Hi readers. Here’s wishing you a fulfilling independence from having the British for your bosses ordering you around and making you drink their damned tea. If our ancestors hadn’t won their independence from the British we’d have had to fight on their side during WWI and WWII, the way their other colonies did.
Anyway, that WWI museum got me thinking about what GIs used to eat. There was a long shelf of displays of their mess kits, carved fancier than a POW would do. Beautiful designs and artwork produced while their feet were rotting off in trenches between having the bejesus shelled out of them and being sniped at across no-man’s-land.
In Korea, at least in the First Cavalry Division, what we ate in 1963-1964 whenever we were on field rations was all left over from WWII. 1945ish WWII. K Rations.
Camp Howze, Korea, had an enormous bunker chock full of K Rations of the nostalgic variety dating from before the Japanese surprised us with a surrender while we still had an atomic bomb and one-hell-of-a-lot of K Rations left. I can testify from personal experience the US Army was patriotic and continued eating those rations 20 years after the premature and cowardly surrender of Japan.
Our quonsot hut had a corner filled with Ks still in the cartons so we could fill those long winter nights with partying song, beer, and anything worth eating in a crate of Ks.
The cigarettes in ours weren’t Chesterfields. Ours were Lucky Strikes in a Green package. As in the old radio WWII jingle, “Lucky Strike green has gone to war!” Lucky Strike changed colors after the war to red and white, but Luckies kept right on fighting in green until all those damned Ks were consumed by GIs.
Ahhh. Nothing like sparking up a Lucky out of a carton of Ks, working fast to inhale a little tobacco smoke before it burned down to your fingertips. Those smokes were 20 years old and we never found a way to add enough moisture to keep them smoking instead of burning.
And the chocolate! The godforsaken chocolate turned white with age. We didn’t care. Everything in those Ks got tried and nobody ever died from them. And I never heard of anyone getting drunk from them.
Fact was, a person with extra money could go to the PX and get crackers, but if he did he’d have to share with the whole hooch. Same with sardines. And we had KATUSAs in our hooch. Four of them. Korean Augmentations to the US Army. And those bastards could go through a case of crackers, cans of sardines, quicker than you could make a grab for a can before they were gone.
But even the KATUSAs couldn’t make remarkably short work of a case of Ks. There was always enough for everyone, along with some leftovers to munch on guard duty.
Damn. These modern all-volunteer military guys are spoiled. Except maybe in Korea. Hell, in Korea they might still be eating Ks and wishing to hell the Japanese had gutted out another atomic bomb.