There are numerous reports of Russian troops in Ukraine going without food, water, fuel, ammunition and even medical care. We thought you might enjoy the contrast of the US Navy making floating ice cream factory on a barge for sailors in WWII
In the military, food is a big part of morale. This is especially true in the US Navy where sailors often talk to each other about the best chow they ever ate ashore and afloat. Here in the states, we take for granted just opening the fridge and pulling out a gallon of ice cream for dessert. Aboard ships, however, there is limited freezer storage in the “Reefers,” and feeding several hundred or several thousand sailors three times a day means priority is given to the staple meat, potatoes, and vegetables that are the foundation of meals in the military. Desserts tend to be warm pies and cakes rather than ice cream so it’s a real treat to get your hands on some for the crew. In WWII, ice cream was such a prized commodity that if a destroyer or submarine rescued a downed pilot from an aircraft carrier, he would be held ‘ransom’ for 5 gallons of ice cream from the carrier’s much larger cold storage reefers.
To say that ice cream was popular in the navy is an understatement. When the carrier USS Lexington was left sinking at the Battle of the Coral Sea and the captain ordered the crew to abandon ship, some of the crew went into the reefers on the mess decks first and ate every drop of ice cream she had before going over the side.
The wonders of this cold, sweet and creamy dessert were not lost on the Then-secretary of the Navy, James Forrestal. Ice cream for the fleet was easy enough to come by back in the states where it was made, but as US Fleets ranged further and further into the Pacific it was getting much harder to get it out to the ships since it had to be shipped frozen and refrigerated holds for cargo ships were very expensive to make. So in 1945, he put an effort to make sure that the US Navy forces would not be without unlimited free ice cream, by building floating ice cream factories.