ID number REL32576.002
Title Emergency Flying ration pack Type 0.2 : Operation ration tin
Collection Heraldry
Object type Personal Equipment
Maker Union Canco
Place made Australia
Date made March 1945
Physical description
  • Aluminium
  • Foodstuffs
  • Paint

Description

Rectangular, green painted ration tin outer with crimped lid and base, containing three separate ration meals. A metal turnkey, similar to those found on sardine tins, is tack-welded to the lid and is designed to be removed and used with the pre-scored opening band and tab. Below the legend "TURN KEY < TO OPEN CAN" is an illustration depicting the opening method. Under this is "A.M.F. / OPERATION / RATION / 02. / D^D". The reverse is printed with the following statement: "This Ration is intended for use in circumstances where normal rations cannot be supplied. / This tin contains three complete meals separately wrapped in waterproof cartons. When one meal has been consumed, the remaining two meals can be carried on the person and the Tin discarded. / The contents form a completely balanced ration with ample protective (Vitamin) cover. / The complete ration in the tin will keep indefinitely, and can be submerged or buried." The manufacturer's name is printed under this; while the base is impressed with the date of manufacture "3 45". There are some very minor rubbing and handling marks on the tin.
Contents of Operation Ration 0.2 - details issued in GRO Q444 of 1942
The contents of the ration are packed in three portions or meals, each in a sealed bituminous paper carton which has been finally waterproofed by dipping into molten wax. The waxen meal carton is only intended to give temporary protection from moisture and insect pests to the contents, consequently the outer container should not be opened unless the contents can be consumed within the following 24 hours.
The contents of the meal cartons were originally as follows:

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Meal 1 - Carrot biscuits 3 oz pkt
Fruit & nut 3 oz block
Meat & vegetable stew 4 oz tin
Peanut butter 1 ½ oz tin
Barley sugar rolls (4) 1 oz
Caramel bar ½ oz
Skim milk powder ¼ oz pkt
Sugar 2 tablets
Tea 4 tablet
Salt 2 tablets
Meal 2 - Wholemeal biscuits 2 ¼ oz pkt
Wheat lunch 3 oz block
Meat & vegetable hash 4 oz tin
Cheese 1 ¼ oz tin
Barley sugar rolls (4) 1 oz
Lime tablets ½ oz pkt
Skim milk powder ¼ oz pkt
Sugar 2 tablets
Tea 4 tablets
Salt 2 tablets
Meal 3 - Wholemeal biscuits 2 ¼ oz pkt
Chocolate 3 oz block
Meat & beans OR
Corned beef hash 4 oz tin
Blackcurrant spread 1 x oz tin
Barley sugar rolls (4) 1 oz
Caramel bar ½ oz
Skim milk powder ¼ oz pkt
Sugar 2 tablets
Tea 4 tablets
Salt 2 tablets
One pocket tin opener with instructions is included in the outer container.
Amendments to these contents were listed on 9 September 1944 in a memo sent out by the AMF Quartermaster-General:
The following variations have now taken place in this original packing:
a) Meat: Since June 44 Operation Rations 02 has been packed with Hampe in Meal 1, Meatreat or Corned Beef Loaf in Meal 2, all three packs being 'solid meats', and M&V Stew or M&V Hash or Meat & Beans or Corned Beef Hash in Meal 3.
b) Fruit & Nut: During April 44 two types of Fruit & Cereal block replaced the Fruit & Nut block. These blocks, one of which is predominately dried vine fruits and the other mainly dried apricots, are more friable and more readily eaten than the original Fruit & Nut.
c) Blackcurrant Spread: Since May 44 the other Fruit Spreads have been packed as alternatives to the Blackcurrant Spread. These are Passionfruit Spread and Lemon Butter, both being fortified so that they have the same content of Vitamin C as the Blackcurrant Spread.
d) Tea: The tea is now packed as 'leaf' tea instead of tea tablets.
e) Barley Sugar Rolls: Four flavours ' lemon, orange, peppermint and raspberry' are packed.
f) Lime Tablets: In future these will have a printed label with the words 'Fruit Tablets - fortified with Vitamin C'. The tablets are now fortified with 75 mgs of Vitamin C (ascorbic acid) instead of 50 mgs.
g) Wooden spoon: A small wooden spoon, similar to those supplied with ice cream buckets, is now packed in each meal carton.

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Summary

Included with RAAF Emergency Flying Ration pack, item S1/2 E27/8. Evaluation of this ration, conducted in New Guinea in mid 1945 by the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) reported (p 102): "Battalion and company commanders whose units had recently used this ration described it as invaluable for forward troops and stated that, while at present its use is restricted to 4-day or longer patrols, it would be very useful for other types of work if larger supplies were made available. It is recommended that undue economy in the use of the 02 ration should be avoided. A more rapid turnover of present stocks is desirable to avoid deterioration in some components. Those who had used the ration agreed that it provided more than the minium needs for one man-day, but opinions differed as to whether the margin was excessive. The majority view is against any reduction in the ration. A few complaints were heard that the ration was too sweet, but this opinion was not generally supported by observers with recent experience of the ration. Alternating the 02 ration with the normal field ration was suggested by those who thought it too sweet."