In 1966 a two-quart canteen was developed at the request of the Special Forces serving in Vietnam. It consisted of a square molded vinyl bladder with a threaded spout centered on the top and a pattern 1942 black resin plastic cap. The heat sealed seams proved to be too weak for the rugged conditions found in Vietnam. In 1967 a two-quart molded plastic canteen was field tested by the 4th Infantry Division. The new canteen was olive green in color with the spout located in one corner. The cap was the same as that used on the one quart canteen. The new canteen became standard in October 1968 with general production beginning in 1969. -- U.S. Army Field Mess Gear, page 19.
I just picked up a Vietnam-era USGI 2-quart collapsible canteen. Unlike the photo above it has the original cap. Made by Ideal in 1969, it has a Eastern Canvas Products cover with the Universal Sling. It has seen considerable field use but is in serviceable shape. The canteen, the cover and the strap all have the soldier's name stenciled on them. On the opposite side of the canteen from the soldier's name is a number, 1273, with a line through the seven, European style. I paid a buck fifty for the whole rig.
I tested the canteen with hot water and it has no leaks. The canteen was wrapped diagonally with "hundred-mile-an-hour tape," reinforcing each corner and forming an "X" on both sides of the canteen. This was done so long ago that the tape was uniformly dessicated and petrified to the canteen surface. When I removed it, a huge cloud of dried-out tape particles rose around it and me like a cloud.
Here's my question: Do any of you veterans recall using duct tape to reinforce the 2 quart canteen? I know from troop experience at militia FTXs in the 90s that these canteens will explode if you land on them while maneuvering. The thought of reinforcing them never occured to me before. Was this SOP in some units? Just curious.