C-Rations of the Vietnam War


C Rations of the Vietnam War

Soldiers of World War II had their K-Rations and post-Vietnam Era soldiers had their Meals Ready to Eat (MREs) but during the Vietnam War Era we had our Meal Combat Individual C more commonly called C-Rations.

Each case contained a variety pack that you either loved or hated and had absolutely no choice as to which meal you received:

Beans, w/Frankfurter Chunks in tomato Sauce B-2 Unit

Beef, Spiced Sauce B-1A Unit

Turkey, Boned B-3A Unit

Pork, Sliced & Cooked B-1A Unit

Spaghetti w/Ground Meat B-2 Unit

Beans w/Meat Balls in tomato Sauce B-2 Unit

Chicken & Noodles B-1A Unit

Ham & Eggs, Chopped B-1A Unit

Beef Slices & Potatoes w/Gravy B-2 Unit

Ham, Sliced & Cooked B-3A Unit

Beefsteak B-3A Unit

Turkey Loaf B-3A Unit

Each meal contained the canned meal, the B Unit, Canned Spread (butter), Canned Fruit and an accessory packet:



Chewing Gum


Cream Substitute


Plastic Spoon

Sugar, Toilet Paper

During my tour in Southeast Asia (1968 – 1970) we drew our rations in the mess hall at Zero Dark Thirty as we ate breakfast and prepared to hit the road, convoying to wherever we were tasked. It’s been so long ago that I don’t really remember having a truly bad meal, although I probably had more ham & eggs than beefsteak. We usually heated our canned meal by placing it near on the engine exhaust about an hour before our lunch stop. Convoy speed was a whopping 25 MPH so we really did get nowhere fast.

We often stopped along the highway where no houses were and took our lunch break sitting under a tree or in the shade of the truck, but rarely did we make it out of the cab before the kids came from out of nowhere begging for the candy and cigarettes.

In today’s era of political correctness C-Rations would be taken off the market due to the cigarettes, coffee, matches and toilet paper all being hazardous to your health.

So tell me what was your favorite and least favorite meal? Do you still have your P-38? – RTM

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