C-Rations

If you would like to add your memories to this thread please email them to David J.


It hurts my heart that so many are spending so much time digging up and reliving the ugly side of our experiences instead of the good sides.

War sucks. Thank God we had turkey loaf and B-1 units with peaches or pears!

Bad stuff happens, ladies. In the Napoleonic wars and in the US Civil War it was not uncommon that 10,000 men died in a one-day battle. Think how many were also wounded.

I’d give a week’s wages for a can of turkey loaf today.
Edgar


Check on EBay for the can of turkey loaf. Think about it, the stuff that was canned in the mid sixties is aged to the same perfection of those cans you ate in Nam that were left over from WWII. Part of our mission is to record the eyewitness to the history the 327th wrote. This thread (Firebase Birmingham) will be posted onsite and show the uglier part of the war…Fratricide.

Now a little talk about your favorite gourmet C-RAT would lighten up the mood some. You got a recipe to share?

How about some beef slices with B-2 cheese simmered over C-4 with just a dash of hot sauce? Makes you mouth water… Peaches and pound cake for desert anyone? I have my P-38 out, can you spare a can and a Lucky Strike Green for a Bro? I’ll bet someone has a Tropical Chocolate bar; they never melted and were impossible to chew.

NS/ATR!
YJ


OK, I admit it. I LIKED Ham ‘n’ MoFo’s! Once I set my round coconut bar down in the dark, then picked it up and bit into half a dozen ants, they were sweeter than the candy, actually improved the flavor. A Treat I’ll not likely repeat.

Cheers
Rex
A/NFS 66-67


These days I shy away from stuff that passes through my digestive track intact. With age comes wisdom, I hope “How about that TP, the leaves were softer”.

YJ
A/NFS 69-70

I still love ham and eggs chopped! There was a rule that you ate H&E if you didn’t get re-supplied for two weeks. Rule 2: Do not let the VC or NVA capture you with H&E in your ruck. They would eat it and get really pissed off.

Jeff


I remember eating a bite of eggs in basic. My fondest memory was tossing a can of H & E to a Coke Kid and he cussed me and threw the can back at me.

I was told to save one can of H&E and eat them capture eminent J You know death before dishonor!

NS/ATR!
YJ


I spent a couple of years as an instructor (kick-ass, lane advisor) in the Ranger Department at Fort Benning after Vietnam. As such, I had access to cases upon cases of C-rats.

It was my pleasure then to watch TV while feasting upon turkey loaf floating in hot sauce, some B-1 crackers, followed by peaches and pound cake for dessert.

Thanks for the memories!

Edgar


Hey, the kids you to throw back Tropical Bars! Many of the kids may have been poor and hungry but they did have taste and standards.

Jeff


You know Charles was a great scrounger and legendary for his field expedience. I wonder why he never wrapped his C-4 satchels with Tropical Bars. They were plentiful since no one could or would eat them. They would have been deadly in an explosion. Makes you wonder what they were made of.

NS!
YJ


What I remember most about the c/rats was, when they came in on the chopper out in the field, being the R.T.O. you had to make sure one guy from every platoon took his rightful share, so that no one was stuck with the stuff no one else wanted… Left to the guys on there own everyone would take the B/1’s or B/2’s the guys out on o.p. or patrols would get screwed. Some guys if they had time really made a feast out of that crap!!! Very funny guys,,, we need the humor!!!! Why not spam, we could have used it for so many things…

Pat


I think SPAM was the first ration in a can introduced WW I, probably beans was the first. Someone is sure to know. I bet some of the “older troopers” ate K-Rations in basic. My Dad said you needed good teeth to eat them…
SPAM would have been great!

YJ


Ok, remember Ham & Lima beans. Occasionally we’d get a fresh onion in the field with our c’s. I’d cut up the onion, added it to the Ham and Lima beans with sugar from the coffee pack, add the canned cheese, salt and pepper, but pour out the greasy juice and replace it with water prior to adding these things. boil and stir. The c-rat cheese replacing the grease was the trick. A regular field chef extraordinaire, the Ham and Lifers became my specialty. Everyone else ditched the Ham and Limas because they were heavy and I loaded up. Sgt. Haugh couldn’t believe I traded for Ham and Limas and said, “I can’t believe you can eat so much!”I said, “I hump like a horse I might as well eat like a horse… ”

He burst out laughing, apparently my delivery was good, or it just caught himoff gaurd.

Dan


I’m with Dan here, though I never saw an onion. The cheese helped a lot. You guys that traded ’em away don’t know what you missed.

Hump like a horse + eat like a horse = fart like a horse. No doubt about it.

Rex


Tropical bars. In one unit I was in we called them Gorilla Bars. They were hard as a rock. I seem to remember there being two types, one pure hard and one hard with ground up nuts.

You could knock out an NVA at thirty feet if you bounced one off his head, ten feet if he had his pith helmet on.
Pecan Cake Roll, Pound Cake, Peaches and Fruit Cocktail seemed to have been the favorite desert. I actually saw two guys turn their weapons on each other over Fruit Cocktail. The platoon had to jump on them. Someone else got the Fruit Cocktail.

Andy Roy


I could get two cans of ham & lima beans for one H&E. And with some imagination, and a lot of local hot peppers, along with a can of that plastic cheese in your “C” rations and serve with those crackers that came with the cheese you could dish up a good meal that would stick to your ribs. Kinda makes you want to go out right now and re-up.

Lets not forget the tuna casserole, yum.

Adam
1 & 2/327th
61 & 67


Bros, For me, a monsoon feast consisted of the following;

Spiced Beef (shredded) with a canteen cup full of cocoa, made from two packages with four creams and a can of choke for dessert. For those who don’t remember, choke was PB & J stirred together in the B-2 Unit can, eaten by scooping it out with crackers. The shoelace through the beltloop (like a biker keychain) had the P-38 and church key to make the little C-rat stove. And whaddabout da gas mask bag with the gum, cigarettes, TP, and Vanilla Cream Bar AKA VC bar? Oh Hey, Dose were da days! Da cuisine was exquisite! (Damn, I’m glad I quit smokin’ in 1970)

Erick


Mix the ham and eggs with the cheddar cheese, add some onion, or whatever, and a little hot sauce and enjoy.

Larry Wilson


I liked the H&E. Of course the fruit (B1) units were the favorite. Worst were Ham and mo-fo’s. After a while I lived only on PB, crackers, white bread, and pecan cake. This would last for sometimes a month until we got back to B rats in rear area. Then I would get the shits every time.

I remember going through the line to pick up rats and guys knew how to spot the B1’s even when the case was turned over upside down and rotated so as not to see what you were getting.

Once at Qui Nohn I ordered rats for the company but screwed up the sop code and we were sent double rats, for the COMPANY… Me and Mike Young spent a whole morning in this house going through the B1’s and pulling out the fruit..and Winstons.. we were rich.

Tim B 1/327 65-66


After about half my tour was gone I never bothered to heat the Cs anymore, just splashed them with hot sauce and chowed down. I too remember that real chow tore up the digestive tract.

YJ


I know there were some great C-Rat combos but what about LRRP rations? They were great hot or cold.. Just thought I would throw them in. Remember cooking spaghetti with a little C-4. You would turn your head and the spaghetti would jump out of the can. Spam would be good to put in front of claymores “Spam mail”. HaHaHa.
How many here would use the same plastic spoon for the duration of the operation? I did several times.

We solved the problem with picking C-Rats. You turned the box up side down and each person took turns picking a box.

Jeff


I remember eating a bite of eggs in basic. My fondest memory was tossing a can of H & E to a Coke Kid and he cussed me and threw the can back at me. I was told to save one can of H&E and eat them capture eminent 🙂 You know death before dishonor!

NS/ATR!
YJ


The secret of a Gourmet C meal was the C-4 as a heat source, they just weren’t the same over a heat tab. Everyone will remember how the fumes from a heat tab would burn the heck out of your eyes. How many times did I try to dry out by lighting a heat tab and squatting over it wrapped in a poncho liner?

My Favorite LRRP was chicken stew, mixed on the dry side you could eat it in the morning and it would keep reconstituting in your stomach as you humped and drank water during the day. Chili LRRP was number ten, the beans never got soft!

NS/ATR!
YJ


WE USE TO LOVE TO GET THE LRRP RATIONS, THEY WERE ALL GOOD MAYBE BECAUSE THEY WERE DIFFERENT; ONE OF YOU GUYS TALKING ABOUT SOMEONE EATING THE LRRP RATIONS DRY REMINDED ME OF A GUY WHO PUT VERY LITTLE WATER IN HIS, JUST ENOUGH TO GET IT DOWN. THEN IT EXPANDED INSIDE HIS STOMACH THE COMMENTS HE MADE WERE A RIOT!!!

THIS STUFF IS FUNNY!!! SPAM CLAYMORE, WHAT A WAY TO GO!!!THE GREESE FROM THE SPAN WOULD PROBABLY BE THE ONLY THING THAT WOULD KEEP THOSE OLD 45 Cal pistols from rusting..

THE CHEESE WAS GOOD FOR WHEN YOU HAD THE CRAPS, AS A LAST RESORT KAYOPECTATE, WHICH WOULD BRING A BIG GRIN TO THE MEDICS WHEN YOU DRANK IT ALL DOWN…
INJUN ORANGE, GOOFY GRAPE, ROOTIN TOOIN ROOTBEER,,,ALL PRESWEETENED KOOL AID.
KIND OF MISS THAT TREATED WATER THEY USE TO FLY IN..TO THIS DAY, I STILL REMEMBER HOW THIRSTY WE USE TO GET. ONE GUY GOT PISSED AND CARRIED A 5 GALLON WATER CAN FOR AWHILE, NOT AT NIGHT THOUGH…

PAT


The spiced beef was one of my favorites also. I would use mustard and tobasco to spice it up and then spread over the crackers.

I liked the names that they were nicknamed also:
Beans and baby-dicks (the pork and beans with vienna sausage)
Beef and Shrapnel
Ham and MoFo’s (ham and lima beans)
H&E’s or High Explosives (ham and eggs)
Choke (peanut-butter and jelly)The fruit I can remember was:
Peaches
Fruit cocktail
Pears

Dessert was:
pecan roll
fruit cake
pound cake


The answer was Turkey Loaf floating in hot sauce. Follow that with pound cake and peaches or just my favorite, a can of pears.

You Frugal Gourmets can go berserk about Ham and Lima Beans or Ham and Eggs as you want to, but veterans not inflicted with Post-Vietnam-Stress-Syndrome still remember retching over those menu items. Anyway, food is as food is…if Ham and Lima beans tripped your triggers, I bet you a bunch of others stood in line ready to trade.

What was in your personal box, trooper?

Ed Lampkin


Not all memories are bad. How about the LRRP meals, we were the taste testers for FREEZE DRIED FOODS, look how that’s turned out. Give me some BEEF TIPS & RICE!!!!!!!

ATR
“ABU” Shep


Am I the only one to remember Russian cocoa? A full canteen cup with two or three coffees, a like number of creamers and sugars and one of the hot cocoa mix heated over some C-4 or heat tabs. It sure tasted good when it got cold in the hills around the Ashau. Almost makes me wish we were back there……NOT!

Hawk


I do remember the fruit cans of pears and cocktail. After using the P-38, green chips of paint in the juice gave it added flavor. If you still own an original P-38 it will be stamped SHELBY or SPEAKER & the [US] stamp on it. Now dig em up and take a look.

ATR/NS/BF&OTOT
Dan A/1/83RD ARTY 69


I wonder how many ton-miles of energy we saved in the A Shau AO humping those LRRP rations instead of C’s. I missed the peaches and pecan rolls, but the beef and rice was good, or at least it seamed so in the absence of food. We envied the Artty folks with a mess hall! Those cloudy days from Feb until April with no resupply because of the weather made innovation with coffee, cocoa and sundries a very creative enterprise. Perhaps a recipe book from the best of both worlds, C’s and LRRP’s would be a best seller. Perhaps a poll on the new forum would be in order, settling those trail arguments once and for all.

NFS,
Mike


Give me C’s, any day. We were on an operation, somewhere in II Corps, in the summar of ’66. We were deep in the mountains. Triple canopy jungle, and not a flat spot (jungle or no jungle) to land a chopper for resupply. I mean steep and steeper terrain. We ran out of food (rations). Our main objective each day was to find water. We were eating leaves and grasses. We went three or four days without our beloved “C Rats”. Finally, our CO had had enough. He told battalion that if they couldn’t chopper us out, then get some rations to us. Some how! So, the rear guys decided they were going to airdrop/parachute food to us. We needed to find, or make, a clearing. But, get this, they didn’t have any C Rations for us. We would be getting something else. OK. I like surprises. So, we found a clearing on a mountainside. It appeared to be a string of old bomb craters. But old. The vegetation had taken hold again, and grown up to about shoulder high. We used machetes to cut the brush down. It was steep, but would have to do. Then, we sat down to wait. And wonder. What are they bringin’ us? Is it hot chow? Hope they don’t spill the gravy. Suddenly, a chopper is in-bound. Pop smoke. A slick comes over our clearing at about 100′, or so. Out of the chopper comes, first one, and then a second bundle of boxes. Each has what appears to be an artillary illumination round pararchute attached to it. Well, the weight of the load was too much for the little chutes. They streamered. All of the cases of rations (?) hit the mountainside at full freefall speed. They exploded on impact, and we saw hundreds of cans, of something, go hurdling down the mountain. So, we climbed down the mountain, through dense jungle, to see what we got. We got cans of SPAM. And, little 4 oz. cans of sterilized chocolet milk. Hundreds of ’em. For the next week we ate SPAM and drank warm chocolet milk. Talk about the squirts. Those leaves and grasses we were eating? Now we were using them for toilet paper. I’ve tried to eat Spam since, but can’t stomach it. And I think about our airdrop/resupply. We missed our C’s.

Dave Brown
C 2/327 1st Brigade 101st Airborne (1st Sqd / 2nd Plt.


Reading these comments on C-Rats sure brings back memories. You remember when we were resupplied with sundries, getting mail, those 2 beers, and as many smokes as you could want? Well, those 2 beers were trading material for me. If I couldn’t trade for peaches and pound cake, I’d save those 2 beers till our next resupply, I always got my favorite, PEACHES & POUND CAKE! The other thing about C’s that I remember well is opening a can of beef steak, bending the lid over, putting a slice of beef steak on the lid, splashing it with tabasco, and sizzling it with C 4. I haven’t touched a drop of hot sauce since I left Vietnam!

Mark Petersen
Delta Company, 3rd Platoon, 1/327th 69/70


I remember making pizza
1 can of beef with spice sauce
one can of white bread, slice the bread in half
one can of cheese
spread the beef and then the cheese on the bread
tabasco for seasoning
Bake in an ammo can, or at least long enough to melt the cheese
Learned how to do this on Hill 642 near Veghel with No Slack guys

Don Matthews
265th RRC/101st Abn Div