2nd Battalion, 8th Cavalry Regiment 1967-68

Company B, 2nd Battalion, 8th Cavalry Regiment, 1st Cavalry Division (Airmobile) Bravo Company, 2nd Bn, 8th Cav Regt. 1st Cavalry Division Bravo, 2-8th Cav - Co B, 2-8th Cav Regt. - B Co, 2-8 Cav Co B, 2/8 Cav Regt. - Co B, 2-8 Cav, 1st Cav Div - B/2-8, 1st Cavalry Div - B 2/8, 1st Cav Div



Commonly known as Cs, C-Rats, C-Rations or Combat Rations
Most of our meals in the field consisted of C-Rations, and these were really meant for use in Europe and not for the tropics. In our time a case of C-Rations contained 12 different meals: Ham and Lima Beans, Fried Ham, Ham and Eggs, Pork Steak, Boned Chicken, Chicken and Noodles, Turkey Loaf, Beef Steak, Beef Slices/Potatoes/Gravy, Meat Balls and Beans, Spiced
Beef with Sauce, Spaghetti and Meatballs, and Beans and Wieners.

Using the words of our Quartermaster Corps - Each menu contains: one canned meat item; one canned fruit, bread or dessert item; one B unit; an accessory packet containing cigarettes, matches, chewing gum, toilet paper, coffee, cream, sugar, and salt; and a spoon. Although the meat item can be eaten cold, it is more palatable when heated.

Pay attention to the last phrase - it is more palatable when heated. For some unknown reason, our Quartermaster friends never provided us with heating tablets. Combat troopers are ingenious improvisers when confronted with this sort of problem and this is how we solved it. For ambush operations and for securing our night defense, we made extensive use of Claymore anti-personnel mines that we could activate with an electrical firing device. Each mine contained 700 steel spheres and 1-1/2 pounds of composition C-4 explosive. Most combat troopers were highly trained experts at disassembling claymore mines and removing the C-4 explosives for cooking purposes. A small chunk of C-4 was all that was required to heat our meat item and make it more palatable.
Whenever you mention C-Rations, you also have to mention McIlhenny’s Tabasco Pepper Sauce. Even in the darkest regions of the Vietnam jungle, many combat troopers had their precious bottle of Tabasco Sauce along so that they could prepare a gourmet meal from their C-Rations. As a matter of fact, the McIlhenny Company prepared “The Charlie Ration Cookbook” especially for combat troopers in Vietnam. This cookbook contained numerous delicious recipes that could be used with C-Ration items together with, of course, a few drops of Tabasco Pepper Sauce.
Recipes included such mouth-watering dishes as Tin Can Casserole, Fox Hole Dinner for Two (Turkey and Chicken Poulette), Creamed Turkey on Toast, and Breast of Chicken Under Bullets. Here are some first hand accounts of some of the delicacies produced by our guys and members of the 327th Infantry Regiment, 101st Airborne Division:

- I remember making pizza. 1 can of beef with spice sauce. 1 can of white bread, slice the bread in half.1 can of cheese. Spread the beef and then the cheese on the bread. Tabasco for seasoning. Bake in an ammo can, or at least long enough to melt the cheese. D.M.

- Mix the ham and eggs with the cheddar cheese, add some onion, or whatever, and a little hot sauce and enjoy. LW

- How about some beef slices with B-2 cheese simmered over C-4 with just a dash of hot sauce? Makes your mouth water. YJ

- Remember Ham & Lima beans. Occasionally we'd get a fresh onion in the field with our c's. I'd cut up the onion, added it to the Ham and Lima beans with sugar from the coffee pack, add the canned cheese, salt and pepper, but pour out the greasy juice and replace it with water prior to adding these things. Boil and stir. The c-rat cheese replacing the grease was the trick. A regular field chef extraordinaire, the Ham and Lifers became my specialty. Everyone else ditched the Ham and Limas because they were heavy and I loaded up. Dan

- Who could forget that exquisite cuisine and that wonderful dessert......... fruitcake. I loved fruitcake when a kid and when the platoon found out I liked fruitcake, well being the wonderful guys that they were, they shared their cake with me......3 meals a day for about 2 weeks. I have not touched a fruitcake since. GH

- Remember Russian cocoa? A full canteen cup with two or three coffees, a like number of creamers and sugars and one of the hot cocoa mix heated over some C-4. It sure tasted good when it got cold in the hills around the Ashau. Hawk.

- After about half my tour was gone I never bothered to heat the Cs anymore, just splashed them with hot sauce and chowed down. YJ

This is how we received a case of C-Rations containing 12 different meals.

Here you can see all the items that came with the meal BEANS W/FRANKFURTER CHUNKS IN TOMATO SAUCE. Note: The Accessory Pack also contained toilet paper and a book of waterproof matches.

Here is the famous Tabasco Sauce with a copy of the cookbook prepared for combat soldiers in Vietnam. The small metal gadgets are P-38 can openers. These were so important that we usually attached them to the chain that we wore around our neck with our Dog Tags.
The RATION SUPPLEMENT SUNDRIES PACK was provided to troops who did not have access to a Post Exchange outlet. The Sundries Pack was a regular issue item to the troopers of Bravo Company and was considered as the "front line post exchange". It consists of a tobacco pack, a toilet article pack, and a confection pack to meet the requirements of 100 men for one day.

Chewing tobacco
Pipe tobacco
Safety matches
Lighter flints

Brushless shaving cream
Safety razor
Safety razor blades
Tooth powder
Tooth brush
Toilet soap

Sweet chocolate bar
Starch jelly bar
Chocolate coated coconut bar
or Chocolate coated carmel nougat
or Chocolate coated fudge
or Caramel (wrapped)
Hard candy tablets
Chewing gum

(Prepared by Peter O’Sullivan and Gene Hedberg)



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