Tunnel rat

Tunnel Rat

Tunnel Rats in Vietnam were men who went into the many tunnel complexes armed with only a flashlight, a pistol, and a bayonet. They were usually the shortest men in a unit because they could fit down the narrow entrances and passageways they found below.  Steve, “Shorty” Menendez was a tunnel rat in Vietnam and this painting is based on the stories he tells in his forthcoming novel, Tunnel Rat.

“Tunnel rat” depicts Shorty, pictured right, looking up a hole through which an enemy soldier just escaped. Shorty made a career as a police officer near Tampa, FL after Vietnam.

Jim Nelson Paintings
  1. Tunnel Rat
  2. The Battle of Good Friday
  3. Chaplain Tobin Giving Communion, 1967
  4. Squad Leader Ralph “John Johnson”
  5. USMC Sniper Hathcock in North Vietnam
  6. Waiting for Darkness
  7. Disappearing Trail
  8. Sergeant Sam Kay
  9. When Mech Meets Straight Leg
  10. Dear John Letter
  11. Jim Nelson