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Recent activity129295 of 179044Down on the farmunknown glass/crystal box of some kind?
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Posted 5 years ago


(103 items)

Greetings Fellow Collectors, and Happy Veteran's Day to all of my fellow Vet's on our site, including any that may still be serving! I decided to pick an item to post this morning that I thought everyone who had ever served before the current MRE'S (Meals Ready to Eat) became the new source for soldiers to eat when in the "field" would remember. I have carried this one for the past 33 years, and I never get tired of showing it off or describing what it was used for. Before MRE'S, we had what was affectionly known as C Rats, ( C Rations that were our meals when not near a hot meal. It was a small cardboard box with green metal cans and a small packet that included a eating utensil, condiments, matches, etc. As I recall, the cans did not have use by dates back then, and I am sure that there were thousands of these stored from various conflicts in the past. They would come in a case, that would be opened and passed out, You never knew what you were going to get until you read the can. I still remember eating spaghetti and meatballs for breakfast, or some other unusual choices. I'm sure some people remember all of the different choices! Anyway, each case would have several of these items in them, and everyone was always trying to grab one for themselves, rather than having to share. This device enabled you to open your cans of food including such favorites as fruit cocktails, cookies, cakes, etc. They were can openers but we never refered to them as that. We either called them P-38'S or "John Waynes". I don't know where either of these names came from, but I always refered to mine as a "John Wayne". I do remember the movie "The Sands of Iwo Jima" which John Wayne starred in as a Marine ! I always wore mine on my dog tag chain for easy access. Sorry this posting is so long, but I hope it brings back some memories on this Veteran's Day! Semper Fi, Thrifty


  1. blunderbuss2 blunderbuss2, 5 years ago
    Yep, got one I had for about 45 yrs somewhere.
  2. packrat-place packrat-place, 5 years ago
    No P-38, no meal, however, a screwdriver and a hammer worked also, eating it cold, right of the can. The mystery meat was especially awful. It was so old, it had shrunk away from the sides of the can and you had to add water so you could get a fork into it! The Chicken-A-La King goop was especially coveted, though.
  3. Chrisnp Chrisnp, 5 years ago
    My ex, who was one of the very last WACs, still carries on on her key chain.
  4. ThriftyGypsy ThriftyGypsy, 5 years ago
    Thanks for the love blunderbuss2. I am sure anybody with military in their backgrounds still have one of these around! Thrifty
  5. ThriftyGypsy ThriftyGypsy, 5 years ago
    Hey packrat-place, If you were hungry enough, you could find a way to get into those cans! lol. You definitely had to be hungry though. Seems like there was one entree that was ham and beans, although we sometimes called them ham and#@%!@*! Todays meals are definitely more appetizing. Have a great day! Thrifty
  6. ThriftyGypsy ThriftyGypsy, 5 years ago
    Thanks officialfuel for the love! Thrifty
  7. ttomtucker ttomtucker, 5 years ago
    I still have that P-38 that was issued to me in basic at Fort Ord in 1961.
  8. ThriftyGypsy ThriftyGypsy, 5 years ago
    Thanks for the love ttomtucker! I am not suprised that you still have it. I think that there are a lot of vets that still have their P38'S! Thanks for stopping by, Thrifty.
  9. ThriftyGypsy ThriftyGypsy, 5 years ago
    Thanks walksoftly for the love! Thrifty
  10. ThriftyGypsy ThriftyGypsy, 5 years ago
    Thanks for the love Kevin! That sounds like a neat idea, giving them away to Vets. They are definitely a familiar item if you were a pre-MRE Vet. Thanks for the link also. Talk to you later, Thrifty
  11. ThriftyGypsy ThriftyGypsy, 5 years ago
    Thanks musikchoo for the love! Good to hear from you, glad you stopped by. Thrifty
  12. ThriftyGypsy ThriftyGypsy, 5 years ago
    Thanks for the information Kevin. I thought that might be the company name but was not sure. I did not know that they made the originals. Good information to have when looking at these. Thanks, Thrifty
  13. ThriftyGypsy ThriftyGypsy, 5 years ago
    Thanks MattyG for the love! Thrifty
  14. ThriftyGypsy ThriftyGypsy, 5 years ago
    Thanks BELLIN68 for the love! Thrifty
  15. blunderbuss2 blunderbuss2, 5 years ago
    Who would have ever thought that the humble P-38 would get so much m-i-l-a-g-e?
  16. ThriftyGypsy ThriftyGypsy, 5 years ago
    That is amazing blunderbuss2, that so many people would remember and know what it is! I guess it was one of those items that reached all members of all branches of the military. Thanks for your comments. It is unusual that out of all of the wars, conflicts and soldiers that have been involved over the years, everyone probably still has their memories of this humble item. Talk to you later, Thrifty.
  17. packrat-place packrat-place, 5 years ago
    Should I assume you never had to open your can of cold food with a P-38, and eat it while standing in the cold rain?
    Oh, that's right, you were in the Navy, no P-38's needed.
    You guarded your P-38 with your life, that hammer and screwdriver business took too long.
  18. packrat-place packrat-place, 5 years ago
    Just giving you a hard time, my friend. My son-in-law is a Senior Chief. Spent a lot of time on nuke-subs, now he has a desk job. I am always giving him heck about how easy he has it.
  19. ThriftyGypsy ThriftyGypsy, 5 years ago
    I am glad that everyone is stopping in to chat. I have really enjoyed all of the back and forth conversations. It is definitely entertaining! Hope everyone had a good day and are getting ready for the WEEKEND! I am going to try and do a little flea market and yard sell looking. Talk to you guys later. Oh yeah, Kevin, did you happen to see the Dr. Pepper bottle I posted a couple of days ago? I was hoping you could give me a date on it. Thrifty
  20. kerry10456 kerry10456, 5 years ago
    Sorry I missed this Thrifty, Hope you enjoyed the Corps Birthday on Saturday and relaxed on Vets Day . Semper Fi ,hope you find lots of treasures this weekend.
  21. ThriftyGypsy ThriftyGypsy, 4 years ago
    Thanks Tom61375 for the love. T.G.

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