Sandy MacGregor – first ‘tunnel rat’ in Vietnam

This conversation with Vietnam veteran Sandy MacGregor.

Sandy was the first Australian soldier to explore the underground tunnels used extensively by the Viet Cong.

Sandy returned to the podcast in the episode Panel – The Vietnam War.

Listen to Sandy MacGregor tell his story here…

   

This interview was hosted by Life on the Line’s Angus Hordern and first published on 5 September 2017.

It is reproduced here with permission.

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Captain Sandy MacGregor briefs a 'tunnel rat' on Operation Enoggera.
Captain Sandy MacGregor briefs a ‘tunnel rat’ on Operation Enoggera.

 

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Posted by Brian Hartigan

Managing Editor Contact Publishing Pty Ltd PO Box 3091 Minnamurra NSW 2533 AUSTRALIA

5 thoughts on “Sandy MacGregor – first ‘tunnel rat’ in Vietnam

  • 28/02/2022 at 4:06 pm
    Permalink

    I served with the Australian Tunnel Rats in Vietnam in 1969/70 and it is important to respect our US and ARVN allies by recording these events accurately: Sandy Macgregor and his 3 Field Troop were not the first Tunnel Rats in Vietnam and were not the first Tunnel Rats to enter the tunnels in the Iron Triangle/Ho Bo Woods region where Operation Crimp would take place in January 1966

    The first documented entry into and searching of enemy tunnels in the Iron Triangle/Ho Bo Woods area was in late December 1964 by the Engineer Company, 2nd Battalion 7th Regiment of the ARVN 5th Division. This was over a year before 3 Field Troop entered tunnels in the area.
    Source: “Lessons Learned No. 45” published by the US Military Assistance Command Vietnam (MACV).

    The second documented entry into and searching of enemy tunnels in the Iron Triangle/Ho Bo Woods area was in October 1965, by the 2nd Battalion, 8th Infantry Regt of the ARVN 5th Division. This was three months before 3 Field Troop entered tunnels in the area.
    Source: “Lessons Learned No. 52” published by the US Military Assistance Command Vietnam (MACV).

    The third documented entry into and searching of enemy tunnels in the Iron Triangle/Ho Bo Woods area was in In November 1965 by the US 2nd Battalion, 16th Infantry and 1st and 2d Battalions, 18th Infantry when they located more than 70 Viet Cong tunnels.
    Source: “Engineers at War” published by the US Army – Centre of Military History.

    The fourth documented entry into and searching of enemy tunnels in the Iron Triangle/Ho Bo Woods area was in January 1966 on Operation Crimp when Australia’s 3 Field Troop entered these tunnels over a three-day period.
    Source: “No Need For Heroes” self-published by Sandy Macgregor as told to Jimmy Thompson.

    Jim Marett, President Vietnam Tunnel Rats Association

    Reply
    • 28/02/2022 at 4:21 pm
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      Hi Jim,
      Thank you for the extra information.
      I believe the claim made in the narrative above was that Sandy was the first non-Vietnamese soldier to enter the tunnels.
      Your citation obviously disputes this.
      So, I have edited that sentence to reflect your information.
      Cheers,
      Brian Hartigan
      CONTACT Editor

      Reply
  • 21/05/2021 at 2:37 pm
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    As one of Sandy McGregors original tunnel rats I can verify the fact that he was indeed the first Engineer in Vietnam to enter the tunnels and he always led from the front.
    It was his leadership that inspired his men to accomplish any task given them.
    To this day I am very proud of the fact that I was an original Tunnel Rat.

    Reply
    • 21/05/2021 at 2:46 pm
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      Thank you for your comment Alan – and thank you for your service.
      Respect – Brian Hartigan, CONTACT Editor.

      Reply
  • 14/03/2021 at 9:21 am
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    Sandy, I have a special brand of respect for you Tunnel Rats. My now late friend was one of you and sadly, he suffered until he passed. Thank you all for keeping us safe
    Mim

    Reply

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