You have to be of a selective age and older, and you most likely spent time in the military to know what this item is used for.

The picture that I have posted is my P-38. I keep it on my key chain. It is a can opener. This was issued to military members to help them open canned field rations. I received mine in 1978 when I was in my tech school in the Air Force.

The P-38 can opener is pocket-sized, approximately 1.5 inches (38 mm) long, and consists of a short metal blade that serves as a handle, with a small, hinged metal tooth that folds out to pierce the can lid.  The handle portion can also double as a makeshift flat-blade screwdriver.

Originally it was designed for and distributed in the K-ration, and it was later included in the C-ration. Those rations were canned or pre-packaged meals, that were easily prepared and eaten, transported by military troops on the battlefield.

P-38s are no longer used for individual rations by the United States Armed Forces, as canned C-rations were replaced by MRE rations in the 1980s, packed in plastic pouches.

Beau Matthews
Beau Matthews

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