information provided by J.T. Tillman

How to make a C-Rat Can Stove and other things.
How to make a C-Rat Can cup.
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B-1 Units
Meat Choices (in small cans):
    Ham and Eggs, Chopped
    Ham Slices
    Turkey Loaf
    Fruit Cocktail
Crackers (7)
Peanut Butter
Candy Disc, Chocolate
Accessory Pack*
B-2 Units
Meat Choices (in larger cans):
    Beans and Wieners (photo right)
    Spaghetti and Meatballs
    Beefsteak, Potatoes and Gravy
    Ham and Lima Beans
    Meatballs and Beans
Crackers (4)
Cheese Spread, Processed
Fruit Cake
Pecan Roll
Pound Cake
Accessory Pack*
B-3 Units
Meat Choices (in small cans):
    Boned Chicken
    Chicken and Noodles
    Meat Loaf
    Spiced Beef
Bread, White
Cookies (4)
Cocoa Beverage Powder
    Mixed Fruit
Accessory Pack*
*Accessory Pack (photo right)
Spoon, Plastic
Coffee, Instant
Creamer, Non-dairy
Gum, 2 Chicklets
Cigarettes, 4 smokes/pack
    Pall Mall
    Lucky Strike
Matches, Moisture Resistant
Toilet Paper

From: "Jim Good"
Sent: Tuesday, December 03, 2002 10:16 PM
Subject: C Rations
As I remember it, that could be dangerous.╩ They would sometimes throw the ham and lima beans back at us.╩ They may not have had a large English language vocabulary, but they knew what ham and lima beans were, and they weren't interested in eating them.╩ Can't say as I blame them.

I used to throw the ham and lima beans and date pudding at the kids as we drove by
╩ Boshell

From: "Keith Eaton"
Sent: Thursday, November 28, 2002 9:52 AM
In late 70 they started to supply us with flex X explosive in place of c-4 it was in a stick about twelve inches long by about 3 or 4 inches wide and about 1/4 inch thick. It was greenish in color but it cooked better than c-4 it burned a little cooler so you didn't have to work about the c rats sticking to the pot.

C-Ration Stew - It Don't Get No Better Than that!!
PR and I were talking about C-Ration Stew, and How GOOD it Was:):) A little bit of this and alot of that(HOT SAUCE)anyway!!

From: J.T. Tillman
To: A Troop, 4/12th Cav
Sent: Tuesday, November 26, 2002 4:03 PM
Subject: Sitrep: Tanker's Stew
╩ To make those C Rations bearable, a bunch of us would take out all of the main course cans from a case of C's, open them up and put them in a big pot we had ripped off from the mess hall.╩ These delectable meats got stirred together with a half a bottle of hot sauce and salt and pepper,╩heated slowly╩and actually tasted fairly decent.╩ More than likely, our taste buds were totally burned out and we just "thought" that Tanker's Stew tasted good.
I hope you all have a great Thanksgiving!
╩ J.T.

╩ I remember the╩tanker's stew. It made the c-rats we couldn't stand bearable. I remember those little╩ chili peppers that Zamora would get from home that he would put in the pot. I didn't care for the hot stuff very well so when Zamora put╩peppers in I wouldn't eat it. It was funny to watch Zamora eat the stew and pop the peppers in his mouth as well. He would break out in a profuse sweat. ╩
Whitey╩╩ A 36 68-69

From: "glenn bowers"
Sent: Monday, November 25, 2002 6:04 PM
Subject: Re: Sitrep: C Rations
Are you forgetting-
Hickory Smoke cheese spread and plain cheese spread. I also think that their was datenut cake? Also pork slices, beef slices, fruitcake.

From: "John Sharpe"
Sent: Monday, November 25, 2002 11:29 PM
Subject: Re: Sitrep: C Rations
I think it was date pudding. One night on guard, I walked over to Tony Hunter's track and ask him what he was eating. He said it was boned turkey. It was date pudding. He had so much hot sauce on it he couldn't tell the difference.

From: "dkilmore"
Sent: Monday, November 25, 2002 6:10 PM
Subject: Re: Sitrep: C Rations
We not only used c4 to heat c rats, but also TNT. It burned just as hot, but smoked a bit.

I remember one person in our platoon, who I won't name, always forgot to punch a hole in his c rat can before cooking it, it would get so hot and build pressure then the can would explode in his face, I remember one incident where after it blew up the guy sat there with a dumb look on his face as several beans ran down his cheek. It was funny.
Don Wright (Whitey alfa three six 68-69)

Just as a side note, the 11th Cav was different from most Cav units in that just about every swinging dick assigned to that unit was in the field. The only guys back in the rear were an NCOIC (usually an E-6 who had been wounded), an armorer/supply sergeant, a Troop clerk and the cooks. However, the cooks came out to the field each evening on the  
resupply shithook with their hot chow, and they spent the night and cooked us hot breakfast in the morning. This was no problem since we were a self-contained Regiment. JT

By the spring or summer of 1970 we were getting hot chow frequently in the field.  We would typically spend 3 weeks in the bush without going into a firebase, but we often had hot chow flown out in the evening in marmite cans.  It seems that more often than not we had hot chow in the field.  Breakfast and lunch were C-rations, and when I came home from Viet Nam it seems like I put on something like 25 pounds in the first few months just by eating normally.  Jim

I don't ever remember any hot meals in the field. All we ever ate were c-rats. Once in awhile we would mix a bunch of c-rats together with some hot sauce and cook it with some C4 in a clean helmet but those were also rare times. I can hardly remember eating in the mess tent back in base camp. I do remember that when we were at LZ Nancy they used to rocket us every once in awhile and the mess tent was one of the first things they hit. After a while they found out the barber was VC and he was giving the enemy firing instructions. I also don't remember going to the mess tent when we were back in base camp, which wasn't that often anyway. Seems like we only stopped at base camp for short stays. Usually just long enough to get ammo, some c-rats and we were usually out the next day. I don't even remember the cooks. I was a good eater when I got drafted but like you said Bob, the Army took all the fun out of eating. That's probably why I eat so much now cause I'm trying to make up for all the meals I missed in the Army. Rag

Rag we got a few at Charlie 2 until they put a rocket in the mess area and blew their shit to hell. I do remember a few meals come out on the supply chopper with our mail and fresca and we got to eat without pepper cause the chopper blew dirt into our food.  John  

John, did you really drink the Fresca? Turtle 

No I couldn't stand it. If I recall right we got in trouble when we used the cases as target practice.  John 

As much as I liked soda in Vietnam, I couldn't even drink that swill they called Fresca. I would rather drink hot water. Turtle 

Yeah, it was good to get some hot food in my stomach after a hot, sweaty day of busting jungle.  However, we had water buffalo for 72 days in a row, then chicken for two days and then water buffalo again for at least 80 days in a row.  Of course, breakfast was always the same with the powdered eggs (I called them hydraulic eggs).  Of course, at the time we bitched about having the same old shit every day, but then, some people would bitch if they got hung with a new rope. J.T.

P.S.  When I came home to my folks' house I asked my mom what she had for dinner.  Her response was, "I cooked you u a nice roast just how you like it."  Wouldn't you know it! 

I remember the chopper meals and Fresca, but not fondly. It got so food wasn't all that important to me in the field (sure wish it was that way now!!). C-rat's were OK. Filled me up and gave me energy. The only place's in Nam I had decent chow was at Cua Viet, the Hospital Ship, and in an Air Force mess hall in Danang. Never do I remember a decent Army issue meal. I am probably wrong but I thought the cooks had an 'attitude' the  
little I was at base camp I didn't care to go to the mess hall. Bob 

The 11th Cav sounds like it did you right...civilized chow at night AND a hot breakfast!!! In the field!!! Wow. I don't remember EVER having a hot breakfast in A Troop. And the hot chow they brought out maybe three times in my tour was just re-heated canned roast beef (I hope). Bob 

I do remember us tossing all the undesirable in a steel pot with whatever sauces we had and we didn't think it was all that bad. But when you were in the field it tasted better than mud. Trap 

I got stuck with Ham and Lima Beans for a week once and no one trade with me. So whenever I think of Ham and Lima Beans I get nightmares. To this day I don't eat Lima Beans. Gene 

The only bad about ham and Lima Beans besides tasting like crap was that U could throw them at a bunch of KIDS on the road and the kid looked at them and sent them back to U quicker than U sent them to U right in the back of the Helmet. Jim B 

If you boiled the c-rats in water (steel pot with C4 for heat) they were not too bad. Of course after you were in country for a few months you attitude (or taste buds) changed.


I used to could handle Ham and Eggs. I also hated Beans and Meatballs Gene 

My favorite was the Beans and Franks or any meal with the fruit cocktail or peaches, anything with fruit so I could drink the juices. Gene

You were probably the first one to break open the case. While you were opening the can of beans and franks I was taking the peaches. FYI - I was in an Army Navy surplus store over the weekend and inquired if they had any c-rats from our time. Nada, they’re a collector’s item now. Maybe they have matured with age. I remember the c-rats in AIT & Basic were of the WWII vintage. Trap