1957 Ration, Combat, Individual (RCI)

Reviews of other US rations - MCW, LRP, MCI, FSR, etc.
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steve1989
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1957 Ration, Combat, Individual (RCI)

Postby steve1989 » Mon Jul 10, 2017 10:35 pm

The RCI was the first official take on the U.S. 24 Hour Ration.

First produced at the tail end of WW2 ( initial procurement of 11.4 million). It was simply dubbed "Combat Ration"

The "E" Ration was the next step in evolution - it was produced in 1946 with only a # of 300,000 procured.
The E Ration was considered superior to the Ration Type C and K of WW2 - mainly because it had the inclusion of canned bread and fruit. That always helps.
Well except for the fact the canned bread was not deemed all too acceptable at the time - it was far too yeasty. Not as bad as the 2,925,000 attempted procurement for 1947 - the canned white bread had a major risk of contamination of clostridium botulinum - which essentially scrapped the whole E Ration project.. it was such a main component of the ration that it pretty much botched the whole effort.


Major production for the "RCI" started in May 1947 as the Ration, Combat, Type C-2.

Over the next decade, the RCI went to numerous changes - shapes to the box, the contents, menu variation, recipes and formulas. The inclusion and exclusion of fuel tablets. Stuff like that.

During the Korean War, 104 Million were produced. 10 times more than the initial production in 1945.

Production ceased in 1958 and in 1959, it was replaced by the Meal, Combat, Individual - procurement #'s were exhausted sometime in the early 1960's. That is a missing link of info I have yet to locate. If I had to guess, it would be safe to say the RCI was used well into a 3 year inspection - so the last #'s produced in 58' would be used well into 1961.

It proved far too bulky - soldiers always removed the contents from the original box and would re-pack them in their rucksacks accordingly.

Ok, so for the one we are checking out here:

The components are a real mixed bag - some things have held up over the last 6 decades. Others parts would give you a nice case of the botulism if ya brushed your mucous membranes up on it. Doozy.


With RCI's - you can guarantee the jams have burst in the B units. The only ones that have held up are B units with peanut butter. Crackers will be stale yet edible, the cocoa beverage is no longer edible so don't mess with them folks. They are absolutely horrid - I dunno if they were ever good! Made my Monarch Chemicals.. no wonder it tastes like chemicals.. it tasted like chlorine! Perhaps it was added as a built in water purification attempt? No idea. Not unless I got a chemical breakdown on the stuff.


I am going to quit yapping now - here are some pictures.


-Steve
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Last edited by steve1989 on Mon Jul 10, 2017 11:41 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: 1957 Ration, Combat, Individual (RCI)

Postby steve1989 » Mon Jul 10, 2017 10:36 pm

More pics
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Re: 1957 Ration, Combat, Individual (RCI)

Postby steve1989 » Mon Jul 10, 2017 10:39 pm

More pics :D
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Nothin like some 60 year old chicken soup for the soul
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I forgot to take pics of the beef & potatoes. Had hazmat on and my hands were a tad compromised.. couldn't really touch the camera and ended up forgetting in the heat of the moment. Whoops
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Re: 1957 Ration, Combat, Individual (RCI)

Postby steve1989 » Mon Jul 10, 2017 10:40 pm

More!
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Re: 1957 Ration, Combat, Individual (RCI)

Postby steve1989 » Mon Jul 10, 2017 10:42 pm

Bonus


Thanks for reading and looking everyone!

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Re: 1957 Ration, Combat, Individual (RCI)

Postby housil » Wed Jul 12, 2017 5:32 am

What a great find and posting!!!

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Re: 1957 Ration, Combat, Individual (RCI)

Postby cavguy » Thu Jul 13, 2017 10:12 pm

Thank Steve, excellent post! (BTW- I eat beans and frankfurters all the time!)

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Re: 1957 Ration, Combat, Individual (RCI)

Postby alohakid » Fri Jul 14, 2017 8:08 am

steve1989 - Many many thanks for the cool review and the fantastic pics... historical facts always fascinating to me... love the last pic - American ingenuity :mrgreen: My first time seeing a whole pack of smokes, was that unusual? (Chesterfield was may dads choice of cigs for many years).

mahalo

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Re: 1957 Ration, Combat, Individual (RCI)

Postby steve1989 » Sat Jul 15, 2017 10:15 am

Thanks so much, guys! This review was a long time in the making - it was an amazing find & I was happy to be able to finally review our first US 24hr Ration. What a historical relic - they sure don't make 'em like they used to! :)
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Re: 1957 Ration, Combat, Individual (RCI)

Postby mirrorman » Sat Jul 15, 2017 8:05 pm

Fascinating stuff, thanks for the review and all the historic images steve1989.

2 of the images show GI's wearing the same division patch as my dad wore .. 2nd division (the Indian Head).


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