Optimus 99 from U.S. Military

Discussion in 'Optimus No:99' started by sfcacique, Feb 24, 2019.

  1. sfcacique

    sfcacique United States Subscriber

    Offline
    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2019
    Messages:
    14
    Location:
    Lakeland, Florida
    I have had this stove for quite a while. I used a similar model during USMC Cold/Wet Weather Training at Pickle Meadows, California in 1982, I don't believe this is the same one. I believe I acquired this one used from a fellow soldier in the late 80's or early 90's. I'd appreciate any insight into the Optimus/99 history (specific and generic), repair/maintenance and parts. I see I am at least missing the wind screen and strap.

    20190224_083436.jpg

    20190224_083500.jpg
     
  2. snwcmpr

    snwcmpr Subscriber

    Offline
    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2011
    Messages:
    12,249
    Location:
    North Carolina
    Welcome to CCS

    When you say used, do you mean it was issued to you?
    I have an Airborne friend that used a Whisperlite, but it was not issued to him.
     
  3. kerophile

    kerophile United Kingdom SotM Winner Subscriber

    Offline
    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2004
    Messages:
    11,085
    Location:
    Far North of Scotland
    Last edited: Feb 24, 2019
  4. sfcacique

    sfcacique United States Subscriber

    Offline
    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2019
    Messages:
    14
    Location:
    Lakeland, Florida
    @snwcmpr Yes we had "Swedish stoves" issued to us on variety of basises. Sometimes it was for the specific exercise/training/mission, other times it was for a more permanent "unit" /CIF issue (you kept it while you were assigned to the unit). It was NOT issued to keep. I used one in Germany in 1981/2, then at Pickle Meadows in CA / 1982/3, then various other times in Latin America and other places. Most of those later ones were MSR Whisperlites. Guys in Europe had more of the Optimus ones to my recollection. This one specifically, I don't know where the other guy got it from. I have had it for at least twenty years as I retired over 18 years ago.
     
  5. Mark Layman

    Mark Layman Subscriber

    Offline
    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2018
    Messages:
    423
    Location:
    USA West Virginia
    That 99 looks like it has been beat in a rucksack while hanging below a jumper on a lowering line but i bet it will still work once fixed. Best stove I ever had while in the military? Ultimately a little over 35 years was trioxane and a canteen cup stove. Reason being the supply sergeant wanted to keep the stoves clean and wouldn't issue them out. They were M1950 stoves. We usually made a fire if the tactical situation allowed for it. We were always sneaking and peeking then running after making a hit on a target. You were lucky to have been the type of unit and situation that allowed for some comforts. All we had was what we carried on our backs and a stove was a luxury usually not taken.
     
  6. snwcmpr

    snwcmpr Subscriber

    Offline
    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2011
    Messages:
    12,249
    Location:
    North Carolina
    We walked aft, to the galley, stood in the chow line, and were served by a mess cook.
    The drawback was we were surrounded by a lot of water.
     
  7. Mark Layman

    Mark Layman Subscriber

    Offline
    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2018
    Messages:
    423
    Location:
    USA West Virginia
    @snwcmpr I was never on a boat but every time I flew across the pond I wondered about all that big water down there if the bird ever went down. Big water wants to kill you.
     
  8. snwcmpr

    snwcmpr Subscriber

    Offline
    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2011
    Messages:
    12,249
    Location:
    North Carolina
    I was not on a 'boat' either ... I was on a ship. :)

    Swim call in the middle of the pacific ocean was a blast.
     
  9. sfcacique

    sfcacique United States Subscriber

    Offline
    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2019
    Messages:
    14
    Location:
    Lakeland, Florida
    @Mark Layman PERHAPS the stove has seen a bit of terrain8] BUT I can assure you that the impact(s) with a ground from a PLF wasn't the problem. Stoves, when we had them, were always well packed in the center of the ruck for the actual jump.... now a couple of hours later, after initial use, it would be much more accessible, therefore much more vulnerable. Perhaps it participated in a "couple" of pot over kettle rapid uncontrolled descents from hills, mountainsides and cliffs...

    Canteen cup/stoves were about the only thing we DID get to use while patrolling, and very limited at that. You could hide a Trioxane tab fire pretty easily, it didn't make hardly any noise, but that smell could cover some serious area (sublime as it was). Mechanical stoves like Optimus or MSR Whisperlites, or even wood fires were for back in safe country or for life threatening situations.
     
  10. sfcacique

    sfcacique United States Subscriber

    Offline
    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2019
    Messages:
    14
    Location:
    Lakeland, Florida
  11. Mark Layman

    Mark Layman Subscriber

    Offline
    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2018
    Messages:
    423
    Location:
    USA West Virginia
    @sfcacique sorry if you may have thought i was insinuating that your description of the stove and its history was false.
    I didn't mean for my comments to be taken that way. If so I apologize. If not no worries.
    We packed our gear pretty well too or as best we could. I remember a particularly rough night infil in the florida swamps wherein we had several injuries. Anyway the next morning my team commander was cooking eggs! I asked him where did you get those eggs and his answer was almost unbelievable. He jumped them in. I guess that man knew how to pack a ruck for a jump.
     
  12. sfcacique

    sfcacique United States Subscriber

    Offline
    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2019
    Messages:
    14
    Location:
    Lakeland, Florida
    Naw, I was just continuing the conversation and providing some bona fides.
     
  13. Mark Layman

    Mark Layman Subscriber

    Offline
    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2018
    Messages:
    423
    Location:
    USA West Virginia
    Ha.
    RGR BT AR
     
  14. sfcacique

    sfcacique United States Subscriber

    Offline
    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2019
    Messages:
    14
    Location:
    Lakeland, Florida
  15. snwcmpr

    snwcmpr Subscriber

    Offline
    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2011
    Messages:
    12,249
    Location:
    North Carolina
  16. goldwinger11

    goldwinger11 United States Subscriber

    Offline
    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2017
    Messages:
    273
    Location:
    Merlin, Oregon, USA
    We tended to use C4 plastics for our fire when we didn't want the smell of those trioxane tabs to permeate the bush.
     
  17. sfcacique

    sfcacique United States Subscriber

    Offline
    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2019
    Messages:
    14
    Location:
    Lakeland, Florida
    @goldwinger11 You are definitely showing your age and VN Era. I heard stories like that from my elders and betters, but even in the '80s it was too tightly controlled.
     
  18. Mark Layman

    Mark Layman Subscriber

    Offline
    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2018
    Messages:
    423
    Location:
    USA West Virginia
    Indeed @sfcacique
    My era 1978-2013 and we used it to blew things up not for cooking.
     
  19. goldwinger11

    goldwinger11 United States Subscriber

    Offline
    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2017
    Messages:
    273
    Location:
    Merlin, Oregon, USA
    Well it worked liked this. Why carry two different type packages when one can serve both purposes?