Military Can Opener History:
The Beginnings: Forging a Military Icon - the P-38 Can
When you mention the acronym P-38 or P38 it brings to mind several
- P-38 Can Opener
- P-38 Lightning - Air Craft
- P-38 German semi-automatic pistol
This web site is dedicated to the P-38 can opener. I started out
researching military dog tags and found that dog tags and P38 can openers go
hand in hand. When I looked at the history of the P-38 can opener I
found that it was much more complex and interesting than I ever thought it
could be so I decided to research the little can opener. I have posted
my findings here for everyone to review.
I hope you enjoy my findings.
||The P-38 or John Wayne can opener .
This little device means different things to different
people but one thing that is a fact is that this small 1"x1/2" piece
of metal is one of the most recognized pieces of equipment the
military every produced. The P-38 can opener ranks among the
the most identifiable military icons right up there with the Jeep
and dog tags.
||The P-51 - Big Brother of the
The P-51 can opener is not as widely recognized as the P-38
but none-the-less the P-51 has been in the military inventory since
the early 1950's.
||P-38 Military Specifications
The P38 can opener is still in the military inventory and is
currently assigned the National Stock Number (NSN) of
xxxx-xx-xxx-xxxx. Everything in the military inventory has a
military specification, the P-38 is no exception. Here we have
published the complete military specification for your review.
||P-38 Engineering Drawings
Along with the military specifications manufacturers are issued
engineering drawings to make these can openers. We have
procured the actual P-38 engineering drawings and posted them here.
||P-38 Photographs - Images
Over the years there have been many different manufactures and
supplies of the P38 can opener. We have created a photo
gallery to illustrate these different can openers.
||P-38 Patent Information
Just Released - We now have patent information and drawings for the
P-38 can opener. Interesting note is that the patent drawings
date prior to WWII which up to this point was considered the time
period that these can openers were conceived and produced. The
patent information is a interesting new addition to our web site.
||P-38 "In the news" - Articles and
Since the P-38 is one of the most recognized icons of
our military services it only makes sense that the device would be
mentioned in literature from time to time. Here we have
compiled news articles, literary stories and testimonials that make
reference to the P38 can opener.
||"C" Rats or "C" Rations
history of the P-38 can opener would be complete without the mention
of "C" Rations. After all "C" Rations were the reason for the
P-38 being issued to our soldiers and becoming an integral part of
every GI's kit. Many veterans left the service with their P38
as it became an important tool for them and a memento of their
service to our country.
||P-51 Military Specifications
The P51 is currently in the military inventory and is issued the
National Stock Number (NSN) of xxxx-xx-xxx-xxxx. Posted here
for your review is the military specification of the current issue
P-51 can opener.
||P-51 Engineering Drawings
have procured the engineering drawings of the P-51 can opener and
have posted them here.
||P-51 Photographs - Images
While the P-51 has not had the same impact as the P-38, it has seen
combat and still remains in the military inventory. We have
compiled a image library of the P51 can opener.
||"T" Rats or "T" Rations
P-38 was issued and intended for use with the C Rations but the P-51
can opener was intended for use with the T Rations or Tray Pack.
We have compiled information on the T Rat Pack here.
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