Bunkers at C-1 and Con Thien and Hand-to-Hand Combat with Rats
By Charles Adams
All the bunkers on C-1 were constructed with large corrugated steel drainage pipe. On top of the pipe there was earth, sandbags, PSP and rubber tarps to keep the rain and the incoming out. We all liked our bunkers on C-1 compared to "holes" we lived in on A-4 (Con Thien). The rats and roaches of C-1 were not as large as they were on A-4. I remember we had a lot of hand-to-hand battles with the rats in the bunkers trying to get to our hoarded and beloved C-rations.
The Rat Patrol at C-2 - By Paul Lanza
At C-2 our living bunker was right next to the gun pit. One of the exits was pointed toward the gun pit, which made it easy to get from the bunker to the gun when a fire mission came up. All you had to do was run up the stairs and go for it. One of the problems this caused was that every time it rained, water would pour down the steps and into the bunker. And with the rain came the rats. So to avoid getting chewed on at night, we would take turns sitting rat guard. What we would do was remove the bullet slug from the M-16 round. And do you guys remember that brown colored soap that came in big blocks. Well we would fill up the cartridge with the soap, then sit and wait for the rats to start moving around. We when heard them, we would shine a flashlight on the bastards, and if you were quick enough, you could shoot the nasty things. We would then hang them up on the support beam to see who could get the most rats. Which just reminded me about how the crew of "Birth Control" managed to get a new bunker. If anyone from Bravo Battery was there at the same time I am sure that they should remember this one. One of the problems with sitting rat guard was that sometimes you only wounded a rat. That meant it would run off and die somewhere else. Well that happened one night. A few days later we could smell the thing decomposing behind the walls of the bunker. Well someone got the bright idea that they could burn it out and get rid of the smell. Well, whoever it was, started a fire, and it got out of control. Needless to say the bunker burned for almost a week if I remember right. And the problem was we couldn't go back into it because ammunition kept cooking off. Finally the fire went out, and Hun 2 got the engineers to dig us a new bunker.
More on the Rat Patrol - By Marty Hauser
I remember those rat patrols. I was on C2 in the maintenance bunker. Those rats weren't the little brown ones ether, they were the large black ones. It almost seemed like if you didn't hit them, they would take the weapon away from you and use it on you. I also remember the bunker burning and the new one being built. We had somewhat the same thing happen to us. But the rat jumped into a bucket of water and drowned. And it took us a couple days to figure out where the smell was coming from. And when we did the damn thing looked like a balloon, and was all mushy.
Rat control at Camp Carroll - By Al Fulton
The A battery troops would dig holes in the rat runs and bury the big rectangular ammo cans half full of water. When the vermin dropped in, they would swim for a while and then start hollering before they ran out of energy and slowly drown. I kind of supported the soap rounds even on the perimeter because they would not tear up the wire.
In the officers sleeping quarters, we just paid the rent to -----( I am sorry, I cannot remember the rat's name) in cigarettes and peanut butter, and he left us to sleep peacefully. Sometimes, in his rummaging, he would knock things over and I would wake with a start. I could sleep through a charge three mission (maximum charge on 175mm), but that little s*** (the rat) could wake me with only the pitter-patter of his little paws. Just who the hell was I most afraid of?
The Rats Won in the Long Run - By Bill Davenport
Even with all of our home made birth control for rats in the end they won. When it's all over there will be nothing left but rats and roaches.
Rats in My Hair (Literally) - By Art Umland
Rats are one of my memories of living at Camp JJ Carroll. Mosquito netting was wrapped around the bunk, but along the back wall the netting did not go all of the way to the bed. Apparently the rat followed a 2x6 which angled down the back wall for bracing and got past the netting. While sleeping one night I awoke to feel something scrapping the top of my head! I am not sure if it was teeth or feet, but I certainly did jump. No physical damage was done, but I never slept quite as well after that incident.
And my kids wonder why I am missing hair off the top of my head!
Cod Sack Storey - By Lee Snipes
Yes, we also had rats at A Battery when we were at C-2 in 70-71. Big ones! I had my cot down in one of the bunkers, and was asleep in my OD green Army mummy bag one night when I felt something nudging me inside my sleeping bag. I didn't wake up immediately, but when it nudged me again, I began to take notice. The bad part about it, was the "nudging" feeling was right between my legs directly below my cod sack. You get the picture. At that point I became fully awake, but could not decide what to do - if I moved I was afraid that whatever it was would bite me, but I also knew I could not lay there and do nothing. My sleeping bag was unzipped, so I finally threw it open and the rat took off without it biting me. I had a flashlight next to me and was able to see this giant 'King Kong' size field rat leaving my bunker.
The next day, I told the medic about it, and he gave me the biggest rat trap I had ever seen. Of course I had no bait, except for a PSP pack with some Life Saver candy in it. I tied a Life Saver to it with a PSP boot lace, and set this giant trap next to my cot.
About 3 am the next morning I heard the trap slam shut, and sure enough, there was my "cod sack sleeping" friend with his neck broken. We took a picture of the rat the next day - I laid him next to my size 9 boot, and he was the same length as my boot - not counting his tail.
I don't remember too many things about VN (thank you Lord), but I do remember "The Cod Sack Storey".
X-Rated Rats Invade C-Rats - By Woody Fountain
I also remember the rats at Camp Carroll. I watched one carry out nearly everything in a C-Rats (C-Rations - pun intended) pack. Told everybody, I was leaving if he came back for the P-38. We use to wire a TA-312 to the rat cages and lure them into it and then crank the old phone and they would go crazy.