This can was purchased at our local "Used Building Supply" store. I saved it from an uncertain fate as a potential "tool box"!
This can is very unique in that it is an original issue, US Navy M19A1 ammo can. The can was painted in US Navy gray and used for initial US Navy issue. Most of these "small arms cans" are repainted gray in the field and reused on-board the ship, or just left in their issue green paint. Finding one of these cans that was used as an initial issue can for US Navy use is quite unique. The label on the can reveals another level of unique.
This can is stenciled on the side, indicating it initially was meant to hold Mk 288 Mod. 0 Torpedo Igniters! This would mean that this can would have once been on a US Navy submarine, making it a rare piece of submarine history.
The can is also hand stamped with the igniter manufacture date of 1978. This places the can in the middle of the "Cold War".
The Mk 288 Mod. 0 Igniters are used on the Mk 48/ADCAP torpedoes models 1 and 3. These torpedoes are still a "mainstay" of the US Submarine fleet, in use from 1971 until today.
From what I understand, the Mk 288 Igniter is an electrically initiated, pyrotechnic device, that activates the start-up sequence for the torpedo. The Mk 48/ADCAP torpedo is designed to sink deep diving, enemy submarines and high performance surface ships. Since this torpedo and the igniters are still in US Navy submarine use, there is not much more information than that on them.
With all that said, here are a few more photos of this very unique "ammo can":