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C Ration Supper


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Fixbayonets!

I recently picked up this C Ration can & I am trying to figure out what era it is from.

 

The can is marked on the top:

 

SUPPER

B UNIT

SAVE KEY TO OPEN M UNIT

C RATION

 

The top is not date stamped, it is stamped X5. I have posted a photo of the can in question next to a WWII C ration can dated 3/43. The dimensions, construction and method of opening the cans are the same. Any help would be appreciated, thanks!

 

Rob

 

 

post-168-0-98927900-1402842937.jpg

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My guess is late WWII to Korea but I could be wrong, I am no ration expert.

 

-Dave

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17thairborne

I'm still trying to figure out if those big SUPPER marked cans are WWII or KW. I've posted a few photos on my thread, but can't make a final conclusion yet. The curator form the US Army QM museum sent me some data. I cannot find a pre-45 reference to those can markings, only have a color image of the cans from a 1949 manual published by the QM.

 

No date on the boxes or cans in the image. The accessory pack looks just like the pre-45 ones in my collection, but the carton sleeve is cardboard and I have not seen a cardboard C rat sleeve. Usually wood. Anyone know different?

 

post-15065-0-19056300-1402846627.jpg

 

I think the X5 is the manufacturer's code. Not sure which maker that is though. Here's the thread:

 

http://www.usmilitariaforum.com/forums/index.php?/topic/186755-waited-34-years-for-a-junk-room/page-11

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From the information I can find the ration in question is post WWII, maybe made for Korea. I have not previously seen any B units from WWII that had the meal name such as SUPPER printed on the can.

 

Bob

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Bob

I will have to check a few have.I got them from a local vet who was WW2 but he served after the war as well.I think the ones I have are 50s dated.Never paid attention to see if they were SUPPER MARKED.

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Fixbayonets!

Thanks for the comments so far. I thought they probably dated just post WWII but wanted to see if anyone could nail it down. Very interesting photo 17thairborne, thanks for posting it.

Rob

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17thairborne

I've got one that came with a small piece of paper glued to the side of the can allegedly from the vet and he wrote4-2-45. That really doesn't prove anything since anyone could have put that there. Most of the KW cans that I have seen had a 50 or 51 or 52 date embossed on the lid. I have only seen about 1/2 dozen cans. I wonder if these are between the war year cans?

 

I think the most telling clue from the color photo is the cardboard sleeve for the C rats. Again...always only saw them in the wooden crates. I'm talking myself into believing these undated, SUPPER cans are from 1945-1949 or so.

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Fixbayonets!

I think that could very well be correct. It would bridge the gap between the WWII C-rat markings and the Korean war era B-1, B-2, B-3 markings. Still makes me wonder if these cans were out as early as 1945 and if so could they have been issued at the tail end of WWII (like the piece of paper on your can indicates).

 

Rob

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Hi Rob, this one is from late WWII. I have several of them, all of them are from old people and my grand-parents, who lived in south-west Bohemia. They got them from american soldiers in 1945. Best regards. Tom

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Fixbayonets!

Thanks for the confirmation Tom. I was curious if any of the cans you have are date stamped on the top?

 

Rob

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The WWII C-B Rat cans are a silver in colors were the Korean War cans are in the OD color. All the OD C- or B Rat cans I have owned and also shown on here are Korean War dated. I think this is between WWII and Korean like 17thAB wrote (thanks Oz)

 

Craig

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I would suggest to find QM historical study series 2 Special Rations for the Armed Forces 1946-53. The author is Frank Koehler. This study should answer the questions posted here and then some. I managed to find a copy in a holding and thought of reprinting it. This study is a continuation of the 1944 reprint that is all so common.

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17thairborne

The WWII C-B Rat cans are a silver in colors were the Korean War cans are in the OD color. All the OD C- or B Rat cans I have owned and also shown on here are Korean War dated. I think this is between WWII and Korean like 17thAB wrote (thanks Oz)

 

Craig

 

According to the QM Historical Studies book, on page 124:

 

"When in the fall of 1943 a program for applying a corrosion-resistant, camouflage coating to all canned subsitance sent overseas was initiated, arrangements were made...Thereafter C Ration was coated with an olive drab, corrosion resistant lacquer or enamel in accordance with specifications for this type of coating issued by the Quartermaster Corps."

 

OD coated C Ration cans without dates are definitely in the 1945 and earlier realm. Here is an example with the OD lacquer. Based on the evidence provided by Tom, I am leaning back to my original supposition, that the large labled SUPPER cans are late war, 1945. I'm still debating until we get more concrete evidence, but Tom's comments have me thinking. I'm treating this like an ongoing conversation and were not finished discussing and presenting evidence.

post-15065-0-22226800-1402885872.jpg

 

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17thairborne

Those Jelly and Jam cans are clearly mentioned in the QM history also. They were added via QM Tentative Specs July 28, 1944.

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Fixbayonets!

Great stuff presented so far, maybe at some point we will get to the bottom of it.

 

Rob

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I alway see photos in the collector books of the WWII silver C rat cans but I also see other WWII cans not related to food are OD green like the bore cleaner, oil and grease cans and even the WWII beer cans are OD green and I think Oz is on the money!!! The QM pass the ok to go OD green in 1943 and came out in 1944 with the new OD finish!

 

Craig

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Fixbayonets!

Hi everybody, look on web page: http://www.qmfound.com/army_rations_historical_background.htm#Field Ration C

Tom

 

Thanks for the link Tom. So according to this the c rat cans marked breakfast, dinner & supper was approved in June of 1944? I guess it took some time to get the ball rolling and they did not appear until sometime in the first half of 1945.

 

Rob

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