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

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

  1. 2A-Jay

    2A-Jay Well-Known Member Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2016
    Messages:
    7,530
    Location:
    Long Beach WA
    I have the P-38 I got in SERE School during my Aircrew Training back in the 1972 on my original Boot Camp Dog tag Chain. I Hated the Spaghetti and Meat sauce meal. Beans and hotdogs was ok the energy cake (chocolate covered cookie was good, the by then stale Chesterfields were so dry they would only last about 3 puffs.

    I have 3 of the original P-38s and 2 of the larger ones (we used for opening the 20# Cans of Coffee the Navy proved us with.
     
  2. Gun Geezer

    Gun Geezer Well-Known Member Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2009
    Messages:
    5,126
    Location:
    Central Florida
    Boy, does that bring back memories. About 15 yrs ago, when we lived in St. Pete,
    my neighbor across the street called me over & asked if I wanted some of his old C-Rations that he had bought in an army surplus store many yrs ago in case a bad hurricane prevented him from getting groceries. He was a good 10 yrs older than me & I didn't want to disrespect him by turning him down. I had planned on throwing them out but my wife found them in the garage & gave me that questioning look. I told her why & where I got them & she said we should open one for grins & see if they were still good. They had to be from the 70's or before. They were still good! Kinda makes one wonder about those "best used by" dates.
     

  3. gdmoody

    gdmoody Full Time Moderator Moderator Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2007
    Messages:
    37,022
    Location:
    Athens, Georgia
    Last year I was down in Florida visiting family. My nephew gave me some of the MRE's that they received right after that hurricane. There were a bunch of loose ones in a couple of boxes. I tried one of them the other day and everything was stale so I threw away all of them. There was one unopened case left, so yesterday I tried one of them and it was still good, my grandson and I had MRE's for lunch yesterday
     
    tedwitt, jim brady and howlnmad like this.
  4. SilasW

    SilasW Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2013
    Messages:
    2,634
    Location:
    Missouri
    Apparently the new MRE's have come a long way since the ones we were given back in the 1980's. The high and low were the Pork Patty being the best and Chicken-ala-King the worst (you couldn't get enough of the little bottles of tabasco to kill the taste). Everything was dehydrated then. If you were creative you could make a pizza with the Pork Patty. Crackers were the crust with the patty on top and powdered catsup. It didn't come with any cheese, so you just had to make do with what you had. Later on they came out with a Ham Slice meal that was my favorite.
    Cigarettes were a thing of the past in MRE's. C-rations were still around if you could find them, most guys in my company preferred them over the dehydrated stuff. Even though it was 18-20 years old. Found a couple that still had cigarettes. They were drier than toasted sawdust. Smoked them anyway, but looking back I wish I'd saved them.
     
    tedwitt and jim brady like this.
  5. joe45c

    joe45c Well-Known Member Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2011
    Messages:
    16,312
    Location:
    peru,ny
    Ted there a lots of them for sale on Ebay. They aren't very expensive. Maybe $2.00 for a couple. either the p-38s or p-51s.
     
    tedwitt likes this.
  6. Skipper

    Skipper Well-Known Member Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2008
    Messages:
    1,224
    Location:
    Behind the lines in Kalifornia
    tedwitt and jim brady like this.
  7. SilasW

    SilasW Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2013
    Messages:
    2,634
    Location:
    Missouri
    Towards the end of my time in service the Army was using T-rations. Food packaged in larger sealed flat metal cans. A couple of P-51's came in the cardboard box the cans were delivered in. Most of it was pretty good. It was supposed to feed a platoon. A platoon of Tankers is 16 soldiers and there was always more than were could eat at one time. A lot got thrown out because we simply couldn't eat it all.t
    Not really practical if you're on the move (which we usually were). But if there was a situation where time permitted, it was a welcome change.
     
    tedwitt likes this.
  8. jim brady

    jim brady Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2009
    Messages:
    6,988
    Location:
    Simla, Colorado
    We had early morning 'cranks' (very early missions), so the Gunner would go up to Supply and draw the '60s and pick up a case of C Rats for the day. My Crew Chief would go back to the Company Area and fill up a 3 gallon Igloo with water and sometimes ice from the Mess Hall, and I'd stay with the 'ship and get the Pre Flight done before the Pilots came out - then go topside with one of the pilots and button down the tunnel covers and clamshell doors after they did their Pre Flight.

    The rations drawn from supply were a crap-shoot. We were at the end of the supply chain, so we got whatever was left. A couple of times the Gunner brought out K Rats from WW2 - those were about 25 - 30 years old - and those had the bread tins. Some of the C Rats were also old from the 40s. I smoked Camels back then, but smoked Lucky Strikes from the 'Rats. Early in WW2 Lucky changed their cigarette package colors (the original colors were red and green) because red and green were the colors the national colors of the German Army. Sometimes the C Rats had red and green Lucky Strikes.

    Best field rations were the LURPs. Only problem was they were freeze dried and you had to add water. The Dinks in the field got issued those, but we used to steal them from cargo nets (along with cases of beer). The loads were carried externally in nets with short sling straps. We always had a 'Shepherd's Hook' in the aircraft (a 10' long aluminum pole with a hook on the end) - and a good Flight Engineer could fish out beer cases and LURPs in-flight with no problem. We never stole from OUR guys - just the ARVINs. If the pilots caught us we just shared the beer with them at the end of the day.
     
    Last edited: May 29, 2020
    tedwitt and SilasW like this.
  9. Skipper

    Skipper Well-Known Member Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2008
    Messages:
    1,224
    Location:
    Behind the lines in Kalifornia
    tedwitt likes this.
  10. rooter

    rooter *VMBB Senior Chief Of Staff* Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2001
    Messages:
    25,443
    Location:
    Glendale Arizona
    By Jove, this has been such a very popular post with so much meaning to all these
    old troopers....my own interest began recently when one of the Great Grandsons noted
    I wore a dog-tag type device which is a medic-alert for my heart condition... I showed
    him that and then the 'tags I wore all those years in the service...he asked about the
    can opener and was fascinated with the P-38 jargon... I opened a big can of peaches
    to show him and his brother how it worked...Eventually we went to the computer and
    pulled up a picture of the P-38 fighter plane...Damn, it felt good telling those inquisitive
    rascals stories with pictures..The youngest of the two, now 7 years old, is named after
    me but the birth certificate spelled the name JON instead of JOHN....Can't really recall
    where my '38 come from..perhaps one of those range trips the battalion had to make
    to Pendleton....the range Marines claimed the 'Rats were better than the mess-hall
    chow in at mainside...Chief
     
    tedwitt and jim brady like this.
  11. joe45c

    joe45c Well-Known Member Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2011
    Messages:
    16,312
    Location:
    peru,ny
    Skip lot cheaper on Ebay. Lots of different combinations of amounts and prices. Saw one offer 1 dozen p-38s for $12.00 dollars. But you can get all you want from some places pretty cheap.
     
    tedwitt likes this.
  12. Skipper

    Skipper Well-Known Member Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2008
    Messages:
    1,224
    Location:
    Behind the lines in Kalifornia
    Thanks. I think I'll grab a few for my canned food stash.
     
    tedwitt and joe45c like this.
  13. tedwitt

    tedwitt 440 Supporting Member

    Joined:
    May 1, 2014
    Messages:
    8,338
    Location:
    The Lone Star State
  14. rcairflr

    rcairflr Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2011
    Messages:
    3,376
    Location:
    Wichita, Ks
    Spent 10 years in the USMC and never heard it called a P-38. We always called it a "John Wayne". BTW, I still have a couple of them.
     
    joe45c and tedwitt like this.
  15. tedwitt

    tedwitt 440 Supporting Member

    Joined:
    May 1, 2014
    Messages:
    8,338
    Location:
    The Lone Star State
    I got 'em today.
    Tag-z.com
    IMG_20200531_135135_kindlephoto-77541288.jpg
     
    joe45c likes this.