Summary of Rat Six

Based on a true story Rat Six tells the story of Clifford Price who like hundreds of thousands of other young men in the 1960s was drafted into the United States Army and served in Vietnam. Price was from Indiana where he was a college student and had returned from a year studying abroad in Denmark. He came from a long line of soldiers; his two grandfathers serving in the First World War and his father in the Second. Vietnam proved to be his turn to fight.

The Tunnel Rats were some of the most courageous soldiers to fight in Vietnam. All were volunteers, slightly built, cunning, rebellious, trained in demolitions and dedicated to ferreting out the enemy below. In the beginning of the war entering a tunnel with only a flashlight and a pistol was almost suicidal. But over time the Army learned to successfully navigate the underground labyrinths, retrieve vital intelligence and destroy the tunnels.

The most organized of the tunnel rat teams in Vietnam was that of the First Infantry Division’s First Engineer Battalion. The team was lead almost from the beginning by Sergeant Robert Bateman, a crusty, hardnosed noncommissioned officer from New Jersey. He was dubbed “Batman” by his men and his reputation was far and wide and he became more famous among the enemy, of whom he had killed many, than among other warriors in the Army. “Batman” was on the Viet Cong’s “10 most wanted list” which included the most prominent generals and not one other noncommissioned officer.

Lieutenant Price was put in charge of the team and the conflict with Batman was immediate. Although there was no rank underground Rat Six and Batman slowly built a mutual trust and the teams exploits and reputation grew even more. Harrowing missions and close calls engulfed the two men and their team. The tunnels were the setting and the enemy inside was just as fearsome as the men who pursued them.

After four months of working together Batman was sent home after his fourth reenlistment for Vietnam was denied. Suddenly Price was alone and vulnerable. The fear became unsurmountable climaxing on his last mission.

Rat Six tells one of the most important yet little known stories of Lieutenant Clifford Price and his men. They were known as the Tunnel Rats and their courageous exploits during the War in Vietnam are breathtaking and extraordinary.

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