Tunnel Rats of Vietnam

Posted on: Mon 25 Sep 2017

Peter Clayton and John Hoskin were among the men who went bush with the Armoured and Infantry Corps in Vietnam, staying out for four to six weeks, operating as Infanteers plus carrying out specialist duties of mine and booby trap detection and clearing, tunnel and bunker searching and demolition, plus bomb disposal.  It was a tenuous, dangerous existence.   Of all the men in all Royal Australian Engineer Corps (RAE) units who served in Vietnam, the only men killed in action were from the Tunnel Rats. 35 of them!  A horrendous statistic.

Interviewer Helen Meyer

Vietnam 25.06.1966  “Tunnel Rat” Corporal Bill Whitfield of Liverpool NSW emerges with his torch from a Viet Cong tunnel after having searched it during Operation Enoggera.  Cpl Whitfield and other Army Engineers worked with Infantrymen of the 6th Battalion, The Royal Australian Regiment (6RAR) to search tunnels after occupation of a communist village.  Photo courtesy of the Australian War Memorial. 

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