This cardboard Army Air Corps ration box was distributed to pilots, crewmen, and passengers as an in-flight snack. (Snacks not included).
Our box is made using the original patent drawings, which means that it’s a fully functional two-compartment sliding box. You can literally store your candies on one half and your gum and D-ration on the other. We recommend filling with sticks of gum or Beechies, a D-ration bar, and a packet of dots, although the below ration description gives other options. See our D-ration mold kit to make your own single D-rations.
In the early days of the war, candies, fruits, and other snacks were carried by pilots, crewmen, and passengers as self-supplied inflight food items. In 1943, the popularity of the candies led to the development of an “American” candy supplement used by United States fliers in Great Britain. Such supplements contained gum, fruit bars, D bars, and hard candy, all packaged for easy opening. This supplement was the basis of the Air Forces Pocket Lunch (a confection-type ration procured in 1943) and a successor Aircrew Lunch which made its debut in September 1944. 62
The Aircrew Lunch contained a selection of small loose candies, candy bars, and gum packaged in a two-compartment box with sliding sleeve. In one compartment were the loose candies-chocolate drops, pancoated cream centers, fondant creams, gum drops, jelly and licorice drops, and pancoated peanuts; the opposite compartment contained a vanilla and a fudge bar and gum. Easy one-hand manipulation of the red-and-blue package permitted the items to drop out of the selected compartment. Eighty of the packages were put in a five-gallon can for shipment and distribution. The lunch retained its standing throughout the war and postwar periods. The development of the item during the Korean Emergency-when it was renamed “Food Packet, Individual, Fighter Pilot” is discussed later in this monograph.
“Special Rations for the Armed Forces, 1946-53”, By Franz A. Koehler, QMC Historical Studies, Series II, No. 6, Historical Branch, Office of the Quartermaster General, Washington D.C. 1958 – http://www.qmfound.com/army_rations_historical_background.htm