The K-ration was an individual daily combat food ration which was introduced by the United States Army during World War II. It was originally intended as an individually packaged daily ration for issue to airborne troops, tank corps, motorcycle couriers, and other mobile forces for short durations.The K-ration provided three separately boxed meal units: breakfast, dinner (lunch) and supper (dinner).
The K-ration first saw use in 1942, when it was issued to U.S. Airborne troops on an experimental basis. Initial reports praised it for the variety of the foods incorporated, as well as the light weight.
However, testing in extreme climatic and operating environments was extremely limited: in jungle testing, for example, the K-ration was evaluated in Panama by paratroopers and the Panama Jungle Test Platoon in an experiment lasting only three days.
The test platoons carried one K-ration, weapon, poncho, shelter half, and a single filled one-quart canteen.
No testing was done of men on extended patrols or with heavier individual loads of ammunition and water.At the end of the three days, the men were weighed, and as no abnormal weight loss were noted, the K-ration was deemed successful.