Associate Group: First Special Service Force, 6th CO, 3rd REG and the 6th Corps living History Group, St Louis, MO

Battalion S-2

Post Reply
Forum Home > G.I. Things > D Ration recipe

14th Armor
Site Owner
Posts: 40

D Ration recipe


The US Army Field Ration D (D ration or "D Bar"), developed by the Quartermaster Corps, was intended exclusively for survival. It contained three 4-ounce bars of thick, high-calorie chocolate. Col. Paul Logan developed the bar with the intent that it not taste too good, for fear the men would consume it rather than carry it until an emergency arose. He gave these requirements to Hershey: "...a bar weighing about four ounces, able to withstand high temperatures, high in food energy value, and tasting just a little better than a boiled potato."



The D-Ration bars were wrapped in aluminum foil, then overwrapped and sealed in parchment paper.

These were to replace the old World War I "iron rations." The researcher's intent was to get the highest caloric content possible in the smallest package, and yet retain sufficient palatability. By late 1941, increasing aluminum shortages saw the complex wrapping substituted by a clear, heat sealed, cellophane wrapper. This simple wrapping was seen to be particularly ineffective as a gas proofing agent, so in February 1942 additional protection was added in the form of a thermoplastic wax and thermoplastic compound coated card box.


According to Hershey Chocolate Corporation, the manufacturer, in 1939, they produced 100,000 units per day. By the end of 1945, production lines on three floors of the plant were producing a total weekly output of approximately 24 million units. It has been estimated that between 1940 and 1945, in excess of three billion ration units were produced and distributed to soldiers around the world. Also produced was a three pack of the four ounce bars intended to furnish the individual combat soldier with the 1,800 calorie minimum sustenance recommended each day.




Here’s how you make,


D Rations, D Rations yummy yummy D Rations. All right so they the ration of last resort, but at least they kind’ a keep your tummy full and if you use my recipe they don’t taste too bad. What I have done is take the original recipe and modify it a little considering we’re like 60 years later. First off the list of ingredients to make 1 D Ration.


3 oz of Hershey’s Milk Chocolate chips or chunks.

1 oz of Table Sugar

1/3 oz of Nonfat Dry Milk

3 table spoons Oat Flour

2 to 4 drops Vanilla Extract

Paraffin Wax as needed (Gulf canning wax works fine)

1 D Ration mold (Mine is a soap disk big enough to make 2 rations. I had to cut the bottom off with my table saw.)


All of these ingredients are available at any grocery store. Ok here’s how to cook it up.


First measure out the table sugar, nonfat dry milk and oat flour and put them into a food processor or blender. Now mix it up until you have a fine powder. The reason for doing this is that if you don’t you will get a D Ration that is really gritty when you eat it. Also, it makes it easier to mix with the chocolate later.

You need a double boiler; it can be nothing more than a smaller pan that sits in a lager pan that has water in it. The thing is you need to heat the mixture from the boiling water not from the stove, otherwise you will burn the chocolate. Place the chocolate into the double boiler and melt it the best you can until you get a smooth mixture. I have found that I have to add some paraffin wax to get the chocolate to melt into a smooth mixture. Don’t add any more than you have to. Also, here is a tip from Hershey’s. When melting the chocolate add a drop or two of vegetable oil to it. The trick is that it keeps the oils mixing and will help keep the melting temperature up and will last longer in the heat.


Once the chocolate and wax is melted add in one half of the ground up sugar, milk and oat flour. Mix it up as best you can and then add a teaspoon or so of water to the mixture. This will allow you to get the mixture to a consistency that allows you mix it all together. Once you get it mixed add the other half of the ground stuff and add another teaspoon or so of water to get it to mix up.


One thing you will notice is that as the mixture sets under heat in the boiler, the water will start to separate out. Don’t worry about it, it mixes back in just fine. Now let the mixture cook for about 10 minutes. Give it a good stir every minute or so.


Now it’s ready to pour into the mold, but first give it one last good stir. Pour into the mold and then put everything into the freezer. Let sit until it is good and cold. Remove from the freezer and then remove from the mold and let it heat up to room temperature. Cut with a sharp knife to shape as necessary and you got a D Ration.


What you end up with is a hard block that will crumble up with a little effort, just like the original. Unlike the original, at least from what I have read, the taste is pretty good considering and is entirely eatable. I would however, following the original instructions and eat it slowly. Wrap it up and put in a Repo D Ration box and you are good to go.


Now the answer to the finial question, will it melt in my pocket like the chocolate bars that I have been using? Well I have taken my mixture to 150 Deg F and it got a little soft, but did not melt. Well what do you want? The original were only rated to 125 Deg. F. ENJOY…………………..

August 1, 2009 at 2:19 PM Flag Quote & Reply

You must login to post.