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Live Turkeys Dropped to G.I.’s in Vietnam

Nov. 22, 1962 - On a hot, steamy day in South Vietnam, U.S. planes dropped live turkeys to American servicemen in isolated outposts in areas controlled by Communist Viet Cong guerrillas. Thanksgiving came and went before most G.I.’s had time to be thankful, being busy in the war. For some stationed in major military centers, it meant the traditional meal with turkey and dressing, ham, and shrimp. In the outposts that received the airdrop, turkeys were cooked as best could be managed and served with rice and Vietnamese fish sauce and in an atmosphere of constant alert. At other places in the field, it meant “C” rations and a little consolation that the packages often contained an item that proclaimed itself turkey loaf (“Ingredient: turkey, cracker meal, salt, monosodium glutamate, pepper”).


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