Jump to content

Is there a way to date mess kit utensils?

Recommended Posts

Aside from treating them nice and buying them lots of jewelry of course.


Just looking to see if someone can approximately date this spoon. I would imagine these things remained identical for quite some time. The only other marking besides the US is SILCO STAINLESS on the back. Thanks!




Looking to buy US dog tags, any era. Contact me and let me know what you have!

Link to post
Share on other sites

I think WWI forks and/or spoons were dated. Been a while since I looked at them though. My gut tells me stainless was a post-WWII thing, but I could totally be wrong.

Looking for the following:

452nd and 447th Bomb Group items

Anything 12th Armored- especially uniforms

155th Assault Helicopter Company, Camp Coryell, or Ban Me Thuot Vietnam items[/center]

WWII US Navy Uniforms from the Battle Off Samar: USS Johnston DD-557, USS Hoel DD-553, USS Samuel B. Roberts DE-413, USS Heermann DD-532, USS Dennis DE-405, USS John C. Butler DE-339, USS Raymond DE-341, USS Fanshaw Bay St. Lo, White Plains, Kalinin Bay, Kitkun Bay and Gambier Bay...


Link to post
Share on other sites

While the M-1926 utensils was adopted in 1926, it appears that production didn't really start until 1941 due to overstock of the M-1910 utensils. The 1941 specification called for the fork and spoon to be tin plated. The 1943 specification called for a change from tin plate to silver plate and in 1944 it changed to corrosion resistant steel. In 1950 the nomenclature changed to Fork, Field Mess and Spoon, Field Mess and the final specification called for corrosion resistant steel. These were produced until 2002 when the specification for Field Mess was cancelled. SILCO is a known manufacturer from 1941 until the end. It looks like the WW2 era corrosion resistant spoon may have been marked SILCO 1945. Based on that information, my best guess is that your spoon is probably post 1950. However, it certainly could be used for a 1945 impression onward.



Looking for items related to the 161st Infantry Regiment

(aka NGW; Washington Territorial Militia 1855-1886; 1st/2nd Infantry Regiment, Washington 1886-1898; 1st/2nd Regiment, Washington Volunteer Infantry 1898-1899; 1st/2nd Infantry Regiment Washington National Guard 1899-1917)

and 36th Infantry Battalion/Regiment



Link to post
Share on other sites

That's better information than I could have hoped for gents, I appreciate it! It came in a 1944 dated mess kit but that amounts to a hill of beans as it could've been thrown in there at any point. For now I'll be using it for lunch at work. I'm tired of stockpiling plastic utensils that go missing.


Looking to buy US dog tags, any era. Contact me and let me know what you have!

Link to post
Share on other sites

The tin plating is what I always looked for and figured is WWII era spoons & forks as stainless steel was not used in WWII until late and it's seen use in 1944 in the mess kit and cups. The stamped fonts of the (US) is also another thing to look for as after the war it was change to a simple font as shown in your photo.




Link to post
Share on other sites

It is my understanding (although I don't have any documentation to support it) that utensils stamped with a serif "U.S." are WW2 produced, and those with sans-serif fonts (as shown in your example) are later production.




Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 5 years later...

This is who the spoon belonged to. He was with the Service Company of the 137th Infantry. He let New York on the SS Adriatic, April 25, 1918. The date and maker is on the back of the spoon handle.


Without data, your just another person with an opinion...................


Selling DVDs of Ordnance Drawings on ebay seller ID 245thcac
Original Research from Museums and The National Archives
1912 Cavalry Board Report, 1910 Infantry Board Report, Equipment Blueprints and Drawing, Coast Artillery Training Films and 1897 Specifications for Clothing

Link to post
Share on other sites

The internet seems undecided if eating with the tin plated utensils is safe or not. Some sites say it's safe, others say not. I'd be cautious if the plating is flaking. But I'd be tempted to use one of I find one in good shape.



Link to post
Share on other sites


Funny you say that...personally, I would not use this spoon...having said that...there are 4 forks in my kitchen utensil drawer that I do use often

a USN galley fork

a USA Med dept fork

and two mess kit forks, one WWII era, longer, and a shorter mess kit fork


the history that JP provided is amazing...and passed on to the owner...found in a cleanout...

Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use.