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M1942 mess kit

A mess kit is a collection of silverware and cookware used during camping and backpackingas well as extended military campaigns. There are many varieties of mess kits available to consumers, and militaries commonly provide them to their troops.

US Army M1942 Mess Kit & Canteen Cup Set – Original US Issue

A mess tin is an item of mess kitdesigned to be used over portable cooking apparatus. A mess tin can be thought of as a portable version of a saucepanintended primarily for boiling but also useful for frying. Mess tins were originally a military design, but are also popular among civilian campers. Mess tins are generally rectangular with rounded off edges - the rounded edges are easier to clean inside than a sharp corner.

Most mess tins are supplied as a set, with one slightly larger than the other, allowing them to nestle together for easy packing. This arrangement is also useful when using the tins for boiling, as the smaller tin can be used to hold the liquid, with the larger tin placed on top to act as a lid.

In order to save weight, some designs stick with a single mess tin with a lid, with the lid often having a secondary role as a frying pan. A civilian mess kit, which may serve from one person to a family of eight, is a collection of common kitchen wares designed to be lightweight and easy to store. Such kits are typically constructed from aluminiumthough enameled steel is also common, and some items such as cutlery or plates may be made of more expensive materials, such as titanium, to further save weight, or of plastic.

A civilian mess kit usually contains at least a skillet, a kettle which may also serve as a coffee pota plate, a cup typically a Sierra cupand cutlery.

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Utensils usually consist of forks, knives, and spoons, as at home, but may be replaced by specialty items like sporks or folding chopsticks. Kits usually come with either folding handles or a detachable handle which can be used with other cookware. Items are stored compactly by nesting them in other components like a Russian doll ; the whole kit may be placed in a stuff sack. While functionally similar to a one-man civilian mess kit, military mess kits are designed to be even more compact, using their space as efficiently as possible.

As such, it may sacrifice certain features, or use other features to complement it. When in a large camp, it is common for soldiers to use either normal dining wares, or a multi-compartment mess tray similar to a TV dinner tray, but much larger.

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First, unlike most other armies of the day, the US mess kit was designed to serve men queuing in feeding lines and served in unit formations from large garrison-type field kitchens when not on daily combat operations. Secondly, US soldiers in the field were never expected to forage or to completely cook their rations, even in daily combat or front line service. Instead, when not used as a serving tray for company-size or larger units, the mess kit was used to re-heat pre-measured servings of the canned Reserve Ration.

Afterit was used for the new C-rationa canned combat ration with several menu precooked or dried food items. Today, though canned and dried combat rations have further evolved into the MREthese can now be self-heated, and thus only a containment tray is required for most units.

The US Army's flat ovoid M wartime-issue mess kit was made of galvanized steel stainless steel in the later Mand was a divided pan-and-body system. When opened, the mess kit consisted of two halves: the deeper half forms a shallow, flat-bottom, ovoid "Meat can, body", designed to receive the "meat ration", the meat portion of the pre-war canned Reserve Ration.

The "Meat can, body", with its folding handle extended, can double as a crude skillet. The "Mess kit, plate" lid is even shallower, and is pressed to form two compartments, with a center divide wide enough to accommodate the folding handle. The plate also has a very secure ring that is held in place by friction. When stored, the "Mess kit, plate" is placed on top of the ovoid "Meat can, body", while the stamped folding handle is folded over the inverse side of the plate's center divider, and latched onto the edge of the body.

It is further secured folding the lid's ring toward the center of the mess kit, which locks onto another latch. In use, each piece may be used individually, or as a unitary three-compartment mess tray, accomplished by sliding the lid-plate's center divider onto the folding handle, and securing it to the handle by the ring-and-latch mechanisms. When latched, the kit can be held in a ready position by the user in one hand to receive US Army's 'A' or 'B' field kitchen rations.

As the soldier passed along the mess line, food service personnel would dole out hot items first, often meat followed by vegetables, potatoes, and other side dishes, ostensibly separated by the tray dividers.

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While a soldier could use the handled "Meat can, body" from his kit to cook raw food, it is really too shallow and thin to serve as an effective skillet, and was usually restricted to heating the canned meat ration.

Afterthe "Meat can, body" was used to heat the meat and vegetable component of the C-ration, or to reconstitute breakfast items such as C-ration powdered eggs. To complement the mess kit, soldiers used a stamped cup especially molded to fit over the bottom of the US Army's standard one- quart ml canteen.Skip to main content. Email to friends Share on Facebook - opens in a new window or tab Share on Twitter - opens in a new window or tab Share on Pinterest - opens in a new window or tab.

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US Army M1942 Mess Kit & Canteen Cup Set – Original US Issue

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m1942 mess kit

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Search Store.Individual mess gear consists of the basics for a soldier to feed himself in the field. More generally, mess gear may refer to mass feeding equipment used to cook and prepare food for large numbers of troops in company or larger units.

The individual mess gear -- the soldier's mess kit -- consists of the two part "meat can" plus knife, fork and spoon. This has been the standard design since the early 20th Century. The canteen cup is also sometimes included in the description. It was based on the aluminum mess kit that was in use before World War I, consisting of a pan with a hinged handle plus a lid that fits over the pan and is held together as one unit when the pan handle is folded over. A ring attached to the edge of lid, off center, can be slipped over the pan handle so the two can be dipped in boiling water together.

The unit when folded is about 9 inches long and 7 inches wide. The older style mess kits had the flat lid that could also be used as a plate.

The M unit had the plate divided into two sections so food could be separated. The folding handle, when closed, fits into the groove formed by the divider. The ring on the plate was moved to the end of the groove so the lip of the handle fits right into it.

m1942 mess kit

The M Meat Can was made of "corrosion resistent" galvanized steel, not aluminum. It used the same WW I style narrow profile steel handle attached by a cast hinge. The M Meat Can body was the same design as the M, but made of stainless steel.

The M handle was thicker and wider, made of the same material as the body, and attached by a stamped part, not the cast hinge. The Meat Cans are almost universally marked US on the folding handle, along with the date and manufacturer. The M utensils were virtually identical to earlier versions except that each had as slot in its handle so they could be slipped over the mess kit pan handle, along with the plate by its ring, for cleaning in boiling water.

The utensils were stamped from tin plated steel or rust resistant steel. There are variations, especially in the knife handle. During World War II the knives had bakelite or aluminum handle, thicker than the stainless version. Later contracts returned to stamped stainless steel, a simpler design.

All the utensils were stamped "US" on the handle front. The contractor name may appear but often there is no date, even on knives which are most frequently dated.

The utensils were stored with the mess kit, but it was important to keep noise down so the could not just be thrown in the pan. Some rucksacks or packs had slots for the utensils sewn in so each item could be slipped into its own noiseless fabric slot.

Another idea was to wrap the fork, knife and spoon in a sock. The two halves of the mess kit can be linked together with the ring of the plate slipped over the handle of the pan.

1942 Knife From The M1942 Mess Kit - Silco - Aluminum Handle

That way you can hold them both open to receive food, using only one hand. As you pass along the mess line, the cooks served hot items first, often meat first with vegetables, potatos and other side dishes on top, which kept piling up in the limited space available. A piece of pie and maybe a spoonful of mixed nuts went on top of everything else. Now you were on your own. You had to balance the two parts of the mess kit plus your canteen cup of coffee or cocoa.

Finding a place to sit was a challenge and then you had to eat from the top down.Free shipping. The Anzac BattalionMajor A. Roberts Skip to main content.

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m1942 mess kit

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WW2 US Mess Kit, M-1932 type Meat Can

This item will be posted through the Global Shipping Program and includes international tracking. Learn more - opens in a new window or tab. Doesn't post to Russian Federation See details.Individual mess gear consists of the basics for a soldier to feed himself in the field. More generally, mess gear may refer to mass feeding equipment used to cook and prepare food for large numbers of troops in company or larger units.

The individual mess gear -- the soldier's mess kit -- consists of the two part "meat can" plus knife, fork and spoon.

US Army M1942 Mess Kit – Original US Issue

This has been the standard design since the early 20th Century. The canteen cup is also sometimes included in the description. It was based on the aluminum mess kit that was in use before World War I, consisting of a pan with a hinged handle plus a lid that fits over the pan and is held together as one unit when the pan handle is folded over. A ring attached to the edge of lid, off center, can be slipped over the pan handle so the two can be dipped in boiling water together.

The unit when folded is about 9 inches long and 7 inches wide. The older style mess kits had the flat lid that could also be used as a plate. The M unit had the plate divided into two sections so food could be separated. The folding handle, when closed, fits into the groove formed by the divider. The ring on the plate was moved to the end of the groove so the lip of the handle fits right into it.

The M Meat Can was made of "corrosion resistent" galvanized steel, not aluminum. It used the same WW I style narrow profile steel handle attached by a cast hinge. The M Meat Can body was the same design as the M, but made of stainless steel.

The M handle was thicker and wider, made of the same material as the body, and attached by a stamped part, not the cast hinge. The Meat Cans are almost universally marked US on the folding handle, along with the date and manufacturer.

The M utensils were virtually identical to earlier versions except that each had as slot in its handle so they could be slipped over the mess kit pan handle, along with the plate by its ring, for cleaning in boiling water. The utensils were stamped from tin plated steel or rust resistant steel. There are variations, especially in the knife handle. During World War II the knives had bakelite or aluminum handle, thicker than the stainless version. Later contracts returned to stamped stainless steel, a simpler design.

All the utensils were stamped "US" on the handle front. The contractor name may appear but often there is no date, even on knives which are most frequently dated. The utensils were stored with the mess kit, but it was important to keep noise down so the could not just be thrown in the pan.

Some rucksacks or packs had slots for the utensils sewn in so each item could be slipped into its own noiseless fabric slot. Another idea was to wrap the fork, knife and spoon in a sock. The two halves of the mess kit can be linked together with the ring of the plate slipped over the handle of the pan. That way you can hold them both open to receive food, using only one hand.

As you pass along the mess line, the cooks served hot items first, often meat first with vegetables, potatos and other side dishes on top, which kept piling up in the limited space available.

A piece of pie and maybe a spoonful of mixed nuts went on top of everything else.Jump to content. You currently have javascript disabled. Several functions may not work. Please re-enable javascript to access full functionality. Posted 25 August - AM.

This is referred to as the 'M', which was an attempt failed at replacing the aluminum previously used in an attempt to conserve important resources during the earlier stages of WWII. I've never seen one of these tin plated steel types before, especially a dated one with a M style handle and main section. I've seen the enameled items, however, but haven't owned any of those in a long time. Posted 20 June - PM. The M has a different style handle and these were made in zinc plated steel, tin plated steel, stainless steel and by of aluminum again.

I haven't seen zinc or tin plated mess kits dated later than The markings on government issue mess kits were generally "U. S" and not "USA". Also the manufacturers generally used only their initials. I'm wondering if the U. The Belgian made items are stamped as such but most appear made in Also odd that if commercial or Civilian made war time that was added where as a dated item is typical of military contracted items and with the war time shortages here at home I'm wondering why a commercial mess kit would have been produced.

Be fun to see how this "pans" out. Community Forum Software by IP. View New Content U. Militaria Forum Forums Members More. Javascript Disabled Detected You currently have javascript disabled.




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