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"Ice Cream: America’s Secret Weapon in World War II" Topic

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©1994-2023 Bill Armintrout
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Tango01 Supporting Member of TMP24 Sep 2023 7:55 p.m. PST

"…Since the early days of America began with a love of ice cream, it makes sense that the U.S. Military would have just as big of a sweet tooth. In fact, ice cream has been cited by dessert-loving historians as a key factor of the U.S. Military's success in World War II.

Before World War II, the Military's ration menu focused on getting soldiers enough calories to keep up their strength. The domestic sale of meat, wheat, sugar, and fat so more could be sent to Military kitchens overseas. These restrictions affected the ice cream industry by requiring they reduce the production of their delicious product to conserve milk and sugar. The industry tried to speak out against the regulations, asserting that their sweet and creamy commodity was key to keeping up morale among the troops…."

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bandit86 Supporting Member of TMP24 Sep 2023 8:24 p.m. PST

tasting history with Max Miller. A great youtube channel
YouTube link

Nine pound round25 Sep 2023 7:23 a.m. PST

"Ah, but the strawberries- that's, that's where I had them! But they laughed at me, and made jokes…."

Personal logo The Virtual Armchair General Sponsoring Member of TMP25 Sep 2023 9:30 a.m. PST


Capt. Queeg was really upset about the missing strawberries, he just had a unique fondness for eating sand out of can.


Personal logo Mserafin Supporting Member of TMP26 Sep 2023 12:05 p.m. PST

American capital ships had ice cream machines. USS Washington was lucky enough to have a crew member who had been an ice cream maker in civilian life. He was put in charge of the machine, so the Washington became known for having the best ice cream in the fleet. Destroyers would compete to be re-fueled from her, as they inevitably got a few gallons of premium ice cream sent over during the process.

Tango01 Supporting Member of TMP26 Sep 2023 2:19 p.m. PST



Wolfhag26 Sep 2023 3:01 p.m. PST

Marine airman making ice cream on Guadalcanal:

One squadron commander, J. Hunter Reinburg, figured he could probably raise morale among his men if he could fix one of his F4U Corsair fighter-bombers to become a high-altitude ice cream maker. It wouldn't be that hard. His crews cut the ends off a drop tank, created a side access panel, and strung a .50-caliber ammo can in the panel. He instructed the mess sergeant to fill the ammo can with canned milk and cocoa powder. All he had to do was get it cold enough to freeze – no problem for a high-altitude fighter.

There was something to Reinburg's thinking. Ice cream has long been a staple of American morale. During the years of Prohibition, ice cream and soda jerks replaced bar nuts and bartenders for many Americans. Ice creams were marketed toward helping people cope with suffering during the Great Depression. When World War II broke out, other countries banned ice cream to enforce sugar rations — but not the United States. Americans loved the sweet treat so much the U.S. military even planned to build a floating ice cream factory and tow it into the Pacific Theater.

For Marines stranded on a hot island with no fresh food and no refrigeration, high-altitude ice cream was a great idea.


Cke1st26 Sep 2023 5:27 p.m. PST

(USMC Captain Armitage, head of the light cruiser USS Astoria's Marine detachment and a close friend of Astoria's captain, was washed overboard, but rescued by a destroyer. The destroyer pulled alongside and signaled "We have Armitage. What do you have?")

"Captain Dyer contemplated the traditional ransom request. His ship's galley contained an ice cream maker and the typical destroyer did not. He directed the reply, 'Ice cream. Usually we give 20 gallons, but due to the fact it's a Marine, 15 gallons.'"

("Days of Steel Rain" by Brent E. Jones)

Cke1st26 Sep 2023 5:46 p.m. PST

When the destroyer USS Laffey anchored with the fleet near Okinawa, they asked a mail-bearing LST if there was any mail for them. The answer was "Wait."

Laffey was about to join the radar-picket line and her captain didn't want to wait. He ordered a new signal sent: "Five gallons of ice cream for immediate delivery of any mail for the Laffey." The LST quickly answered, "Send boat," and seven mail bags were soon on their way to the destroyer.

("The Ship that Would Not Die" by F. Julian Becton)

Tango01 Supporting Member of TMP27 Sep 2023 2:10 p.m. PST



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