (actially at all) for the mindless torture of any life.

  • Don Myers, MSgt. USMC/Retired

    I was Btry. Gunnery Sgt. of “Bastard Bravo” in Phu Bai. (Viet Nam 67-68) . I I was transferred to Lima (Lucky Lima). Some time later Bravo Btry. went to Khe Sanh. Even later Lima moved to Dong Ha. We were part of the operation that went to Khe Sanh to help or get them out. The place being surrounded had pretty much been over at that time although the artillery fire was frequent and ambushes on our supply convoy were still a real treat. Here is something I still don’t know.anything about. I’ve always wondered about and maybe someone can answer for me. One of the times our resupply convoy got hit I was not in the convoy but was watching the trucks and troops return. They got hit real hard. Air support was called in. In the returning trucks I saw several bodies in a pile in the back of one of the trucks and all of the bodies were naked. They were white skinned and black skinned. I say that because they didn’t look like NVA or VC. I’ve often wondered why were they naked. If anyone can answer this for me or if we served together any place I’d like to hear from you. I am

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