John DeSomer – Fake POW, 8 Bronze Stars, 4 Purple Hearts

| December 9, 2019

The folks at MilitaryPhony send us their work on John Edward DeSomer.  DeSomer died on November 7, 2019.  His obituary got huge distribution across at least 9 newspapers and 3 online news services, if not more.

The obituary raised some eyebrows with all the military accomplishments and DeSomer was not listed as a Prisoner of War on any of the databases.

So, based on the questionable P.O.W. claim people started asking questions about the eight (8) Bronze Stars and four (4) Purple Hearts.

The National Personnel Records Center (NPRC) told a slightly different story.

So, according to DeSomer’s official military records held at the NPRC, DeSomer did not have a 20-year career, did not have assignments in Cambodia, Malaysia, Israel, Nicaragua, Columbia, Venezuela, Syria, and Afghanistan (and these are just the ones which he was willing to share stories about).

Also, there was a Bronze Star, but not eight (8).  There were no Purple Hearts, let alone four (4).

And… as we already determined, he was not a P.O.W.

He was the recipient of the NDSM.

 

Category: Army, Army Poser, POW, Purple Heart, Stolen Valor, Viet Nam, Vietnam

Comments (113)

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  1. Wilted Willy says:

    You rocked the lies all the way to your grave! I’m sure Saint Peter has a few things to say to you about lying and standing in the blood of real heroes!!! You sir are a lying dead sack of shit!

    • Comm Center Rat says:

      Well said WW. You’re in fine fighting form this morning Sir!

      • Wilted Willy says:

        I’m ready to kick ass and take names!
        I wish we could have public flogging for all of these lying sacks of shit!
        Someday they will all be brought to justice! I wan’t 15 minutes to beat the shit out of these cocksuckers!!!

  2. 5th/77th FA says:

    Here you go dead, embellishing POS, John Edward DeSomer. Another online reference to help set the record straight. Left your dead, lying, embellishing self a little love over to the MP Site. I don’t mind speaking evil of the dead when the dead did speak evil before they became dead. The possible honorable service that you may have had is now soon to be wiped out by your lies. I do have some sympathy for your family. For you…none.at.all!

  3. Combat Historian says:

    The dude was a platoon leader in a line platoon in the Viet of the Nam, FGS. It is sad and almost tragic that he had to make up total horseshit to embellish his record, which destroys the very record he was trying to embellish…

  4. FuzeVT says:

    I can’t imagine what you feel like as a family member when you figure out your husband/father/grandfather was lying about his service all these years. I know precisely what my grandfather did in WWII, but if had lied about it (which he didn’t because he was an honorable man) it would have crushed me.

    As for the individual in question, I can only imagine that this is what went through his mind:
    Oh look, there’s my completely respectable time in the service – to include a BSM and 9 months in combat. Yep, sure proud of that. Oh wait – I got to take a dump – hmmm, right on that honorable service might be a good place for that load. . . .

  5. A Proud Infidel®™️ says:

    An ASSWIPE who has shit all over himself, his family and his legacy. He’ll now be remembered as a lying POS who had plenty of legitimate bragging points!

  6. Comm Center Rat says:

    Once a POSer reaches 8 BSMs (Meritorious Service) he should consider converting those into a single BSM w/ V device and a single ARCOM w/ V device. Then his ribbon rack would be so much more impressive regardless of whether he chooses to wear his (fake) POW ribbon. I encourage all Fakers to never self-award more than two PHs – otherwise you’re inviting heightened scrutiny.

    This shitbag DeSomer appears to have never married. No woman on the planet bought into his hero bullshit and now the worms are crawling on his cold white face while Valhalla laughs.

  7. Daisy Cutter says:

    Just to play Devil’s Advocate, John Edward DeSomer has three things going for him:

    1) He never claimed to be the sole survivor when his platoon was ambused, having his best buddy taking his last breath while he held him in his arms

    2) In his will, he wanted his service dog – “PantsOnFire” – to go to another veteran in need

    and last but not least…

    3) He was awarded the coveted NDSM

    • Hack Stone says:

      That’s the highly coveted and rarely awarded National Defense Service Medal. It’s not as if they give you one of those just for showing up.

      • Comm Center Rat says:

        I knew DeSomer was a fake when I noticed his NDSM didn’t include a BSS. Supposedly, his military service spanned from Vietnam to Afghanistan. LMAO

    • Toxic Deplorable Racist B Woodman says:

      Annnnnnd………no motorcycle, doo rag, and bling vest. That has to count for a plus somewhere in there.

      • marinedad61 says:

        Speaking of bling vest….
        LES BROWN LIVE VIDEO
        December 11 2019.
        Yes, the stain of Elko lives and breathes.

        Notes –
        Sporting a cane,
        and a lawsuit style neck brace.
        Handing over $1500 to a police charity.
        Joking about where the $1500 came from.

        Facebook not necessary to view the video.
        What a jerk.
        Ugh.

        https://www.facebook.com/krjc.crew/videos/pedro-here-live-for-shop-with-a-cop/513502639251039

        • HMCS(FMF) ret says:

          Must have broken his mangina to be all braced up like that…

        • A Proud Infidel®™ says:

          He really didn’t seem to be relying on that cane very much and I’m quite sure that I saw him moving his neck while wearing that brace, something I’m sure that someone suffering from a REAL neck injury wouldn’t be doing. Les Brown sure does know how to ham it up to garner sympathy from people while the only sympathy I’ll ever have for Les brown is what one will find somewhere between “shit and “syphilis” in a dictionary!

    • Anonymous says:

      True… and somebody else actually wrote he BS obituary (most likely, to be honest, failing to verify the hogwash they’d heard, but who’s counting?).

  8. Ret_25X says:

    Weirdest thing: he was REFRAD in 69 during an officer shortage.

    1LTs normally make CPT unless they are not picked up at which time they REFRAD….

    I wonder if his REFRAD was not voluntary. There is nothing in what we have to indicate any problems, but it makes this old soldier wonder…

    • Andy11M says:

      I noticed five years of service as a Lt, should have at least made Cpt. Wonder how that happens.

      • Ret_25X says:

        Nov of 67 to Sep of 69 then REFRAD into the reserves where he finished his 4 year commitment.

        I’m thinking he returned from RVN and submitted for REFRAD so he could go back into civvie life. No foul on that.

        I don’t think that was career driven, though.

        • rgr769 says:

          Uh, no. He was REFRAD in Sept., 1969 because he completed the two year AD requirement for his reserve commission. If he had elected to remain on active duty, he likely would have been promoted to CPT. He chose to get out at the end of two years AD as an officer, but he still held a reserve commission as a 1LT. He would have been assigned to the inactive reserve until he joined that Indiana NG AIT training brigade in June, 1970. He then bailed on that after about a year. That was the end of his service in the Army. His release from active duty was very likely voluntary, unless someone barred him from continuing to serve on active duty, which is unlikely. His one tour of duty in Vietnam at the time was quite routine. I was on active duty as an officer for entire period of his service, and then some.

        • Anonymous says:

          Concur– AMF!

    • MI Ranger says:

      Well it was just a normal BSM not with “V” device. ( months as a Platoon Leader in combat and no actions that made him worthy for valor? He and his superiors likely came to the same conclusion that he was not cut out for combat. No harm in that, he served in a very tough time, and came home. No reason to then make up crap and dump0 all over it. Better to be the quiet guy in the corner that everyone wonders about, than the loud mouth that everyone warns you about!

  9. ninja says:

    Interesting observation.

    No surviving Spouse.

    No surviving Children.

    No surviving Parents or Siblings.

    Only In-Laws as well as Nieces and Nephews and an “adopted family”.

    Sadly, he is not the first to go to his grave with these embellishments and will not be the last.

    Majority of Funeral homes and Newspapers do not care about the content of obituaries.

  10. Terry Sheehan says:

    I wonder where the shrapnel embedded in his back for the rest of his life came from?

  11. Mason says:

    He had a lot in his actual record of service to be proud of. Selected for OTS. Led troops in Viet of the Nam. BSM for said service in-country.

    Shame that wasn’t good enough for him. Pathetic excuse for a man.

    • The Stranger says:

      That’s what I’m thinking as well. Looks like very respectable service to be proud of, especially considering that he stepped up when others didn’t. These are the stories I truly don’t get.

  12. ninja says:

    Sadly, his Parent was identified as a World War II Navy Nurse in their Obituary, when in reality, the Parent joined the United States Cadet Nurse Corps AFTER the END of World War II.

    The United States Cadet Nurse Corps was a 4 year program.

    The Parent withdrew or was terminated from the program after 5 months.

    John wrote his Parent’s Obituary.

    • Mason says:

      So his pathological need for attention extended to making up lies about his own dead mother? What in the fuck?

      • ninja says:

        The WW2 Navy Nurse reference:

        https://www.mishlerfuneralhomes.com/obituary/188278

        John’s name is on his Parent’s Death Certificate.

        Mason, no telling where that story came from. Either John embellished it or his Parent embellished it, but the Parent was NOT a Navy Nurse during WW2.

        The apple does not fall far from the tree?

        I think I may have found another Membership Card for the Parent dated 1944 for the US Nurse Cadet Corps with the Parent applying to be at a Civilian Hospital in Illinois.

        The age to apply to be a Cadet was 17 during WW2, which matches the Parent’s Birth Year with 1944.

        At the age of 17, doubt the Parent was a licensed Nurse and could have done volunteer work as a “CandyStriper” i.e. “Cadet” in support of WW2 efforts in the US.

        Has really been sad reading John’s Biological Family history.

        It seems as if his Biological Family was a “Military” Family that truly wanted to serve or support War efforts for our Country, yet at the same time, was not happy or satisfied in what they did.

        Perhaps his Biological Family had dark hiccups that they struggled to overcome and tried to cover those hiccups with embellishments.

        So sad.

        • ninja says:

          Mason:

          ANOTHER correction on my part.

          The Parent DID NOT join the US Nurse Cadet Corps in 1944.

          The FORM for the card was dated 1944.

          I was correct the first time. The Parent became a Card Carrying Member of the US Nurse Cadet Corps AFTER the END of WW2 and only stayed in the program for 5 months.

          As previously stated, either John embellished the Parent’s obituary or his Parent embellished about serving during WW2.

          But I do know this. The Parent WAS NOT a Nurse with the US Navy during WW2, because that Parent did not graduate from High School until Mid 1945.

  13. Keepin' It Real says:

    From the sounds of it, based on the past couple of POSers, there was a lot more shyte going down in the Cam of the Bodia than in the Viet of the Nam.

  14. OWB says:

    In no way to support liars in general, much less embellishers in particular, but, do we absolutely know that DeSomer himself was the source of all these lies? Of course, he is most likely the source and even if others started the lies, he didn’t stop them.

    Just picking a nit here.

    Perhaps a check with the AG of Indiana would be in order to verify that he did NOT continue his service there in the National Guard.

    • PTBH says:

      Although implied/suggested in both the MP and TAH blogs, it was never stated as a declaration that DeSomer was the original source of the claims. MP states that the obituary statement of “at least those are the ones at which he was willing to share stories about” suggests that they originated from him.

      You are correct in that it is still hearsay, so the only thing we are left with that is tangible is that for some reason the people close to DeSomer were under the impression that he did XYZ.

      It follows that with family and friends, in the end they will defend his honor by saying they “misheard him” but at least the record is set straight. These are such HIGHLY specific claims that it is hard to fathom that family and friends made it up for an obituary.

    • PTBH says:

      “Perhaps a check with the AG of Indiana would be in order to verify that he did NOT continue his service there in the National Guard.”

      Ouch. That’s a tough one. There is merit to what you say but our FOIA ninja just went through a back and forth with the Office of the AG of Indiana getting Ty Hampe’s guard records (remember him?).

      It was a rough road. We finally got Hampe’s records but are still awaiting records on an earlier active duty from NPRC.

      I can push to ask for potential records for DeSomer from Indiana if people weigh in and think it is warranted. I don’t think he was a POW and the likelihood that he was earning a boatload of Bronze Stars and Purple Hearts in the State Guard of Indiana may be a far stretch. It would make it thorough but my perception is that the State of Indiana already may feel we are being invasive to their soldier citizens that in their view served honorably.

      • OWB says:

        Understand. Probably not worth the effort on this one. It’s beyond credulity that something he said or failed to say didn’t start this mess. It is also quite likely that he himself wrote the obit, or at least the outline for it. It’s just that some of us are hesitant to claim him to be a complete ass without sure evidence that he made the claims himself.

    • Duane says:

      If he deployed while in the National Guard, there would have been more than one DD214 hit since a new one is created every time a member activates and deploys out of CONUS. There was a comment about possible State Guard – those members aren’t actual military members and don’t deploy. If he was truly in the National Guard, I believe a report of an NGB 22 would have shown up when records were requested (not sure since I’ve never bothered to see what my own records reveal – 3 yr AD USA, then 27 yr ANG). His accomplishments have too many oddities for them to even be considered accurate in my mind.

      • Mason says:

        You’re telling me we didn’t send Indiana State Guard troops to Cambodia, Malaysia, Israel, Nicaragua, Columbia, Venezuela, Syria, and Afghanistan?

        I was once told the Navy Reserve was America’s 17th line of defense, between the Mississippi National Guard and the League of Women Voters, but I do think that the Indiana State Guard has to be in there somewhere.

        • Hack Stone says:

          Well played sir, well played. And while Active Duty Service Members got Bob Hope USO shows, the Navy Reserve got Bob Denver. The only consolation was that one of those Navy Reserve Sailors stole Bob Denver’s hat.

      • OWB says:

        Not necessarily so on the issue of a DD214 being issued – depends upon what status he might have been in. They may be more particular these days, but used to be that more often than not, ways were found to NOT do so rather than to do so. It saved the unit $$. (Yes, it was very convoluted, and quite often marginally legal, but it happened a lot back in the day.)

  15. ninja says:

    He was also identified as an Army RANGER and had a 20 year career as an Army RANGER, yet I do not see any TDYs or assigments at Fort Benning.

    Supposedly, he broke his back during a parachute jump, yet I don’t see any Airborne training to include Airborne School at Fort Benning.

    Officers do not “Re-Enlist” unless whoever wrote his obituary thought that transitioning from a Enlisted to Officer via OCS was “Re-Enlisting”.

    Am speculating he made SP5 while at OCS for pay purposes only.

    So sad. No telling if “POW” is enscribed on a private headstone or if a headstone or footstone was applied thru VA with POW claims.

    Whoever wrote that obituary will be in for a big surprise unless his DD214 was altered.

    Hope he was not illegally collecting VA Benefits on the POW claim.

    • rgr769 says:

      His actual original personnel records (Form 20 and Form 66) show everywhere he served during his active duty. He was enlisted for about a year before being selected for Armor OCS. Upon its completion he was given a Reserve commission as a 2LT. He was then required to serve about two years of AD. He was a training officer for about a year at Ft. Ord’s BCT school. He received orders for RVN and was sent TDY to the Jungle Warfare course in the Canal Zone for two weeks. Then he went to RVN and served a little less that the normal 12 month tour; he was a platoon leader with the 5th Inf. Division, which was a mechanized infantry division up North near the DMZ in Quang Tri Province. Upon return to CONUS he was released from AD and joined a reserve component unit. His service is quite ordinary for the time period; I served with hundreds of officers with the same types of service. He was not a Ranger, never went to Ranger school, never served with a Ranger or LRRP unit, and was obviousy never a POW. You are correct about his enlisted rank. All OCS students were promoted to E-5 for pay purposes at this time.

  16. ninja says:

    He was identified as a 1LT participating in the Battle of Cam Hung in March 1969:

    http://www.atroop412cav.com/history/1969.html

    “When we arrived on Hill 124, we were aligned facing generally North with 1st Platoon, then under 1LT John DeSomer (Shadow) on the left, 2d Platoon under 1LT John Howell (Mad Dog) in the center, and 3rd Platoon under Blue Max on the right. 1st Platoon made a button hook around the hill to the north where we linked up with 3-5 Cav, so the whole troop was not in a straight line on the hilltops.”

    A CPT Carlson, C.O. A Troop 4/12 Cavalry, who wrote the above paragraph, stated that he, CPT Carlson, was the only RANGER qualified “Trooper”.

    IIMHO, in reading the above cited link, am getting the impression that John Desomer took other Soldier’s stories about the Battle of Cam Hung and made them his own or others misinterrupted what he said about that Battle and made it his story for obituary purposes.

  17. ninja says:

    The other puzzling part was his supposed deployments to Israel, Nicaragua, Columbia, Venezuela, Syria and Afghanistan.

    If he served 20 years, then would not the time period cover 1966-1986?

    It is obvious he was not involved in the 6-Day War.

    The only Army units I can think of that were “involved” in Israel during the 1980s was the MFO and I could have sworn those units were all Active Duty and not Army Reserves or National Guard.

    The other one is Afghanistan. Was he or whoever wrote the obituary implying that DeSomer was an OEF Veteran?

    • Combat Historian says:

      Probably implying he was a SOCOM secret squirrel attached to CIA to help train mujahideen in operating Stinger MANPADs in the mid-1980s.

      For all we know, DeSomer served with Johnny Rambo in Kandahar Province in 1987…(sarc)

  18. ninja says:

    In January 1988, John Edward DeSomer was found Guilty of DWI First Offense in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

    Perhaps that was where he a “Prisoner”?

    • PTBH says:

      He lived in Alberquerque, New Mexico up until 1993. Not sure when he moved there.

      He then lived in Ashville, NC from 1994 – 2006.

      He then lived in Cromwell, IN from 2006 – 2019.

      That is why it may a shot in the dark to assume Indiana Guard for other service.

      Actually, this is quite common – someone has been away for 20+ years and they move somewhere new, but in this case back to Indiana. Then, there is a black hole in their past that they are all to willing to fill in.

  19. Mustang Major says:

    Are the earrings in the picture of John DeSomer the shrapnel the obituary referenced?

    I liked the comment in the obituary about some of DeSpmer’s service; “at least those were the ones about which he was willing to talk about.”

    I wonder if he wrote his own obituary prior to his death.

  20. Terry Sheehan says:

    In his edumacation section it lists 19 Semester Hours of college. Then, he went to OCS and graduated.

    I guess back in Vietnam Times they figured 19 hours was good enough to be an officer. It could either indicate he partied too hard or he felt a craving to serve rather than be in college.

    • rgr769 says:

      In those “Vietnam times” they did consider a year or so of college as relevant for selection to attend OCS, back then. Someone at Ft. Knox thought he had the smarts to be an officer and recommended him for OCS. But remember some people thought 1LT Calley should be an Infantry Officer. And I have heard he was quite dense, as in rock.

      Our POSer in death was prolly sick of college and volunteered for the Draft. Or, he could have flunked out, lost his student deferment and was drafted. He definitely did not have an RA enlistment, as he had a non-RA serial number, per the FOIA abstract. At that time, one had to enlist for at least three years and your serial number would have an RA prefix. His officer serial number shows he was a reserve officer, as RA officer serial numbers started with an OF prefix. Plus, I believe OCS could only commission reserve officers.

      • cc senor says:

        When I enlisted in ’63 if your GT score was high enough you had to take the OCT, whether you wanted to or not, regardless of education level. I was a HS graduate and a guy with a 9th grade education took the OCT with me. Neither of us was eager to be an officer but rules are rules. Periodically during my first enlistment I was urged to apply for OCS, but I was having too much fun fixing tanks.

  21. Green Thumb says:

    His “legacy” will always be remembered as he continuously will be shaming his family from beyond the grave…

  22. Berliner says:

    “Hero’s get remembered but legends never die.”
    Babe Ruth

    John DeSomer was a legend in his own mind… then he died.

  23. GDContractor says:

    I wonder if the shrapnel was “lower back above the trapezius” or “upper back below the trapezius?

  24. rgr769 says:

    DeSomer saw some serious combat as a Cav troop platoon leader in Vietnam right up near the DMZ, where all the enemy were hardcore NVA and not VC rice farmers out at night with an SKS and twenty rounds of ammo. If he weren’t an Armor officer, he would have a CIB. It is a shame he had to shit all over very honorable service in actual combat, where men were killed and wounded on a regular basis. He should have been happy with coming home without a scratch, when many of his comrades ended up in a hospital or a body bag. Shame on him.

    • Keepin' It Real says:

      DeSomer had no knowledge of cross-border raids into Cambodia, was unaware of any such activities or operations, nor would he be disposed to discuss such operations, if they did in fact exist.

      • rgr769 says:

        Armor 1LT’s in line units did not do cross border raids, except if you want to call the incursion into Cambodia in 1970 a “raid.” Other than that op, all cross border ops were conducted by the Command & Contol recon teams of MACVSOG. Our fake hero had neither the training nor the stones to have done so. His time in the Viet of the Nam is fully covered in that screen shot of the assignments section of his DA Form 66. He served his entire tour in that armored cav troop.

  25. ninja says:

    Embellishment might have been a trait in his family.

    This ninja discovered that DeSomer’s Mother was identified in her obituary as being a US Navy Nurse who served during WW2.

    She wasn’t. She became a card carrying member of the US Nurse Cadet Corps after WW2 ended and stayed in the program for only 5 months.

    In doing the math, she might had left the program when she became pregnant with John in 1946.

    DeSomer’s Mother lied about her age when she married DeSomer’s First Stepfather. Her Husband was 20 years older than her when they married in 1950, yet when she applied for that marriage, she aged herself by 3-4 years,making herself older.

    That marriage ended when her much older husband passed away in the 1950s. John did not take on his surname.

    John’s Mother remarried again and it looks as if the marriage became a blended family of 8 Children. Am speculating that his 2nd Stepfather adopted him and his deceased Brothers to legally give him the last name of DeSomer. His Stefather was in the Marine Corps Reserves with possible duty during WW2. Sadly, he passed away at an early age of 41 when DeSomer was in High School. His Mother never remarried.

    His Step-Siblings are not identified in his obituary.

    So sad that folks have to embellish their family members lives via obituary. One has to wonder how those folks came up with those stories of their love ones. A simple misunderstanding? A need for attention projected thru their deceased love ones? A need to hide a past that may have had hiccups?

    So sad.

  26. CHipNASA says:

    Control + F ” turd” = “Not Found”

    OK I’ll do it….

    “TURD!”

  27. Sarge says:

    So I wrote to one of the newspaper editors and linked the story here and the story at MilPhon. Reply after the cut line.

    Sarge,

    Your email certainly caught me off guard. I called the Eastlund Funeral Home Director, Dave Colquitt, talked to him about your concerns and forwarded your email on to him. Both of us were rather at a loss as to how to proceed if at all. We agreed that it might be a good for you to talk to Dave. His phone number is XXX-XXX-XXXX.

    Ron

    —-

    If Admin(s) wold like hte #, please email me. Tied up with paperwork and Indoc prep for tomorrow.

    • ninja says:

      Sarge,

      Thank You for doing this.

      Some Funeral Homes and Newspapers CHARGE $$$ for their deceased Love Ones Obituary to be published.

      Since they are getting $$$, they probably don’t care WHAT is written about the Deceased.

      Have seen numerous Obituaries where Family Members wrote that their Love One was a Vietnam POW and upon research and FOIAs, turns out they were not.

      Same with being awarded the Medal of Honor, the DSC, being an Army RANGER or Navy SEAL, etc. etc.

      Or served during the Korean War when they were born 1939-1941.

      Or “fought” in Vietnam when they were born 1957-1959.

      • rgr769 says:

        Aw, com’on, I had a lotsa twelve year olds in the two rifle companies I commanded in the Viet of the Nam in 1970 and 1971. We gave our C-rat peaches and pound cake to one on his 13th birthday when we were in “the bush.”

        • ninja says:

          😂🤣😃😅😆!!!!!!

          I remember those C-Rats.

          What? No John Wayne Bars for those 12 year old?

          Or the Ham & Lima Beans? (Calling Claw, our Supply Daddy, for the NSN for that item that goes by another name). 😉

          RLTW

          • 5th/77th FA says:

            We’d fight tooth and nail for peaches and pound cake. Those, along with the peanut butter, cheese, crackers, and John Wayne bars kept us a’going. Being in the good graces of Supply Daddy SSG Y didn’t hurt none at all. Down side to the C – Rats, for me, was the baby packs of cigs got me hooked on mentholated nicotine. Finally kicked that (nasty habit, young man, you born in a barn?) in Mar of ’18.

          • Claw says:

            It is with deep regret that I must report the individual Meal, MCI, known and loved by all as Ham & MFers, by itself, does not/nor ever had,an FSN/NSN. What needs to happen is you order a Case Lot of 8970-577-4513, open it up and turn the contents upside down so the meal names can’t be seen and from there, you takes your chances as to whether or not you’re the lucky SOB who gets the Ham & MFers or the yummy John Wayne chocolate bar./smile

          • rgr769 says:

            We couldn’t even get the twelve year olds to eat the John Wayne bars. They were so bad they didn’t even dare to put them in the C-rats. They came in their own box of about a dozen. They were the source of that ad line, “I bet you can’t just eat one.” I never saw anyone eat a whole one.

            However, we did coerce the twelve year olds to eat the Ham & Limas; we convinced them they would help them grow up to be big boys, just like their mommas told them. I do recall a birthday of a thirteen year old when we were in the bush. We gave him our C-rat peaches and pound cake to celebrate.

            Claw can likely get you the NSN for the Tropical Chocolate Bars. (Note to Claw: What we called John Wayne Bars were not in C-rats.)

            • 5th/77th FA says:

              rgr769 the ones we saw/had were a chocolate/peanut butter/granola bar/wafer thingie that was only palatable when soaked in either the powdered coffee or chocolate drink. They were usually in a separate carton in the master case. What few of the tropical chocolate bars we saw were either melted globs or coated with the white dust of age. Had forgotten how nasty they were.

              • ninja says:

                I never cared for those John Wayne Bars as well.

                And I always laughed at the amount of toilet paper we received.

                Forgot when cigarettes were no longer part of C-Rats.

                How many of us still have a P38?

                Check out this link on C-Rats, especially the last sentence. 😎

                https://patrickbieneman.com/2011/04/13/c-rations-the-first-happy-meal/

                • 5th/77th FA says:

                  ninja, I still have my P38 on my dog tag chain. ’bout the only thing(s) I kept/still have. Use it on occasion to open a can of furbaby food if the power is out.

                  • ninja says:

                    KoB:

                    We still keep them in our kitchen drawers and use them sometimes to open cans. Amazing how long those things have last!

                • ninja says:

                  The comments on the article are interesting as well.

                  • rgr769 says:

                    What I found interesting about the article is that the author says his unit only had eat C-rats once a day “in the field.” He musta been arty, but definitely not infantry. Infantry in the Bush ate nothing but them except for a hot A about a few times a month.

              • rgr769 says:

                Yep. They were rectangular, so they didn’t come in C-rats, which had those round candy bars in some of the B-1 or B-2 cans.

            • Claw says:

              Just like no FSN for Ham&MFers, there is no FSN for the Hersheys Tropical Chocolate Bar that was provided in the Confections Pack of the Ration Supplement Sundries Pack (8940-268-9934).
              Also, IIRC, the Pound Cake only came in the Meat Balls & Beans in Tomato Sauce meal w/B-2 Unit.
              And for Ninja, the 4-pack (originally 5-pack) cigarettes were deleted from the MCIs starting in 1975.

              Good Times!!

              • ninja says:

                Thanks, Claw on the cigarette info!

                Have to admit, some of those C-Rats weren’t bad.

                My Dad used to bring home the Crackers as well as those John Wayne Bars after spending time in the Field. I later got suspicious as to why he did that, i.e. no one else wanted them? I must have been a spoiled child, because I remember trying them and later turning my nose up on those items.

                Fast Forward to me eating C-Rats in the Field. I TRIED giving away those Crackers and John Wayne bars…and had Zero takers.

                😉

                • rgr769 says:

                  In those bad old days in the bush in the Viet of the Nam, I frequently ate then, but only with the peanut butter and jam I had saved from another meal. In Ranger school they only give you one C-rat a day in the field, so when one is calorie deprived one learns to each almost everything that comes in the cans.

              • rgr769 says:

                I was always annoyed when the cigarettes were Camels or Pall Malls, instead of filter cigarettes, even though they were a pain to field strip.