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. No less a personage than Russian dictator Joseph Stalin said that without Spam, Russia would have lost their war with Germany.

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 (which is a veteran of Korea, not WW2) 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. We currently offer eight different entrees. Here is a popular item, 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




WW2 GI Meat-and-Vegetable Stew

They 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 eight different choices for the main dish. Yes - EIGHT! 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



Chile with Meat


Okay. There never was a WW2 ration called "Chili with Meat," or anything approaching that particular food combination. But I know many of you would enjoy a bowl of red on maneuvers, especially if it was camouflaged with a  military-looking label. So here you go!

There are a lot of cheap, junk chili's on the market, but this isn't one of them. This is the same stuff I eat and enjoy when Mrs. Norm doesn't feel like cooking. It's a major national brand, carried by one of the big box stores, and it tastes great! It has a bit of "heat" but not so much as to be uncomfortable.

I offer this in the interest of menu diversity, and your Authenticity Officer most likely won't even notice. (He might ask if you have a spare, if he does notice.) Yes, that's my WW-2 veteran little M-1 Carbine in the background, and it is a sweet shooter. Naturally, it's staying right here in my collection. Hope you can find one as good.




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 look 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 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





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