K ration

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Coined by the United States War Department in or about 1942, from K +‎ ration. The letter K is arbitrary, chosen to distinguish the name from earlier C ration and D ration.[1]


K ration (plural K rations)

  1. An individual daily combat food ration introduced by the United States Army during World War II and comprising three courses for breakfast, lunch and supper.
    • 1943 February, “12,000,000 meals a day”, in Popular Mechanics[2], page 86:
      The K ration is packed in three separate boxes containing breakfast, dinner, and supper. It contains two kinds of biscuit, canned meats, coffee tablets, concentrated bouillon, lemon juice powder, chocolate bar and chewing gum.

Alternative forms[edit]


  1. ^ “History of rations”, in US Army Quartermaster Foundation[1], January, 1949, archived from the original on 29 May 2019, retrieved June 7, 2019