Divisions, regiments and battalion had specialized units which
furnished all needed things, at lower level this was commanders´
responsibility. They were aided by gunnery sergeants at company level and
right guides at platoon level. They controlled distribution of rations,
water, ammunition, batteries, new clothing etc. Working parties from
subordinates helped them.
The basic load of ammo was 350 – 420 rounds of 5.56mm rifle
ammunition in magazines and bandoleers per rifle. 21 rounds of .45 ACP per
pistol and 800 linked rounds of 7.62mm ammo per machine gun. 40mm grenades
for M79 grenade launcher were carried in claymore bag, demo bag,
bandoleers or special vests. Ammunition for crew served weapons (machine
guns, mortars etc) was added to grunts to their own equipment.
Water was as important as ammo and medical care. To static
defensive positions it was delivered in plastic canisters or Marines used
local stream but purified by halazone tablets. Amount of canteens carried
by soldiers depended on the conditions.
Meals served at base camps were known as A and B rations. The field rations were known as Meal, Combat, Individual or shortened „C-Rat“. These were issued 12 in a pack(20 pounds) per Marine for four days. In each case was P38 can opener, plastic spoon, one heavy meal, crackers, cigaretts, coffee etc. Diet should be 3300 calories per day but because of heat etc.you were usually able to eat 1000 calories, the result was weight loss.
For reducing weight of ration, it was developed special dehydrated
Ration, Long Range Patrol. It was plastic bag, you inserted water, than
waited until it marinated atnd you could eat it. It´s weight for three
days was 8 pounds.
For example: for operation Dewey Canyon, each rifleman was issued by rations for four days and LRP ration for emergency, four canteens of water, twice of normal ammo load and batteries (when you try to carry this load, than you would know what is hell). Because of combat conditions and weather situation sometimes it was hard to supply infantry units by rations, ammo, batteries etc.or sometimes pilots were not able to find units in jungle without stopping their movement.