Robin wrote:That "mystery" can continues to bother me. I've been obsessing over it all day today and I have a wild-assed guess to share.
Since that photo was taken on Tarawa, let's try this on for size: The 2nd Marine Division was stationed on New Zealand before it sailed to Tarawa. Could those cans have been made there? Or maybe Australia? Wait, there's more.
US made gas cans, and 55 gallon fuel drums, were made under the jurisdiction of the Interstate Commerce Commision rules, hence the ICC marks on the cans and drums. Water cans are not marked with an ICC number, so I presume they were exempted from the ICC regs? Since the "mystery" can has no ICC markings, they could have been made for water, except they are not lined like any USQMC water cans are, so that shoots down the water can theory. So, since they do not have an ICC marking, could it be that they were made outside of the continental USA, where the ICC regs wouldn't apply? i.e New Zealand, Australia, or maybe, possibly, Hawaii?
And one more observation about that photo. I see 12 empty cans in the picture. That's 60 gallons of gas. Tarawa was only a few hundred yards long, and even narrower yet. A Jeep could drive back and forth for a week on Tarawa on 60 gallons of gas. My first thought was that the gas cans may have been used to carry fuel for flamethrowers, but more study proved that they didn't refill flamethrower tanks from Jerry cans, but from 55 gallon drums that were under pressure. Thickened fuel doesn't flow very well under gravity alone, according to TM 3-375 Portable Flame Throwers M1 and M1A1 May 1943.
When speaking of mistery cans, the european kind of spout ( German,Italian, British ) is taken for granted. The position of the hole or lack of the same on the cap tab, that was discussed before, does not really give a clue. And an American origin does not explain the presence of this kind of cans along british pattern ed ones on British jeeps on the ETO.Chuck Lutz wrote:When you guys post info on the mystery cans, could you mention if the spout is ROUND or the more common oblong style?
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