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!

25 comments


  • Dick Grover E4

    I was at Camp Carroll during TET and The Siege at Khe Sahn. I worked the radios in the command bunker for HQ Bn 4th Marines, I have vivid recollections of the 1300 round day, we took 120+ the same day, trying to keep the guns at Camp Carrol from being effective, that didn’t work!


  • Mike Burgess

    We used to go down in the trenches at night and shine a flashlite in the holes the rats use to tunnel back into the sides of the trench. If we saw a set of eyeballs looking back at us we’d squirt a blast of kerosene into the hole from a plastic bottle then shove a rifle cleaning rod with a patch doused in kerosene that had been ignited into the hole. It quite literally blew them out of the hole which resulted in them being beat to death with makeshift clubs or whatever you might have handy. Anyone who spent any time in Vietnam probably has a rat story or two under their belt! I think rabies shots were more feared then those damn gamaglobin shots ( probably spelt wrong) we use to get every four months…


  • Ken Koerner

    Kilo 4/13 here, Just down the way in Leatherneck square. 1967 We took the lead out of the 45’s w/ just alittle power, wraped select stones in cleaning wads and shot Rats; PS too dump to know we were messing up lands and groves. Shooting in a bunker….REAL LOAD!!


  • Jon

    Yup those rats were pretty big. Sleeping with a flack jacket on your head was a must. Eating C rations for so long didn’t help either.


  • mark rosheim

    Anybody remember a Marine named Ken Korkow?


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