Markings on C Ration Cartons

Carton of C Rations, 1967
Carton of C Rations, 1967.

Today in WW II: 27 Mar 1933 Japan gives notice of withdrawal from the League of Nations.  More 
27 Mar 1941 Anti-Axis coup d'etat in the Kingdom of Yugoslavia, with British support, forces Prince Paul into exile.
27 Mar 1941 Battle of Cape Matapan began, on Greece's Peloponnesian peninsula. British Commonwealth fleet intercepted and damaged/sank ships of the Italian Navy [March 27-29].
27 Mar 1941 Japanese spy Takeo Yoshikawa arrives in Honolulu, HI, and begins to study the US Pacific Fleet at Pearl Harbor.
27 Mar 1943 British Escort carrier HMS Dasher destroyed in the Firth of Clyde by an accidental aviation fuel explosion, killing 379 of the crew of 528.
27 Mar 1945 Final German V-2 rocket attacks of the war, one on Antwerp, killing 27 people, and one on England, which seriously injured 23 and killed one.
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C Ration Cartons: Markings

As an example of the details of the specification of the markings on C Rations, below is page 17 of MIL-R-1504C dated 13 July 1954. That specification describes "Ration, Combat, Individual" including its packaging and markings. The markings of individual components of the ration, and of the C Ration as produced at different times, can be seen in some of the photos in the section about U.S. Army Field Rations.

C Rations black crescent

Individual Cartons of MCI Rations

Marking of Individual Cartons of Meal, Combat, Individual MCI Rations
Photo of the ration carton courtesy of eBay seller woodydgn.

A case of "Meal, Combat, Individual" rations, the last C Rations before the advent of the MRE, contained 12 individual meal packages. As you can see in the photo to the left, the case was made up of a variety of menus. Each of the twelve inner boxes contained cans and accessory packages that made up the meal according to the menu plan.

For example, the box in the lower right corner of the carton contains a canned main course of "Beans w/Frankfurter Chunks in Tomato Sauce" along with a bagged Accessory Packet (matches, chewing gum, toilet paper, instant coffee, cream substitute, sugar, salt), a small can of fruit jam, a can containing fruit cake, a canned B-2 Unit (crackers, cocoa, beverage powder) and a plastic spoon.

The carton shown was packed in September of 1978. The "Meal, Combat, Individual" ration was replaced by the MRE in the early 1980s.

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