OUR ERA CALLED THE UNGAINLY THINGS, P-38's............

Discussion in 'Vietnam Memories Photo Album' started by rooter, May 27, 2020.

  1. rooter

    rooter *VMBB Senior Chief Of Staff* Supporting Member

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    Gifted to the USNSM in 2009 by James Wheldon
    Before Meals Ready to Eat Or MREs, there were C-Rations and K-Rations. These canned “wet” meals were intended for use when a field kitchen or mess hall was not available for the troops. Since a full size can opener wasn’t practical in the field, this small 2" long x 1.75" wide can opener was developed.
    Every Seabee ever issued these canned rations between 1942 and 1980 also received this small pocket can opener. Many carry them on their key chains today, but Wheldon used his during WWII when he was part of the 90th Naval Construction Battalion.

    I have my P-38's with my old dog tags that are all stuck together from the rubber like
    noise-snubbers that circled the edges of the dog tags...Chief


    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: May 27, 2020
  2. sharps4590

    sharps4590 Well-Known Member

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    Did the same thing, put one on my key ring. Darned little things worked good!! But, given my arthritic thumbs today...ain't sure I could use one!!
     

  3. joe45c

    joe45c Well-Known Member Supporting Member

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    I have a bunch of the bigger ones p-51s. Lots easier to use. Got all over the place, camping gear, cars, hunting coat, kitchen drawer. Always use it to open cans for meals.
     
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  4. SilasW

    SilasW Well-Known Member

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    When we lived in town, our neighbor was a Korean War vet. He didn't get out much. He and his wife had lived on a farm, and when she passed, he moved into town. We Bar-B-Q a lot and I'd always take a plate of food to him. Then we'd talk for a while.
    Came home from work one day and noticed his garage door was open. His daughter was there. She informed me he had died the night before. Apparently, he had passed peacefully in his sleep.
    She expressed her gratitude to me and said her Dad had always told her how much he enjoyed the visits with a fellow vet over a meal. She wanted to give me something of his and told me to take what ever I wanted from the garage. Like a lot of men's garages, it was stacked high with things they should have tossed but just never did. I was hesitant but she insisted. On a shelf by his workbench was an metal Old Judge coffee can filled to the top with P-38 can openers. I asked if that would be OK to keep. She said, "that old thing?" "Dad had that for as long as I can remember, brought it home from the war." "Sure you don't want something else too?" I assured her that it was plenty and would mean a lot to me.
    I still have that old can full of P-38's somewhere around here. Probably in my shed stacked full of stuff I should have tossed, but never have.
     
  5. gdmoody

    gdmoody Full Time Moderator Moderator Supporting Member

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    I still have mine on my key chain.
     
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  6. Skipper

    Skipper Well-Known Member Supporting Member

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    Mine was on my key chain, until the hinge got worn and the blade almost made me sing soprano!

    Now it's on my dog tag chain.
     
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  7. Limbo Jimbo

    Limbo Jimbo Well-Known Member

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    Have carried one on my key ring over 40 years , well used
     
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  8. AZ2VET

    AZ2VET Well-Known Member

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    About 40 years ago all of of kids in my Boy Scout troop were given one by our scoutmaster. I held onto it for a few years but it ended up getting lost. In my years in the Navy I never seen a MRE until the day I flew off of CVN71 92 days into a deployment to process out and start my 83 days of terminal leave. But about 5 years ago at a gunshow a vendor had some and I picked up two. They are with me everyday, one in a pocket and one on my keychain.
     
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  9. rooter

    rooter *VMBB Senior Chief Of Staff* Supporting Member

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    That was an excellent story...Thanks for sharing...I got all choked up as I read it....I always been a firm believer in the telling of stories and I try to do it often on here...they may be testing for someones patience, but had you not just shared this with us, I'd have never thought more than just one, P-38... I've told the story of collecting strange things and often I have mentioned being an Old Iowa Farmboy...the plower of cornfields with my team of horses and the many Indian arrow head and lance tips that I'd find and collect..Sadly, when I left the farm and the care of my cruel foster parents, that collection was left behind..I hope they got turned over to a museum of sorts. Chief
     
  10. ms6852

    ms6852 GUNZILLA Supporting Member

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    Have mine since I got one in bootcamp in my key ring. For some reason I found that I did not care for the bigger ones that were sold, don't work as good as the ones that came in the c-ration cases. Anyone one want a Chesterfield?
     
  11. rooter

    rooter *VMBB Senior Chief Of Staff* Supporting Member

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    You mentioned CHESTERFIELD and I immediately thought of Old Art Godfrey..Chief

    Arthur Godfrey - Wikipedia
    en.wikipedia.org › wiki › Arthur_Godfrey

    Arthur Morton Godfrey (August 31, 1903 – March 16, 1983) was an American radio and ... By 1915, when Arthur was 12, the family had moved to Hasbrouck Heights, New ... Arthur Godfrey Time was a Monday–Friday show that featured his ... Tea, Frigidaire, Pillsbury cake mixes and Liggett & Myers's Chesterfield cigarettes.
     
  12. ms6852

    ms6852 GUNZILLA Supporting Member

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    Funny thing about the c-rations we had. I was in boot camp in 76 and thought that getting cigarettes in our c-rations was pretty cool, it wasn't until much later that I realized we were eating c-rations that were much older than I was at that time. Pretty long shelf life they have. The bean and Winnies, and chopped ham were my favorite and that chocolate cake just sucked out the moisture from your whole body.
     
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  13. Skipper

    Skipper Well-Known Member Supporting Member

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    Peaches were great. Not so with the Turkey Loaf, Pound Cake, Boned Chicken or Ham and Mothers.
     
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  14. jwdurf

    jwdurf Well-Known Member Supporting Member

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    me too...... we called them John Waynes...opened many a can of Ham and Mothers........
     
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  15. gdmoody

    gdmoody Full Time Moderator Moderator Supporting Member

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    My father was a mess sergeant at Fort Campbell for many years. There were times in my life when we didn't have much to eat and daddy would bring home a case or three of C-rations. To stay on the theme of this thread - there were always a few of the P-38s loose inside each case. I think I picked up smoking from other little packages that were in each case, too!
     
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