Old Technology Still Does The Job

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Sataro

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Mar 15, 2009
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2,476
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Corsicana, TX
Got off work & picked up a few groceries on the way home. While browsing the store I decided a bowl of frito pie sounded good. Started to open the cans of chili & irritation set in. Two can openers in the house & both broken.

Started looking for my old trusty P-38 can opener. Got out of the military back in 1982 & held onto that trusty P-38. Through the years it has come in handy several times...
 

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Pen Joe

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Joined
Jan 1, 2013
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91
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La.
I had to do 100 pushups when I was in the Army when I called it a can opener, after that it is a P38 and still have it, still have it., 1971, Fort Polk, La.
 
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robutacion

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Joined
Aug 6, 2009
Messages
5,988
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Australia - SA Adelaide Hills
Interestingly, I was in the Portuguese Special Forces back in 1975 and we were issued with a P38 and that is what the name we were told to call it so, other parts of the world used these same P38's on survival kits and bush rations packs, there were a very few "special" things that I brought with me when I come to Australia in 1988, one of them was my P38 that I almost lost at Sydney Customs but, they let me keep it, I know I have it somewhere in the house, not sure were but I still have it, don't ask me why...!:)

I never had to use it since I have various can openers some the old style similar to the P38 so, they never fail...!:biggrin:

PS: There is now a handgun called P38 not sure what make though...!

Cheers
George
 
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gtriever

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Joined
Apr 23, 2017
Messages
1,116
Location
Paducah, Kentucky
Can't find mine; need to order a few. I may just order the larger P51.

Edit: Ben, I used to work with a road band back in the 70s and 80s. We did a 2-week gig at the O-club at Thule. Naturally, it was in the middle of winter...
 
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tdsmart

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Joined
Nov 3, 2012
Messages
162
Location
Leesburg, VA
I carried a P38 on my key ring for 25 years. While going through airport security shortly after 9/11 it was taken away from me as a potential weapon. There were 2 young National Guard kids there, neither knew what it was.
 
Joined
Dec 22, 2017
Messages
669
Location
Wolf Creek Montana
Got my first P38 during survival school at Camp Lejeune NC. We were all told if after two weeks we still didn't have it we would be in big trouble. Still have the original one given me and others that I got later on. I keep them in my camping gear and also my hunting and backpack gear. Never had one fail.
As for the 4 packs of cigarettes, remember them well. All of the cigarettes were menthol due to the wooden "tooth brush" that came in the accessories pack. The tooth brush was like a big tooth pick that you chewed the big end up and used it to brush your teeth, kinda.
 

tomtedesco

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Jan 7, 2015
Messages
1,698
Location
Centennial, CO
Got my first P38 during survival school at Camp Lejeune NC. We were all told if after two weeks we still didn't have it we would be in big trouble. Still have the original one given me and others that I got later on. I keep them in my camping gear and also my hunting and backpack gear. Never had one fail.
As for the 4 packs of cigarettes, remember them well. All of the cigarettes were menthol due to the wooden "tooth brush" that came in the accessories pack. The tooth brush was like a big tooth pick that you chewed the big end up and used it to brush your teeth, kinda.
Got mine at MCAS Cherry Point, NC. Semper Fi!
 

WIDirt

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Joined
Apr 13, 2010
Messages
177
Location
Douglas Center, WI
The military wouldn't have me, something about my personality and theirs didn't gel well. However, being a boy scout for many years taught me the use of a P38, and I have four. One on each of the keyrings for each vehicle, and one for the kitchen.


Our electric can opener died a couple months back, so I taught my wife how to use one. Apparently she liked it, because we still haven't replaced the electric one......


WIDirt
 

tomas

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Joined
Jul 12, 2010
Messages
372
Location
Rio Rancho, NM
Got off work & picked up a few groceries on the way home. While browsing the store I decided a bowl of frito pie sounded good. Started to open the cans of chili & irritation set in. Two can openers in the house & both broken.

Started looking for my old trusty P-38 can opener. Got out of the military back in 1982 & held onto that trusty P-38. Through the years it has come in handy several times...
Does it come with a speed loader?...Oh, you meant the other type of can opener.

:)
Tomas
 
Joined
Dec 22, 2017
Messages
669
Location
Wolf Creek Montana
Enlisted in Air Force in 76. Smokes were gone from the c-rats by then. At least we never found smokes in any c-rats.
One Marlboro cigartette was worth a 4 pack trade of Pall Mall or Camels. So a 4 pack of Marlboros would get you 4 packages of Pall Mall or Camels.
If I remember correctly, the Pall Malls came filter-less too. Where I was stationed we ran out of American Cigarettes so the c-rats were all that was left. I didn't smoke but I sure was able to trade a lot.
 

moke

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Joined
Dec 30, 2009
Messages
923
Location
Cedar Rapids, Iowa
I did basic in ol' "Lost in the Woods" in 1974.... we had the C-rats on bivouac, they had the 4 packs of smokes, and they were packaged during WW2! Needless to say they were not great...
I still have my P-38, but I was thinking about every third C-Rats or so had one in them....is my memory failing me?

I always thought the cans of food weren't too bad, but maybe we were so hungry it just did't matter!
 
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dogcatcher

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Joined
Jul 4, 2007
Messages
1,802
Location
TX, NM or on the road
I always thought the cans of food weren't too bad, but maybe we were so hungry it just did't matter!
There was a science to eating C rats and liking them. Being a military brat, I had quite a few years of military type of "education" before I got there. A small skillet, preferably teflon coated, a bottel of Tabasco sauce, small container of mustard, a spice mix of garlic powder, chili powder, salt, pepper, onion powder, and some others. For the canned ham you saved your pineapple jelly ration to use as garnishment. The frank and beans, add a good dose of spice mix made it tasty, sort of like chili. Ham and eggs?, the green eggs, heating them along with a canned ham with extra pepper and a littel spice mix really improved the flavor.

The coffee was instant, but us Grunts created a Starbucks version before there was a Starbucks. A canteen cup of water heated with a heat tab, add 4 packages of instant coffee, all the creamer packs you could scrounge and pack of hot the hot chocolate ration. This concoction was enough for 2 people. One of my also carried items was a jar of instant coffee creamer, you could mix it with the grease from the canned ham ration and make a "reasonable facsimile" of creamed gravy to pour over those green ham and eggs rations, just add extra pepper and salt with some of the spice mix.

In Vietnam I was the senior NCO in my Platoon, so whne the chopper came in with our supplies I had the duty of dividing up the rations, but doing it fairly meant I chose just like the Private on the bottom of the pole. It wasn't the meal you got, it was all in the preperation.
 

Herb G

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Joined
Nov 13, 2015
Messages
1,449
Location
Southern Maryland
I have a half dozen p 38's & six P 51's here around the house.
I got them online from a surplus place.
My wife broke her "unbreakable" can opener a few weeks ago, the old p 51 saved our dinner that night.
 

Mr Vic

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Joined
Aug 11, 2008
Messages
1,472
Location
Falcon, CO
Along with the P38 does anyone remember the 4 pack of smokes in the c-rats?
Only 4? That's what got me started back in '74. Winston's were great trading material. Was up to 4 packs a day when I quit.

Still have at least one of the many P38 I got with C-Rations.
 
Joined
Dec 22, 2017
Messages
669
Location
Wolf Creek Montana
I always thought the cans of food weren't too bad, but maybe we were so hungry it just did't matter!
There was a science to eating C rats and liking them. Being a military brat, I had quite a few years of military type of "education" before I got there. A small skillet, preferably teflon coated, a bottel of Tabasco sauce, small container of mustard, a spice mix of garlic powder, chili powder, salt, pepper, onion powder, and some others. For the canned ham you saved your pineapple jelly ration to use as garnishment. The frank and beans, add a good dose of spice mix made it tasty, sort of like chili. Ham and eggs?, the green eggs, heating them along with a canned ham with extra pepper and a littel spice mix really improved the flavor.

The coffee was instant, but us Grunts created a Starbucks version before there was a Starbucks. A canteen cup of water heated with a heat tab, add 4 packages of instant coffee, all the creamer packs you could scrounge and pack of hot the hot chocolate ration. This concoction was enough for 2 people. One of my also carried items was a jar of instant coffee creamer, you could mix it with the grease from the canned ham ration and make a "reasonable facsimile" of creamed gravy to pour over those green ham and eggs rations, just add extra pepper and salt with some of the spice mix.

In Vietnam I was the senior NCO in my Platoon, so whne the chopper came in with our supplies I had the duty of dividing up the rations, but doing it fairly meant I chose just like the Private on the bottom of the pole. It wasn't the meal you got, it was all in the preperation.
C-rats started my love of Tabasco sauce. I would ask my parents to ship it to me in the big bottles. When we didn't get mail my C-rats gotten eaten with my nose plugged. The only good ones I ever liked were the beans and weenies. The best part of the C-rat was the chocolate covered coconut thing, we called them hockey pucks they were hard as rocks...but really good to eat. Still love, and use way too much, Tabasco sauce on almost everything I eat. I just found out Costco doesn't carry the big bottle anymore, at least not here in Montana.
 

Lee58

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Joined
Dec 7, 2008
Messages
28
Location
Schertz TX.
Still have the first P38. I got it in a C ration aboard a C-130 aircraft over the sea of Japan along with the standard 4 cigarettes the small package of toilet paper, and a small package of two chicklet type gum.
 
Joined
Dec 22, 2017
Messages
669
Location
Wolf Creek Montana
The toilet paper...forgot all about that. Never seemed to be enough and it was as thin as air. The chicklets were always hard as rocks and I always wondered when I was going to break a tooth. Funny thing is, my granddaughter gave me a skittle out of an MRE and it did break my tooth. Cost me $900.00 to get it capped.
 

Anglesachse

Member
Joined
Dec 29, 2014
Messages
151
Location
Ratingen, Germany
Did my time 1975 to 85 in the British Army and used an almost identical can opener; I remember they where Olive Drab coloured to stop reflections.
Carried one around for years.
The one I now use at home is now 40, rusty, trusty and still works:biggrin:
 

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