C-Rations, Part Deux

A brief history of the C-ration

Beans and Dicks, Ham and MoFos

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Relished and reviled, C-rations fed millions of troops in the field. The iconic green cans were far from home cooking, but they did sustain a fighting man when he was far from home—or at least the mess hall—until 1981, when they were replaced by the Meal Ready to Eat, or MRE.

“If you were in the field, hungry and you could heat them up, they were great—slightly better than shoe leather,” Dick Thompson, vice president of the Vietnam War Foundation & Museum in Ruckersville, Virginia, and a retired U.S. Army lieutenant colonel, told War Is Boring. “If you were in garrison where you had a choice, forget about it!”

Napoleon once said an army marches on its stomach. In other words, poorly fed troops fight poorly—food is a force multiplier.

But food preservation for long periods of time and the logistics of moving food to troops on the battlefield are two of warfare’s oldest challenges.

The U.S. military is no different. During the 1930s, the War Department did its best to develop several kinds of compact, long-lasting rations that could feed men in combat.

One was the C-ration, first issued in 1939. It was three cans of different meat and vegetables—field manuals of the time described the contents as having “the taste and appearance of a hearty stew”—and three cans containing crackers, instant coffee and sugar.  Continue reading

Carlos Hathcock Vietnam Sniper

This Marine Was The ‘American Sniper’ Of The Vietnam War

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Carlos Hathcock taking aim in Vietnam. (Photo: USMC archives)

Long before Chris Kyle penned “American Sniper,” Carlos Hathcock was already a legend.

He taught himself to shoot as a boy, just like Alvin York and Audie Murphy before him. He had dreamed of being a U.S. Marine his whole life and enlisted in 1959 at just 17 years old. Hathcock was an excellent sharpshooter by then, winning the Wimbledon Cup shooting championship in 1965, the year before he would deploy to Vietnam and change the face of American warfare forever.

He deployed in 1966 as a military policeman, but immediately volunteered for combat and was soon transferred to the 1st Marine Division Sniper Platoon, stationed at Hill 55, South of Da Nang. This is where Hathcock would earn the nickname “White Feather” — because he always wore a white feather on his bush hat, daring the North Vietnamese to spot him — and where he would achieve his status as the Vietnam War’s deadliest sniper in missions that sound like they were pulled from the pages of Marvel comics. Continue reading

AC-130 Gunship Combat Operations

It’s incredible to see a slow cargo aircraft become a devastation raining ground-attack aircraft.

There are various models outfitted with anything from gatling guns, howitzer cannons, and even missiles and bombs.

The gunship’s weaponry is mounted on the left side of the aircraft, and it performs a wide circular “pylon” turn around the target and can stay on station for an extended period of time.

Most people hate riding in a C-130 so much that they jump out of it, but that beats getting shot at by one any day.

Declassified Plans for the WW II Invasion of Japan

Many people, especially those too young to have been at risk in 1945, have been very critical of the US military dropping the atomic bombs. Take the time to read this and be properly informed of what the situation was at that time.

Subject:  Declassified plans for the WW II invasion of Japan…….Thank GOD this never happened, as thousands maybe a million of GI’s would have been killed, it would have been a blood bath…

The Author of this Article says:

Thank God for Harry Truman….a phenomenal piece of history

For those interested in WWII history, it’s a good read. 

Deep in the recesses of the National Archives in Washington, D.C., hidden for nearly four decades lie thousands of pages of yellowing and dusty documents stamped “Top Secret”. These documents, now declassified, are the plans for Operation Downfall, the invasion of Japan during World War II. Continue reading

The M16 In Vietnam

Jim Sullivan On The M16 In Vietnam

Creator of the M-16 explains why it failed in Vietnam