• 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

September 3, 2014
Lunchbox Lecture
12:00 pm - 1:00 pm
George Cholewczynski presents "The 70th Anniversary of Operation Market Garden"

September 3, 2014
White Glove Wednesdays
9:00 am – 12:00 pm
Louisiana Memorial Pavilion

September 4, 2014
Special Presentation
Hiroko Kusuda presents "Challenging Internment"
6:00 pm ‐ 7:00 pm

September 10, 2014
White Glove Wednesdays
9:00 am ‐ 12:00 pm
Louisiana Memorial Pavilion

September 10, 2014
"America's Wartime Sweethearts: A Tribute to The Andrews Sisters"
11:45 am buffet seating
Stage Door Canteen

September 11, 2014
Lagniappe Lecture
Dr. Mark Plotkin presents "Quinine, Rubber, Sherman Tanks and Japanese Submarines: How Rainforest Plants Served as Key Strategic Materials in World War II"
5:00 pm – 7:00 pm
US Freedom Pavilion: The Boeing Center

dividing bar

CONNECT:

dividing bar dividing bar