Spam to the Troops

Conflict: World War II

Troops at chuck wagon getting their lunch of fried SPAM, peas, stew, biscuits, coffee, and canned pineapple

Troops at chuck wagon getting their lunch of peas, stew, biscuits, coffee, canned pineapple, and fried Spam

Spam was invented in 1937 but received most of its fame from the high demand for it in WWII. From 1941 to 1945, the company shipped over 100 million pounds of Spam to allied troops. Since fresh meat was difficult to come across, Spam was the next best thing. It came neatly packaged, was less expensive, and stayed fresh. Spam’s popularity spread from US troops to Asia, Europe, and the Pacific. It was often fried and served for breakfast, lunch, and dinner—at least that’s what the troops thought.

Troops in Northern Africa: "They lived in the desert on spam and cabbage..."

Troops in Northern Africa: "They lived in the desert on spam and cabbage..."

Marlene Dietrich eating Spam and stew with servicemen

Marlene Dietrich eating Spam and stew with servicemen

"The menu is usually C-rations, but there is a kitchenette to cook Spam and beans..."

"The menu is usually C-rations, but there is a kitchenette to cook Spam and beans..."

Despite the massive amount of Spam troops had while serving abroad, many were still in favor of the meat when they returned home. Spam continued to grow in popularity, especially in the countries US troops were present in during the war. A timeline of Spam’s prosperity and involvement during WWII can be viewed on their website.

Find more images regarding servicemen’s meals at WWII US Air Force Photos.