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Any large metal container, such as a washtub, can be easily made into a stove. It is only necessary to provide an opening for tending to the fire and the bottom draft and to make a chimney at the top. A tin can with both ends removed makes a good chimney.

You can make a surprisingly efficient gasoline stove by using two cans. Pierce the outer empty can, preferably a No. 10 can, with nail holes. This is done from the top sides down to within about 1 1/2 inches from the bottom. Next, put clean sand into the can filling it up to the level where the holes begin. Then saturate the sand with gasoline. There should be no liquid gasoline visible on top of the can.

Use any can of smaller size for the inner can. Puncture it on the sides and bottom with holes. Then, place it in the center of the larger can, bottom up. The nail holes furnish a draft and upward direction of heat. If no better way is available, you can set up a makeshift cooking arrangement. This is done by suspending a long green pole, preferably one that has not dried out, between two upright supports. Suspend the kettle of food directly over a flame or push it to the side to keep warm.


You must first unload the field kitchen equipment from the vehicles that delivered it to the field before you can use it. This equipment is heavy. You should not try to unload an M59 field range outfit by yourself; always seek help.

When there is enough personnel to unload the equipment, ease the equipment off the truck and to the ground. Follow all safety rules while unloading the equipment to prevent damage to the equipment or injury to personnel.

After unloading the equipment, you will unpack it before placing it inside the field kitchen. You will need a hammer and a crowbar for this task. The crates are made of plywood and nailed shut for storage or transport. In some Marine Corps units, hinges, hasps, and locks are used to make the task easier. In such instances, be sure to remember the keys.

Exercise extreme care when opening the crates and removing the equipment to prevent damage to the crates or equipment.  The crates will be used again later to repack the equipment when field mess operations are ended.

KITCHEN EQUIPMENT ARRANGEMENT Before placing equipment inside the field kitchen tent, you should first find out what type and quantity of equipment are needed to accomplish the mission. The following are some of the factors that determine the quantity and type of equipment and its location:

Number of personnel subsisting

Number of days of operation


The field mess equipment to number of personnel ratio is as follows:

One M59 field range outlit for each group of 50 persons

One accessory outfit for every two M59 field ranges

One insulated food container and one vacuum jug for every 25 persons

When planning the layout of the equipment, you should draw a diagram i . 11-1 ) to show where each piece of equipment will be placed. Drawing a diagram will give you a good look at where to place each piece of equipment in relation to the space available. This also will save you time and prevent having to move the equipment around, once it is placed. Last, the diagram will help in determining the appropriate placement to best support the working conditions.

Each of the nine areas shown in figure  11-11  will be discussed in the following paragraphs.

M59 Field Range

The placement of the field ranges (area 1) will change with the season of the year.

In the summer months, the field ranges should be placed in the center of the tent (as shown in . This allows the heat from the ranges to rise and filter out the air vents and the ends of the tent. In cold weather, the field ranges should be placed along the side walls of the tent. This allows the heat to reflect from the top of the tent and return to the work area.

Fire Extinguishers

Place the fire extinguishers (area 2) close to the field ranges in case of a fire. One fire extinguisher is required for every two ranges. Instruct all personnel on proper use of the fire extinguishers.


Locate the cooks' worktables (area 3) close to the ranges to permit accessibility y to the ranges. Place these tables so they do not interfere with the normal replenishing of the serving line. The cooks' worktables can be the folding type or the packing crates for the field ranges can be used for this purpose.

Ingredients Rack

Place the ingredient rack (area 4) where it will not interfere with the normal flow of traffic during the cooks' meal preparation.


Figure 11-11.-Diagram showing positioning of equipment used to feed 550 personnel.

Trash Cans

Locate the trash or garbage cans (area 5) where they will be easily accessible for both food preparation and cooking.

Salad Bar

The salad bar (area 6) should be at the head of the serving line. This will allow the troops to make their selection of the cold foods first. This also will prevent a bottleneck in the serving line.

Improvised Grill

The improvised grill would be the next piece of equipment in line (area 7). This will permit all griddle-fried foods to be prepared and served to the troops as they move through the line.

Improvised Serving Line

The serving line should be located next (area 8). All hot foods not served from the improvised grill are served from the serving line.

Condiment Table

The condiment table (area 9) should be the last in line. This permits the troops to select the condiments they wish without interfering with the normal flow of traffic.

Finally, check the placement of the equipment with your diagram. Keep in mind that the diagram should reflect the actual location of the equipment. At this point, each piece of equipment should be placed where it may be used most practically.


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