[REF] The B Unit C Ration

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[REF] The B Unit C Ration

Post  Gina_Costina on Tue Apr 14, 2009 8:17 pm

The "B" Unit" was part of a ration of 6 tins that were issued to each GI. For the purpose of collecting these tins are still available today to collectors, as the contents are such that they will not spoil until once the tin is opened.

The B-unit (bread and dessert portion) contained 5 hardtack Biscuits, 3 sugar tablets, 3 Dextrose energy tablets, and a beverage (instant coffee, powdered lemon drink, or bouillion soup powder). Later revisions added orange drink powder (1944), sweetened cocoa powder, and grape drink powder to the list of beverages. In 1941, the energy tablets were replaced with loose candy, like candy-coated peanuts or raisins, Charms hard candy, or Brachs Chocolate Caramels. Due to spoilage, the loose candy was replaced in 1944 with a candy disk (e.g. Brach's Fudge disk) or a cookie sandwich (e.g., Jim Dandee) and the number of biscuits was reduced to 4.
Another B-unit, consisting of pre-mixed oatmeal cereal was introduced in 1944 as a breakfast ration that was usually paired with the "Ham, Egg, & Potato" Meal.

The B Unit tin is 8.8cm tall and 7.7 cm in diameter. A key is soldered to the bottom and the tin can be opened in the same fashion as a luncheon meat can.



Once of my tins has the markings on the top stating “US ARMY FIELD RATION C, B UNIT ,SAVE KEY TO OPEN M UNIT, BISCUIT CONFECTION, BEVERAGE” . It is embossed “Coffe G1243”. This can is gold laquered which I understand indicates it’s an early tin.

My other unopened tins are more grey in colour, with the writing down the side instead of the lid.



When you buy an unopened tin those contents rattle away without you knowing what is actually inside. Curiosity will get the better of you and it’s likely that you will end up opening the tin. If you really have to do this, use one of the pampered chef can openers, it cuts the lid in such a way that you can place it back on without effecting the look of the tin.

Be warned that once opened the contents will start to go off. The tin I opened has been open for about a month and the sweets inside are beginning to go soggy and they do have a “sweet” taste to them (try to remember to NOT lick your fingers when removing them!!).

My can contained three sweets in cellophane wrapping and a small tin of coffee, this tin is about 2 cm in depth and 5 cm in diameter, its lid has a lip on the edge in which a coin or similar can slot into to prise it open. The lid is embossed with “Barrington Hall Pure soluble coffee”



There are three blocks of sugar that are wrapped in thin paper, mine read “Domino Pressed Tablets American sugar Refining Company” on one side and the other “sweeten it with Domino” These are 3 cm in length, 2cm wide and 1 cm indepth.

Once these items are removed a thin piece of cellophane the same size as the biscuits can be seen, it has a small semi-circular cut out in it, presumably so you can slip your finger under it to remove and get to those hard tack biscuits. It acts as a divider between the bicuits and other items. There is only one of these.


URL=http://entertainment.webshots.com/photo/2126907290080671336teNjzP][/URL]


The Hardtack biscuits are about 7 cm in diameter and 8mm in thickness, mine do not have any logo on them.

So thats it - the B unit Ration! Hopefully I’ve given you enough information to make your own repros. I’m told that Clementine tins are virtually the same size.
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Re: [REF] The B Unit C Ration

Post  samharris45 on Tue Apr 14, 2009 8:35 pm

Nice one Paul!

Some good info there! I thought that you would of beet the temptation but still it's a good source for info!

Sam
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Re: [REF] The B Unit C Ration

Post  Gina_Costina on Tue Apr 14, 2009 8:45 pm

I've got three tins so didnt mind opening one!
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Re: [REF] The B Unit C Ration

Post  samharris45 on Tue Apr 14, 2009 8:48 pm

Johnny_Costino wrote:I've got three tins so didnt mind opening one!

But what differant items are in the other tins hummmmmm!!!!!
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Re: [REF] The B Unit C Ration

Post  Gina_Costina on Tue Apr 14, 2009 8:57 pm

samharris45 wrote:
Johnny_Costino wrote:I've got three tins so didnt mind opening one!

But what differant items are in the other tins hummmmmm!!!!!

We'll never know!!! Don't even go there!!!!
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Re: [REF] The B Unit C Ration

Post  Guest on Tue Apr 14, 2009 10:30 pm

Great Article Paul, thanks for that great insight into Rations! Smile

Cheers,
Ben.

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Re: [REF] The B Unit C Ration

Post  samharris45 on Thu Apr 16, 2009 5:14 pm

Found this pic of C rat's so thought I would post up.

It shows an a original 1943 Signal Corps photo showing the entire contents of a c-ration crate laid out for display.

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Re: [REF] The B Unit C Ration

Post  murph on Sat Apr 18, 2009 1:52 am

samharris45 wrote:Found this pic of C rat's so thought I would post up.

It shows an a original 1943 Signal Corps photo showing the entire contents of a c-ration crate laid out for display.



If only that was still available!

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Re: [REF] The B Unit C Ration

Post  samharris45 on Sat Apr 18, 2009 1:40 pm

Yer it would make living history look bloody good wouldn't it!
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Re: [REF] The B Unit C Ration

Post  Guest on Sat Apr 18, 2009 4:24 pm

me thinks a small fortune could be made if you could make em up with modern edible foods.

riz

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Re: [REF] The B Unit C Ration

Post  samharris45 on Sat Apr 18, 2009 4:33 pm

rizla wrote:me thinks a small fortune could be made if you could make em up with modern edible foods.

riz

This guy does!

http://www.thesignaldepot.com/

Unfortunatly he's not making anymore untill next year!

Sam
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Re: [REF] The B Unit C Ration

Post  Gina_Costina on Sat Apr 18, 2009 5:26 pm

rizla wrote:me thinks a small fortune could be made if you could make em up with modern edible foods.

riz

Paul Dray has sussed it- he does make some good 5 in 1's. He's about on par with me when it comes to Rations . He is to rations as I am to Colemans!!!
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Re: [REF] The B Unit C Ration

Post  murph on Sun Apr 19, 2009 3:52 pm

samharris45 wrote:
rizla wrote:me thinks a small fortune could be made if you could make em up with modern edible foods.

riz

This guy does!

http://www.thesignaldepot.com/

Unfortunatly he's not making anymore untill next year!

Sam


They look great, I think i will keep an eye out for these!

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Re: [REF] The B Unit C Ration

Post  samharris45 on Sun Apr 19, 2009 9:36 pm

murph wrote:
samharris45 wrote:
rizla wrote:me thinks a small fortune could be made if you could make em up with modern edible foods.

riz

This guy does!

http://www.thesignaldepot.com/

Unfortunatly he's not making anymore untill next year!

Sam

Yes mate I agree. I know you can buy these empty as well, would make a good look for a foxhole display wouldn't it!


They look great, I think i will keep an eye out for these!
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Re: [REF] The B Unit C Ration

Post  Guest on Sun Nov 08, 2009 8:23 pm

Right...I'm gonna get flak wi this, and sorry in advance...But if I remember right, he offered these tins filled with tinned fruit for the B unit, and tinned weeners for the M unit...There ye go...

Empty, is perfect, though the red lithograph I have never came across, maybe some reference I have missed (wouldn't surprise me)...

and thanks Paul, I will be doing another run of these as soon as I get settled here in Italy...(btw, off topic, and will post as soon as I get photos and have a REAL good look for dates stamped etc...But I am now living below the 3rd Div position around the Camino Hill Mass and Angelo found four leggings on the area the 3rd and the 36th went up...From tan to bright green!)

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Re: [REF] The B Unit C Ration

Post  murph on Sun Nov 08, 2009 8:28 pm

black devil wrote:Right...I'm gonna get flak wi this, and sorry in advance...But if I remember right, he offered these tins filled with tinned fruit for the B unit, and tinned weeners for the M unit...There ye go...

Empty, is perfect, though the red lithograph I have never came across, maybe some reference I have missed (wouldn't surprise me)...

and thanks Paul, I will be doing another run of these as soon as I get settled here in Italy...(btw, off topic, and will post as soon as I get photos and have a REAL good look for dates stamped etc...But I am now living below the 3rd Div position around the Camino Hill Mass and Angelo found four leggings on the area the 3rd and the 36th went up...From tan to bright green!)



So you have moved out to Italy then! Good skills, would be very interested to hear about how you are getting on, Italy is probably my most favourite country for lot's of reasons!

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Re: [REF] The B Unit C Ration

Post  Gina_Costina on Mon Nov 09, 2009 1:53 am

black devil wrote:Right...I'm gonna get flak wi this, and sorry in advance...But if I remember right, he offered these tins filled with tinned fruit for the B unit, and tinned weeners for the M unit...There ye go...

Empty, is perfect, though the red lithograph I have never came across, maybe some reference I have missed (wouldn't surprise me)...

and thanks Paul, I will be doing another run of these as soon as I get settled here in Italy...(btw, off topic, and will post as soon as I get photos and have a REAL good look for dates stamped etc...But I am now living below the 3rd Div position around the Camino Hill Mass and Angelo found four leggings on the area the 3rd and the 36th went up...From tan to bright green!)

Crack on Paul- you'll get no flak!! Yep you're right my tins have inner tins. I'm happy with their look as they go with the crates. The originals I show to public but don't put on display as much. There is a serious gap in the market with B unit tins...it needs to be cornered!!

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Re: [REF] The B Unit C Ration

Post  joachim on Thu Dec 10, 2009 3:53 pm

I sell theme b-units below for 2.5 euro's or 2.25 pound each.
These are re closeble 95% historical correct (8mm to wide, hight ok)
If interest email me at joachimvanderroost(at)yahoo.com for shipping qouta (the cans are in Belgium)
Can are solded empty



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Re: [REF] The B Unit C Ration

Post  Gina_Costina on Thu Dec 10, 2009 5:00 pm

They look very good!

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Re: [REF] The B Unit C Ration

Post  murph on Fri Dec 11, 2009 10:17 am

Maybe we could pick some up on our Belguim trip?

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Re: [REF] The B Unit C Ration

Post  joachim on Fri Dec 11, 2009 10:52 am

hello,

I will be at remagne for the spectacle at 11 h this saterday. I can bring some with me if you want. I will be dressed as an 37mm at gun ammo bearer. This means standrd inf uniform with the m2 ammo gillet with cardbord tubes.

greets joachim

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Re: [REF] The B Unit C Ration

Post  Guest on Mon Dec 06, 2010 7:38 pm

The C ration came in a clear lacquer, that is "silver" in appearance for a very short period (off the top of my head, the fall of 1942 ???), other than that, they where gold lacquered till the QMC ordered them to be OD lacquered in the fall of 1943, the construction beginning when stocks of gold lacquered where used up....

The inclusion of a fudge disc:
CQD No. 183, 31 October 1944.. Which after procurement, bringing it to January 1945... then overseas shipment from Chicago, it most likely wouldn't see Wartime ETO, though probably PTO (though doubt it)... so, fudge disc: Post War


Here's a B unit I do:

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Re: [REF] The B Unit C Ration

Post  murph on Mon Dec 06, 2010 8:36 pm

I'm reading Bill MAULDLINS book at the moment (kindly provided by Ben) and it does mention the rations quite a bit. Apparently the 'bouillon' was way too salty and if consumed left the GI with overwhelming thirst, not easily quenched when fresh water was in short supply. It also mentions the GI lemonade which was a most un-appealing prospect when you were stuck in a foxhole in temperatures akin to what we are currently experiencing, it also gave you the trots!

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Re: [REF] The B Unit C Ration

Post  Gina_Costina on Mon Dec 06, 2010 8:38 pm

murph wrote:...... It also mentions the GI lemonade which was a most un-appealing prospect when you were stuck in a foxhole in temperatures akin to what we are currently experiencing, it also gave you the trots!

Were you drinking this when we were in Normandy??? Razz Razz What a Face

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Re: [REF] The B Unit C Ration

Post  murph on Mon Dec 06, 2010 8:43 pm

Johnny_Costino wrote:
murph wrote:...... It also mentions the GI lemonade which was a most un-appealing prospect when you were stuck in a foxhole in temperatures akin to what we are currently experiencing, it also gave you the trots!

Were you drinking this when we were in Normandy??? Razz Razz What a Face

Other than 'petrachidi' I did consume half a litre of fresh orange juice prior to my sudden need to go. It's funny but much as I do not want to repeat the experience you have to admit that it really was living the dream in terms of what might have happened to a GI of a lesser composed constitution...

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