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Field Chow Can

Mojave Jack

One Too Many
Messages
1,785
Location
Yucca Valley, California
I just made a great score at one of our local antique shops. The Monty was in getting aligned, so I perused the shops while I waited.

...and I found this.

ChowCanFront.jpg ChowCanBack.jpg

ChowCanInside.jpg

I'm not sure if it is US surplus, but looks to be about WWII/Korean War era, though the hot chow cans we had when I was in the Marine Corps were not much different. All I know is that this is going to work great for camping! I don't think I'd wear it very far using the backpack straps, though. I had to walk the 3 or 4 blocks back to the alignment shop, and it digs in pretty good...and that's when it was empty. I'm anxious t test it so see how well it keeps things cold (or warm).

It'll be a great conversation piece for keeping beer cold for a backyard barbecue, too!
 

MPicciotto

Practically Family
Messages
771
Location
Eastern Shore, MD
Does look like the child of an "Indian Pump" and a Mermite can. Pretty sure it's not US as the US Mermite cans never had backpack straps. Based only on appearance of the hardware, colors etc I'd say Russian as well. The modern equivalent (again not backpackable) are containers sold by Cambro. Which I believe are rated to keep hot foods hot for 8 hours if you don't open the lid.

Matt
 

GJ nord

Familiar Face
Messages
62
Location
Jockland
sure it's not boche related? either way it should have some stamp markings on it somewhere I would have thought?
 

Oldsarge

One Too Many
Messages
1,440
Location
On the banks of the Wilamette
I remember a mermite can or two a long while back. They were replaced by T-rations for HQ field kitchens. I'm not sure just how T-rats work, whether they're microwaved or heated in some other fashion but I do remember being pleasantly surprised by how good they tasted. Army chow by then was getting right up there with the Navy's, hard as that may be to believe.
 

Mojave Jack

One Too Many
Messages
1,785
Location
Yucca Valley, California
There's not a mark on it anywhere! That's an interesting tidbit, Renault, and is the closest I've seen or read to this thing. Sarge, I know the ones you are talking about, the old green cooler/warmer with the three tall square cans inside. We used to swipe the rubber seal from the inside cans to use as a helmet band. They held things much tighter, and were free. Of course, the cans never sealed again, and chow slopped all over inside the cans afterwards. You can see the black rubber seal on the lid of the interior can to the right in this picture.

mermite.jpg

God, I remember being the junior LCpl in the section, and having to make the early morning chow runs as soon as I had my M151 license. We'd pick up two or three of these marmite cases, plus a stack of trays, plasticware, bread, and other assorted crap and drive the 15 miles back to our position. I can't stand the smell of grits to this day!
 

Oldsarge

One Too Many
Messages
1,440
Location
On the banks of the Wilamette
M151? Gawd, that brings back memories. They were a lot easier to drive than the drattted HUMVEEs though I have to admit they wouldn't carry as much. Once upon a time a captain and I were running around Ft. Irwin. I had him totally baffled because I was navigating with nothing but a topo map. No compass, nuttin'. And we hit every checkpoint on the money. He couldn't believe it and went back an crowed to the other officers. Unreal. I mean, I was a damned intel sergeant fer gawd's sake! Map reading was how I earned my keep.
 

Renault

One Too Many
Messages
1,688
Location
Wilbarger creek bottom
There's not a mark on it anywhere! That's an interesting tidbit, Renault, and is the closest I've seen or read to this thing. Sarge, I know the ones you are talking about, the old green cooler/warmer with the three tall square cans inside. We used to swipe the rubber seal from the inside cans to use as a helmet band. They held things much tighter, and were free. Of course, the cans never sealed again, and chow slopped all over inside the cans afterwards. You can see the black rubber seal on the lid of the interior can to the right in this picture.

View attachment 4511

God, I remember being the junior LCpl in the section, and having to make the early morning chow runs as soon as I had my M151 license. We'd pick up two or three of these marmite cases, plus a stack of trays, plasticware, bread, and other assorted crap and drive the 15 miles back to our position. I can't stand the smell of grits to this day!

We used cut up inner tubes on our pots.

Yeah the Russian unit commander came into our camp at a winter event with a private in tow. Private had one of those cans on his back full of hot cabbage soup. We all dined. I asked him the provenance of the can and he said it was Russian.

I still have one of the big round blue speckle enamel lined WWII mermite cans here somewhere. I was always told the blue enamel ones were used for whole blood shipment to field hospitals. Who knows?
 

MPicciotto

Practically Family
Messages
771
Location
Eastern Shore, MD
I still have one of the big round blue speckle enamel lined WWII mermite cans here somewhere. I was always told the blue enamel ones were used for whole blood shipment to field hospitals. Who knows?

I don't know about the blood shipments or not. But I do know that the round ones are incredibly expensive and somewhat rare now.

Matt
 

Haversack

One Too Many
Messages
1,192
Location
Clipperton Island
My favorite Mermite memory concerns a REFORGER at 0230 hours. My driver and I had gone back to battery for the new set of surveyed firing points. While there, our battery mess sergeant presented me with a Mermite and told me not to open it until I got back to my launcher's hide position. When we got back there and opened it, we found he had sent us two containers of hot coffee and one of freshly-made doughnuts. (He was having fun with his brand new Mobile Kitchen Trailer). The platoon would have nominated him for sainthood after that.
 

John Galt

Vendor
Messages
2,080
Location
Chico
Very nice find. Probably, you could replace the straps & screw a canvas/kevlar style outdoor seat cushion to it to make it a little easier pull to the lake ;-)


"Faint hat never won fair lady."
 
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