C-Rations In Vietnam - It beats dirt, but just barely | Eastern North Carolina Now

Below are some pictures from the Charlie Company Website. This was the field meals as delivered by helicopter in case quantity. Usually the case was opened (sometimes using the old M16 prong flash suppressor as shown on left below put over wire and twist until broken) and then turned upside down


   I wrote this article as part of my Vietnam diary to explain the meals we ate while in the field.  Ted McDonald and I often exchange emails about old times and other memory droppings.  He asked what we ate and I sent him this article.  At his request, I offer it here for those who ever wondered what the food was like on that cruise in 1968.  Bobby Tony

   Below are some pictures from the Charlie Company 1st Battalion, 22nd Infantry Regiment, 4th Infantry Division website. This was the field meals as delivered by helicopter in case quantity.  Usually the case was opened (sometimes using the old M16 prong flash suppressor as shown on left below – put over wire and twist until broken) and then turned upside down.

Here is a case of C-Rations unopened but with the wire removed

   That would hide the Label so you could not pick and choose favorite meals.  Each soldier would draw one meal or more depending on when the expected next resupply copter was scheduled.


    Most Hated:   Ham and Eggs, Ham and Lima Beans, Boned Chicken

   Most liked:  Beans and wieners, Beef Steak, boned chicken

   Favorite dessert: Pecan roll, Date nut, pecan roll, pound cake, pretty much all of them.

   Favorite Fruit:  Peaches, pears

 Each case would include several P38 personal can opener.

Normally turned over to hide labels.

Here is a single meal in box

Here is a B-1 Unit as it looks in individual box pack.

Accessory pack: sugar, Creamer, Coffee, Sugar, Toilet paper, Chewing gum, matches, 4 pack cigaretts, Plastic spoon.


Here is a typical meal with labeled contents 

Above Pictures from Charlie Company site

   If a unit was sufficient size and close to a base camp sometimes a hot meal would be flown out on copters. This was usually when a temporary laager site was being constructed for longer than one night stay. 

   Generally we ate from the can cold or at 50-70 F temperature.  I never saw any but there was some heat tablets that you could light and hold can over it.  We never built a fire as it was usually forbidden. I also never saw a GI cook food on the barrel of a rifle or M60 but I am sure it happened. Most of the mech units could heat food on the engine of the  APC. The typical way for Grunts to heat a meal was to break down a claymore mine which contained a pound or so of C4 plastic explosives.  C4 looks and feels like play dough but will burn at extremely high temperature. You could roll a small ball and open can partially. Hold the can over the small ball of C4 by the lid and light the C4.  It burns extremely fast and hot quickly heating up the contents. It is also very expensive form of heating a meal, but a GI has got to do what a GI has to do. 

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( August 14th, 2016 @ 7:35 pm )
One of the eerie things about the boonies, is that you never saw any lights on the horizon. For the most part there was no electricity except in the cities. It would get so dark you could not actually see your hand in front of your face. That is when every sound is magnified in your imagination. It is as close as I could imagine to being blind. Without a full moon you could see the B52 tracing across the sky at night. Naturally, I have a funny story about my buddy Dale pulling guard duty facing the wrong way because of the dark.
( August 13th, 2016 @ 8:25 pm )
Just got back from a neighborhood Get together. One of the guys is a Commander in the Navy and a current Submariner. I ask him about the food between carrier and sub. He says the carriers had good food because of the large storage areas, but subs had much better food because everyone ate the same meals and the groups were much smaller due to limited dining space. The cooks on a sub were better Chefs than the carrier. It seems that the inter unit rivalry is still alive and well in our military.

During the discussion I ask him about which movie was the most realistic about Submarine duty. Not Red October, Not Crimson Tide. And the answer is..

Down Periscope
( August 13th, 2016 @ 4:55 pm )
No camp fire at night. Scary.
( August 13th, 2016 @ 4:35 pm )
I can't take credit for the images but I am told that Old C-Rations are sold on Ebay for collectors and there may even be some reproduction meals for sale. I wonder if they have to have the ingredients on the label. Ain't this a great country or what? I understand that Submariners also ate well until the storage space was depleted.

( August 13th, 2016 @ 4:29 pm )
The Carrier had great food. Friday Specials included Steak or Pizza night.
( August 13th, 2016 @ 2:43 pm )
Informative post B.T.

Fantastic images.

Fort Dobbs Linked N.C. To First 'world War' Vietnam War, War, Small History, In the Past, Body & Soul Nap Time Anyone?


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