Ah... Yes! The real problem I had was that the dates on the C-Rats were from the Korean War [ early 1950's]--but I was in Vietnam from 1968-70. The fruit cocktail was OK, the cheese fine. But the spaghetti was only good for attaching to the outer 'clips' of my M-60 machine guns as a 'feeder tray' to help convey the belt ammo into the weapon... LOL. The cigarettes was always stale and the bread was moldy. Still, if you were hungry enough, you ate the food. Our pilots who were too lazy [but I heard that they had to pay for their C-Rations..] to take their own 'C-Rats' boxes in the early morning-- later begged some food from me, the lowly Sp/4 door gunner -Helicopter Aviation in the 'Nam. What a rush!
And you think YOU civilians have it rough now ?? Ha! Just wait for one more year to roll by when obama has finished destroying America as we know it.
I was raised on a farm with my 4 siblings by a Navy dad who was very strict about NEVER wasting food--that it was a serious sin, and I was never picky nor spoiled. In Basic Training, at Fort Campbell, KY, we had ONE MINUTE to eat all of our respective meals at a mess hall that could only take a few squads at a time. We all learned to eat fast, or dump it in the outside garbage cans with a Drill Sargent watching us like a hawk.
Commercially prepared meals were used in the field and at times when hot meals were not available. These meals came in a case containing 12 meals. Each meal was in it's own cardboard box, which contained the individual items sealed in cans. A can opener (called both a "John Wayne" or a "P-38") was needed to open the cans. The accessory pack with each meal was sealed in a foil pouch.
There were 4 choices of meat in each B group. Because there were several "vintages" of C’s issued to the Marines in Vietnam, more than 4 items may be listed in the B groups as well as the brands of cigarettes included in the accessory pack.
Ham and Eggs, Chopped
Candy Disc, Chocolate
Beans and Wieners
Spaghetti and Meatballs
Beefsteak, Potatoes and Gravy
Ham and Lima Beans
Meatballs and Beans
Cheese Spread, Processed
Chicken and Noodles
Cocoa Beverage Powder
If you can remember any of the others or what was with each individual meal please e-mail me and I will update the list.
- Obtain the B (large, dry) can from the C-ration meal
- Follow steps 2 thru 4 in How to Heat a C-Ration Meal above.
How to make a C-Ration Coffee Cup
Deluxe (reusable) Version*
- Remove the top of the can completely.
- Obtain 2 lengths of the bailing wire off of the C-Ration case.
- Obtain a solid, sturdy stick about 4 inches long.
- Notch out a groove around the stick near both ends.
- Wrap each length of wire around both top & bottom ends of the can and twist the wire around itself leaving enough twisted wire to twist around the grooves in both ends of the stick 1 inch from the can creating a very nice handle.
- Trim off excess wire.