• GIVE
dividing bar

FEATURED ARTIFACT: ITALIAN MESS KIT

dividing bar
  • Italian Officers' Mess Kit
  • Capt. Laurent A. Charbonnet
  • Italian Officers' Mess Kit
  • Italian Officers' Mess Kit
dividing bar

Mess kits are some of the most ever-present artifacts from World War II. Every soldier carried a mess kit made up of a plate, knife, fork, and spoon, and would sometimes even eat meals out of their helmets. The artifact here, however, shows that some mess kits — particularly those belonging to officers — were quite impressive.

dividing bar

 

dividing bar

In reality, this Italian officer’s mess kit is more akin to a field kitchen equipped to feed three officers. Not only does it include plates and silverware, but the kit’s Italian origins are reflected in the inclusion of a cheese grater, a pot with a built-in colander, and oil and vinegar bottles. Though not included in the Museum’s example, officer’s mess kits would also include a coffee pot and steel stove. The kit itself can be fitted with four legs to create a tabletop for mealtime.

The kit was picked up in North Africa by Capt. Laurent A. Charbonnet (pictured, center, in the slideshow photo above) of the 88th Infantry Division before disembarking for combat in Italy. Once there, Charbonnet, the commanding officer of F Company, 350th Infantry Regiment, participated in the Rome-Arno, North Apennines, and Po Valley campaigns. He was wounded on 15 April 1945 in fighting during the Bologna Offensive. Charbonnet managed to keep the massive kit with him through discharge.

Gift of the family of Laurent A. Charbonnet, The National World War II Museum Inc., 2000.192.

 

TAKE ACTION:

dividing bar Purchase Tickets Make A Donation Shop Museum Store Plan a Visit Signup for eNews dividing bar

WHAT'S ON:

dividing bar

July 22, 2014
Stage Door Idol - Preliminary Round Three
6:00 pm – 7:30 pm
Stage Door Canteen

July 23, 2014
White Glove Wednesdays
9:00 am – 12:00 pm

July 26, 2014
"Jump, Jive & Wail: The Music of Louis Prima"
6:00 pm dinner seating, 8:00 pm show only ticket
Stage Door Canteen

July 27, 2014
"Jump, Jive & Wail: The Music of Louis Prima"
11:00 am brunch seating
Stage Door Canteen

July 27, 2014
Sunday Swing featuring the New Orleans Moonshiners
1:30 pm – 4:30 pm
Louisiana Memorial Pavilion

July 29, 2014
Stage Door Idol - Preliminary Round Four
6:00 pm – 7:30 pm
Stage Door Canteen

dividing bar

CONNECT:

dividing bar dividing bar