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The Alphabet Soup of Army Rations

Have you ever wondered what the difference is between C-Rations and K-Rations? During WWII, US military officials had to find a way to feed the troops when they weren’t near a mess hall. Rations were prepackaged meals, easy to prepare, and intended to be eaten in the field. The Unit History of the 63rd Infantry Division breaks down some of the different types of rations that fueled troops and helped Allies win the war. 

American journalist Ernie Pyle eating C-Rations

A-Ration: A-rations were the most preferred by US fighting forces and consisted of fresh, refrigerated, or frozen foods. The meals were prepared in kitchens or field kitchens and generally served in permanent dining halls.

B-Ration: B-Rations were prepared by trained cooks in a field kitchen while on the move. Ingredients consisted of canned and dehydrated foods that did not require refrigeration. Thus, the food could be kept in a truck or wagon for months without spoiling.

C-Ration: Often called C-Rats, these rations were designed for individual combat troops and consisted of precooked food in tinplate cans that opened with a key. Initially, officials calculated that C-Rations would only be consumed for no more than three days at a time and produced just three varieties. As fighting forces relied more on C-Rations, they quickly tired from the lack of variety, and the military eventually expanded the offerings. C-Rations could be eaten cold but tasted better heated and included an entrée, such as pork and beans, or spaghetti and meat sauce. They also contained biscuits or crackers, gum or candy, and cigarettes.

Soldiers load trucks with rations 1944

D-Ration: The D-Ration was a heat-resistant, fortified chocolate bar intended to provide high energy in a small package that soldiers could carry in a pocket. Formulated with help from Hershey Food Corporation, the 1,800 calorie D-Ration contained concentrated chocolate, vitamins, and other ingredients meant to sustain a soldier during an emergency. It did not taste appealing, preventing soldiers from nibbling on the bar unless necessary.


K-Ration: Originally developed for paratroopers by a University of Minnesota physiologist Ancel Keys, the K-Ration had lightweight but durable packaging. Three K-Ration meals provided 2,830 calories but proved inadequate for some soldiers who required more calories per day based upon their strenuous output. A sample supper ration included a meat product, biscuits, a chocolate bar or caramels, bouillon, coffee, sugar, wooden spoon, cigarettes, chewing gum, and a packet of toilet paper.

In addition to the rations above, the military had additional field rations and modified existing rations throughout the war. What stories have you heard about WWII military rations? Search Fold3® to learn more about military rations and see our complete WWII records collection.


  1. William Martin says:

    My father, who fought from Normandy to Germany with the 28th infantry division, received two Bronze, one Silver Star and the French Croix de Guerre with Palm. But, he became a war casualty at age 74 from his addiction to the Lucky Strikes packaged in his C-rations. He could never stop.

    • James Doran says:

      Same story here: my dad was in 102nd InfDiv, BronzeStar, Purple Heart, Normandy to Torgau. Got hooked on cigs, said to him they meant warm, dry, not being shot at. Died of cancer at 67. RIP Dad.

    • Rich says:

      Are you going to blame his addiction to cigarettes on uncle Sam. Don’t you think we are responsible for our own actions. Sorry to hear about your

    • George says:

      I am actually in the camp that blames cigarette/tobacco addiction to their experience in the military. My father enlisted during WWII and served for nearly 30 yrs. As a teenaged soldier he began smoking, and couldn’t stop until his 70s when he died of the resulting cancers. From our childhood all of us brats recall how he smoked 3-4 packs a day! When the last of the non-filtered cigs were available he simply removed the filters.

      I too discovered how easy it was to get started when I went in during the late 60s. Cigs were $0.11 a pack, $1.10 a carton! I was the only one in my family who did not ultimately begin smoking, but if I had wanted to begin … Kudos to the government for ending the discount programs.

    • Timothy John Gaffney says:

      My father to was there in Germany. He was a royal Canadian engineer. He was wounded one moth before the end of the war. He went on to serve in Korea where they dusted then with over 100 different chemicals. He died as a result from cancer in 1976 but our government’s still deny they were responsible. Your father may not have died because of smoking it was and still is a great excuse to blame death on.
      I have all the documentation now of what happened to my father.

    • Steve K says:

      Thanks for your dad’s service and sorry for your loss.

  2. Herbert C King Jr says:

    Was in Alaska at Eielson AFB and the galley went down in the Fire House and we were sing WW2 K Rats for about 4 days till the parts needed came up from the lower 48. Opened multiple cans and cooked together over a portable stove in the truck bays. Kept us going

    • Patt Nagle says:

      My dad was an Army cook in Alaska during WWll. Not sure which base he was at. Said it was worse than Okinawa, where he actually was MIA for 3 days while lost in the jungle with another guy. Reason was, he said many guys had real mental challenges dealing with the weather, white outs etc. Some had complete breakdowns that he never saw while overseas. I have many photos from his time in Alaska. Sure wish he was still here.. 🙁

    • Steve K says:

      Thanks for your dad’s service and sorry for your loss.

  3. Mick Gavin says:


  4. Richard Moriarty says:

    You didn’t mention MREs, or Meals Ready to Eat, known in the field as Meals Resistant to Excretion.

    • Boris says:

      Read the thread; it’s about WORLD WAR II rations.

    • Mike Tierney says:

      Irrelevant to the article but I was amazed when we received LRRP rations in VN. Freeze dried food was light weight, easy to make with a little water and C4 supplied heat.
      Only good things in C rations was the fruit cocktail and pound cake. We received boxes with regular cigarettes. Didn’t need the dried out things in C rations.

    • Jim Mathison says:

      That box was called a “sundry pack,” and contained 10 carton of cigarettes, writing paper, and a lot of other things. I got hooked on the M&Ms.

  5. Larry W Mayes says:

    Since my memories of military life goes back into the 1940s with my late Army Dad, I remember from colorful dialog his raves about army life and those C and K rations. My first thoughts on A-Rations were that they were for the horses and mules. Glad that only some were mules!

  6. john lallemand says:


    • LeeAnn Cangelose says:

      It’s so funny you said that. I was just telling my husband how my dad dragged about a dozen little army green boxes of K Rations from house to house whenever we moved from the 50’s to the 70’s ( I’m thinking to be ready for the bombs to drop). Either he or my mom decided it was time to part with those boxes and of course curiosity got us all and we opened them. And yes, 30 yrs later, they were still good, the entrees, chocolate and cigarettes. Even those crackers. We tasted the hash in a can, crackers and chocolate (Hershey), My parents smoked the cigs. I was 12 then, 66 now.

    • Robert D Phillips says:

      I know that we had them in 1960-62, well after wwII, my memories of them was the chocolate that you were to put in your canteen cup with hot water (if you had it)
      They were so hard that we used the butt of our M1 to break them up.

    • Lynnette Shimmin,BSN RN CLNC says:

      When my former husband was deployed in 1981, I couldn’t go because I was pregnant, the wonderful Navy screwed up our allotment checks and we had zero income coming home for over 6 weeks. I called my childhood friend’s Dad who was the Master Chief of the Regiment who within his had a deuce and a half pull up to my apartment with a butt load of C-Rats that would have lasted me a good 6 weeks. My allotment checks were back on track within a week and I donated the unused C-Rats. I gotta admit, I actually liked them…LOL But the grayish scrambled eggs were a little off-putting. They tasted great (with a little seasoning even better).

  7. Tony Martin says:

    No mention of soya links – a marmite food for those who were issued them. Ersatz sausages which are listed in the limited rations issued to RN Motor Launches in the Med & Aegean & other theatres in WW2.

  8. Sharon Troutman Harvey says:

    As an Army Brat, 49-54, 57-60 in Germany, we were required to keep blankets and huge boxes of K and C rations in the trunk of our car just in case the balloon went up and Russians came through the Fulda Gap. We used to take them on camping trips. The bread and bacon were delicious. We had evacuation practices a few times a year. Once in Kassel, the COL called an exercise on Sunday, which we never did. So we’re all in lines headed for the Autobahn, but we had to turn back because all the Germans in Kassel thought the Russians were coming. They knew it wouldn’t be an exercise on Sunday! Had to be real.

    • Jim Mathison says:

      I was stationed in Germany in the early sixties, and some of the old timers still talked about incidents such as you mentioned. The policy became that there would be no NEO(non-combatent evacuation order) practices, because of the reaction by the Germans. They still required C Rations and blankets in the cars, though.

    • Georgia Halldow Printup says:

      Your comment brought back many memories for me. I was born in late 1944 while my father was already fighting in the major battles [ Aachen, Hurtgen Forest, the Bulge, etc.] He enlisted in 1940 and then remained in the Army until 1960 when he retired. As kids, we sampled C rations when we camped in the backyard of our base housing. We also participated in evacuations – wish I still had my dogtag from then! As the years passed, I came to realize how significantly my years as an Army Brat influenced me in many different ways. I wouldn’t have had it any other way!

    • Marcus Muth says:

      Faint memories of Turkey loaf. I thought the pound cake was great.
      One time were eating. C rations or B rations (I guess) which seemed like forever.
      Mess sergeant was called to pick up a “forced issue”. Turns out it was fresh A type rations. All chicken. Wow! It was great. But then we had so much of it day after day we were ready to go back to Cs. Cookie was a great guy. Always trying something different to please the troops. He just ran out of ideas with the chicken. So he had an idea to make some “bug juice”. We had plenty of coffee and water and cokes but nothing to have with a meal, say.
      For some reason he had a fair sized lot of cherry jelly. He boiled a huge pot of water and dumped in the jelly. He let it cool, packed some ice around the pot and served it to the troops at evening mess. It was unbelievably bad. Troops would go thru the chow line, take one sip, and toss it out. Everyone just had to try it. We had a big puddle at the end of the line.

  9. Ann Smith says:

    My father was in the 32nd Infantry as they worked their way from Australia to the Philippines during WWII. Not sure which rations he had, but Spam was never in our cupboards! I remember having some toy ration kits that we played “army” with growing up in the 50’s. They had crackers, chocolate and candy cigarettes. Couldn’t quite get what my dad was complaining about!

    • George Smith says:

      My grandfather spent 2 years in the trenches in WW1 with the Canadian Army. For him it was canned corned beef he would never eat.

  10. Russ Reelfs says:

    What about LRRP Rations?

  11. Elizabeth Ann Etherton says:

    At the outset, Thanks to all who served!! My grandfather, grand uncles, cousins served in WW ll , only person I heard talk of anything was my grand uncle Hubert Connett. He said, “We didn’t like what we had to do, but we got it done”. He passed away a few years back and I wish I could have learned more from him. R.I.P uncle Hubert. I love nostalgia. Thanks for the history lesson on the rations.

  12. C. Heinsdorf says:

    My dad was a sergeant in the Army during WWII. He was older, so never left the States. When I was a child in the ‘fifties, he used to talk about SOS. SOS was creamed corned beef on toast, commonly referred to as “s*** on a shingle.”

    • James Sterling says:

      Yep, my Dad was in the 101st Airborne at the Battle of the Bulge and he remarked often about $**t On A Shingle and K rations.

    • Sgt John Townsend says:

      We were served SOS at Fort Bragg for Breakfast – it was great. I grew up with it so I was used to it. When POOR you ate what was available. You did not complain about food in my house, or you went hungry. What was on the table was what there was for meals.

    • Mark P says:

      My father in law was in Vietnam and referred to that the same way.

    • William Nolan says:

      Been there, done that. With the right amount of salt and pepper, great. But often screwed up. Often served for breakfast in the ’50s mess halls.

    • Doughboy says:

      I was in the Air Force ’77 – ’83, and SOS was a staple in the chow halls every morning. Instead of corned beef, it seems they made it with crumbled sausage in the gravy. I would MUCH prefer it that way, as I never cared for corned beef.
      When we deployed (I was Combat Communications, so that was often), we carried the Air Force equivalent of Cs: “In-Flight Rations”. I don’t recall the production date, but I’d bet those would last quite a while. I think I was the only guy on my crew that actually LIKED them. I guess being a kid of the 50s and frequenting the Army & Navy Surplus stores every Saturday, I’d gotten accustom to the C Rations I used to buy there. In the late 1950s those were overflowing with WW2 and Korean War surplus.

  13. CAPT LEE R LANCE USN (Ret) says:

    When I was a Boy Scout, our Scoutmaster was also the CO of the local Army Reserve Armory. We got to sample C-Rats from time to time. On one “survival hike” that began on a Friday nit and ended on Sunday afternoon, we covered 25 miles and the only food items we got were the coffee and tea rations out the packages. Worst powdered coffee that I ever drank…but I guess it was better than nothing! At least it covered the flavor of halizone water purification tablets…LOL!

  14. Bill Ripley says:

    I worked in the summer of 1956 for the U S Forest Service and we ate K rations while working fires.

  15. Bruce says:

    My dad was in CIA and when we lived on base we would sometimes take K or C rations with us when we went hunting. That was in mid to late 70’s. I thought back then they were good especially the chocolate bar. Dad said the rations were left over from WWII.

  16. Daniel E Smith says:

    When I was a submarine officer in the 70s, we still had k-rations in our lifeboats. Our CO told us to inventory them and get rid of anything that seemed ridiculously old. The chocolate was okay, and the cigarettes (Lucky Strikes in the wartime green package) were still harsh but smokable. I don’t think we risked anything else.

  17. hank says:

    In 1969 at Ft Lewis Wa we ate c’s for a couple of meals while doing field training. Worst ones were the eggs and whatever then the lima beans and again whatever. Best were the pork patties followed up by the john wayne bars and the pound cake. Some had fruits like peaches or pears. Forget what the code was for the better ones which mainly was meat and cracker,
    the spaghetti ones were somewhat ok. Used to mix mosquito repellent with the Pnut butter to make a field stove for heating stuff up.
    So C’s were around for a long time for active duty folks. Was curious about the MRE’s that were coming out but never saw one until the late 80’s early 90’s

    Later we had them in the 70’s for field exercises. Saw more than a few UH-1 with the beanie- weinies all over the tail boom from when they were stuck in the tailpipe to heat up and someone forgot to poke a hole in the lid!

  18. OD351 says:

    In the US Army from 1970 to 1994. The A rations of course were the best, although both the Meal, Combat, Individual rations, commonly called ‘C rations’ because they were packaged similarly to the older C Rations, and the Meals Ready to Eat (MREs) were actually very good. Of course, people had their favorites. The newer ‘C rats’ also had a wider menu selection with a main menu item, canned dessert either cake or fruit, and usually with a small tin of crackers and a tin of cheese or peanut butter spread. Each C rat box (3.5 x 6.5 approx) also contained a spoon and a brown foul packet with packets of instant coffee, creamer, sugar packet, salt, chewing gum, 4 cigarette pack (my memory is Marlboro, Winstons, LuckyStrike, or Newport), matches, toilet paper(Meal, Combat, Individual).

  19. Donnie Bowerman says:

    Twenty-five years after the end of WW2, I was eating leftover surplus C-rats in the Navy, usually during times of General Quarters. With the notable exception of tenders, the ages-old notion is that the larger the ship, the worse the food…quantity v. quality. My last ship was an aircraft carrier. So, I actually looked forward to C-rats as a reprieve from mess deck food and found it quite tasty, even if it was more than a quarter of a century old!!!

  20. B L Morris says:

    I served in the Military Police in Germany in an Armoured Brigade in the mid 1960’s and we were called to a farm on the Luneburgh Heide, the farmer took us to a field of potato plants of which two rows of the plants had wilted, the farmer then plunged his hand into the soil and pulled out large tins of British Army potatoes. As we found out later the Black Watch had stolen his fresh potatoes but kindly left him the army ration tinned variety. I was also in Berlin and we were given tinned soup which had a wartime date on it and you pulled a ring on the top and the soup was heated by a phosphorous filled tube in the centre. Never saw them again.

  21. Thomas Wildes says:

    We were eating C rations packaged during the Korean War, 1952 to be specific during the mid 70s.

    • GaryM says:

      Ditto, I was in an Air Force mobile radar Squadron in Germany, 1976-77. We also ate Korean War Packaged Rations in the Field.

  22. John throssell says:

    In 1981 we had a can of corned beef (called corned dog) for 9 O clockers in our HM ship CPOs mess marked “Submarine Emergency Supply 1943”. It was the tastiest corned dog I have ever tasted, sealed in a metal container with a key attached weighing approx 10lb

  23. Ed N says:

    During infantry training in the Vietnam war era, we were eating C rations that we assumed were leftovers from World War II. Ham and eggs in a can, no fires allowed, so we ate it cold. l still gag when l think about it.
    Still a lot better than what my dad had in New Guinea during WWII. The food came from Australia and he said it was virtually inedible. Proof was that he went into the army lean and tough, and after 14 months in the jungle building landing craft, he came home skinny as a rail. He was that way the rest of his life.

  24. Lynnette Shimmin,BSN RN CLNC says:

    When my former husband was deployed in 1981, I couldn’t go because I was pregnant, the wonderful Navy screwed up our allotment checks and we had zero income coming home for over 6 weeks. I called my childhood friend’s Dad who was the Master Chief of the Regiment who within hours had a deuce and a half pull up to my apartment with a butt load of C-Rats that would have lasted me a good 6 weeks. My allotment checks were back on track within a week and I donated the unused C-Rats. I gotta admit, I actually liked them…LOL But the grayish scrambled eggs were a little off-putting. They tasted great (with a little seasoning even better).

  25. DickC says:

    Yup … had C rations in the late 60s. When they were handed out there was much moaning by whoever got the Ham and Lima Beans … clearly the worst meal. Pound cake … one of the best desserts

    • Guy Slater says:

      In Vietnam in 69-70, and again in 71, Ham and Lima’s were NEVER called that! The term was “Ham and Mother ******’s.” The Lima’s were the little green ones, not the fully ripe ones that I will now eat. “Little Green Boogers” are never allowed in my house because of the “Charlie Rats” I endured in Vietnam.

  26. George Durning says:

    Korea 1952-1953 stationed on a mountain top RADAR site, for 6-weeka at a time, we lived on C and K -Rations. After rotating off the mountain, we had a field kitchen until the next rotation. We used a P-38 can-opener, instead of the key and boiled the hard Hersey Bars to make Hot Chocolate. All the cases we had on the RADAR site were dated 1944 from WW-II.

  27. H. Joe Mueller says:

    My comment:
    While stationed in Alaska in 1959 at Elmendorf AFB we were served “C” rations prepared by our Mess Hall once a week. On one of the days when we were served “C” rations our Group Commander came to the Mess Hall to join the troops in the Mid-day meal. Being busy with talking to the troops while waiting in the serving line he did not pay attention to the food being served. When he got to the front of the cook serving the food and he saw what he was being served, he asked what the heck this food was. He told the cook he had looked at the menu before he came to the Mess Hall and it said it was to be Steak. The cook explained: Yes Sir! that this is what the “C” Ration can said it is: “STEAK”. We have a lot of this stuff to get rid off. Our Group Commander was so shocked at what we ‘poor’ guys had to eat. He worked hard to get things changed. A month later, we went from eating “C” rations once a week to once a month. We loved the Guy!

  28. Jim C says:

    Served in Germany in the early 60’s, while traveling in convoy from Bremerhaven, my shotgun out two cans of spam rations on the manifold of the 2 1/2 , he forgot to open up the cans. I still can’t stand the smell o spam cooking. 15 years later while working in a fallout shelter in the mountains of New Mexico we discovered cans of “Emergency Rations, survival, general purpose” . I still a couple in my shed, still edible.

  29. Jack R. Christen says:

    When I was in the 1st Division, 28th Infantry in 1964-65, we spent about 9 months in 64 in the field training. Fort Riley, the swamps outside of Eglin Air Force Base, Fort Leonard Wood, Fort Rucker so we ate C-Rations from 1945 most of the time out in the field. I really didn’t mind them at all. The ham (Spam) and eggs were my favorite. The B-Rations we had were nothing but C-Rations thrown into a garbage can of water heated by immersion burner. While out on maneuvers we would get some new recruits and they where always very picky about what C-Rations they would eat , throwing the unopened cans away, choosing not to eat. My best buddy and I would police up the discarded Rations and stuff them into our fatigue shirts. And in the next day or two we would miss our food drop or it was picked up by the enemy and the new kids would be starving while we ate what they had discarded.

  30. Rosemary W. says:

    My dad didn’t smoke, so he traded his cigarettes for chocolate until someone told him he was being foolish; he could do what the other nonsmokers did: sell the cigs for a lot of money on the black market. So he found out who to contact & where to go. It required walking down a creepy, narrow alley that made him feel like he was walking into an ambush, but there at the end was a guy sitting at a desk who bought the cigarettes.

  31. Mark Phillips says:

    Dad was USN WWII Pacific Theater. He and many others who served from the area, had many colorful descriptions of the alphabet meals on shore and shipboard and combat. In polite company can’t say exactly but one included “blank a shingle” another “#2%46 on toast”. Coffee was in descript and ketchup was known as “red lead”. to name a few. After the war my grandmother said had a new dislike for chicken and rice. Never said much of why.

  32. Helen Kindt says:

    Hello, any have family that were stationed at Mareeba Airfield during WW2? Would love to make contact for a project the Historical Society of Mareeba is doing on the airfield. Happy to exchange info and photos. email [email protected]
    Helen Kindt
    (Hon Sec)

  33. Helen kindt says:

    Forgot to say in m y previous post, Mareeba, Far North Queensland, Australia.
    Helen Kindt

  34. Krista says:

    My dad found 2 cans of K-ration tins on the beach in the town of Babylon, Long Island, New York in the 60s. We opened them and tried a few things!

  35. Timothy Dayton Prickett says:

    I love this post.

    And I don’t smoke a cigarette often, and I can tell you, sometimes it is your best friend. I figure during a war in particular. Tobacco was never meant to be used continually, but medicinally. Alcohol, too. My parents were children in WWII but their uncles went even though my grandpa did not — medical heart condition and he never did get over being left behind — my uncles and aunts all fought in Nam, and a couple of cousins in the Gulf War, and one niece is a Marine, but I managed to stay away from the action. So far. Appreciate all of you who served.

  36. Loren Simms says:

    I served in Viet Nam during 1969-1970 with the 5/42 Artillery, “C” Battery. I worked 12 hours on and 12 hours off in the Fire Direction Control. At night the Mess hall (if we were lucky to have one) was closed so we resorted to “C” Rations. Everywhere we went we’d carry a big box containing many different meals. We’d pick thru and got what we wanted to eat. We were usually hungry and would eat about anything. I especially liked the pound cake or the cans of peaches if you could find them. A lot of the locations we were at had a Mess Hall. Poor cooks did their best to cook the food that was available.

  37. Carol Baum says:

    I was born in New Jersey in 1937, and I still have my one partial filled War Ration Book #3 M. It has pages with stamps from #1-48 and each page has either drawings of ships, airplanes, tanks, or guns. My brother had one also and he was born in 1942.
    I remember that my parents had little heavy cardboard round red or blue tokens too. I know that these stamps and tokens were used for food purchases, and to buy gasoline and tires for their 1931 Dodge coop car with a rumble seat. I also remember the fear we children had when the Air Raid siren blew, and remember the Air Raid inspector came down our street checking for the houses to be all dark inside. We had thick blackout shades on the windows and couldn’t use any lights or candles inside the house.

  38. Jacqueline says:

    I was an Army brat, and have fond memories of raiding the C-Rats in my parent’s closet, when stationed in Germany, for the round bricks of chocolate. They were supposed to make hot chocolate but we just ate the bricks… I was one of the dependants who were enacted in duce and 1/2 during the Cuban missile crisis.

  39. Jack says:

    I was active duty in the early 60’s. The cigarettes were dirt cheap. Tech Reps were always pestering us to get them out of the commissary for them. I never used. The health effects of smoking were well known, even back then. It seemed to me that the powers that be promoted smoking because of the health problems they would eventually cause. Pension liabilities are less if the retired GI’s are passing years before their time because of tobacco issue.

  40. Kimberly Green says:

    “Alright. Let’s get this out on to a tray. Nice!”
    Steve1989MREInfo has entered the chat.

    In seriousness, if you are researching your ancestors and want some great insights into field rations, I highly recommend the Steve1989MREInfo channel on YouTube. He samples, or at least reviews when inedible, various rations from all over the world and from different timeframes.

    He’s looked at everything from rations being produced in the past few years all the way back through Vietnam, Korea and even the US Civil War. If you want to get some idea of how an ancestor ate during combat, Steve’s your go-to.

  41. Stephen Hemmert says:

    I was an infantryman in Vietnam. We had WW2 C-rations. How did I know? The can of applesauce said canned in 1944. I was in Nam in 1970. The applesauce was actually good. The worst was “Ham and Lima Beans,” which also had a different name that cannot be used on this site. The C-Rations came with a little pack of Lucky Strike cigarettes with the “GREEN” logo. The chocolate disc was inedible and used when mixed with C4 to keep the rats under control.

  42. Marybeth Gatton Horne says:

    In the early 80’s we had C-Rats, they were actually good and the P38 was a treasure. MREs were okay, the freeze dried fruit cocktail was the best, with no water.

    As for the cigarettes, I came into the US ARMY smoking and quit smoking 2 years later, still on active duty. It’s a matter of choice.

  43. Oscar O Bejarano says:

    My Father was with 4 INF DIV, 8th INF REG, HQ 2nd BN, Co G shared that he collected the 3-pac cigarettes to use as “cash” in poker games or to buy fresh food from the locals or “Don’t tell your mother.” favors from the the ladies. He smoked before inlisting but realized the value of the 3-pac and stopped. He died at age 97 on his birthday.

  44. Walter Burke says:

    To W Martin: My Dad was also in the 28th Division, 110th Infantry Regiment. As a boy he told me many stories of the Hurtgen Forest, Battle of the Bulge and Achen Germany.

  45. Mark says:

    My Uncle was in the 2nd Battalion, 258th Field Artillery deployed to Normandy July 2nd 1944. How did anyone find out what metals your loved ones received? I have only been able to find out he was a Corporal and not much else.

  46. Gerry Tomczak says:

    Ate lots of C-Rations during a tour in Vietnam in 1967. The basic meal items were different flavors of monosodium glutamate. The canned fruit was the most edible.

  47. Steve Whitson says:

    My Dad served in France about the time of crossing of the Rhine. He never allowed SPAM in our house. He said he had it boiled, fried and raw- no more ever!!

  48. (Ms) jim justice says:

    My dad smoked Lucky Strikes, too. I think that came from his time in the army in the Philippines during WWII. He got malaria there. He died at age 48 from Lupus which evidently originated there or at least was around there.

  49. T Lopez says:

    I ate C-rations in Korea, Gemany and Stateside and liked them very much (1960’s-1970’s). i would trade my cigarettes for pound cake to someone addicted to smoking.

  50. Karen Brouwer Walker says:

    My dad was a cook in the Army during WW2. He was in Oklahoma, Okinawa, Philippines and other places also. I have his cookbook.