World War II

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US WW II Canned Instant Coffee Ration

 

Here it is! One can of soluble (instant) coffee. Found in the 5-in-1, 10-in-1, and Mountain Rations, this much sought after component was so popular that it often "disappeared" from QM supplies. The sturdy tin can be re-sealed and used many times. Bearing the proper label, it contains about one ounce of instant coffee - enough to keep caffeined up for an entire weekend.

PRICE: $4.95

   
   

US Army WWII Pork Luncheon Meat - "Spam"

 

   When my dad was discharged and sent home at the end of World War II, my mother planned a big family dinner as a celebration. She asked my dad what he would like served at the dinner. “I don’t care,” was his reply, “As long as it isn’t Spam!”

   Spam and similar processed pork products made by a variety of manufacturers was churned out by the millions of cans each week during the war, bearing the familiar white “Pork Luncheon Meat” label. It was widely distributed among allied forces as well, and found a place in civilian aid programs. The ration was so ubiquitous that GI’s often ended up dining on “Pork Luncheon Meat” two and even three meals a day.

   It is no understatement to say that no military exhibit or kit is complete without at least one of these cans.

   This offering features a can with the authentic key opener, firmly attached to the bottom of the can (no cheesy pop-top), and the white label is an authentic reproduction of the original. In addition the contents are fresh from the shelf so that re-enactors can, if they wish, plan their own meal in the field around “Pork Luncheon Meat.”

PRICE: $6.95

   
   

US Army WW II K-Ration Corned Beef Hash

To bolster morale and maintain troop fitness, the military tried to provide a variety of food items for the GI's. Here is a replica of one of those items - a can of Corned Beef Hash. The label reflects that it was manufactured by Hormel Foods (just like the civilian version) and the can contains almost a pound (15 ounces) of fresh-from-the-grocer's-shelf hash; a filling meal for one, or plenty for two if shared with other rations. Early in the war Hash was an all-too-frequent item on the combat troop's menu, which stimulated the development of more varied rations, including the ones below.

Sorry, the M1 and ammo is not included.

 

 

PRICE: $5.95

   
   

US WW2 Pork and Beans

Military rations evolved throughout the war. By early 1944 new rations with more variety, particularly in the meat ration, had been developed and were in distribution. The new meat ration contained no less than ten different varieties: meat and beans; meat-and-vegetable stew; meat and spaghetti; ham, egg, and potato; meat and noodles; pork and rice; frankfurters and beans; pork and beans; ham and lima beans; and chicken and vegetables.

We agree with the need for variety in rations and are working to add as many of these items as possible to our rations line. Here is one of the new additions, as authentic looking as can be! Pork and Beans. This is a 15 ounce can - a full meal for one or a decent portion for two if other items are available as well. This is a high quality, national branded item fresh from the grocer's shelf. It will be a welcome change from Spam and Hash during a long maneuver.

PRICE: $5.95

 

 
   
   

US WW2 Meat and Noodles

Not only is this a new addition to our rations line, it is a brand new product on the grocer's shelves. As explained on the label, the can contains a mix of chicken meat, noodles, and garden vegetables. After a few days of spam and hash, this ration would provide a welcome break in the monotony as well as a nutritional boost.

This is another 15 ounce can, suitable for two buddies sharing a foxhole, or one really hungry GI. Don't forget your P-38 or you'll have to open the can with your bayonet - never a tidy process.

PRICE: $5.95

 

 
   
   

WW2 GI Meat and Beans

While it was the intention of the War Department that both C rations and K rations be used as a short term ration until field kitchens could be set up, in many cases these rations formed the primary long-term food for GI's in combat or remote conditions all over the globe. It was a good thing, therefore, that one of the goals for these rations was to provide a variety of foods. One of the designated choices was "meat and beans" - one of ten new rations.

This is a recent addition to our line of GI rations, and we've been unable to find a commercial product that exactly matches the recipe of the original; so we selected a perpetual American favorite that comes close - good old beanie weenie, from a major brand.

Unfortunately. Beanie Weenie is only available in 8 ounce pop top cans any more; production changes. So we are now offering another favorite - Chile con Carne! This is a major brand, and a darn good can of chile. I keep some on stock all the time, for those nights when Mrs. Norm doesn't feel like cooking. The 15 ounce can is sufficient for two mess mates, or for one really hungry GI. Heat it up in your canteen cup and enjoy.

The GI can opener and M1 Carbine are intended to catch your attention, and both will remain right here in my collection.

PRICE: $5.95

 

 
   
   

 

WW2 GI Meat-and-Vegetable Stew

The could have called it "Beef Stew," but of course that's just not quite military enough. Believe it or not, the original GI Meat-and-Vegetable Stew ration was an English-style stew (they won't tell us, today, what the ingredients were - probably Mutton), but it was dropped as a bad idea after negative feedback (read "lots of griping") from the ultimate consumers, who were, after all, American GI's.

The new replacement was a hearty beef and vegetable stew in a meaty gravy. Here again, our offering comes fresh from the grocer's shelf, and is a major brand item. It's another 15 ounce portion that will feed two as part of a larger meal, or serve as a meal for one when necessary.

Need I say that the accessories are neither included nor available? The eye candy stays here, but you get a darned good can of stew!

 

 

PRICE: $5.95

 

 
   
 
   

 

WW2 GI Meat and Spaghetti

We civilians would refer to this ration as "Spaghetti and Meatballs." At least that's what it said on the original label of the can. But I'm sure the military procurement people placed the emphasis on "meat" with the manufacturers, to insure that each ration had plenty of protein for an active GI. Well, there is a good bit of meat in each can. This is a national brand that I recently spotted at the grocery store, and it adds one more entrée option for the GI re-enactor.

At the present time I count no less than nine different choices for the main dish. Yes - NINE! I'm still searching for some of the other meat rations, but frankly, it's pretty hard to find canned lima beans and ham, not to mention ham, eggs and potatoes.

That's a dandy trench knife in the foreground, and I hope it never gets used as a can opener. Best to always have a P-38 on your dogtag chain.

PRICE: $5.95

 

 
   
 
   
 

US Army WWII M Unit - Chicken Chunks

This is a reproduction set of WWII rations as used by the US Army in the mid-war "Ration, 5-in-1" and its late war successor "Ration, 10-in-1". Both were group feeding rations similar to the British "Ration, Composite", which delivered food in master boxes aimed at feeding 5 men for one day, or, in the later rations, 10 men for one day.

While the breakfast and supper menus were designed to be eaten in a group setting (including some rudimentary preparation, such as heating canned meals, or sharing out portions of canned bread between squad members), the dinner meal (nowadays better know as "lunch") was a "portable" ration. The idea was that soldiers may be more actively engaged in operations in daytime, when sharing food was not practical, so, each soldier received a 2-box lunch.

Box one contained beverage (usually coffee), bouillon, sugar, matches, crackers, and a confection, along with a can opener and was called tne "Partial Dinner Unit."

This is box two, which contained canned meat (in this case Chicken Chunks) and a wooden spoon. This will definitely help your US GI or Marine impression perfect. When those unfamiliar with the ration ask you what it is, just tell them you got it from "that Sherman crew over there…"

As always, the contents are fresh from the Grocer's shelf and safe to eat.. Please note that the sheath knife in the background is neither offered nor available, it is there for perspective and scale only.

PRICE: $7.95

 

 
     

 

US WW2 Partial Dinner Unit

This is the companion piece to the M-Unit ration. The Partial Dinner Unit contains the rest of the noontime meal and a couple of vital accessories. In this box you will find a packet of bouillon powder (usually beef, although other flavors are encountered) a packaged Graham cracker, a packet of instant coffee, a box of granulated sugar, a confection (usually Charms or Caramels), a stick of chewing gum, a P-38 can opener, and a book of VD matches.

That was lunch in the combat zones. As with all of our reproduction rations, every food item here is fresh from the grocer and ready to eat. The can opener is a true replica P-38 and can be used to clean your nails, break down your M-1, repair the ignition on your jeep, lever a jammed cartridge out of your carbine or - oh yeah - it will open cans too! The matches are modern safety matches with the VD warning message printed on the face of the book (no stickers here) and the crumpled up wrappers and boxes will serve as kindling for your noon coffee fire. These items are all wrapped in an air tight cello-like package before being placed in the box.

Several of these items are not available separately, and if they were, total cost would be upwards of $20 and you still wouldn't have the Partial Dinner Unit box.

Please note that the 1911-A in the background, along with the dummy grenade, mag and dummy rounds are not offered or available. They are shown for perspective and scale only (sorry, they stay in our collection).

 

PRICE: $12.95

 

 
     
     

US Army WWII M Unit - Ham Chunks

This is another M-Unit; Ham Chunks.

Initially designed mostly for mechanized and motorized units as a feeding solution between the first 24-48 hours of action and the establishment of regular field kitchens after action, these rations soon became a standard for most units.

By the way, food cans were not painted early in the war, until they discovered that the unpainted shiny cans were visible to enemy aircraft from high in the sky. A coating of OD flat paint quickly put an end to that!

What more to say, except that they offer a refreshing break from Chicken Chunks (or did Chicken Chunks offer a refreshing break from Ham Chunks?).

As always, the contents are fresh from the Grocer's shelf and safe to eat..

Naturally the dummy grenade and the very real sheath knife are not offered or available - they provide perspective and scale only. Sorry.

 

   

PRICE: $7.95

 

 

     
     

Smoker’s Partial Dinner Unit

Cigarettes didn’t suffer from Political Incorrectness during WW2. Watch some of the old John Wayne and Humphrey Bogart movies from the 1940’s – everybody smoked! In fact, cigarettes were considered a basic ration item by the Military back then, and were issued just like Hershey bars and clean socks. Sometimes they actually came right in the ration box.

What we offer here is an accurate replica of the 5-in-1 and 10-in-1 Partial Dinner Unit, Menu No. 2, which contained a small pack of cigarettes. In addition the box contained a packet of crackers, some candy, a packet of Lemonade or Orangeade, sugar, chewing gum, matches, and the ubiquitous P-38 can opener. (Don’t ask me why they didn’t include coffee instead of lemonade – I just make the replicas, okay?).

As you can see, our replica has all of the contents except we leave the outer box unsealed because there aren’t any cigarettes inside the Camel box. We don’t smoke (well, except for George’s cigars) and can’t sell tobacco products, so we left the box unsealed so you can put some of your smokes in the Camel box, slip it back inside the outer box, seal it shut, and you’ve got the real thing, ready to open on bivouac.

Sorry, the M1 Carbine, GI blanket and other eye candy is not included, offered or available. They stay right here in my collection!

 

PRICE: $12.95

 

 
     
     

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