Handy Island

Handy Island
"The Air War Finds A Handy South Atlantic Island" was the caption on this Peter Hurd painting of Ascension Island, from Life Magazine, April 1945. It was the only place for pilots to refuel between Natal and West Africa.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

How They Lived and What They Lived On

Ascension Island water rationing, about 1942.  US Air Force photo.

"An army marches on its stomach," said Napoleon Bonaparte and his maxim has proved true throughout the history of wars.

During World War II, Americans at home faced food rationing, especially of coffee, butter, meat, and sugar, so the millions of Allied soldiers fighting all over the world could get nutritious meals.

Nutritous? Yes.  Home cooked and tasty?  Not always.  Click below for the story of the best (and worst) about K and C-rations.

"How They Lived and Ate in WW II"


  1. I love this blog Robin! i am doing a report on my great grandfather Ellicott Lee, who as it happens, was a cook on Ascension island. He is still alive at 94 and has told me many stories about the food they ate there during desperate measures. He said they ate sea turtles along with Wideawake bird eggs.

  2. I'm so pleased you have enjoyed the blog. I started it after I lost my father, two years ago. He was born in 191 and his service on Ascension was one of the highlights of his life ... He may have known your great grandfather ... World War II is a great subject for you to research and I hope you do really well on your project!