Oficers liquor rations in ww 2 - Printable Version

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Oficers liquor rations in ww 2 - twobisquit - 07-09-2006

Any one with true facts? My recollatiion is that they were issued about 4-5 bottles per

mounth. Seems to be the way I remembered it. Our Platoon Ldr (Lt.) usually kept one bottle and the rest went to the guys in the platoon. Usually a few drinks for each of us. Did they stop this "officers liquor allottment? If so, when? It sort of reminds me of the cigarettes we had in each K or C ration, along with a carton of cigarettes each week when possible. I still wownder who paid for the cartons. Maybe it was taken out of our pay. Along with the few candy bars brought up. Cant recall as we rarely drew pay.

All but $ 20.00 per month was in a allotment home and well more money than needed

by far, which we rarely collected "over the table" monthly. Most of this "over the table"

money was also sent home if/when we were paid. Come on Roque, think back a few

years. O.K., maybe 60 years or so. Wondering just how long this "officers liquor

ration" was in effect after WW 2 or is it still going on?

Oficers liquor rations in ww 2 - Walt's Daughter - 07-10-2006

Okay going to post some interesting tidbits here. Though the first one is not related to officers, it is related to the nursing corps. This excerpt is from


After about a year in England, in May of 1945, her unit was moved to France. She remembers the beauty of Normandy where the roads were lined with tall, slim trees and the fields held acres of red poppies. She would not, however, see Paris, except from the inside of the train station, that they were not allowed to leave. In France, their hospital was in a huge grim stone building once occupied by the Germans, in or near Verdun, but the nurses got a generous liquor ration of five bottles a month, including the best champagne!

Oficers liquor rations in ww 2 - Walt's Daughter - 07-10-2006

Section in bold at bottom refers to liquor rationing




During the nights of 24/25 and 25/26 February, the 36th Division and its attached units were relieved by a British division and moved to the Raviscanina area to recover from weeks of rough combat, plus the mauling received during the abortive Rapido River crossing. The 443rd bivouaced nearby, close to Maddaloni and near a huge, old, three-tiered Roman aquaduct/viaduct. As weather moderated, 443rd officers and men had time to play volleyball and baseball and take rest leaves to Sorrento and to Caserta. Officers were quartered in the Sorrento Victoria Hotel while enlisted men enjoyed the left wing of the Royal Palace at Caserta, 17 miles northeast of Naples and built by Charles III in 1752. Five days of hot showers, three hot meals a day and fine entertainment were enjoyed. The time was also used to receive and train replacements, repair camouflage netting, repair and replace equipment, guns and vehicles. A small arms firing range was set up and used by all personnel and daily aircraft identification classes were held under supervision of the Battalion S-3 Section.


During the night of 17 March, Mount Vesuvius erupted in its most violent outpouring in seventy-two years and continued to spew ash, rocks and lava for three days before beginning to subside. Sulphurous lava covered part of the town of San Sabatino at the foot of Vesuvius and threatened the nearby coast. Lava ash fell heavily and varied in depth from two inches to two feet in some areas. At one point, rocks of from one to five inches in diameter were blown skyward and many fell on the nearby U.S. New Pompeii Airfield, ripping tents and breaking plexiglass canopies on a number of planes. With memories of the disaster that buried old Pompeii in 79 A.D. still strong, Italian residents near the volcano were panic-stricken and Allied troops and medical supplies were pressed into emergency service. As the eruption began to subside, many 443rd men were able to observe the cooling lava flow first hand as well as to visit the portions of old Pompeii that had been excavated since work began in the 19th Century.


The beauty of the Sorrento Peninsula, with its Amalfi Drive along sheer cliffs dropping into the blue sea, with its orange and lemon groves, with its ancient buildings and the nearby Isle of Capri, as well as fishermen bringing in their catches on the beaches, all reflected an idyllic picture that was shattered during mealtimes back at the 443rd Maddaloni bivouac area. Scores of pitiful, poorly dressed and starving youngsters of all ages, including a few older folk, would surround unit garbage cans to get scraps of food from men and officers who had finished eating. Holding out #10 tin cans, scrounged from the garbage dumps, they begged for every morsel they could get to take home to their families. At first, many 443rd men were unable to eat their food and gave it all to the pitiful crowd. Then, most began to eat only part of their meal in order to share the rest.


One very old and feeble woman in worn out clothing came daily to get food, walking some distance from her upstairs, dilapidated lodgings. One day she failed to appear and Lt. Col. Larson questioned some of the crowd, only to discover that she was ill. He sent the Battalion Medical Officer to provide treatment and take her some needed food. It turned out that her son was a well-to-do businessman who refused to help his aged mother.


On another day the 443rd Commander noticed a group of G.I.s on the first tier of the viaduct and, with several of his staff, investigated only to find that the men were waiting with dollar bills in their hands to give to an old Italian woman when their turn came. She sat at the entrance to a room where a young, blond girl, laying on a G.I. blanket, was taking on all comers. Concerned over the spread of venereal disease, he had the two women taken to the nearest town and turned the girl over to local authorities. Some months later, as the 443rd and the 36th Division were moving in convoy to the staging area for the Southern France invasion, the girl and her older companion were observed with a horse and buggy, going in the same direction as the convoy.


At about this time, General Mark Clark initiated the issuing of monthly liquor rations to officers, as was done in the British Army. This practice was continued throughout the European campaigns.

Oficers liquor rations in ww 2 - Walt's Daughter - 07-10-2006

This was taken from Ross Hoagland's interview:


I didn’t like the idea that officers had a liquor ration, enlisted men didn’t, didn’t like that idea at all. And here I was in addition to other duties was a liquor officer for the battalion. And believe it or not, I’d collect the money and five companies, about five officers probably around 25 officers would get a liquor ration each month. They got a bottle of rum, they got a bottle of bourbon, they got a bottle of brandy they’d buy. I’d have to buy it, get their money first, then take itback to them. Well one company had five officers in there, there was only one officer that orders liquor rations, which meant that there was four that I could buy for, so I sold it to my enlisted men at cost. And I said, Now here’s what you have to do. Just be quiet about this. Don't overdo it and I can buy it for you as long as they don’t buy it. Well, finally being right next door to the other.. the company that weren’t…. these non-coms.. where you gettin’ this. You see, and it finally got out, so these officers started buying it then, you see. But that was well controlled thing. There was no monkey business at all. It was well regulated. You could buy a ration each month while we weren’t in combat, you see. But I had my non-coms I furnished them liquor. So I got to be quite a nice fellow to my non-coms, you see.

Oficers liquor rations in ww 2 - Walt's Daughter - 07-10-2006

Taken from this page:


[irish Sheehan] - "We went out and walked about a mile down the road to a supply depot. We went in and Ike requested two cases of C rations from the Corporal in charge. The Corporal told us he couldn’t give us any C rations, or any other supplies, without a requisition form. Ike slapped his carbine down on the counter pointing at the Corporal and said, ‘This is my requisition form!’ The C rations miraculously appeared. Then, as an afterthought, Ike said, ‘And where is my officer’s liquor ration?’ -and suddenly he had two bottles of gin."

Oficers liquor rations in ww 2 - Walt's Daughter - 07-10-2006

Excerpt taken from:


Officers in the 83rd, while overseas,received a liquor ration from the government. I received the first bottle at Anzio, I concluded that under no circumstances, would this liquor be available to any man while we were in combat. Then the bright idea occurred to me, “I’ll save it – this liquor will keep indefinitely andsometime in the future we’ll have aplatoon party. I had a heavy, khaki barracks bag thatwas about two-thirds full of stateside uniforms – dress shirts, pink and green pants, etc. The top of this bag was tightly sealed with a lock, for which only I had the key. My bag, along with all the other officers’ bags, was stored in an assigned trailer in the motor pool. About a year later when I had received another liquor ration, I headed for the motor pool. When I couldn’t find the officers’ trailer, I asked about its whereabouts, and the Sergeant pointed out a bigger trailer to me. I had no problem finding my bag, and no, I had not lost the key, if that’s what you are thinking. However when I unlocked the bag, the most awful, mind-numbing stench hit me. In checking, I learned that the bag transfer was done by throwing the bags to the ground, and then tossing them into the larger trailer. The result: every one of the fourteen or fifteen bottles was broken. My clothing soaked with whiskey, had to be destroyed. Of course, the men in my platoon were never told about the great party they missed in 1945, but all these years later we can finally laugh about it.

Oficers liquor rations in ww 2 - alkincer - 07-10-2006

:drinkin: Liquor ration..,.WE fought the war for two years and I remember only one. Col Goodpaster had an officers meeting Xmas of 43...He had received about two quarts..He passed it around at our Officers call on Xmas Eve night. WE did find plenty of Cognac, Gin & Wine on our own. In Germany after our big find the GI'S got a ration a week...Back up troops got the rations!!! AL Kincer