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GIs Enjoy Holiday Feast, Whatever it Was With AM-Somalia Rdp, Bjt

December 25, 1992

MOGADISHU, Somalia (AP) _ U.S. Marine Cpl. Neil Getty poked his fork into a mysterious rectangle smothered with beige gravy.

″It’s ham,″ the 23-year-old Seattle native said finally.

No, it’s turkey, and merry Christmas.

An informal survey of Marines packed into a mess tent at Mogadishu’s port on Friday found that most weren’t sure what their special holiday dinner was.

″Hey, it’s shaped like a rectangle and the color is a little different, but it’s turkey,″ said a somewhat insulted cook, Sgt. James Wilson, 26, of Cleveland.

Wilson helped prepare the dinner for Marines stationed here as part of the U.S.-led relief effort. He said he used 800 pounds of potatoes, 800 pounds of lima beans and 1,300 pounds of canned, processed turkey.

He expected to serve only 2,400 people, but the count hit 3,222 by the time the dishes were put away.

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