We’re all familiar with the chewy chocolate candy known as the Tootsie Roll. I don’t know about you, but I mostly remember these candies being thrown from floats in parades. I can kind of see how they might help soldiers – have you ever been hit in the face with a Tootsie Roll? It’s no laughing matter. However, that’s not exactly what the marines did with the unexpected package of Tootsie Rolls.
In 1950, US marine troops were engaged in battle at the North Korean Chosin Reservoir. They were running out of ammunition and requested an air drop of ammo. Specifically, they asked for 60mm mortar rounds. The codename for the rounds was “Tootsie Roll.”
Imagine the marines’ surprise when the package dropped wasn’t filled with bullets, but actual Tootsie Rolls! You have to wonder who was behind that mistake, and why they thought dropping a box of Tootsie Rolls was a totally normal thing to do. But, I digress.
The soldiers were at first understandably upset and confused. However, they got over it soon enough once they found a purpose for their surprise package. The candies, though frozen cold at the time of delivery, quickly turned into stretchy mush in the soldiers’ mouths.
What’s so important about mushy Tootsie Rolls? Well, as it turns out, the freezing temperatures caused the fuel lines in several vehicles to crack. The warmed up candies were fashioned around the cracks to seal them up. When the candy froze again, it became a sort of makeshift adhesive that ended up helping the troops get out safely. Who knew there was so much history behind these little candies?!