knife knotes part vII
Spring is Here
I love this time of the year. The garden is started, the grass is green, roses blooming, rain storms, what could be better.
New Topic Page
We have added a new topic page to www.USMilitaryKnives.com for your reading and research pleasure. We are simply calling this one The Patent Page. We hope to show different patents of knives and bayonets from the years gone by. Many are well known and have been written about. Some may be surprising. If you know of any obscure patents you have never seen written up please let us know. Keep the topic to knives, bayonets and scabbards though.
Randallís Made in Turkey??
In a current conversation with a fellow collector about the Randall Made knife in the Black Hawk Down book he told us about a Randall type knife made in Turkey. We assumed it was a common low dollar rip-off just like most of the overseas junk that is imported for the flea market trade. Boy were we wrong. We found out there is a little knife shop in a town called Sinop that features a long time established family of cutlers. One small room but they pump out custom knives to no end. Apparently you pick out the knife profile you want from a catalog of photos they have and they make the knife for you from scratch. In fact you can watch them make it if you like. It was also noted that a few (many??) G.I.ís and spook types have had knives made while stationed there over the years since Vietnam! Thatís correct they made Randall type knives during the Vietnam War! The knives are marked with a star and a crescent stamping but are available with out markings also. These are custom made so you get the extras you pay for while they are building it. Leave off the markingís.... a few extra bucks and it is done! We have attached a photo that was forwarded to us but I do not know the original owner of the knife in the picture or the one who took the photo. If this is your knife or photo please contact us as we would like to get some further info from you if possible. The fellow who forwarded it to us also did not know where it came from? Thanks!
Knives made in Turkey
"Overwhelmingly the terrorists have been Mohammedan males, moody representatives of a dysfunctional civilization that peaked in the twelfth century and knows it. Now, since these loons are known to be very high risks for blowing things up, it might make sense to focus on them in searches.
Ah, but this would be profiling. It might offend terrorists. So we randomly search people we know not to be terrorists, thus avoiding profiling. See? Itís like losing your watch under a street light, but looking for it in a dark alley."
Fred Reed, May 2002
White M7 Bayonet
Just picked it up over the weekend. We have seen them before but never had the chance to purchase one as they were never for sale, just on display. The bayonet is a typical M7 made by General Cutlery of Fremont Ohio. The grips are completely white all the way through not painted. The grip markings are typical for the M7 with the "11010068" and the "11010069" designators being the only marks inside. These have an "x" scratched into them from inside like somebody marked them but why is a mystery? Actually the whole bayonet is a mystery, what were they used for? Who were they used by? Are they actually government specíed or just for the surplus trade? We have known about these items for many years but this is the first chance we had to purchase one so they are somewhat rare, but so are "UDT" knives, and we know what category they fall into. Anyone??
The White M7 Bayonet
"You probably missed it in the rush of news last week, but there was actually a report that someone in Pakistan had published in a newspaper an offer of a reward to anyone who killed an American, any American. So I just thought I would write to let them know what an American is, so they would know when they found one.
An American is English, French, Italian, Irish, German, Spanish, Polish, Russian or Greek. An American may also be Mexican, African, Indian, Chinese, Japanese, Australian, Iranian, Asian, Arab, Pakistani, or Afghan. An American may also be a Cherokee, Osage, Blackfoot, Navaho, Apache, or one of the many other tribes known as native Americans. An American is Christian, or he could be Jewish, Buddhist, or Muslim. In fact, there are more Muslims in America than in Afghanistan. The only difference is that in America they are free to worship as each of them chooses. An American is also free to believe in no religion. For that he will answer only to God, not to the government, or to armed thugs claiming to speak for the government and for God.
An American is from the most prosperous land in the history of the world. The root of that prosperity can be found in the Declaration of Independence, which recognizes the God given right of each man and woman to the pursuit of happiness. An American is generous. Americans have helped out just about every other nation in the world in their time of need. When Afghanistan
was over run by the Soviet army 20 years ago, Americans came with arms and supplies to enable the people to win back their country. As of the morning of September 11, Americans had given more than any other nation to the poor in Afghanistan; the best products, the best books, the best music, the best food, the best athletes. Americans welcome the best, but they also welcome the least. The national symbol of America welcomes your tired and your poor, the wretched refuse of
your teeming shores, the homeless, tempest tossed. These in fact are the people who built America. Some of them were working in the Twin Towers in the morning of September 11, earning a better life for their families. [I've been told that the people in the Towers were from at least 30, and maybe many more, other countries, cultures, and first languages, including those that aided and abetted the terrorists.]
So you can try to kill an American if you must. Hitler did. So did General Tojo, and Stalin, and Mao Tse-Tung, and every bloodthirsty tyrant in the history of the world. But, in doing so you would just be killing yourself. Because Americans are not a particular people from a particular place. They are the embodiment of the human spirit of freedom. Everyone who holds to that spirit, everywhere, is an American.
So look around you. You may find more Americans in spirit in your land than you thought were there. One day they will rise up and overthrow the old, ignorant, tired tyrants that trouble too many lands. Then those lands, too, will join the community of free and prosperous nations. And America will welcome them!
New from Lan-Cay
Just received three new M9 bayonets in the mail. As we have reported before right here the Marine Corps M9 with the Eagle, Globe and Anchor is a reality. Stamped on the ricasso opposite the M-9 typical stamping is where it resides. And a nice job it is. Not too deep but deep enough to leave a lasting impression. As you know this type of marking is a requirement for the bidding of the next official Marine Corps bayonet. I wonder what the other competitors have in mind? Can anybody chime in here with information?
Also as reported previously the 101st Airborne Division has the "Screaming Eagle" stamped on a new M9 blade. These bayonets have the familiar emblem also on the ricasso area opposite the M-9 typical markings. Unit appreciation also runs high in the Airborne so this is another "badge" if you will that shouts out where you came from.
And last but not least we now have the 82d Airborne Division entering the arena with the latest stamping. The familiar unit emblem adorns the latest M9 bayonet offering from Lan-Cay. This bayonet follows the trend in the Desert Tan only models for use with the desert camo now in use over there. Taking any bets one which unit next will request a similar marking??
The 82d Airborne Bayonet
"Why are officers of the court not held to standards of veracity
expected even of used-car salesmen? If you pay a witness to lie, it is called suborning
perjury. Pay a juror, and it is called jury tampering. Pay a lawyer
and it is called fee for service."
Fred Reed 05/02
Sorry fellows, couldnít help it. Many of our cherished friends, family members and loyal readers are lawyers, this one just made us laugh.
The Story of a Real Hero...
We are going to try something new here, a feature each month of an edged weapon in use. We will not engage in bloody or otherwise morbid examples but will try to cover a story where the edged weapon played a part in the courageous act displayed. Examples abound but are rarely written about. We examine every angle of the piece in our collections except for the actual use they were meant to be engaged in. We hope to feature these outstanding warriors and the cutlery they used to achieve these feats of excellence.
CAVAIANI, JON R.
Medal of Honor Citation: S/Sgt. Cavaiani distinguished himself by conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of life above and beyond the call of duty in action in the Republic of Vietnam on 4 and 5 June 1971 while serving as a platoon leader to a security platoon providing security for an isolated radio relay site located within enemy-held territory. On the morning of 4 June 1971, the entire camp came under an intense barrage of enemy small arms, automatic weapons, rocket-propelled grenade and mortar fire from a superior size enemy force. S/Sgt. Cavaiani acted with complete disregard for his personal safety as he repeatedly exposed himself to heavy enemy fire in order to move about the camp's perimeter directing the platoon's fire and rallying the platoon in a desperate fight for survival. S/Sgt. Cavaiani also returned heavy suppressive fire upon the assaulting enemy force during this period with a variety of weapons. When the entire platoon was to be evacuated, S/Sgt. Cavaiani unhesitatingly volunteered to remain on the ground and direct the helicopters into the landing zone. S/Sgt. Cavaiani was able to direct the first 3 helicopters in evacuating a major portion of the platoon. Due to intense increase in enemy fire, S/Sgt. Cavaiani was forced to remain at the camp overnight where he calmly directed the remaining platoon members in strengthening their defenses. On the morning of 5 June, a heavy ground fog restricted visibility. The superior size enemy force launched a major ground attack in an attempt to completely annihilate the remaining small force. The enemy force advanced in 2 ranks, first firing a heavy volume of small arms automatic weapons and rocket-propelled grenade fire while the second rank continuously threw a steady barrage of hand grenades at the beleaguered force. S/Sgt. Cavaiani returned a heavy barrage of small arms and hand grenade fire on the assaulting enemy force but was unable to slow them down. He ordered the remaining platoon members to attempt to escape while he provided them with cover fire. With 1 last courageous exertion, S/Sgt. Cavaiani recovered a machine gun, stood up, completely exposing himself to the heavy enemy fire directed at him, and began firing the machine gun in a sweeping motion along the 2 ranks of advancing enemy soldiers. Through S/Sgt. Cavaiani's valiant efforts with complete disregard for his safety, the majority of the remaining platoon members were able to escape. While inflicting severe losses on the advancing enemy force, S/Sgt. Cavaiani was wounded numerous times. S/Sgt. Cavaiani's conspicuous gallantry, extraordinary heroism and intrepidity at the risk of his life, above and beyond the call of duty, were in keeping with the highest traditions of the military service and reflect great credit upon himself and the U.S. Army.
Well that is just the beginning of the story, what it doesnít say is that Cavaiani was not extracted and was left to fend for himself on that isolated mountaintop. As the NVA advanced in heavy numbers Jon was shot in the lower back with an AK-47 round. At that point he began to crawl to the nearest bunker to take refuge. Once inside he found a fellow American John Jones among the living. At this point the NVA soldiers were traveling from bunker to bunker blasting the occupants with grenades and rifle fire. No one was to be left alive, or so it seemed. An NVA soldier entered the bunker where Cavaiani and Jones were hunkered down and fell victim to Jonís Gerber Mark II Fighting Knife. A second NVA approached and Jones shot him dead. A grenade was thrown in but the two determined American were still among the living although both were terribly wounded. Jones decided to exit the bunker as his wounds were preventing him from any further resistance, this was a fateful decision as an AK fired and Jones fell back into the bunker dead. A second grenade soon followed and the concussion from the blast knocked Cavaiani unconscious. At this point the enemy set fire to the bunker while Jon was inside, he had to lie still and play dead throughout the ordeal. When he thought the coast was clear he started to slow crawl out of the charred bunker only to again receive fire, this time grazing his head. As he awoke to an NVA soldier looking through the dead bodies of the defenders presumably for anything worth stealing, spoils of war so to speak. Jon pulled that trusty Gerber Mark II again and rammed it so hard into the soldiers chest he could not extract it. Jon made good his escape from the hilltop and traveled for 10 days towards friendly lines. He was finally captured by the NVA within site of the American camp, Firebase Fuller. The NVA never admitted to his capture until his 1973 release. Jon Cavaiani, a real American Hero.
OK we are beyond confused here on this one. Who owns Ek Knives and the associated history and trademarks? Seems there is a fight brewing on this one between two concerns, one located in Virginia and the other in Michigan. It seems that after Blackjack knives folded in 1997 the Ek name disappeared along with it but that is not the case. The Ek name continued through custom production back in the old hometown of Richmond. Or so we hear. Ken Warner purchased the name to Black Jack and has started selling the knives again. But the name of Ek was not included with that bankruptcy sale?? Or so we are told. The Ek knives are being produced again in Michigan but in the hunting models only?? So we are told.
As you can see we have a lot of hearsay and it depends on which side you listen to as to who is telling the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth. We just want to document it for the sake of history, so can anyone tell us what is actually going on? Is there a court case in the wind for the grand old name of Ek? The original John Ek is probably sitting up there right now shaking his head!
WW II Ek ParaMarine Knife
Other Items of Interest
So often we get e-mailed that we should stick to the topic of knives, after all that is what folks come here for. We wish we could. Sorry but we have other interests also, many of which are put into this page. As you who follow these ramblings know we love a good quote. If it has a sharpened edge content in it all the more better but it isnít absolutely necessary, it need just be entertaining. We like social commentary on political and current events. It has to point to some sort of injustice that puts us on edge, opens the eyes, or makes you see red. Wasting tax dollars is a favorite. Those $800.00 hammer stories just drive us insane! Political Correctness is a major target for us. What ever happened to just being correct, leave politics out of the equation, it has absolutely nothing to do with being right? Some of the other items we never seem to talk about but rank right up there are: Guns, Food, Motorized Vehicles, Wine, Coffee and Tobacco. Now many on that short list are politically incorrect we know but that doesnít change the fact that we like them. So with that said we really want to get to our next hunting trip in a Ferrari F40, perhaps a 1973 Daytona Spyder will do, convertible of course. After a full week of shooting, Rigby .275's to Boss Doubles, we want a Prime Rib, medium rare of course, dinner with all the trimmings and a bottle of Cabernet, followed by a dessert of fresh strawberries and cream. Coffee, Jamaican Blue Mountain of course. The after dinner cordial would be Courvoisier XO Imperial cognac along with a Partagas cigar. Politically incorrect, you say... You bet! Well man does not live by knives alone!
"Weíre in the business of killing people. Weíre going to find the
enemy, hunt them down, and weíre going to put a knife in them."
Brig. General William Catto, Director of the Marine Corps Warfighting Lab.
An article reprint which appeared in the May 2002 issue of National Defense Magazine
The Corps Gets Ready to ĎFix Bayonetsí
by Harold Kennedy
The Marines are looking for a few good bayonetsómore than a 100,000 of themóbut they arenít sure yet what the weapons should look like, according to James Riordan, director of combat equipment and support systems at the Marine Corps Systems Command in Quantico, Va.
The bayonet, named for the city in France where it is said to have originated in1647, is one of the oldest weapons in warfare, but the Marines are convinced that it still has an important role to play, even in an era of precision-guided munitions, Riordan said.
In fact, the serviceóciting a continuing series of bloody ground actions, such as Afghanistan and Somaliaóis increasing its emphasis on close-combat training, including use of the bayonet and combat knives.
"Sometimes, infantry still finds itself in situations where it canít shoot and there are still enemy soldiers to fight," he said. In those cases, bayonetsóaffixed to the barrels of rifles and carbinesócan be formidable weapons, he said. Bayonets are also useful in peacekeeping operations, such as crowd and riot control, where casualties need to be limited.
What the Marines want to do, Riordan said, is replace their 1960s-era M-7 bayonet, which is primarily a stabbing weapon, with a new version, having a cutting edge, that also can serve as a combat knife.
"Right now, Marines who need a combat knife and a bayonet have to carry around two blades, which is awkward," Riordan explained.
The service wants to fix that problem, and it wants to do it quickly, he said. Last fall, the Marines announced plans to award a sole-source contract to the German-based company, Eickhorn-Solingen.
The firm was "the only known source capable of delivering bayonets with the Marine eagle, globe and anchor markings at a rate of 5,000 per month beginning 30 days after acceptance of the first 50 limited production units," the notice said.
The result, however, was a barrage of letters, e-mail and phone calls from U.S. manufacturersóincluding many of those who made the M-7 and the Armyís M-9 bayonet demanding a chance to compete.
"They were outraged," said retired Marine Maj. Homer M. Brett, author of "The Military Knife & Bayonet," who helped design the M-9.
So the Marines canceled their original plans and announced a new competition for the contract. A total of 17 firms responded.
The Corps wants to field the weapon within six months of awarding the contract, Riordan said. "We hope to buy an existing design," he said. "Weíre trying to take advantage of the state of the art."
Last Months Trivia Question:
What was the first year Gerber made their gray handled Mark II fighting
Ron Allard has a tee shirt on the way. We had many answers this month, thanks for playing along.
This Months Question:
During World War Two a version of the Navy Mark 1 was stamped Geneva Forge. Who was the parent company of Geneva Forge during that time period?
E-Mail us here with your answer email@example.com
"The supreme power in America cannot enforce unjust laws by the sword, because the whole body of the people are armed, and constitute a force superior to any band of regular troops ..."
Noah Webster, An Examination of the Leading Principles of the Federal Constitution, Philadelphia (1787)
Rubber Training Knives
In a recent photograph just sent to us, we can see a nice profile of a rubber training knife now in use by the Marine Corps in their Martial Arts training program. As can plainly be seen this is not the traditional Applegate / Fairbairn, Al Mar Knives produced rubber training blade. Question being what is it? It doesnít seen to resemble any knife I know of, perhaps a very small Smatchet would be close. Who is the manufacturer of this training aid? Anyone?
USMC Rubber Training Knife
In a recent conversation with an active duty EOD Technician we discussed a few knives. A question we brought up was the use of the pocket tool. Seems everywhere you go these days these tools are clipped to the belt. They are very handy to have items and best of all it really doesnít bother anyone, even the most rabid anti-weapon person, when you are seen wearing one. Now you canít wear it on an airplane but you can walk into any shopping mall in the country without a second glance from security or other shoppers. The same on base, try walking around with a Randall Model 18 on your hip and see what happens.
The utility of these mighty midgets are beyond compare. We have toted a MIL-K 818 utility knife around for almost 20 years and can attest to the fact that having a few simple tools on you can make life so much easier at times. These new gadgets make the old MIL-K knife look like a Model T next to a Ferrari, no comparison. Well anyway seems the unit of choice is still the old Leatherman Super Tool, black, with crimper jaws for the EOD types, not "authorized" just preferred. The Gerber, which is "authorized" and which is by far the most likely to be seen in the military, due to the NSN attached and the PX having them stocked to the ceiling, are not liked as well. Personal preference is always debatable but this is a feeling we have had told to us by three different folks on three separate occasions. In fact they were even from two different services. Not mentioning any names but the EOD men liked the Leatherman better, but we still actually see more Gerber's on the uniformed.
Authorized Gerber Multi-Tool
"...he that killeth with the sword must be killed with the sword... "
Knives of the IDF
Last month we asked the question of everyone, what knives are the official issue of the Israeli Defense Forces? We seen a Ka-Bar being used in a photograph from a newspaper and wondered if the knife made by Nowill really was IDF issue. We received several responses to the query. Many folks pointed to the web sites of knife sellers on the Internet listing the Nowill knife and the common write up. This is pure salesmanship and we wouldnít use that as fact, hearsay but not fact. The Star of David found stamped in the ricasso is quite a new feature as the older knives by Nowill did not have this feature. Possibly started in the last two years. This blade profile has been in existence since the early 1900's with the Marbles Ideal pattern. It was identified by Stephens in his 1980 book Fighting Knives as an Israeli Utility knife. Well even prior to this that particular blade profile was being sold by Indian Ridge Traders as a kit knife. They would sell you the blade and leather washers to make your own handle. Look at the knife closely in the book and see if it looks hand made to you? One fellow we heard back from states it as fact that this knife is in use by the IDF and is looking for documented proof of it. This person has told us he has seen them, knows folks issued them, and has handled them, all courtesy of friends in the IDF. We are close to believing but need proof on this one first. Just too much speculation involved for all these years. We were only interested as we thought it may have been a Ka-Bar that was issued but now it has us intrigued and needing an answer.
So Called IDF Knife, is it??
In a recent discussion with a fellow collector we compared knotes on the Robeson Mark 2 machete. A somewhat rare machete to find these days and very rare to find one with the wood handle intact. Why do you suppose that is? Just about every Robeson machete we have seen and held has had a split or cracked handle on it. For sure machetes were work horses and did a tough job so they were used and abused. We have found large numbers of used Collins machetes which were almost sharpened to the spine but the handles were still intact. Although most manufacturers used plastic of some sort by World War Two for machete handles some were still using wood. Perhaps this is one of the reasons wood was phased out. Can anyone chime in here on this one? Your experiences with the Robeson wood handled Mark 2 machete, cracked?
They are still out there!
How would you like a Scagel to land in your lap? How about being about the sixth guy offered it when all the others either didnít know what it was or refused it? Well it happened a few weeks ago. A fellow comes walking into a show with one for sale and starts asking dealers along the way if they are interested in buying an old knife. After the first few the fellow was feeling like he was striking out, no bites at all. Then about the sixth dealer or so asks to look at it and goes right for his pocket! Sold. Yes a Scagel 7" hunting knife just walked in through the door. Congrats to Walt Lojeski on his fantastic find!
They are still out there 2!
We also hear from good friend Bob Tronolone that he just picked up a Solingen Randall Model 18 in a riveted scabbard! Got it from a small gun shop and traded a little .22 pistol for it! Bob writes to us he is still shaking from the deal! We know that feeling and it donít come often!! Congrats to Bob on his newest toy and a great find! A superb knife at any price.
Tell us about your exciting find!!
The DAS Markings
Just because it has a "Defense Acceptance Stamp" (DAS) mark doesnít mean it is right. If the forger can fake the bayonet they can surely fake the paint and ink stamp, childís play for those folks. Just as the item could be authentic without the stamp, it could be a fake with one. Donít bet the farm on the white ink stamp, use your head as with anything else. In fact the DAS stamp could make you lower your guard, be extra suspicious of a perfect one just for good measure. The DAS was approved as a replacement for the proof and inspection markings in late 1952, but was not actually used until a year later. Around November/December 1953, the standard Defense Acceptance Stamp made itís appearance on the stock of the M1 Garand rifle among other places. They are prominent on the M5, M6 and the M1917 bayonets, look for them now that you know what they are. The DAS is simply an eagle with wings spread sitting over three stars and surrounded by a box, usually in white ink but also seen in black. Some bayonets have it hot stamped right into the guard. Again just because it has one does not make it official government issue.
DAS Stamping on a B.A. Inc. M1917 Scabbard
Why Do Folks Dislike E-bay So Much?
I hear an awful lot of folks bad mouthing e-bay and the high prices, sniping etc. Well it ainít e-bay that is doing any of those things, it is other buyers. E-bay just establishes the place for people to meet and put up their wares for sale. Just like the biggest knife show in the country but not just on a special weekend, every day. High prices you say? Think back to pre computer days. Just how many of the current knives and bayonets on e-bay would you have seen without that computer. Do a search on just the local areas you would frequent. If you live in Maine donít look at the knives in Florida or Oklahoma, just Maine or perhaps New Hampshire or Mass. Remember you would not have seen those other items without e-bay. If you were one to fly to a few shows a year you may have seen a bit more but wait, how much did that cost? Flights, hotels, parking, meals, car rental, taxi, bus etc. A quick weekend trip to a big show would set you back a grand. Think the M1905 on e-bay went for about $150.00 too much, hell you just saved $850.00 and found one that was just about mint. The variety on the web is immense, you will see more in a month then you normally would in a year of just doing shows. I am not saying to do away with shows, I love then and the computer can not compare to actually being there and handling the knives but if you want to see a lot and not leave your house you canít beat it. The biggest problem I see with it is that other people know about it, a lot of other people, and you frequently get out bid. Too bad, supply and demand dictates price and emotion dictates value. You may not want to spend $10.00 on a knife I want for $100.00, value is what the seller wants to get rid of an item matched with what a buyer is willing to pay, nothing more, nothing less. Just like beauty is in the eye of the beholder, value lies in the individual. Just because the price of gas is $1.25 doesnít mean everybody will like it, anymore then a Robeson M3 blade marked and dated mint in an M6 scabbard would be worth $1000.00. Value is a perception, not a fact or a price written on the tag. Sue if you wait long enough you may find that Robeson for $400.00 and you may find gas at $1.15, but for those who donít want to wait and think it is of value the web just brings it into your door. On another front ebay allows collectors to see variations they would take years to see. Even if the person does not get to buy the item they can see it and know one is out there. It took me over twenty five years to get the Mark 2's I have. It took ten years to get every date of MIL-K knives. I see folks getting knives that took me years to find in months. For those studying knives and bayonets it is a literal gold mine on the web. Sales lists in the past were few and far in between. Today they are non stop on the web. There is too much good going on for me to look a gift horse in the mouth. Now if they would only allow guns back into the site I would even be happy with them.
Planning Ahead with MIL-K Dates?
Did you know that the 2002 MIL-K knife is not being made yet? Still assembling the 2001 model. Not that the 2002 is any different except for the date but I have always looked for the current year date in the past and was never able to find one. So I finally did the sensible thing and asked Camillus expert Tom Williams. Tom told me they run the blades in batches and make a lot at a time. In fact they make enough to last a year and then have new dies made to strike the next year. So when they run out of the current year is anybodies guess, only when the sell out do they make more blades. So far they have not missed a year, I can vouch for that as I have accumulated them all from 1957 to 2000 so far. Little behind the times, I need to pick up a 2001, they are still being made from what I hear!
Cutting Down the Weight.
A old joke said that the General asked "How much it cost", the Second Lieutenant asked "What does it do" and the foot soldier asked "How much does it weigh?"
There is more truth to that old adage then you might suspect. I recently watch a special on the D-Day landings at Normandy that stated many of the men died from drowning and many of the vehicles swamped from being over loaded with overloaded men. Add that to the photos of the men in Afghanistan humping 150 pound packs and you can see why the trail of thrown away bayonets during World War Two led to the front. For ages men have thrown away what they donít need on the march, the problem is they need everything they can get their hands on prior to the onset of the march, or so they think. Added to the usual issue items are personal items, books, wallets, magazines, cooking pots, cards, money etc. etc. Well the movement to issue lightweight gear is good provided the gear can do what it is intended to do. More important though is the question, is that gear needed? Several studies point to 40 pounds being the limit going into battle. The limit of 40 pounds of equipment you need for a fixed battle with replenishment right behind you. This is not for Rangers or others living in the bush for a week, this is for the line infantryman. Chief Historian for the WW II ETO, Colonel S.L.A. Marshall, pointed out in his book, "The Mobility of One Man", that the weight a man can carry in a road march is no match for what he can carry in battle. More weight then that hastened bodily exhaustion and completely destroyed the individual mobility in combat scenes. In 1950 an Army Board convened that further investigated the condition. They concluded that the soldier, supposedly equipped to meet every contingency had been overloaded with supplies and equipment. This is basically wrong as the soldier is a fighting weapon not a vehicle for transporting objects, we have trucks for that. The problem was reducing the load to 40 pounds, this the Board could not come to agreement on. At the time the basic load weighted in at 45 pounds plus clothing and water, which brought the load up to 55 pounds. One outcome was to remove items not needed. The thought of eliminating the bayonet was brought forth. This was seriously contemplated as the "day of the bayonet" was long gone. One thing we did learn in WW II was the men would retain their knives. So the M5 was born out of this thought, light and knife like. Much like the M4 was retained until the very last, the M5 would be also. It served two purposes. Later yet the thought of eliminating the bayonet was again brought up when the M14 rifle was close to adoption. More tests were slated to tell us what we already knew, the M6 was adopted. Anyway the lesson needs to be learned all over again just from looking at those huge packs the boys are humping in the Middle East. Lighten the load General, but keep the knife!
Who snatched the 4Ĺ-by-5-foot blue elephant sculpture parked outside the U.S. Marine Corps commandant's house in Washington?
One of 200 brightly-decorated elephants and donkeys - so-called "Party Animals" - revealed in recent months by first lady Laura Bush and D.C. Mayor Anthony A. Williams, the blue elephant's demise has residents of Capitol Hill abuzz with conspiracy theories.
Some speculate that the elephant was ordered removed by Marine Commandant Gen. James L. Jones because it was painted light blue and featured a U.S. Army airborne paratrooper on its side.
"This is the fun speculation," one city official tells this column. "After all, it's painted light blue, an Army color, and has the airborne insignia, and the Army airborne is not the Marines."
The more realistic story?
"The story I have been told is that the commandant himself called the mayor and had it removed for security reasons. He doesn't want anything sitting there," the official explains, referring to the threat of terrorists packing the plastic beast with explosives.
The colorfully painted animals, mascots of the Democrat and Republican parties, were positioned along Washington's avenues as part of an art project. Each animal was to have remained in place until this fall.
The above was sent to us as a joke, we decided to run with it. It was previously published as Washington Beat.
They are still out there...
Our good friend Bill Porter reports a wonderful find. See pictures below. This one was purchased on ebay for the "Buy It Now" price! A find of the year in the M9 collecting field. A Buck Screw pommel M9 prototype actually issued and used in the field. This is the type of bayonet you only get to see in the books, well not anymore. Congrats to Bill on the superb find!
Close up showing the markings and a disassembled view showing the solid tang and screw pommel.
We are lucky our children get to see real live heroes out of all this mess of the war on terrorism. Ordinary people in extraordinary circumstances, doing extraordinary deeds, that folks is a hero.
As I like to remind folks around this time of the year, in 1776, at the founding of America, there was a Holy Roman Empire, Venice was a republic, France was ruled by a king, China by an emperor, Russia by an empress, Great Britain was a constitutional monarchy and Japan was ruled by a shogun. All of those governments have passed into the pages of history. The only constitutional republic to retain its democratic form of government is that little union of 13 states founded on the northeast shore of the New World by courageous and farsighted men and women who believed profoundly in the declaration that all men are created equal and endowed by their creator with the inalienable rights of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness
Jack Kemp 7/1/2002
A Friends Passing
It is with great sadness that we relate the death of Mr. Anthony Carter, who passed away 22nd June 2002, as a result of natural causes following a recent operation. We have known Mr. Carter for a number of years and always found him to be a wonderful resource in his knowledge of bayonets. His most recently released book German Sword and Knife Markers A-L is destined to become the standard to which all others will be compared. At this writing we are unsure of the follow-up work covering makers in the M-Z range.
As we have written before, we are merely the protectors of the objects we collect. As time marches on new collectors share in the wealth left behind by those that proceeded them. Go in peace good friend and rest assured your coveted treasures will surely find a good home with the young collectors of today. We shall miss your presence but fondly remember you when your books are called for to educate us with your knowledge.
Mike Silvey, A New Book
Well it finally arrived, and it was worth the wait. Mike has done it again, mixing wonderful full color photographs with informative text to bring us a book missing from the collecting world. Pocket Knives of the United States Military is a long overdue work. Never given their full credit when compared with the big brother, the straight blade, the pocket knife has been a part of the military hardware for many years. Mike takes us along the journey from the very beginning if issuing knives right up to the modern era. The books layout is in chronological order making each turn of the page a little closer to the present day. Along with the photos we learn about history and the usage of the knife along the way. Many of the knives featured have never been shown in any publications that we are aware of. These first time featured knives enrich the hobby and lay out a path for future collectors to follow.
Following in the Silvey tradition the book is hardbound. A 7 X 8 inch format is new to us but certainly compliments the photography. Totaling 135 high glossy acid free pages the book presents almost 200 different pocket knives along with many military items of the time period. Many of the objects Mike selects for his background and props are in themselves very collectable.
Destined to become a classic on the subject, this is one you do not want to miss. You will refer to it many times. What else can we say about it, Mike has done a great job as usual, we have come to expect that from the Master. The books are expect to arrive by July 19, 2002 and will be on sale at that time. Price is 24.95 plus $5.00 shipping, a bargain at todayís book prices. Pocket Knives of the United States Military is one that should grace the shelves of every knife collector and will be a welcome addition to our library.
We are taking pre-arrival orders in anticipation of the books appearance. Drop us an e-mail and we will reserve you a first edition.
Pocket Knives of the United States Military
The Randall Chronicles
A new book a long time in the making, 37 years to be exact. Written by Pete Hamilton, prior Randall shop foreman since 1970, this book teems with experience. More then just a history book, this work takes you through the building of the Randall knives from steel delivery to post production embellishments. Photographed along the entire route we have never seen such detailed, in depth behind the scenes activities published about the Randall shop, ever. This is how Randall Made Knives produces the quality product so in demand. Following the production section we have identification of knives. Knives from all eras are depicted with close up photography showing spacer arrangements to help in dating. Sheaths are shown in detail along with snaps and buttons again leading us to nailing down the knives era. Stones, handle materials and even steel used are all shown in the photos. This book is packed with them, front cover to back. Knives pictured are pulled from some of the greatest Randall collections on earth. Many prominent collections are displayed for the first time in any publication. Knives never before seen in the public audience are featured in full glorious color. This book is a must have for any serious Randall collector and a great addition to the library. This is one we know we will wear out in time just referring to it again and again. Mr. Hamilton is a wealth of knowledge, known throughout the world as "The Randall Man" Pete has included several of his articles published previously in the original question and answer format. If it is rare Randal Knives you are interested in this book most likely covers them in detail and in photos.
The book itself The Randall Chronicles is a hardback 8 1/2 X 11 inch format. A total of 160 high quality glossy paper pages should last much longer then we will. Priced at $79.00 plus shipping. They are available from Tom Clinton. Tom can be reached at tlclinton@AOL.com or by phone at 815-885-3396
The Randall Chronicles
The Plug Bayonet
To this day the origins of the bayonet are still a point of controversy. One thing we can nail down for sure is the progression of their development. The Plug bayonet starts the line-up. Compiled in this book are more photos, drawings and descriptions of the plug bayonet then we have seen in ten other books on the subject. I am saying it now, this book is destined to become the standard on the plug bayonet, period. Our good friend Mr. Roger D.C. Evans has compiled his years of research into one book which covers the entire spectrum of plug bayonets. It would be hard to imagine any more information not covered! Historically the book is simply awesome. Mr. Evans covers the design and evolution of the plug bayonet in chapters covering areas of construction and usage. Sections include The British Isles, France, Spain, Italy, The Low Countries, North and South America and India to name a few. Photos of some of the rarest and most exotic bayonets know to exist in the world are depicted. Often accompanied by drawings from rare books and wood cuttings are in themselves hard to find collectibles. Many items from museums around the globe are presented in photo and description, affording the collector and researcher access to many items behind glass and locked doors often in storage. Identification markings are presented where applicable such as cyphers, touchmarks and engravings. Pulling all scattered information into one book is a formula all writers and publishers aspire to, Mr. Evans has certainly accomplished that feat here.
The Plug Bayonet itself is an 8 1/4 X 12 format hardback printed on high quality archival paper destined to outlast our lifetimes. Photography and drawings are reproduced in black and white showing great detail. Covering 263 pages in A4 size over 500 plug bayonets are depicted. Also included is a detailed bibliography showing original resources to the book and paper collector. Price is 42.50 Pounds or about $60.00 U.S. plus shipping, currently about $17.00 airmail.
If there is a more knowledgeable researcher, writer, scholar on the subject of plug bayonets it is simply unknown to us. Mr Evans has given the collecting, researching world a huge gift.
The Plug Bayonet may be obtained directly from Mr. Evans at:
1&3 Brookhill, Baildon, Shipley
West Yorkshire, BD17 6NS, UK
The Plug Bayonet
Randall Fighting Knives in Wartime
This has been just an outstanding month for books. As you all well know we are book lovers here and the library continues to grow. Here we present yet another book to collectors and researchers alike. A collection of Randall Made knives covering the war time eras of World War Two, Korea and Vietnam are presented in full color. Many never before seen color photos of rare Randall Made Knives that are highly collectible today are presented with write ups for each knife. Pulled from major collections we are treated to a comprehensive range of fighting knives and other rare militaria in the full page photographs. A value guide is included to current day standards. Although with the growth and success of collecting older Randalls we donít expect this feature to stay current long! Randalls are booming in the price range while the stock market is collapsing. The author, Mr. Robert E. Hunt, a prior service Marine acquired his first of many Randalls in the 1950's while serving in uniform. Mr. Hunts career included not only the USMC but 20 years with the Mass. State Police. Mr. Hunt knows knives and their uses. As you will see in the photographs Mr. Hunt is not only a knife collector, many of the background props used in the photos are highly collectible items unto their own. Not only is this a photo book, the author has included several of his historical articles from his web page. Dating through sheaths and snaps is laid out in a very easy to understand table. Wrist thong attachments are covered, this we had not seen before and it is a welcome addition. A great article on the Springfield Randalls is included as are Johnson Split back sheaths and manufacturers stampingís. The knives themselves are simply outstanding examples of many of the most sought after Randall fighting knives ever made.
Published by Turner Publishing, Randall Fighting Knives In Wartime is a hard back format glossy cover with glossy dust cover measuring 8 Ĺ X 11 inches. The high glossy paper is acid free archival type to last for lifetimes. It contains 184 pages with 80 full color shots of the highly collectible knives. Price is $44.95 with 6.50 shipping in the U.S. Order by phone at 800-788-3350 or e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org A great addition to the library, you wonít be sorry.
Randall Fighting Knives in Wartime
With so many books this month we did not spend much time out and about. Four new books and not a bad one in the bunch! Awesome!
The USMC Bayonet Update
We hear that the Marine Corps has started requesting the bayonets proposed in the earlier letter requirements to be shipped in for testing from all the current respondents. All must comply by July 12, 2002 or be eliminated. Three of each design submitted are to be sent. We have been in contact with several of the companies and representatives but are sworn to secrecy. We donít know the exact dates yet for any answers to the testing but we are trying to stay as current as possible and pass that along to you. So far we do know it wonít be the M9 as currently produced, if the Corps wanted that they could just order them through current government channels. They are looking for a new weapon and tool. It is interesting to note that one of the current requirements was to fit on the web belt and the new MOLLE II gear. Just this past week the Corps decided to scrap the multimillion dollar MOLLE II gear system after combat failure in Afghanistan. So if the bayonet is designed to fit the new gear but the Corps doesnít have the new gear where will they stick it.....
In a recent article about the Canadian Snipers there was a reference to the Diemaco C7 rifle currently in use by Canada. Just in fun we checked the company site to see if they had any info on the standard C7 bayonet or the M9 bayonets they had purchased from Buck to supply to the Royal Netherlands Army. Surprise, surprise, surprise, (in our best Gomer Pyle voice) they did have an excellent article on the M9. Strange but it looked familiar to us, well it should have, we wrote it! Apparently picked up off the web site here it covers the M9 in Dutch.
Note the M9 bayonet mounted on the C7 rifle in photo at left and the C7 bayonet lying in it's scabbard in the photo at right next to the C8 Carbine.
Last Months Trivia Question
During World War Two a version of the Navy Mark 1 was stamped Geneva Forge. Who was the parent company of Geneva Forge during that time period?
Edward Katzinger or EKCO. The correct answer was first supplied by Mike Wiedemann. Mike is the proud owner of a new WWW.USMILITARYKNIVES.COM Tee Shirt now available in Green with Yellow lettering. Nice Job Mike!
This Months Question
What rifle is depicted on the USMC Good Conduct Medal and what bayonet fits that rifle? Both parts must be answered correctly to win.
The first correct answer wins a Tee Shirt in your color choice Gray or Green.
e-mail us at email@example.com with your answer
The Death of the Bayonet?
Most scholars believe the end came in 1916 with the British at the Somme. That terrible battle of attrition ended the thought that advancing infantry would be expected to walk into the battle with bayonet exposed attempting to intimidate the enemy. Machine guns were not intimidated easily. Shortly after that battle infantry platoons were reorganized to become specialists in various different trades of warfare. Prior to this act, mass bayonet charges were the order of the day. One of those fights we will discuss here today.
Second Lt. Albert Jacka, Australian Imperial Force, found himself in the middle of a vicious German Counter Offensive on August 7, 1916 around Pozieres. Jacka who had already won the Victoria Cross at Gallipoli the previous year was no stranger to combat. During the battle some 40 AIF "diggers" were captured by German forces in the assault. Jacka found himself in charge of seven men, some wounded including himself, attempting to rescue the 40 men. Jacka led his men, bayonets fixed towards the German trenches. As they approached the lines a German soldier climbed from the trench expecting more prisoners and Jacka shot him dead. Seeing this battle develop from their vantage point additional AIF troopers joined in the charge. It seems this small group of men, determined to free their fellow mates incited a mass offensive. This impulse movement caught the German forces completely off guard, Jacka and his men started clearing trenches one by one, shooting, bayoneting and grenading as they progressed. Lt. Jacka wounded many more times in the ensuing assault was like a man possessed, he would not relinquish his charge until those men were free. Credited with killing 20 Germans himself, the charge eventually reached the captives well behind the front lines. Once the guards were taken care of all the prisoners were set free and upon returning to the friendly lines they also brought with them 42 German prisoners. Jacka was nominated for a second Victoria Cross for his bayonet charge but this was downgraded to the Military Cross. His actions that day were later related as "the most dramatic and effective act of individual audacity in the history of the AIF" along with a title that was bestowed upon him by the press and those that knew him, "Australiaís Greatest Front Line Soldier."
To this day, this is the reason the bayonet has not been eliminated, it is not the weapon that is important it is the fighting spirit it instills. The bayonet is dead..... not hardly.
Updated August 2002
Pocket Knives of the U.S. Military
Mike Silveyís newest book is now here. Take a look at our book page for some details on it and for ordering instructions. As with any of Mikeís books, you will only be sorry if you donít get it.
Click on cover for full size photo
Silvey Pocket Knives
Click above for full write up and ordering instructions
George Washingtonís Will
Here we present an excerpt from President George Washingtonís last will and testament providing that each of his nephews, William Augustine Washington, George Lewis, George Steptoe Washington, Bushrod Washington and Samuel Washington should receive one of his swords. They were each asked to chose one sword that the president had owned that they wanted to keep in the above order by birth. The President had left one stipulation to obey: "these swords are accompanied with an injunction not to unsheathe them for the purpose of shedding blood, except it be for self-defense or in the defense of their country and itís rights; and in the latter case to keep them unsheathed and prefer falling with them in their hands to the relinquishment thereof."
We can argue the point that perhaps the greatest president this country has ever seen is the man that did not want the job in the first place, George Washington. One thing we can say about old George though is that he was eloquent in his choice of words. Today we see the above sentiments on bumper stickers: "You can have my gun when you pry it from my cold dead fingers." We certainly like Georgeís version better....
A Great Mind
William (Wild Bill) Donovan, Coordinator of Information appointed by FDR, wanted to recruit a Cornell graduate from Boston named Stanley Lovell. Lovell, who was an industrial chemist, was needed to head the new Scientific Research Department to be formed within the soon to be named O.S.S. One day in 1942, while crossing Boston Common, Lovell was approached by MIT President Karl T. Compton, who asked him to join the National Defense Research Committee (NDRC), a group of academics consulted by the government on the war effort. After some consideration, and the warning that if he did not he would "regret all of your life if you refuse Uncle Sam now", Lovell agreed to go. He described his work as follows: "What I have to do is to stimulate the Peck's Bad Boy beneath the surface of every American scientist and say to him, throw all your normal law-abiding concepts out the window. Here's a chance to raise merry hell. Come help me raise it.'" And raise it they did, Lovell went on to be called the Father of Scientific Intelligence. The real "Q" from James Bond if you will. And what exactly does any of this have to do with edged weapons you ask? Lovell left his job as executive vice president of the Beckwith Manufacturing Co. the makers of plastic scabbards during World War Two to join the O.S.S. We found that interesting and just jotted it down.
We hear of the recent horrible tragedy in Georgia where a young boy was shot and killed at a gun show. Our first thoughts are of the family and our heart and prayers go out to them. We then turn to the adults responsible, arenít all guns loaded at all times until proven otherwise? Why in the world would someone load a gun at a show, even if it is legal? Gun-shows are under enough pressure already from the antiís without something like this. We supply them with the gun, bullets, and then not only do we place it to our heads we actually pull the trigger on ourselves. If I could have only one wish it would be that stupidity was painful, therefore we would have much less of it in the world today. Fortunately there is a cure for stupidity, education or death. Every rule of safe gun handling was broken. In the interest of education they bear repeating here:
Rule #1. All guns are always loaded. Always. Never assume that one is not. Never
Rule #2. Never let the muzzle point at anything you are not willing to destroy. Never.
Rule #3. Keep your finger off the trigger until your sights are on the target.
Rule #4. Be sure of your target as well as what is behind it.
All are common sense rules as stated by gun handling master Jeff Cooper. I didnít have to look them up, they are scorched into my brain and they should be in yours also.
Ego Trip or Just Plain Nuts?
As first reported by the BBC Saddam Hussein did donate blood, a pint at a time for three years, so a calligrapher could handcraft a 600-page copy of the Koran. It's now in a Baghdad museum, every word written in the dictator's blood. It seems a pity they didnít take more, all at once!
New Ontario Bayonets?
These are certainly some interesting pieces. The shorter one is a take off of the Mark 2 with a somewhat re-enforced point instead of the usual clip point. Perhaps a cross between the Mark 2 and the old 225Q by Cattaraugus while the longer one seems to be based on the Hellís Belles Bagwell designed Bowie currently being manufactured by Ontario. The short one which we will call Version 1, has the same stamping and markings as the high polish presentation model Mark 2 made by Ontario. Both share the same handle configuration, an ergonomic variation that is a cross between the typical M9 handle and the ever familiar Mark 2 with the five grooves but containing raised cross-hatching in between. The plastic handle is marked with the Eagle, Globe and Anchor, the Marine Corps Insignia, in an oval escutcheon area specifically molded in for it. The bayonet mounting fittings are typical M9 production pieces which one would expect for economy on the part of the manufacturer and the military inventory system. No need to stock separate pieces for mounting to identical rifles. Both blades are parkerized a non reflective flat black. The Version 1 scabbard uses the typical quick release Bianchi type clip for belt mounting but that is all it has in common with the M9 rig. It is straight for the full length of the blade with a rectangular drain hole in the flat bottom. No provisions for a wire cutter are included. It is Desert Tan in color and crosshatched at the top area. The Version 2 scabbard is made from a one piece folded ballistic nylon material which is sewn and riveted for strength and does not possess a quick detachable belt retainer. This scabbard is black with a small piece of black leather at the throat to protect the nylon from rubbing wear. Is this the Ontario Bid for the new Marine Corps Bayonet Program? The above information and photos are from our good friend Bill Porter who has a knack for finding good stuff. He does it the old fashioned way, he works at it.
Version 1, Click on photo for full size view
Version 2, Click on photo for full size view
Side by Side Comparison
Crozier Technical High School Knives
This one still has us perplexed. Thousands of knives were made by the students during World War Two for the men fighting on the fronts. We pretty much have the story nailed down but a photo of one of the knives still eludes us. What did they look like? With over a thousand made surely one has survived. We have enlisted the help of the Dallas Public Library, the Dallas Historical Society, and concerned citizens of the area. Still nothing in the way of a photo. The school is slated to be razed in the interest of progress, a strip mall most likely but that we are unsure of. The Dallas School Board does not have any information it can use to help us in the search. Several Dallas area history bulletin boards have been contacted and queries posted, no luck. The Crozier Tech Alumni Association has been sent several letters but no response has been forth coming. The search is now on for a possible yearbook if one was even published. Many companies and schools did not publish during the war in an effort to conserve paper. If anyone has even a shred of evidence we would be delighted to hear from you. At this point we are asking for guesses. The knives were made from old files and power hacksaw blades discarded from war plants for the most part. Forged in the metal shops the knives were shaped and ground. The wood shop made "bois de arc" handles for the knives, while others were given round steel handles welded on in three plies over the tang of the knife. Two types were made, the "Texas Bowie Knife", and a "Scalping Knife." As we constantly hear of students being expelled for nail clippers, plastic butter knives and pocket nail files we would love to write a large "human interest" piece on the topic of how the times have changed. The bonus would be identifying the knives for what they really are and paying tribute to the kids who helped to equip our men in the countries time of need.
(A photo of the knife should be here!!)
Here is a photo of the school, it is the best we can do so far!
Speaking of schools...
"There can be no greater stretch of arbitrary power than is required to seize children from their parents, teach them whatever the authorities decree they shall be taught, and expropriate from the parents the funds to pay for the procedure."
Professor Charlotte Twight in "Dependent on D.C."
Government education teaches acquiescence to its authority. The history taught in school today is unbelievable, figuratively. Political correctness has taken such a foothold that certain subjects can not be taught or even talked about in the classroom today for fear of hurting someoneís feelings! We were taught that learning from others mistakes was a form of progression, without teaching some of the horrible mistakes of the past how are our children to avoid making them again?
Union Fork and Hoe Transition from M1905 to M1 Bayonets
Union Fork and Hoe, at the time of transition from M1905 to M1 production, used up a large number of forged blanks that had already had a portion of the fuller forged in. This was a process of the original forging operations. This results in a blade with the normal M1 fuller and a narrower and shallower groove which goes to the tip making it look much like the typical M1905E1 cut-down bayonet. Exactly how many were made like this is unknown but enough were made that they are encountered from time to time. Not exactly common but not uncommon either. To add to this confusion we can also encounter U.F.H. made models with a full length fuller cut-down to the M1905E1 style that are not dated. Now conventional wisdom tells us this shouldnít be so but none the less they are out there. What we can surmise is that U.F.H. had blanks from the M1905 bayonets they had not yet used, nor stamped, when the order to cut down was given. In fact they had them in different stages by the looks of the products we can now find. Raw forgings with the narrow and shallow fuller and processed forgings with the full length and full depth fuller struck into them. Instead of just throwing them away or melting them down they were processed just like a normal M1 with the old stamping dies, dates, and new stamping dies, no dates. So we can find a U.F.H. bayonet with a full length fuller cut down to an M1905E1 example. A U.F.H. bayonet with a partial depth full length fuller and the regular M1 bayonet with the short length fuller all marked with old dies dated 1943 and the new dies without the dates. An example with an undated marking but a full length fuller is most likely a bayonet that was sitting in the warehouse when the change over took place from long to short bayonets, uncommon to find but not impossible. All in all some interesting variations to look for....
Bayonets and Golf
Donít seem to go very good together would they? Well according to the newest golf club designer Charles A. "Mickey" Finn it just a matter of physics and nothing else. Best known to edged weapons collectors as the designer and manufacturer of the Phrobis M9 bayonet and the Navy Seals Combat Utility Knife or CUK, Finn now produces putters. A designer of many weapons systems for undercover work and infantrymen alike, Finn was named in the Tom Clancy book "The Cardinal of the Kremlin" in 1988 effectively bringing him out in the open. Not a good place to be for an undercover type person. Not long after the demise of the Phrobis company Finn switched his thoughts to other non-lethal endeavors of design. Recently it was with golf clubs, a putter to be precise. The newest club is called the "T-Bar" putter. It seems to ring a little like K-bar, maybe some of the old edged weapon is still in Mr. Finn. We wish him the best in his latest designs.
Trivia Questions and Answers
Last month we asked:
What rifle is depicted on the USMC Good Conduct Medal and what bayonet fits it? Both parts must be answered correctly to win.
The answer is, the M1895 Lee Navy Straight Pull Rifle and the bayonet is the M1895. Answered correctly by several folks the first one in was our good friend GySgt. Joe Palmieri. A US Military Knives . Com Tee Shirt is on the way, in the new green of course!
This months question:
In the early fencing bayonets used by U.S. forces, what animal by-product materials were used?
E-mail us here with the answer... firstname.lastname@example.org
Who do you want to exterminate?
In 1911, Turkey established gun control. From 1915 to 1917, 1.5 million Armenians, unable to defend themselves, were rounded up and exterminated.
In 1928, Germans established gun control. From 1939, to 1945, 13 million Jews, gypsies, homosexuals, the mentally ill, and others, unable to defend themselves, were rounded up and exterminated.
In 1929, the Soviet Union established gun control. From 1929 to1953, approximately 20 million dissidents, unable to defend themselves, were rounded up and exterminated.
In 1935, China established gun control. From 1948 to 1953, 20 million political dissidents, unable to defend themselves, were rounded up and exterminated.
In 1956, Cambodia established gun control. From 1975 to 1977, one million "educated" people, unable to defend themselves, were rounded up and exterminated.
In 1964, Guatemala established gun control. From 1964 to 1981, 100,000 Mayan Indians, unable to defend themselves, were rounded up and exterminated.
In 1970, Uganda established gun control. From 1971 to 1979, 300,000 Christians, unable to defend themselves, were rounded up and exterminated.
That places total victims who lost their lives because of gun control at approximately 56 million in the last century. Since we should learn from the mistakes of history, the next time someone talks in favor of gun control, find out which group of citizens they wish to have exterminated.
The Chinese were in their full offensive. Seoul had been captured on January 4th and the 1st Marine Division had made their withdrawal successfully from the frozen north. February 7th the 27th U.S. Infantry Regiment started an attack in the vicinity of Soam-Ni. E Company led by a young Captain Lewis L. Millett personally led the attack. Here we present the Medal of Honor citation bestowed upon Capt. Millett:
MILLETT, LEWIS L.
RANK AND ORGANIZATION: Captain, U.S. Army, Company E, 27th Infantry Regiment.
BORN: 15 December 1920, Mechanic Falls, Maine.
ENTERED SERVICE AT:Mechanic Falls, Maine.
PLACE AND DATE: Vicinity of Soam-Ni, Korea, 7 February 1951.
Capt. Millett, Company E, distinguished himself by conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity above and beyond the call of duty in action. While personally leading his company in an attack against a strongly held position he noted that the 1st Platoon was pinned down by small-arms, automatic, and antitank fire. Capt. Millett ordered the 3d Platoon forward, placed himself at the head of the 2 platoons, and, with fixed bayonet, led the assault up the fire swept hill. In the fierce charge Capt. Millett bayoneted 2 enemy soldiers and boldly continued on, throwing grenades, clubbing and bayoneting the enemy, while urging his men forward by shouting encouragement. Despite vicious opposing fire, the whirlwind hand-to-hand assault carried to the crest of the hill. His dauntless leadership and personal courage so inspired his men that they stormed into the hostile position and used their bayonets with such lethal effect that the enemy fled in wild disorder. During this fierce onslaught Capt. Millett was wounded by grenade fragments but refused evacuation until the objective was taken and firmly secured. The superb leadership, conspicuous courage, and consummate devotion to duty demonstrated by Capt. Millett were directly responsible for the successful accomplishment of a hazardous mission and reflect the highest credit on himself and the heroic traditions of the military service.
Below we feature a few photos of the man. The first one is from Korea and the second one is our autographed photo which we have hanging here in the office.
Click on photos for the full size view
Here we have a photo of the Strider Knives bayonet. That is all we have of it. Who can tell us something about it?? We know it is based on their D-9 series with removable mounting fixtures. What we want to know is the Who, What, Where, How and Why answers.
Click on the photo for the full size view
Eat at the Outback Restaurant
This one was sent to us by several folks. Those of you that known us checked it out before they sent it. We checked it out too, itís for real, and a great story of America at itís best.
On 19 June 2002, fifteen Outback Steakhouse (an international chain of Australian-themed restaurants) employees worked with military personnel in Kandahar, Afghanistan, to cook and serve ribeyes and Bloomin' onions to members of the 101st Airborne Division stationed in that desolate region. Temperatures hit 117įF that day, and the fifteen civilians wore water-filled backpacks called "camelbacks" to keep themselves hydrated. It took those fifteen Outbackers three days to reach Kandahar from the United States (travel into war zones is a tricky affair), but once they arrived the U.S. troops were served the best meal they'd had in a long time.
The folks from Outback brought 6,700 steaks, 30,000 shrimp, and 3,000 giant onions with them. Broccoli, rolls, french fries, and cans of O'Douls (a non-alcoholic beer) completed the meal. For dessert, Jeff's Gourmet Pies of Tampa donated 6,600 slices of cheesecake.
This is good eating even to those who haven't spent months chowing down on little else but powdered eggs and T-Rations. For the troops in the field, it was manna from heaven. Visit an Outback Steakhouse, they deserve our thanks.
Now on the Flip Side
The average settlement for someone lost at the towers on September 11, 2001 is almost 1.2 million dollars. The top award so far is 4.7 million. The family of a trooper killed in Afghanistan can expect $6 thousand and a little over $1700.00 for a funeral. Something seems wrong here doesnít it?
M1941 Dutch Navy Cutlass
We just purchased one on ebay and still have questions on them. This one is marked Vince on the ricasso area. This would have been made during World War Two by the Vince Fencing Equipment Company, not Vince Forge who made the machetes and the diving knives. We are in the process of tracking down information on the two Vinceís so if you can contribute any clues they would be greatly appreciated. In fact any information on the M1941 Cutlass or itís brother the M1917 would be welcome.
Letís Try Something Here
How about sending me some write upís on you favorite knives? Photos of your favorite piece or some topic we can discuss? We write about topics we like or tidbits we hear of but arenít sure if it is what you all want to hear. We need some other opinions, how about it??
Did you know the P-38 can opener was named after the number of holes needed
to poke through a C-Ration can? We didnít but that is what the Army says so we
will go with that. Neat story but we doubt it is true. Anyone have another
Thanks to Carter Rila for bringing that gem to our attention.
September 2002 Update
The Newest Military "Issue" Knife
Known to the Army Special Forces as the "Yarborough" and to everyone else as "The Green Beret Knife", this no-nonsense, hardworking tool was designed by renowned, official Special Operations Command knife-maker and designer, Bill Harsey with function and manufacturing input from Chris Reeve. Harsey is certainly no stranger to Special Operations having made knives and prototypes for none other then the late Colonel Rex Applegate.
Bill Harsey at the 2001 Oregon Knife Collectors Show, courtesy OKCA
Chris Reeve certainly needs no introduction as his knives are used the world over by special operations and conventional troops alike.
Chris Reeve hard at work on the Hardness Tester, courtesy Chris Reeve website
Made in Boise, Idaho by Chris Reeve Knives, the Green Beret Knife is a using knife that, just like the men for whom it was designed, is efficient, tough and uncompromising. Named after General William P. Yarborough, the knife celebrates the Special Forces legend, the father of the green beret. At a time when the Army disdained the beret as headgear Yarborough wore his beret to a meeting with the then President of the United States, John F. Kennedy. Kennedy liked the beret so much it was fast tracked through the system for official approval. Kennedy claimed the Special Forces or "Green Berets" as his own fighting force.
Brigadier General Yarborough meets President
Kennedy wearing his unauthorized "Green Beret".
U.S. Army Photo
Special Forces provided an Honor Guard at the
U.S. Army Photo
Of the 500 knives ordered by the Army, 318 will be presented to the Green Beret candidates who will graduate in this year. That initial order will be followed by an order for another 1,000 to be sold to active and former service Green Berets. The Army will pay about one-third less than the $299 retail prices for the knife. It is predicted they will make 2,000 to 2,500 pieces over the next 12 months.
The background story according to Anne Reeve: "Several months ago, we
received a call from our good friend, knife-maker Bill Harsey from Creswell, OR.
via legendary knife-maker, Ron Lake, he had been requested by U.S. Army Special
Operations Command to design a knife for the U.S. Special Forces, and Bill
wanted us to manufacture the knife. Once he had a basic pattern, a very clean,
no-nonsense knife, he and Chris refined the details from a manufacturing and
function point of view. Prototypes were made and presented, and the selection
process began. A myriad of military hoops were jumped! We received invaluable
assistance from Bill Strang of Tactical and Survival Specialties, Inc in
Harrisonburg, VA and it is through TSSI that the actual sales will be made to
the military. Bill, Chris and I visited Ft. Bragg in June and the final details
of the project were ironed out. We received the first order for 500 knives in
July. The first 300 knives were presented to graduates of "Q" (Qualification)
Course on August 23, 2002."
The serial # 0001 knife was presented to General William P. Yarborough in June and it is in his possession at present. It is our understanding that upon his death (which we hope will be a long time from now!), the knife will be presented to the Special Forces Museum. The serial # 0002 knife belongs to Lt. General Doug Brown, Commander, U S Army Special Forces Command (Airborne).
A serialized version of the "Yarborough" knife will be presented to each graduate of the Special Forces Qualification Course. Current and former members of the US Army Special Forces will be able to purchase the knife from the John F. Kennedy Special Warfare Museum Gift Shop, with USASOC approval. Without the name Yarborough and non-serialized, the otherwise identical knife is available from Chris Reeve Knives. It will carry the CR logo and Harsey on both sides so to be noted as a civilian model, not the issue blade.
The Yarborough, courtesy of TSSI
Blade Material: Crucible Steel's CPM S30V stainless steel
Blade Hardness: 55-57 RC
Coating: KG Gun-Kote
Handle material: OD Black Canvas Micarta
Blade Length: 7"
Overall Length: 12 3/8"
Weight: 11.6 oz without sheath
Sheath: Airborne DeLuxe model by BlackHawk Industries, Inc.
Retail Price: $299.00
Here is a photo of the first prototype "Yarborough" knife with serial number 0001 destined for General Yarborough. Note that this original prototype is wearing green canvas Micarta. This was the original design spec but later changed to black on the production models. Likewise serial #0002 is also green as shown in the accompanying photo. The first six prototypes were all green Micarta.
Prototype # 0001, courtesy Chris Reeve Knives
This photograph shows the presentation of the first Yarborough Knives to the class graduating from Q Course on Friday August 23, 2002. While we don't know the names of the recipients, wish we did, the tall red-headed man with his back to the camera, is Maj. General Geoffrey Lambert, Commander of U.S. Army, Special Forces Group (Airborne).
Click on Photo for Full Size Image
U.S. Army Photo
We have also just received this photograph which shows the presentation of the serial #0001 Yarborough Knife to retired General William P. Yarborough by Lt. General Doug Brown.
Click on Photo for Full Size Image
U.S. Army Photo
After the presentation was made, the following report appeared in "The Pilot", the local newspaper in Southern Pines, NC where General Yarborough lives:
'Yarborough Knife': First Copy Brought to Retired General.
by John Chappell: Staff Writer
It's called the Yarborough knife. That's the name written on it. It isn't just any name, and it isn't just any knife. Lt. General Doug Brown hand-delivered the very first one to retired General William P. Yarborough, for whom the knife has been named. From now on, the only way to get a Yarborough knife will be to complete U.S. Army Special Forces training. Brown commands the U.S. Army Special Operations Command, headquartered at Fort Bragg, which includes Special Forces. Thursday afternoon, his command car pulled up outside Yarborough's Southern Pines home. Welcoming as he emerged were the general's son, retired Lt. Col. Lee Yarborough, and his wife, Ellen; retired Special Forces Maj. Rudi Gresham, who had served as the general's aide; and an old family friend, retired Col. Lee Mize, who won the Medal of Honor. Brown presented General Yarborough with Special Forces Knife No. 001, the first "Yarborough Knife." "It is a tremendous honor, General Brown, that you gave me the honor of this knife," Yarborough said. "You know, I tried to pass the Bowie knife, and it didn't make it. This will be an heirloom for my children and grandchildren." Gresham told The Pilot that Yarborough tried to introduce the Bowie knife years ago for Special Forces soldiers to use. "It never was authorized," Gresham said. "Later, we had what we called a SOG knife in Vietnam. General Brown got in contact with me and said he wanted to do something for General Yarborough. So, he called me and told me how he went to over 100 different manufacturers to find a knife that would be ideal." The Yarborough knife is not for show. It is in deadly earnest, a working knife for a soldier. Gresham said. "He has the first knife, and it says 001. Every student from now on that goes through the Q (Qualification) course will get one. It is only for Special Forces graduates. Retirees can buy one through the museum, but none are to be given ceremonially. The only person other than Special Forces who will get one is the commander-in-chief, the president of the United States." Gresham says many special features in the design of the knife are included to make it more useful under conditions encountered by Special Forces soldiers. "When it gets wet, it gets sticky so you don't lose it," he said. "It is a working knife. It is one heck of a quality knife." Mize told Brown that Yarborough had at last been recognized as the father of the modern Green Berets. "Sir, this is the least that they could do," he said. "I am honored to be here." Mize told The Pilot that Yarborough more than deserved the honor. "He is not only the father of the Green Berets," Mize said, "he is the one who brought us out of the Wilderness and brought us into the light. He has done more than anyone alive or dead for special forces." As to Yarborough's reaction, Gresham told The Pilot, "He was overwhelmed."
Check out the Chris Reeve Knives site for ordering instructions. This is one knife you have to own! In fact any knife they make is a great one. These folks know how to make a knife.... now if I could only convince them to make me a custom one piece hollow handled model with the USMC Fighting / Utility blade profile!!!
We continuously get questions on Aussie bayonets of the M7 and the M9 types. The Australian M7's were produced by General Cutlery. These bayonets are identical to the typical U.S. G.I. General Cutlery contracted M7's. The only difference being the markings of course and the light green scabbard which they painted a camo color. We have observed many without the camo paint and several used versions which feature faint amounts of paint still on the plastic. The Aussieís so it seemed were following in the footsteps of the U.S. on their overall plan. The plan was to equip the front line forces with the Buck M9 and used the M7 with non combatant troops and reserves. The U.S. did not really stick to this plan and issued the M9 in much larger numbers then originally planned. It seems the Australianís did use the plan effectively. The original Australian purchase was in 1991 along with the Buck M9's. I purchased one in the wrapper at the time they were being supplied as part of an over-run. The price was then $29.95 for the Camo M7. Very few of they bayonets surfaced in the U.S. in the previous years, they were almost unheard of. With the advent of eBay and other online auction and sales sites the Australian bayonets are being imported in ever larger numbers. This is not to be misconstrued as a large amount. They are still rather rare to find.
Money makes the world go 'round
A short commentary I thought worthy or reposting
One of the great mysteries of modern America is why there has not been a taxpayer revolt. So much money is wasted by the federal government that the General Accounting Office cannot even estimate the damage.
The litany of wasteful spending has been documented time and time again, but there is one situation that is worth re-stating. Much of America's foreign spending is in the form of bribes to corrupt dictators -- bribes the president and Congress are well aware of.
Perhaps the biggest thief in the world today is Yasser Arafat. The PLO chief, according to the CIA and British intelligence, has been stealing aid money for decades. This is no secret even in the Arab world, which supplies Arafat with most of his cash.
In June, a daily newspaper in Kuwait, the Al-Watan, published some documents it received from a Cairo bank showing that Arafat had deposited $5 million into his personal account. The newspaper reported the funds came from Arab aid that had been allocated for the Palestinian people, who are perhaps the most impoverished group in the Middle East.
Arafat, of course, denies any chicanery. So I guess he must have landed a big book deal or something. Maybe we can look forward to "Who Moved My Headquarters?" by Yasser Arafat. Or maybe, Yasser hooked up with Democratic National Committee chief Terry McAuliffe and got wealthy on the now bankrupt Global Crossing stock. Then again, Yasser might have been in on the conference call with Martha Stewart when she got out of Imclone. Maybe Yasser had that stock, too.
There are all kinds of possibilities here, so we shouldn't be so quick to judge Mr. Arafat. After all, maybe the Palestinian Authority issues options when the suicide bombings are going really well. There are all kinds of explanations -- and that's fortunate because Arafat's wife has a major mortgage payment each month for her lavish home in Paris.
I think Yasser learned his pilfering tricks from Boris Yeltsin. During the Clinton years, ol' Boris lived mighty large because the United States sent Russia more than $7 billion from taxpayers. Once the money hit Moscow, it disappeared so fast that Russia's chief financial auditor, Veniamin Sokolov, said this in 1998: "There must be a stop to the huge foreign loans which are like a fix to a dope addict."
Sokolov flat-out accused Yeltsin and his pals of stealing the money saying, "All the money from the IMF and World Bank have never reached the real economic life of the country."
Under Putin, a half-hearted investigation was launched, but nothing ever came of it. There is no truth to the rumor that Janet Reno was hired as a consultant to that investigation.
And then there was Bill Clinton's Haitian holiday. Under his administration, the USA sent about $3 billion to Port-au-Prince, along with 20,000 military people. The result was interesting. According to the Palm Beach Post, yearly per capita income in Haiti dropped from $260 in 1994 to $225 in 1999, Clinton's last year in office. As that great sage Hyman Roth said to Michael Corleone in "The Godfather II": "The money never reached the island, Michael."
So where did it go? Did Hillary have some kind of cattle futures deal in Haiti? Was McAuliffe playing golf with some Ton Ton Macoute over there? The head of the General Accounting Office, David M. Walker, told me the government cannot account for much of the $3 billion allotted for Haiti.
So the next time you read in the New York Times that the government desperately needs more money and must raise taxes on "the rich," think about Yasser, Boris and Aristide of Haiti. Those guys love all that taxation. They are extremely grateful that you and I work so hard to earn money that the U.S. government sends to them.
After all, why should the people who earn money get to keep it when there are corrupt politicians to be bribed? Priorities are priorities. And if you see Yasser Arafat at the Automatic Teller Machine -- please say hello to him for me.
Bill O íReilly August 2002
"Iím not nearly as concerned about global warming as I am the erosion of family values... And donít start telling me how diversity has made this country great. There is not one Muslim, Hindu or Buddhist signature on The Constitution. My forefathers came to this country just like everybody elseís and I certainly acknowledge the rights of people of whatever culture to come and live in this country, but if a person is still loyal to the country they came from I think they should go back there."
Can You Believe It Department?!?
The Iranian government has relented to allow Iranian women to remove their veils in the confines of an all women school. The hard-liners say the government is encouraging nudity!
Do you know what the 3% excise tax on your phone bill is for?
To pay for the Spanish American War! The communications tax was never rescinded after the war was over. It is still collected today.
The Military is Looking for a Few Good Knives
This is the latest information we could locate on the ASEK. Not much but a good beginning.
The Aircrew Survival / Egress Knife (ASEK) is intended to replace the current survival knife, providing a more versatile, improved knife for Army aircrews.
The ASEK is to be selected from Commercial-Off-The-Shelf (COTS) candidates.
The selected candidate will:
Perform functions as both an egress tool and survival knife. Cut, stab, saw, chop, dig, pound, hammer, etc. Have a cross guard and be capable of puncturing Plexiglas, as found in the canopies of various military aircraft. Be compatible with AIRSAVE and AIR WARRIOR components. Have a low visual signature, corrosion resistant. Be made so that components do not degrade in extreme cold or hot climates.
Component Materials: TBD
Size: Will not exceed 11" long x 2 Ĺ" wide x 1 Ĺ" thick.
Basis of Issue: One per Aircrew Member
Price: $81.00 (approximate)
Status: In System Development and Demonstration. Initial fielding is anticipated in mid to late FY 2004.
Product Manager-Soldier Equipment
DSN: 654-3834, COMM: (703) 704-3834
Note: We do not sell retail or wholesale to private industry or individuals. The items shown on all the fact sheets are for military use and Basis of Issue authorization is subject to DCSOPS approval.
Here is the photo which ran with the above announcement. Perhaps the new knife is shown?? We did note that Jet Pilots knife with the thinned out scabbard top. First one we have seen like it.
Click on Photo for Full Size Image
Howís that for wide open. They want it to be a "commercial off the shelf" item. Any bets we find a newly developed knife when the testing is over. When we asked about the knife all they would tell us is that they are currently testing a few submissions. Officially..... No Comment. We will be watching this one closely in the future for further developments. It seems the days of the Jet Pilots Survival knife are numbered. If so this could very well become the largest contract for knives in quite some time. Imagine retrofitting all those Jet Pilot knives to every aircrewman in the system! Perhaps they will come up with a better offering, time will tell. If anyone can add to this please let us know. We are all ears on this topic as well as the Current USMC Bayonet selection process.
Remember Assistant Secretary of the Army Sara Lister, who called the Marines "extremists" because they would not integrate the training and boot camp to co-ed? The Marine commanders are still getting mileage out of that one..... Extremists? You better believe it they say!!
Good Fiscal Advice??
If you had bought $1000.00 worth of Nortel stock one year ago, it would now
be worth $49.00
With Enron you would have $16.50 of the original $1000.00 left.
With Worldcom, you would have less the $5.00 left.
If you had bought $1000.00 worth of Budweiser (the actual beer, not the stock) one year ago, drank all the beer, then turned in the cans for the 10 cent deposit you would have $214.00 in your pocket.
Based strictly on the above, our current investment advice is to drink heavily and recycle!
Sent to us via e-mail!
Special Forces Pocket Knives
We recently heard from an active duty SOC soldier that pocket knives are alive and well within Special Forces. As for pocket knives, just about the whole line of Gerber Legendary Blades are now available through the National Stock system. Although Gerber isn't the primary carry for most Special Operations Forces (SOF) guys, it is for many conventional forces. Weíve seen the Micro Tech L-UDT (both STERILE and non-sterile) in the hands of a lot of SOF troops. There are quite a few others that have been purchased in bulk through govt. purchase orders and issued out to the SOF guys. Most still retain the choice of carry weapons to fit the mission. That is good news.
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This is a piece containing several excerpts from various articles I put together. It is based on New Jersey but it is certain to happen sooner or later in your state.
In New Jersey, it's a case of no message at all. The state Department of Education's revised history standards don't require students to know anything about George Washington, Thomas Jefferson or Benjamin Franklin. And in lessons covering the early settlers and America's beginnings, threatening terms like Pilgrims, the Mayflower and war -- now called conflict -- are obsolete. Gone as well are most historical accounts of the inhumane treatment endured by America's soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines in World War I and II, Korea or Vietnam. Instead, students are required to know that slavery, the Holocaust and conditions in modern Iraq are examples of "cruel and inhumane" treatment. Political correctness, on the other hand, is dumb, humorless and witless, the stuff of dull and ignorant minds. Sometimes you think certain proposals are satire until you read past the first sentence or two. Take, for example, the revisions under consideration for standards for teaching history in the public schools administered by the New Jersey Department of Education. The Pilgrims and the Mayflower, speaking of standard stories of our history, are not to be mentioned. History is not to be dumbed down, but erased. George Washington, Benjamin Franklin and Thomas Jefferson aren't to be mentioned, either. Since the founding of the republic is not very important, the kids will study such luminaries as Theodore Dwight Weld and Angelina and Sarah Grimke. (Don't ask. You'll find them in the section about the Civil War, Reconstruction and slavery, opponents of.) In defense of such rank discrimination, the educationists of New Jersey say teachers don't have to be reminded of the Founding Fathers, but they do have to be encouraged to teach about those who worked to abolish slavery. Among the genuinely educated, New Jersey is notorious. Its state legislature not long ago nixed a requirement for students to recite each day a 56-word passage from the Declaration of Independence beginning with "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness." This was held to be insensitive to blacks because it was written when there were slaves; unfair to women because it only mentions men. "One black assemblywoman declared that the Declaration of Independence could not apply to her either as a woman or as "a minority." Civil liberties groups questioned the phrase "unalienable right" to life, suggesting it was a sneaky euphemism for "anti-abortion" sentiment and one legislator objected to the word "creator" because it would force students to accept "a state-sponsored religion." Others said the recitation went "too far" in pushing patriotism. To regain our liberties we must, like the signers of the Declaration of Independence, commit "our lives, our fortunes and our sacred honor" to that effort. Many deeply deluded intellectuals are today standing at the lectern delivering repackaged and poisonous anti-American messages to our young sons and daughters and we let them. Come to think of it future historians will most certainly reflect on the degree to which political correctness has weakened the Westís resolve and crippled itís ability to even identify the enemy and defend itself.
More on New Jersey
"It reminds me of a story about a horse thief. And the jury goes
through the whole case and they say, 'Not guilty, but you have to return the
horse.' And he's not guilty, but you have to pay for those gifts." --
Sen. George Allen (R-Va.) after the Senate Select Committee on Ethics severely admonished Sen. Robert G. Torricelli (D-N.J.) for violating gift rules by receiving cash and other favors from David Chang, a former campaign supporter and convicted felon.
Here is a fun one we recently found. You hear the stories of a fellow who buys a painting at a flea market, takes it home and finds it is worth millions. Well, that didn't exactly happen here, but what we did find was unexpected. We purchased 5 old books of various titles for $1.50 after the haggling. One book had a book marker of folded cardboard in it. We tossed them in the corner when we returned home, not to be looked at for a week or so. When going through them we pulled out the book marker and noted it was folded in three. Being curious we opened it before just throwing it away. Surprise, surprise it was a poster board to be displayed in a shop window. Shown below is the full image. Not knives but close enough for us here as we enjoy anything with an edge. Enjoy, we did.
Click on image for full size scan
On the topic of Iraq invading Israel....
"I would personally get in a ditch, grab a rifle, and fight and
William Jefferson Clinton
Howís that for a quote, who does he think he is kidding, thatíll be the day!
A most interesting group of Anderson knives just came onto the market. And as quick as they appeared they were scooped up by our friend Bill Stone. These knives were never completed. They had the handle cast on but never finished. The thong holes are not drilled nor are the casting edges trimmed. Most notable is that the blades were never finished. This shows us how the Anderson knives were originally built. After the handles were cast in place the blade profiles were created through grinding. These four knives are the only ones I have ever encountered in this state and must be considered extremely rare in this condition. Our hopes are that they are bought by collectors who intend to keep them that way. It would be a sin to see them "finished" off as a regular Anderson knife and then sold. These four really need to stay in the unfinished shape they are in.
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While we collect knives and study the background and usage we do not often consider the packaging they come in. Shown here is a box that made a few rounds and was recently offered for sale. Along with it is a crate for the Mark 2's I purchased marked with a stencil. No, it was not full of knives! I wish it were though!! Last we see a 1963 dated box that held 12 MIL-K knives sent to us by our good friend Dennis Ellingsen. Just for your viewing pleasure. Does anyone else have pictures of boxes or crates?
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We know as fact that Camillus made bright blades for the Mark 1 on request from the Navy during World War Two. What we donít know is the reason behind it. Has anyone ever run across any documents stating the reasoning for bright blades? The somewhat rare scabbard with the imprinting "KEEP THIS KNIFE WELL OILED" is associated with the bright blade Mark 1 and is the only one with this marking we have ever observed. They were purposely ordered without Parkerizing and produced in bulk, as Camillus Model #5683 L94 but why? The initial prototype order was on 9/16/43 for the samples. They used the standard leather washer handles with the Oris Manufacturing molded plastic butt with the Marbles supplied brass nut, the same as the Parkerized versions. They were marked with the U.S.N. obverse and the Camillus, N.Y. reverse standard marks. Another sample batch was ordered on 4/5/44 but with a blood groove or fuller on this offering. This one I have never seen. It was the Camillus Model #5683 Q32. And last but not least we have the Camillus Model # 5683 S35 with a blued steel blade and the #5683 S36 with blued steel blade and an Aluminum butt. These last few were most likely only made in sample amounts on 7/15/45 as we have never observed them in general release form. Most likely the cessation of hostilities scrubbed the idea. Thanks to Tom Williams of Camillus Cutlery for the background on these items.
Click on Photos for Full Size Images
Our good friend Gary Cunningham is on the search again. This time Gary is
looking into what we believe to be sub-contractor markings. We are trying to
find out who the contractors were
for the plastic grips on the M1905 and M1 bayonets in WW2 - AB, N and PP? Also the LOC/R
Along with this the stampingís on the M1917 leather scabbards GF inside an oval and MS are also being questioned. If you can provide any information it would be greatly appreciated. Even a guess would be welcomed. Many guesses often lead to the trail of the facts. They often provide a great place to start. How about it, have you noted these markings on any other military items?
Signal Corps Inspectors Kit
We recently received from Mike Silvey a few photos of an interesting kit he just purchased. The questions is, do you know what tools originally came in these kits? Who put them together? What were they for and who were they issued to? Lots of questions we know but this is a very interesting little kit. Anyone with a Signal Corps Catalog out there?
Click on Photos for Full Size Images
What is it?
OK, this one stumped us. "Property of U.S. Government" etched on main blade. See the Mystery Knife page for September. Guesses??
Click on Photofor Full Size Image
Pancake Flippers & Scabbards
A question was recently posed to us from our good friend Garry Zalesky. Have we ever seen an L.F.&C. or EKCO pancake flipper (spatula) of the type used for the OSS scabbard frog? We may have but can not remember. We just never thought about it much, although we should have. Anyone own one we could get a photo of? What a great item to put in with the stiletto for a photograph!
Updated October 2002
We have another great announcement to make this month. Our good friend and "Student of the Bayonet", Gary Cunningham has agreed to author a monthly column for us on U.S. Bayonets. This is a moment to savor. Gary brings with him years of collecting and researching along with his proven writing skills and great photography. As the author of the bayonet book "American Military Bayonets of the 20th Century" Gary knows of what he speaks. Perhaps his greatest strength in research is his willingness to listen to all sides equally before forming an answer. Something this writer seems to forget quite often! We hope to cover from the common to the minute detail on U.S. bayonets in the future. With Gary's help we will all learn from this experience. So we invite you to check out his new column and report what you think. Gary would love to hear from you as well as would I. Questions and answers keep this ball rolling along. You know this site is really starting to shape up, we may just stick around to see what pops up next!
More "Green Beret" Knives
Below is listed a current solicitation for 120 knives by "C" Company 3/7th Special Forces Group (ABN). Seems the Green Beretís are getting serious about their cutlery again. Nice going guys!
Qty of 120 Duane Dieter CQD Special Operations Limited Edition tactical folder knife (automatic, with serrated black blade) with matching hard (Kydex) and soft sheath (nylon belt holster), Brand name or equal.
Notice Date 8/15/2002
Notice Type Solicitation Notice
Contracting Office Directorate of Contracting, Building 556, Fort Buchanan, PR 00934-3400
Solicitation Number DAJN02-02-T-0092
Response Due 8/19/2002
Point of Contact Belkys Torres, 787-707-3960
E-Mail Address Email your questions to Directorate of Contracting (email@example.com)
NA, This is a combined synopsis / solicitation for commercial items prepared in accordance with the format prescribed in Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) Subpart 12.6, as supplemented with additional information included in this notice. This announcement constitutes the only solicitation; quotes are being requested and a written solicitation will not be issued. Solicitation Number DAJN02-02-T-0092 is issued as a Request for Quotations. All references to offers are understood to be Quotations. The Standard Industrial Code (SIC) is 3421 and size standard is 500 employees. This acquisition will be awarded as a Firm Fixed Price (FFP) and is being conducted in accordance with FAR Part 12-Commercial Items and FAR Part 13-Simplified Acquisition Procedures. This combined synopsis / solicitation incorporates by reference FAR Clauses 52.212-1, 52.212-3, 52.212-4, 52.212-5, 52.225-13, 52.222-21, 52.222-26, 52.222-35, 52.222-36, 52.222-19 which maybe located at http://www.arnet.gov/. Acquisition is 100% Small Business Set Aside and award will be made based on the lowest price technically acceptable offer. Closing Date is 19 August 2002, Time: 4:30 pm Eastern Standard Time. The contractor shall provide 120 each Duane Dieter CQD Special Operations Limited Edition tactical fol der knife (automatic, with ? serrated black blade) with matching hard (Kydex) and soft sheath (nylon belt holster), Brand name or equal. Items shall be delivered FOB Destination to the following address: C CO 3/7th SFG(A), Building 519 Bundy Area, Naval Station Roosevelt Roads, Ceiba PR 00742. Please submit your quote to Fax no. 787-707-3957. Contact information is as follows: Department of the Army, Directorate of Contracting, PO Box 34000, Building 556, Fort Buchanan, Puerto Rico 00934-3400. Contract Specialist is Belkys Torres 787-707-3960. Fax 787-707-3957. Email address: firstname.lastname@example.org.
This is a clip from the company web site telling us about the knife:
One model, the Dieter CQDģ Mark I (in Limited Edition form) is likely the most advanced tactical folder ever. Opened for action, the knife measures 9 Ĺ inches overall, with a blade that measures almost 3 ĺ inches long. Of spear point design, the blade not only features partial serrations on the main edge, but is sharpened on the top side at the point, too. Equally important is the fact the blade is made of 154cm high carbon stainless, heat treated to an Rc of 60, cryogenically hardened for stability, and features ambidextrous thumb studs. A variety of blade finishes are available, from a satin polish to Stealth matte black Titanium Carbonitride (shown).
The larger Mark I comes with a Kydex sheath, and can be worn in the opened, ready condition. The handle on this folder is of milled, hardened 6061-T6 aluminum featuring milled Dieter Side Hiltsô at the choil area. Very important is the fact these handles feature dual "wing walk" surface material on each side, providing an absolute unbeatable gripping surface. If you've ever walked the wings of fighter planes, you'll know what we mean. The tip of the handle features a lanyard hole for those who feel it's necessary, but more importantly, the handle features what is referred to as the CQDģ ATAC (Advanced Tactical) Support Blade. Actually, they are a pair of blades enclosed in the tip of the handle, and are designed for cutting cords, bands, tape, flex cuffs, seatbelts, clothing, parachute cord, etc. A final feature is a carbide window breaker positioned at the front of the handle.
The round blade release button is located on the left side of the handle. The secondary slide safety lock, when pushed up, will prevent the blade from accidentally opening, and from being closed after opening.
This time it is the Navy looking for bayonets for the military academy at Annapolis. Note the wording they use. We wouldnít want to get any mothers upset knowing their boys are playing with weapons! The word is not to be used. If fact they want replicas!
Bayonets - M6 w/ Scabbard Nickel Plated
Notice Date 8/21/2002
Notice Type Solicitation Notice
Contracting Office Department of the Navy, Naval Supply Systems Command, FISC NORFOLK DETACHMENT WASHINGTON, 1014 N Street SE, Suite 400 Washington Navy Yard, Washington, DC, DC, 20374-5014
Solicitation Number N00600-02-R-2366
Response Due 8/30/2002
Point of Contact Paul Martin, Contract Specialist, Phone 2024338494, Fax 2026850002, - Roscoe Crawford, Contracting Officer, Phone 202-433-5387, Fax 202-685-0022,
E-Mail Address Paul_ED_Martin@fmso.navy.mil, Roscoe_W-Crawford@fmso.navy.mil
Small Business Set-Aside Total Small Business
PERFORMANCE WORK STATEMENT FOR M6 BAYONETS FOR USNA M-14 DRILL RIFLE
1.1 SCOPE: This statement of work establishes the requirements for M-6 bayonets for the United States Naval Academy (USNA) M-14 drill rifles.
1.2 PURPOSE: The purpose of this requirement is to provide replica M6 bayonets, with scabbard. The bayonets are to be manufactured to using drawing #8427015 and associated drawings (attached) as reference documents, except that the blade is to be nickel-plated. The government will provide the supplier with a demilitarized M-14 rifle that is to be used by the supplier to fit check the bayonet to ensure that it fits the drill rifle properly. Final assembly of the bayonet to the M-14 drill rifle is to be completed by the government. The final assembly demilitarized M-14 drill rifle will be the standard drill rifle for the Naval Academy Battalion of Midshipmen. Drill rifle activities are a significant part of the Naval Academy programs and are conducted indoors and outdoors on various surfaces. Standardization is also a goal of the program, especially regarding drill competitions.
2. GOVERNMENT DOCUMENTS: Drawing #8427015 and related lower level drawings (attached) for reference and dimensional purposes only.
2.1 GOVERNMENT FURNISHED EQUIPMENT: An actual demilitarized M-14 Rifle assembly will be provided for loan to the supplier to be used to ensure that the bayonet fits properly. The government provided M-14 rifle assemblies shall be returned to the government in the same condition as originally provided. Contact Lt. Col Michael Trabun at (410) 293-7125.
3.1 PHYSICAL: The bayonet must be a replica of the M-6 Bayonet that fits the M-14 combat rifle and the blade is to be nickel-plated. The weight, balance and physical dimensions of the replica must be representative of an M-6 and must be manufactured such that it matches and fits the government furnished M-14. The attached drawings are for reference purposes only, to aid the supplier in providing bayonets that fit the M-14 drill rifle. An initial pre-production bayonet is to be provided to the government for approval prior to production runs. All production units will be manufactured and inspected to have the characteristics of the drawings and as fit checked with the government furnished rifle.
3.2 MATERIAL: a. Similar to referenced drawings, except that the finish on the blade shall be nickel-plated. (1) All bayonets must be interchangeable from one drill rifle to another of same and different production batches.
3.3 TOOLING/SPECIAL TOOLS: Tooling, special tools, equipment, etc. required to produce the product is the responsibility of the manufacturer.
4. GOVERNMENT FURNISHED PROPERTY: Actual demilitarized M-14 Rifle assembly will be provided for loan to the supplier to be used to ensure that the bayonet fits and matches the M-14 rifle. The government provided M-14 rifle shall be returned to the government in the same condition as originally provided. Contact LtCol Michael Trabun at (410) 293-7125.
5. DELIVERABLE LOT ACCEPTANCE: Prior to production, the Navy will evaluate one (1) pre-production deliverables for acceptance. Failure in any part to comply with requirements specified in paragraph 3 shall be cause for rejection of the represented lot.
6. DELIVERY SCHEDULE: Production deliverables shall be delivered as follows: RIFLES Qty U/I Del. Date BASE QTY AWARD 4100 EA NLT 01 March 2003 However, expedited delivery is very important in this procurement and is an evaluation criteria for award. Early and staggered deliveries are encouraged (see 7. Distribution below)
7. DISTRIBUTION -The vendor may produce and ship throughout the 4- to 6-month period to reduce warehouse and inventory costs as long as the 01 Mar 2003 schedule is met. Packaging identification or labels must not contain descriptions of gun, rifle, drill rifle, facsimile rifle, or any other descriptions relating to firearms or weapons. Packaging and shipping should be standard commercial practice (economical and provide adequate protection against damage during shipment). Items received in damaged condition due to handling/packaging must be replaced by the shipper/manufacturer at no additional cost to the Navy.
Place of Performance Address: US NAVAL ACADEMY, 181 WAINWRIGHT ROAD, ANNAPOLIS MD Zip Code: 21402-5007 Country: UNITED STATES
A few of the blueprints issued to make the "replica's"
Last But Not Least Benchmade Is Again In The Act!
Benchmade has been doing great in bidding and supplying knives to the government! Several contracts have recently gone their way and with good reason, they make a great product. Kudos to Les, keep the boys set with great cutlery!
Benchmade 2550SBT Mini Reflex Knife
Notice Date 9/16/2002
Notice Type Solicitation Notice
Contracting Office Department of Justice, Immigration & Naturalization Service, U.S. Border Patrol: El Paso Flight Operations, 9C Butterfield Trail, El Paso, TX, 79906
Solicitation Number EFO-2-Q-0023
Point of Contact Cheryl Aldridge, Contracting Officer, Phone 915-782-4450 x119, Fax 915-782-4463
E-Mail Address email@example.com
The United States Border Patrol El Paso Flight Operations is issuing a combined synopsis/solicitation for commercial items prepared in accordance with the format in Subpart 12.6, as supplemented with additional information included in this notice. This announcement constitutes the only solicitation; proposals are being requested and a written solicitation will not be issued. Solicitation EFO-2-Q-0023 is being issued as a Request for Proposal. The solicitation document and incorporated provisions and clauses are those in effect through Federal Acquisition Circular 01-07. The NAICS for this is 332211. A single award will be made. CLIN 0001 Benchmade Model 2550SBT Mini Reflex Knives: 200 Each: $_______ each. Delivery shall be within 8 weeks after award of the contract. Delivery is to be FOB destination to the U.S. Border Patrol Flight Operations, 9C Butterfield Trail, El Paso, TX 79906. The provisions at FAR 15.212-1, Instructions to Offerors-Commercial, applies to this acquisition. FAR 12.212-2, Evaluation-Commercial Items, is applicable. Paragraph (a), evaluation criteria is as follows: The knife must be auto-open with safety, have a partially serrated edge stainless steel black teflon blade hardened to Rockwell 58-60, and fit into the flight suit leg knife pocket.
Award will be made to the most advantageous offer to the Government, price and other factors considered. OFFEROR SHALL INCLUDE A COMPLETED COPY OF THE PROVISIONS AT FAR 52.212-3, Offeror Representations and Certifications-Commercial Items along with the firm's DUNS number. FAR 52.212-4, Contract terms and Conditions-Commercial Items, applies to this acquisition with the following additional clauses: FAR 52.212-5, Contract Terms and Conditions Required to Implement Statutes or Executive Orders-Commercial Items, and the following additional clauses apply to this acquisitions: FAR 52.222-26, Equal Opportunity (E.O. 11246); FAR 52.222-35, Affirmative Actions for Disabled Veterans and Veterans of the Vietnam Era; FAR 52.222-36, Affirmative Action for Handicapped Workers; FAR 52.222-37, Employment Reports on Disabled Veterans and Veterans of the Vietnam Era, and FAR 52.252-1, Solicitation Provisions Incorporated by Reference (available at http://www.arnet.gov/far). Include a list of references which includes point of contact name and phone number. Quotations are due 9/20/02, 1:30pm, at U.S. Border Patrol Air Operations Center, 9C Butterfield Trail, El Paso, TX 79906. Inquiries and proposals may be faxed to 915 782-4463. All responsible sources may submit a proposal which shall be considered.
Maybe We Do Have A Chance After All
A bill just introduced in Congress would allow war veterans to keep certain firearms brought home as souvenirs. It seems only right after all. On the flip side, just try taking one away from a combat vet, not me folks!
"We should not deny them a cherished souvenir because of a misunderstood law," says Rep. Chris Cannon of Utah, who with fellow Republican Rep. Jim Gibbons of Nevada introduced the Veterans' Heritage Firearms Act of 2002.
Cannon says many veterans, including 134,102 in his state of Utah, could face prison and fines for possessing war-trophy machine guns that are not registered. The guns are illegal, and veterans or their family members are required to surrender them to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms for destruction.
If the legislation is enacted, veterans will have 90 days to register the guns. To qualify, the souvenirs would have to have been acquired before Oct. 31, 1967, by a member of the armed forces while stationed outside the United States.
Did you ever notice some of the most famous weapons of the world are named? When did we stop naming our weapons like the old masters did? Those folks could sure weave a story back then, prior to the computer and all these fancy ways to publish. We should take note of these things and start something here. Who could ever write something adventurous or romantic about the 1219C2 or the M1917 bolo!?!
King Arthur had Excalibur
El Cid had Colada
Roland had Durandal
Charlemagne had Joyeuse
Braggadoccio had Sanglamore
Marc Anthony had Philippan
Siegfried had Nothung / Balmung
Beowulf had Hruntling
even Ogier the Dane had Courtain and Curtana
Which we might add is still used in coronations in England. Not only were they fine weapons, they shared wonderful names! We are stuck with M3's, Jet Pilot's Knives and V-42's. The new nomenclature just donít compare.
SOG or the Studies and Observation Group was born on Jan. 24th 1964. This was the day President Johnson signed his approval on the plan. It was officially known as OPLAN 34A and was to be a joint South Vietnam Special Forces, MACV (Military Assistance Command, Vietnam), and CIA tripartite relationship. The South Vietnamese would supply the intelligence gathering element, MACV would supply the instructors , training sights, and physical assets, and the CIA would provide the funds and training assistance.1
The operational area of SOG was immense. It extended from the southern provinces of China, Yunnan, Kwangsi, Kwangtung and Hainan island through Burma, Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, North Vietnam and South Vietnam. It was further designated a Joint Unconventional Warfare Task Force encompassing all branches of the US armed forces and Civilian Agencies.2
US Special Forces Colonel Clyde R. Russell was selected as SOG's first commander. The title was known as "Chief SOG". Russell divided the SOG operation into 5 elements. Operation 31 was the Maritime branch including the newly formed SEALs. Operation 32 was the Air Branch. Operation 33 was psychological branch. Operation 34 was the Agent branch for undercover agents to be inserted into North Vietnam and Laos. And finally Operation 35 was the Recon branch into which the Americans would provide behind the lines recon searches. This is the branch most folks think of when they hear the acronym SOG. 3
SOG Recon Team Oklahoma. Our good friend Frank Maiorano with team mascot "Intel" and his Bru montagnard team circa 1970. Photo courtesy of Frank Maiorano
At President Johnson's direction, SOG was tasked to provide undeniable proof of the NVA aggressions for presentation into the political world arenas. This was the reason for being.4
SOG was to be the largest clandestine unit since the OSS of World War II. All funds were to be supplied from a hidden account in the US Navy's budget.5
SOG was officially closed on April 30th 1972. All recon and intelligence gathering had been officially turned over to the South Vietnamese.6
RT Oklahoma team member during a break. Note his M8A1 scabbard taped to his harness on his left chest. He is carrying an M79 thumper, perhaps that's why the M7 bayonet is not in the scabbard! Photo courtesy of Frank Maiorano
I know that is a VERY brief history but did you want more ?? I have Volumes on the topic.
The original design work was started soon after SOG was formed as the needed non-attributable (sterile) equipment for use when behind lines or on "the wrong side of a border". The SOG knives were designed by Conrad B. (Ben) Baker of the Counter-Insurgency Support Office also known as CISO. Baker was named the Deputy Chief of CISO in June 1963. It was from this position that he worked with Special Forces troopers in the design of the knife. Blade design was worked up from 1/4 inch steel with broomstick handles for testing of different profiles. Testing was performed mainly by Master Sgt. Ross Bailey (retired). He earned many blisters "testing those damn knives". The leather handle is a direct result of the Marbles skinner knife that Baker owned and liked very much. Some say it is a knock off of a Randall handle, that is not true. Finger grooves were added from testing at a pig slaughter house for a sure grip. That is also where the idea for the double tine guard came from. The removal of the knife from the heavy pig cartilage made extraction hard, the double tines helped in the removal. Although it was known that the pig cartilage was not present in humans it was likened to web gear worn by enemy soldiers. This is the thought process used to design the guard, not body suction or other such nonsense. 7
Seven inch SOG knife with scabbard. Photo courtesy of Mike Silvey
This knife was designed solely for the 5th Special Forces Group (Airborne) operating in the Studies and Observation Group.8
Final approval was given by SOG / 5th Group on June 6, 1964. Drawings were provided to contractors in Japan for prototypes to be made. Japan Sword's prototypes were rejected by CISO due to poor steel quality. The selected steel was SKS-3 comprised of C-.9-1.; Si-.35; Mn-.9-1.2;P-.03; S-.03; Cr-.5-1.; W-.5-1.. The first knives ordered were the Recon 7" models. 1,300 with blued blades were ordered. These knives were also offered for sale in a magazine ad which is show below. This added to the speculation that they were merely commercial knives available anywhere, not issued by the military. The first 6" SOG knives were ordered in October 1966. This order was for 1,200 sterile blades with black sheathes & whetstones at $8.40 each. Many of these knives were later plated and engraved for presentation purpose. The second batch was ordered in March of 1967. These were to be serial numbered 1 thru 3700. The official designation was "Knife, indigenous, hunting, 6", w/Black Sheath and Whetstone". The "indigenous" was a code word used by CISO to flag sterile items. Final delivery of this batch was in Nov. of 1967. In 1967 the 5th Special Forces Mess Association (sorta like a sport club) ordered 1,700 presentation knives etched on the reverse side with the "S.F. Crest" and the wording "5th Special Forces Group (Abn.)" and "Vietnam" centered underneath. CISO assisted in the production of the knives but they were paid for by the 5th's SFMA. Delivery was in Jan. 1968. The final batch ordered by CISO were for the J.C.R.C. (Joint Casualty Resolution Center) in Thailand in 1972. The JCRC was tasked with the job of finding POW's, performing raids and searching for the remains of fallen comrades in South East Asia. These were the only official (through military channels) SOG knives ordered during the war. Many (unknown amount) were ordered by various detachments located all over South East Asia. Some were even reported to be had in PX's although this I could not confirm. Poor steel was the only real consideration for rejection, thus many variations were observed in guards, ricassos, spine, grinds, etc. All steel testing was done at Nichimen Corp in Japan. Yogi Shokai was the purveyor of the SOG knives in Japan. Baker worked with Kei Tanaka V/President at Shokai in the production phase. The last SOG knife was presented to Baker on Feb. 1st 1990 in a ceremony at the Japanese plant. It was a sterile version inscribed to Baker. 9
Although known as the SOG knife the 6" model is really a 5th Special Forces knife. It's ties to SOG are very close but it is none the less a 5th group knife. The original 7" knife was a SOG original. 10
Variations are many. The first were the sterile knives, followed by the serial numbered versions. The presentation models followed that. Bluing varied from dark blue black to the "plum" colored models. This was due to a different temp. of the bluing. Handle variations are with and without spacers. Guards were large and rounded on the originals made from brass. Later versions are also known to be made from Aluminum and steel. All of these are wartime made knives but as stated above many are private purchases. Later made knives were by Al Mar, Murphy and SOG (the knife company) and are clearly marked as reproductions. Many years ago (I am unsure of the date) Atlanta Cutlery imported SOG replicas. These were lightly marked on the ricasso. This were many of the outright fakes come from. If you ever see a SOG knife with any alterations to the ricasso area, however slight, avoid it unless you have irrefutable proof it was in Vietnam. These knives also have plated guards. Most owners would not allow one to scratch it for proof but it is a way to detect them. The SOG (knife company) knives occasionally show up as fakes but the are easy to detect. 11
The actual application for the knives is many. As these Recon fellows spent many days in the jungles at a time without resupply it was used for the normal purposes of a utility knife. It was designed to be an unknown as it could not be traced back to the US if found on the wrong side of a line drawn on a map. Today we call it "Plausible Denial". Lastly and probably most important it was used like every other knife issued to a special or elite group, it allowed "esprit de corps" among the men. It was recognized by others and placed an aura around the wearer of courage and the unknown. The same reason the First Special Service forces had their stiletto, the OSS had their stiletto, the Rangers had their Stiletto, The British Commandos had their Stiletto, etc.....12
When we asked Frank Maiorano about the knives he used when he was there he told us...
(1st) Gerber Mark II, a joke (in my opinion) when I was on the
A Team, we needed to cut bush, sugar cane (for water) etc. I am sure Gerber is a
great combat knife, but I am not so sure about a survival knife.
-(2nd) I carried a cut off machete, nothing fancy, but it provided a living!
-(3rd) A SOG Bowie, I had a couple (no need to make a living, just take a living).
- What kind of knife did you see most often?
What did most of your team, A Team and CCN carry?
-(Indigenous) Anything USA issued !!
The following are the references used for the above info.
1 SOG the History of the Men and the Missions. 4 volume set by Harve Saal Printed 1990 ISBN 0-9625970-2-3
5 ibid & SOG the Secret Wars of America's Commandos in Vietnam. by John L. Plaster Copyright 1997 ISBN 0-684-81105-7
6 ibid & Special Forces of the U.S Army by Ian Sutherland. Copyright 1990 ISBN 0-912138-43-2
7 Ben Baker article in Fighting Knives magazine Fall 1991 issue
10 Frank Trzaska Various research (means I know it but like the V-44 knife it will always be called a SOG Knife)
11 Again Various, Silvery & Boyd United States Military Knives Collectors Guide, United States Military Knives 1941 1991 Silvey, Cole III, & IV, and the above mentioned books.
12 My thoughts and mixed readings.
13 E-mail exchange with Frank Maiorano, RT Oklahoma, CCN
When Are We Going To Say "UNCLE"? or Maybe We Ain't Doing So Good After All.
"When it was time to cut the ribbon on a new exhibit at Pittsburgh
International Airport security measures prevented Allegheny County Chief
Executive Jim Roddey and others from using scissors. They had to tear the
A.P. 20 Sep 02
Maybe they could have borrowed a real knife from one of the smart assed
reporters always trying to smuggle something on board to make a few headlines
about bad security!
The president tells us that Saddam's Iraq is the greatest threat to world peace anywhere on earth, while retired generals assure us his army is disloyal, his equipment is obsolete, the war will last at most 30 days and U.S. casualties will be minimal. That explains why the regimes of the region do not seem to fear him, but it raises again the question. Why do we?
Fairbairn Lives On!
"Police officers throughout England and Wales are being trained to tackle criminals with martial arts techniques. The new self-defence course - a mix of jujitsu, Chinese boxing and kung fu - has been recommended to all police forces to deal with knife and bottle attacks. Some of the moves are based on "defendu", a martial arts system devised by the British colonial police chief William Fairbairn in the 1920s to deal with opium-driven crime in Shanghai......"
Sunday Times, London, 22 Sep 02
Do you suppose the Bobbies will be carrying knives? The big old hunk of steel, the MOD will never do!
The Continuing Saga of the Anderson's
As we promised last month, if and when we discovered the remaining parts of
the unfinished Anderson knife blank story, we would report it right here. This
is the source of the four Anderson knife blanks that Bill Stone purchased some
time ago on Ebay. We have been studying this subject intensely
Just a few days ago we were contacted by our good friend Bernard Levine about a few Anderson knives that were unfinished. He had been retained to research them and give the owner a report on rarity and value range. As we conversed with Bernard he told us about a large cache of the knives being found. He also supplied us with a name and phone number of a California Knife maker retained to clean up the pieces found. We in turn contacted Doug Brack, the knife maker to ask a few questions. Doug informed us the fellow who bought the knives was Don Rutherford. We tried to contact Don at the number given but were unsuccessful at that time. The next day we received an e-mail from David Wyers the fellow who sent the sample to Mr. Levine. We gave Mr. Wyers our opinion on the extremely rare unfinished knives. He was going to the Louisville show to try to sell some of the knives. We did not hear back from Mr. Wyers after that on our request for more information of where and how the knives were found. We desperately wanted to document this information
We were then contacted by a fellow collector about more of the story. This fellow told us the story of how he bumped into the seller and had found out the true story of how HE had been the one to discover the box of Anderson blanks which were unfinished and HE was the seller that had taken them to the Santa Barbara, CA Gun Show the previous month and sold many of them off in one lot to one buyer. He would not admit how much he got for them but advised that he could have shot himself when he found out what Anderson Bowies were selling for. We have since found that he sold them for $10-$15 each while they lasted. One buyer loaded up and bought almost half the original box of blanks and finished bowie type knives.
He kept back a dozen of so of the completed bowie knives and some 40 unfinished blades but all the rest went to buyers at Santa Barbara. One of these bowies sold on Ebay 3-4 weeks ago. How do the pitted bowies seen at several places figure in with the unfinished blades?
Here is the true story: This gun show seller was cruising garage sales in Glendale, CA when he happened to stop at one and noticed that they had a few Andersons out for sale. After buying them for a song, he asked if they had any more. They brought out a large cardboard box FULL of the same unfinished but hilted blanks. In the box, on the bottom, were layers of brand new Anderson bowies still in their leather sheaths, ruined by years of being stored under their house since WWII ended. The sheaths had been water soaked and were as hard as rock, the blades had rusted into nothing in a number of them. On top of the bowies were layer after layer of the hilted but unfinished Anderson blanks which we now know were from this hoard. Although he wouldn't say exactly, he estimated that there were at least 60-70 unfinished Anderson blanks on top of the bowies and that perhaps that is why the unfinished ones didn't also rust away. They were up and out of the moisture beneath the house.
SO, the story continues. After he bought up all the Anderson knives and parts from the box the family told him that they had been selling such knives in yard sales for years to make extra spending money.....they had no idea that they were worth ANYTHING AT ALL. Who knows where they all ended up? Its odd that no one had ever seen an unfinished one until recently. Its possible that they were selling GOOD Anderson bowies all this time, one by one. Makes one wonder. SO, as he was ready to leave the sale, they asked him if he was interested in the REST of the knives! YOW!!!!
Of course he said yes and they trotted out 2 full sealed Anderson marked and logo'd cases of Anderson- made fishing knives!!!!!!!!!!! All in their original boxes and all undamaged. While not quite as exciting as the Anderson fighters, the Anderson fishing knives are likely to be in the same class as the Marbles version or some of the classic hunting/fishing stuff from the 1940's and 50's. This was the mother lode. Actually it was the old Anderson Homestead of the original Mr. Anderson in Glendale. These old knives had been left in the basement when the estate was sold and remained there for almost sixty years!
Now the unfortunate part...... Those who bought up the unfinished blanks are having a field day having these ground into finished knives. The gun show seller advised that he will be grinding the remaining blank unfinished Andersons he still has into bowies and is having repro sheaths made for them. If there was a bright side to it, this guy is having them ground with a full ricasso rather than having the grind lines run into the sword marking like on the originals. See the attached photos! No mistaking them as repros but what a waste of the very rare blanks!
An original ground WW II era Anderson on top with the typical pitting seen on the whole group. On bottom is an unfinished "tanto" cut blank
An unfinished full cut blank, a recent made spear point, a recently ground bowie point and an original WW II era ground bowie
The recently ground bowie point with the full ricasso still
intact. Easy to tell the difference in all of them, if you know what you are
The other mint unblemished Anderson bowie he had on his table was perfect but was in a repro sheath he had made as a pattern for more to come.... he advised that he will be having some 40 repro sheaths stitched up, if they all look like that, they will be easy to spot. Not even close.........
Of course, none of his remaining unfinished blanks were for sale. SO, we progress ahead 3 weeks to today. You may have noticed that a minty Anderson hilt-section spearpoint was on Ebay last week and abruptly taken off by a knife seller who found out what it was. We hear at a recent gun show in the south that one was for sale just like it. Up to this time, the only known example of the spear pointed hilt blade was in Silvey's book. Now they are appearing like mushrooms. We know of 8 which are in the Los Angeles area alone. All have red handles and no sheaths. One local guy appears to have bought the largest lot of blanks from the original hoard when it surfaced in Santa Barbara. By the way, the Anderson blanks were all cut from full length swords using abrasive cutoff wheels (solved that mystery) and most are straight but some are cut at an angle almost like a tanto.
The prices we have heard so far are: blanks are priced at $500 each (no takers), the pitted bowies are $275 or so less sheath, the spear point hilt sections are $375 no sheath, and the new bowie grinds made from the original Anderson blanks are $375 per with no sheath as of yet. Now.... why would someone ask $500 for a blank and then grind it up into a knife and ask $375 for it? I wouldn't touch anything without a genuine Anderson sheath since no one can seem to do repro leather that doesn't look like a bad joke, yet....
Also included are a few photos to help you follow what we are writing. They are fairly easy to distinguish what knives are which. Keep your eyes open folks, Andersonís are about to explode onto the scene everywhere. About 100 were found, we donít know how many were ground into knives and how many were left unfinished. We do hope a few escaped the grinding wheel.
As we reported previously the word "replica" was in use for the new order of M6 bayonets for Annapolis. Well in the new age of sensitivity at the U.S. Naval Academy, the commandant has ordered "kill" removed from plebes' vocabulary. Are we training button pushers or warriors there?
"In fighting a mounted man armed with a sword every effort must be made to get on his near or left side, because here his reach is much shorter and his parries weaker. If you cannot disable the enemy, attack his horse and then renew your attack on the horseman."
Page 21 of : Special Committee of General Staff Corps, War Department. (1907) Manual of Bayonet Exercises, United States Army (Provisional). Document No. 287. U.S. Government Printing Office, Washington, D.C., USA.
New SABC Site
We welcome this new addition to the Society of American Bayonet Collectors web page ( http://www.bayonetcollectors.org/ ). It is a bulletin board format for questions and answers. Our good friend John Spangler has done a great job on the site. We encourage all to use this new page to continue the knowledge of all collectors and historians. Hope to see you there and ask a lot of questions! If you arenít already a member of the SABC we encourage you to join. They have a great quarterly journal and if you are interested in bayonets, this is the organization to belong to! Go to http://www.bayonetcollectors.org/forum.htm and join in the conversations! After that go to John's site and buy yourself a new toy, http://www.oldguns.net a great way to thank him!
M8 vs. M8A1
They are absolutely different but have much in common. The M8 was first developed to replace the leather M6 scabbard for the M3 Trench Knife mainly for safety reasons. It was to be issued to men who were not supplied with a bayonet. Anyone who was armed with a Carbine, Thompson, Grease Gun, BAR, Machine Gun, or pistol was supplied with an M3 and M8 scabbard. This scabbard was "supposed" to fit on any belt via the looped webbing as stated in OCM # 20467. Sad to say someone had their measurements wrong and it did not fit the riflemanís web belt. Not that it mattered much as they were not to be issued the weapon anyway. Well we all know they wanted one after the knives were seen. In the interest to standardize the Ordnance Department added the Hook, Double, No. A141005 (M1910 Belt Hook) to the scabbard and the M8 Modified was born. Officially known as the Scabbard, Trench Knife, M8A1. At the time the Army wanted scabbards to fit everyone so many M8 scabbards had the belt hook added and new production was scheduled to include the fix. Very easy fix we think. On May 1, 1944 OCM # 26650 officially changed the nomenclature of the M8A1 to Scabbard, Bayonet-Knife, M8A1 to avoid avoid possible errors or misunderstandings. Problems began with the nomenclature in the supply chain and in cataloging. We had the M8, the M8 Modified, and the new M8A1 with the longer web strap and the belt hook. You see the throats on the older scabbards were marked M8 even though they had the new added belt hook or the longer web strap and hook combo. Ordering and supply became much more difficult then it really needed to be. It took a few years but they finally did catch up to it. A Technical Bulletin was finally issued 21, January 1955 under the title TB ORD 592, Scabbards M8 and M8A1: Identifying Scabbard M8 Series.
1. Purpose. The purpose of this bulletin is to enable authorized personnel to readily identify scabbards M8 and the scabbards M8 that have been modified to meet the specifications of the scabbards M8A1. (Note. Preceding scabbards apply to the trench knife scabbard M8 as used with the trench knife M3 and the bayonet-knife scabbards M8A1 as used with the bayonet-knife M4.)
2. General. a. A quantity of scabbards M8 (fig.1) have been modified to meet the current M8A1 drawing specifications that consisted of replacing the belt strap with belt strap assembly 6313794 (fig. 2).
b. However, due to the method of manufacture of the scabbards M8 and the lack of space on the ferrule (throat), the removal of the ferrule for re-stamping was considered impracticable. Consequently all modified scabbards still retain the M8 stamping on the ferrule, but are now identical and interchangeable in all other respects with the M8A1 models.
c. Modified Scabbards, M8 shall be reported, stored and issued as scabbards M8A1 under stock number B001-7265709.
So there we have it, regardless of what they are stamped on the throat, they all became M8A1 scabbards. Fine details such as these keep it interesting.
Left to Right:
Scabbard, Trench Knife, M8, (Typical M8 with short hanger and no hook)
Scabbard, Trench Knife, M8A1, (Short M8 hanger with hook added (M8 Modified))
Scabbard, Bayonet-Knife, M8A1(Long hanger w/ hook but retains M8 throat)
Nickel Plated Bayonets
Scorned by most collectors anything that is not "as issued" is generally dismissed as junk. Well some knowledgeable collectors know that bayonets were "officially" plated for use. The problem has always been "how to tell" which oneís are which? While we canít tell you that we do find it interesting to locate documentation of any piece of equipment which has been modified whether in the field or in a factory. A wonderful document has just found itís way to our mailbox via our good friend Alec Tulkoff. It seems Alec never tires of digging through mounds of paper to dig out the real gems, for this we are eternally grateful! This document is dated 20 May 1940 from the Commanding Officer, Marine Detachment, USS Wyoming to the Major General Commandant, U.S. Marine Corps. Herein lies the body of the letter:
Subject : Nickel Plated Bayonets.
1. It is the practice in this detachment, upon the reporting of new men and the transfer of men ashore, to effect and exchange of bayonets, the new arrival getting a nickel plated or bright bayonet for use on board ship, giving his serviceable bayonet to the man being sent to shore duty. This practice has been in effect for at least three years and probably for a much longer time, though our files show no authority for doing so.
2. In order to provide serviceable bayonets for the members of the detachment, authority is requested to pick up all nickel - plated and "bright" bayonets as detachment property, and to requisition thirty seven (37) new bayonets for issue to the men as 782 equipment.
3. We have at present nine (9) serviceable bayonets on hand as detachment property.
This was accompanied by an endorsement from the Commanding Officer of the USS Wyoming to grant the authority. Sad to say we did not locate the response from the Commandant. This reminds us of the passage in Lowell Thomasí book on Smedley Butler, "Old Gimlet Eye." "My Marines were behaving splendidly. When they chaffed under inaction they polished their equipment and burnished their mess gear until it sparkled in the sun. I even let them nickel plate their bayonets and scabbards although it was against regulations. I was glad to have them out of mischief." This was in April 1927. While we have seen several photos of Marines in China at this time frame we have yet to see a nickel plated M1910 scabbard anywhere. They did nickel plate the M1913 Cavalry sabers for the Horse Marines, we have seen examples in photo and in life also. Anyway we digress. Yes, they did use nickel plated bayonets in the military, of that we have proof. Proving your specimen is one of them is the tough part.
U.S.S. Wyoming in the 'Canal
Bright Mark 1's
While on the subject of bright blades we have this little tidbit. A few months back we ran a piece on the Camillus Mark 1 with bright blade and the special marked scabbard. In pouring through records at Camillus, our good friend Tom Williams found a gem for us. The Camillus factory collection has one of these special marked scabbards in storage. Along with the scabbard is a tag naming the model number and the manufacturer. The maker was Mosser and the Camillus model was 5683B. Still no answer on why they were made this way or how many but the search continues! We do know they were ordered by the Jersey City Quartermaster Depot on 9/16/43 according to the records of the samples. The plastic butts were made by Oris Manufacturing and the split collet nut was made by Marbles. Both were supplied to Camillus for final assembly, packaging with the scabbards and shipment overseas. That is all we know so far. Stay Tuned!
Photo with tag from the Camillus Factory Collection
Our good friend Carter Rila recently brought a great photograph to our attention. Found in the magazine Aviation History in the letters section this photo shows a young pilot climbing into the cockpit of his fighter during World War Two. The picture shows an amazing view of the aluminum handled short machete worn on the leg. The letter wasnít about the machete nor was the photo, it just happens to show it in prominent view. This is the type of photo we dream of finding at the flea market! A real keeper. Anyway who can tell us more about the short machetes? Were they all private purchase? Who made them? How many were made? If issue who were they issued to? Ron Flookís book British and Commonwealth Military Knives shows a few examples in the Australia section but as with Mr. Coles examples leaves us begging for more information on them. What do you say folks.... evidence anyone??
The Aluminum Handled Leg Machete
In a War Department Circular No. 210 dated November 29, 1922 we find the basis for issue of the Engineerís Machete.
Section 1 Ė Engineer machete : Ordnance bolo.
The Engineer machete with sheath (sheath with hook for attachment to cartridge belt to be developed), to be issued by the Quartermaster Corps, is adopted as the type of cutting tool for issue to all branches, except the Infantry and the Cavalry. The Ordnance bolo will be issued to the Infantry and the Cavalry units as an article of armament. Existing types of cutting tools on hand will be issued until exhausted. (A.G. 474.75 (10-28-22).)
We do know that testing of various machetes were ongoing right up to, and even into WW II but for now this was the accepted standard cutting tool to be issued. For this time period it would have been the model with the wood handle and the steel ferrule which replaced the green horn and the slab wood series in 1918. Curiously we have never observed a sheath with the M1910 belt hook for this machete as stated above. This is not the machete you would want to hang from you belt anyway unless you are wearing a good set of suspenders! It is also interesting to note that the M1910 bolo took on the nomenclature of "armament" in this order. No longer a tool it was to become a weapon, or so said the War Department!
Early Engineer's Machete
San Antonio Iron Works
We are still searching for the provenance on these knives. So far all we have found is more or less hearsay. Stories passed along from one to another taking on the legend status. From what we can gather so far is that a large wholesale / retail outlet for surplus gear down in Galveston Texas by the name of Colonel Bubbies bought a large parcel from the government at auction from Fort Sam Houston. Took the whole lot for basically pennies a pound. While digging through the boxes they found a large lot of kitchen cutlery in a very large chest. Digging down into the load they found only the top layer was kitchen knives. Below were several hundred sword bladed knives. They were sold in the Shotgun News for the price of 3 for $100.00. The box was labeled San Antonio Iron Works. One fellow we spoke with on this topic has the knife his father was issued, it is one of them. Now we all know of that word "Issue" and it could be anything from being handed a knife to something designed, developed and purchased through official Ordnance procurement. A sticky subject for sure but it does not mean a thing. Thousands of knives were "Issued" that the government never paid a cent for through the "Save A Life With A Knife" program. These were "issue" knives to those that were supplied with them from the government. Well anyway thatís the best we can do so far. Can you tell us where the story originated? Were they really made by the San Antonio Iron Works? Did the Iron Works ever make any knives even? This one really needs investigating by a San Antonio native. Any one from down there? Friends in the area?
A Regular Guy
Recently sent to us via e-mail, we thought it was a good enough to bear repeating.
Iím a Regular Guy...
I like domestic cars, motorcycles and women.
I like beer that is made in the same city where I live.
I like hamburgers, fries and regular coffee, not coffee that tastes like pancakes or strawberries.
I like naked women and refuse to apologize for it.
I like the smell of mountains, bacon and exhaust.
I like Alice Cooper, Bob Seger and Hank Williams Jr. and donít thinks itís weird to listen to all of them in one day.
I hate people who cause other people pain.
I believe most people get what they deserve.
I think stores should be closed on Sunday so people can spend time with God, their families or whatever offers them comfort.
I believe you should say thank you whether someone saved your life or held a door open for you.
I donít really trust men who are good dancers.
Iím often confused about sex but never sexually confused.
I miss Waylon Jennings, The World Trade Center and my Dad.
I believe you should always be proud of your country, but not necessarily your government.
I like people who are honest, even when they tell me stuff Iíd rather not hear.
I try not to be jealous of those who have more than I do, and I donít put down those who have less.
I believe most people do the best they can with what theyíve got and sometimes just surviving is as important as winning.
I think war veterans deserve a hell of a lot more respect than they get.
I believe that if youíve never failed youíve never really tried.
Iím a regular guy, but thatís enough.
Marines Boddington Knife
Another new knives for the Marines. The Boddington Field Knife is named for Brig. General Craig T. Boddington, commander of I Marine Expeditionary Force Augmentation Command Element. Boddington, a well known writer of hunting and gun books and articles for some leading publications was looking for a good field knife, not a fighting knife. He and Lt Col. Al Burghard also of I MACE contacted Charlie Davis of Anza knives, known for their file knives, for a new design that would be a durable and easy to sharpen knife. The Boddington Field Knife was born. The knife is available on the Anza website at http://www.anzaknives.com if you are interested in one.
B.G. Craig Boddington, USMCR and Gen. Tommy Franks, USA.
Boddington Field Knife on right.
M2 Jump Knives
There has been a debate for many years on who made the official models and who didnít. Documents have proven that M2 knives were procured from Schrade Cutlery in Walden, NY but the knives made by George Schrade have always been suspect to some. Due to the common name of Schrade most collectors would jump on either to add to their stash. While others only go for the proven examples. Well we just uncovered a ledger book page from the Jeffersonville Quartermaster Depot Statistical Branch marked Immediate Action / Report of Acceptances with contract numbers and numbers ordered in and received by June 1942. Both companies supplied M2 knives to the Army in fiscal years 1942 - 43 with intent to supply more. This is now proven fact as far as we are concerned.
Schrade Cutlery contract # QM8026 10,000 with 9,000 supplied
Geo Schrade contract # QM8720 15,000 with 3,000 supplied
Schrade Cutlery contract # QM8719 10,000 with 0 supplied.
This was as of June 1942 with more to come. Not really a mystery but it does away with the argument of who was the official supplier.... as they both were.
Camillus M4 Bayonets
More paper work from Tom Williams, this time on the M4 bayonet. We find a few details we were unaware of in the production of the bayonets during WW II and the later production in 1953 and 1955. Letís start with the WW II production.
Known to Camillus as the model # 5685 the M4 bayonet was produced in large numbers. To establish such large production numbers many of the parts were produced by vendors. Much like the weapon it fit, the M1 Carbine, final assembly fell to the official contractor. The blade was produced by Camillus from 7/8 x 7 Ga. (0.187) WD 1080 blade steel. The heat treating was the typical type achieving a 58 RC hardness. The handle section was to be treated to a minimum of 40 RC to within 1 Ĺ" from the butt in effect making it a dual treated blade. The guard was purchased from Square Stamping Inc. stamped U.S. M4 / Camillus. Produced from 8 Ga. (0.156) WD 1070 steel the guard was heat treated to 28 - 33 RC hardness. Moving on to the handle we find that the plastic washers at the guard and butt end were purchased from none other then Beckwith Mfg. Co. Thatís right the same Beckwith who produced the scabbards. This is the first time we have heard the suppliers of these small pieces. The leather washers were supplied by Simplex Mfg. of Auburn, N.Y. They were Simplex # 3 size washers and 34 were used in the handle. As all the same size washers were used in production Camillus then milled the handle and grooves to size after assembly. This was a much simpler approach then the special sized washers used earlier on the M3 and the Mark 2 knives in the beginning of the war. One might argue it would create more waste but in the ease of production the value could be seen. The butt was supplied by Standard Products Inc. a large contractor in the M1 Carbine program. There was no data as to how the butt was received, in pieces or assembled, this we will have to guess on. There really would be no reason to send it in pieces as the parts were so small assembly of the butt before installing on the knife would make perfect sense. And as Camillus does not list the single pieces like they list single washers we could make an educated guess that the butt assemblies came in one piece ready to install. Once in place the butt assembly was peened in place on the exposed soft tang section. Camillus referís to this as a "riveted" handle so if you see that reference in the future do not mistake it for a pin or actual part of some sort. Peening and riveting in this case are interchangeable.
Now the later pieces. A sample was sent to Ordnance on 4/17/53 under cover of Invoice # ORD-19-058-53-189 for inspection. Slight changes in drawings were made and noted 4/17/53, this for the actual dies and alignment gages being used not specs on the M4 itself. The blade steel remained the same size and composition. The washers were again purchased from Simplex but now in three sizes. One #11 and one #8 washers were used with 33 #3 washers. Why the change is not explained, perhaps with the elimination of the plastic spacers larger washers were needed. The butt and the guard were purchased from L.C. Smith Co. famous for their shotguns. The new style guard was used as specified in the Springfield Armory redesign for strength improvement. The parts from L.C. Smith were provided to Camillus Parkerized and ready to install. The stamping was the same being U.S. M4 / Camillus but lacked the Ordnance Bomb. The pommels can be noted with an X on them. This is apparently the code for L.C. Smith much like the WW II pieces used the intertwined SP for Standard Products Inc. These are believed to be the last leather handled M4 bayonets produced.
Now for another tidbit of information. On the rear of the 1953 Camillus record card is a one line reference to M4's being made in 1955. On 1/9/55 Camillus supplied 298,691 pieces to a company named Turner! Could it be? A quick check with Gary Cunninghamís book, American Military Bayonets of the 20th Century, and it completes the circle. Gary states "Turner received a contract for 298,691 M4 Bayonets in 1954, believed to be the first contract of the second production period." So we find, again from our good friend Tom Williams of Camillus, that Camillus Cutlery Co. supplied the blades only for the TMN marked M4 bayonets. We noted on our two examples that the pommels had a small dot on the pommel. Perhaps a marking of some sort but not the X as on the L.C. Smith supplied pommels. Now who supplied these pommels or did Turner produce them?
M1917 Bayonet Scabbards and the USMC
In looking at photos of Marines in WW II we continuously see examples of the M1917 bayonet scabbard with the M1905 bayonet in it or mounted on a rifle. This leads us to believe that this may have been a standard in the USMC or at least a limited standard in any case. This leaves us somewhat perplexed as to the who, what , where, why and how this was instituted. Well a letter just turned up that might explain some of it. In a letter dated 17 March 1941 from the Regimental Quartermaster of the 2d Marines 2d Marine Division to the Quartermaster General at Hq. states "1. This office has received from time to time and number of bayonet scabbards issued..... that are foreign to any on hand locally. Men of long service do not recognize this scabbard. ... the scabbard bears a mark of (GF) on the metal parts.
2. Information is requested as to the proper nomenclature and unit price of the scabbard described."
The follow up of the letter went back to the Great Lakes Marine Barracks, Naval Training Station to see where these scabbards came from and what they were. In the reply we find and answer of sorts.
"2. The nomenclature as shown on the invoice mentioned in paragraph 1 is Scabbard, Bayonet, M-1917. The unit price is one dollar and sixty five cents ($1.65). These scabbards were inadvertently taken up on the property account, this barracks, as Scabbards, Bayonet, M-1910, and are being issued by this nomenclature."
So here we see that the M1917 scabbard was being issued to men under the M1910 designation due to a type or clerical error. Once discovered they didnít know what they were but they did work. Several other letters were exchanged to right the paper work and enter into form 782 to represent the correct issue but the scabbards themselves were to be continued as issue, using the proper nomenclature, until exhausted. So prior to entry into WW II many men were issued the M1917 scabbard. This also coincides with the Army issue of the M3 scabbards. When the Army cast off the M1917 as obsolete do you suppose the Marines inherited them?
M1917 Scabbards, M1905 Bayonets and Marines in training 1942
While visiting the recent Forks of the Delaware Gun Show in Allentown Pa. we had the pleasure of spending some time behind the table with our good friends Stan Tranquillo and Kerry Gordon. Stan had brought a special piece for us to view, a recent find of his, a Hotpoint marked T2 bayonet. Talk about rare, perhaps a handful are known to still exist. Developed during WW II as a replacement for the M1 bayonet the T2 was produced from stampingís to speed up the production capabilities. Several variations were produced, slab sides, fullered, double edged, and short false edges just to name a few. Tested by the Army and the Marine Corps the T2 was never adopted as the benefits were not enough to cancel the M1 program. Holding a footnote in WW II bayonet history these items are a pleasure to behold and handle. Indeed a rare survivor.
T2 Hotpoint bayonet with experimental stamped sheet metal scabbard
M7 BA Inc.
Another M7 BA Inc. scabbard was shown to us while attending the above show. Recently purchased with a typical M1 bayonet by Kerry we had forgotten all about them. Listed as Mystery Knife #5 this one is still unexplained. The throat markings and the color of the body are very different then the typical M7 scabbard. Also having the DAS marking with number below is a significant feature. We are still looking for an answer on these. We do know the B.A. Inc. is Beckwith - Arden Incorporated, the post war company name of the WW II supplier simply known as Beckwith Manufacturing Co. We find the new company name assigned to a patent filed July 7, 1964 for a new scabbard throat design. How long before this date B.A. Inc existed we do not know. This patent is for the M8 style throat not the M7 discussed above.
M7, B.A. Inc. scabbard. Tell us about it?
Updated December 2002
Before We Begin
For those of you who may have sent us an e-mail and not heard back from us please re-send it. We have experienced a massive hard drive failure that wiped out all e-mail and volumes of past correspondence which had been accumulated over several years. All e-mail addresses we had are gone. Thankfully we were storing all articles, manuscripts, and photos on a D: drive as well as a back-up CD ROM. Never did think to back up the e-mail folders.
Those of you who wish to be placed back on the update list please send us a note to include you on the new lists. We send out an e-mail once a month to notify you when the site was updated, your address will never be sold or revealed to others who may want to sell you things. We compile several lists to avoid sending your address to hundreds of folks. Every precaution is taken to keep your privacy.
In any event we must plead for forgiveness if you have felt ignored or slighted in the past few weeks, not bad manners, just bad technology.
Send Guns! Send Bowies!
-a Confederate Telegram
By Mark Zalesky
I haven't seen a great deal of original Confederate bowie-related paper, but here's a piece I was lucky enough to acquire a couple of years ago.
The item in question is a telegram to a Col. French from Brigadier General Charles G. Dahlgren of the 3rd Mississippi Infantry (not to be confused with that OTHER Dahlgren). At that time Dahlgren was in the process of organizing the 3rd Mississippi's nine companies at Pass Christian, Mississippi. Pass Christian is located about midway between New Orleans and Mobile on the Gulf of Mexico, then a town of about 6000.
On August 29, 1861, Dahlgren notified Col. French by wire:
I have no guns send them. Have bowie knif [sic] put on, Cook in Orleans can do it.
Click on thumbnail for full size scan
"Cook" refers to New Orleans' Cook & Brother, noted supplier of cutlasses, bayonets, rifles and carbines to the Confederate cause. Ferdinand and Francis Cook's factory at #1 Canal Street was established in June, 1861 but vacated on April 1, 1862 due to the city's impending fall to Union forces. The factory was moved lock, stock, and barrel (literally) to Athens,
Georgia, where it operated until the summer of 1864.
I know of no bowie knives attributed to Cook & Brother; perhaps Dahlgren's telegram refers to the large saber bayonets the firm was producing. Though
Albaugh states in Confederate Arms that, "While in New Orleans, the Cook arms were made entirely for the state of Alabama," the possibility does exist that the fabled firm made a few bowie bayonets for a Mississippi infantry unit! [If you own one, I hope that I've just made your day...]
Thanks Mark, that is a fascinating piece of paper and a great history to go
with it! How about you, do any of the faithful readers out there have a letter
or document they can share with us?
The Color of Knives
In a recent exchange of e-mails with fellow collector and good friend John Fischer the topic moved to the Mark 2 knives with the so-called "blue-wash" finish. It is a recognized term used to describe the knives and the finish they have on the blade but it is not accurate. It gives one the impression of the knives having a quick bluing process applied to them and that is not the case at all. The Navy specification, NAVORD OS2997, dated 13 November 1943 called for blades to be "Parkerized or Bonderized or treated in such a manner as to produce a dull, non-reflecting surface." The blades we call "blue-washed" are actually blades which underwent the Bonderization process, not the typical Parkerization we are much more familiar with. The little known process to Bonderize is a zinc phosphate treatment designed to enhance the anti corrosion performance. It differs from the typical phosphate process only in the ingredients used. Both are to prevent corrosion yet have different appearances. With the zinc process the blades are of a much lighter color gray but not as light as the much heavier zinc treatment known as galvanizing. The specification didnít last long. The Navy updated the specification on 30 May 1944 to eliminate the wording "or Bonderize or treated" for an as yet undiscovered reason. We venture to guess that zinc, being a precious commodity, was not to be used for this low rated purpose when Parkerizing would do the job nicely and leave the zinc for other more important uses. An educated guess but a guess just the same. While on the subject we want to restate the fact that many outside influences affect the coloring process of Parkerizing. Bath temperature, steel temperature, solution mix rates, number of times used, amount of grease or oil on the knife prior to introduction to the bath, amount of ferrous material in the bath solution and many other factors produce different colors. That alone should never be the sole basis for judging a knife as original. It is a very good indicator of originality but not the only one to use. We have seen many knives we would judge as original yet the coloring was "off" from what we would expect as the normal for that genre. Although it is a minor point we thought it would help in the actual identification process and as we have never seen the Bonderization process written about it was an overdue subject whose time had come. Isnít that what knife knotes is all about anyway?
We hear of the recent stoke of Ernie Modlin.
If anyone wants to send cards, mail them to:
1712 Ruthland Ave
Manhatton Beach CA 90266-7132
and Shirley will make sure he gets them.
We ask everyone to send a card to the great knife collector Ernie. Get Well soon buddy!
M2 Paratrooper Knives
Being well aware of the M2 knife and its history with the paratroopers we continuously field questions on the different varieties found. Certain knives we can be sure of being G.I. issue while others have the look and feel of one but to this day we lack the written documentation. There are certain knives we can be sure of getting questions on during the month and the M2 is usually one of them. The typical e-mail is along the lines of "was the hook blade official?" "was plastic used?" or "my knife has stamped sheet metal handles, was it a WW II issue knife?" and to most of these requests for additional information we have to answer "We donít know." Shown in many books and articles over the years we have yet to stumble onto any definite documentation on the many variations used. We have recently found a document that names the Geo. Schrade Cutlery Company as a provider to the government during World War Two. Documentation to the fact that we had assumed all along but many others had refuted. That argument is settled but many others still exist. Much of the confusion on these knives was originated in the Army itself. Originally procured outside the normal channels by an individual purchasing them from a retail hardware store started the ball rolling. After testing and approval for official procurement was made the items were assigned to the Ordnance Department. Another wrong turn, knives, specifically pocket knives were the domain of the Quartermaster Department. Knives were to be procured by QMD and distributed to and stored by Ordnance. This was first detected as a problem in early 1941 after the original approval was printed and released. The change was quickly made to move the items to QMD where they belonged on 7 February 1941. That is pretty much the last we see of them in the well-arranged Ordnance files. After which many of the files seem to scatter over differing procurement districts, or so we suspect. Perhaps they just donít exist anymore at all. With neither companies records available to search for clues it compounds the issue. Thatís a whole lot of words to use beating around the bush asking for any additional information anyone may have. Any and all documents on the M2 would be greatly appreciated. We could then say with authority what knives are issue and which knives are pre or post war civilian commercial production. While on the subject we see that a new M2 reproduction is in the works for the re-enacting crowd. We hope this endeavor works out but just how will be a mystery. How does one import these knives or send them through the mail is the mystery. Either way be on the lookout for them. They look good but do have their own distinctive look which should set them apart from the originals. We all know that some unsuspecting individual will get burned by some unscrupulous seller but that we can not avoid. Forewarned is forearmed so now you know.
Click on thumbnail for full size photo of this repro
From our faithful correspondent Peter White in Great Britain we hear:
The new weapon law has recently been carried through in Germany to come
into effect on the 1st April 2003. Though largely aimed at firearms and
ammunition there are knife restrictions.
The following will be banned:
front opening spring knives
In relation to side opening spring knives the maximum blade length of 8.5cm will remain. However the blade width must be 20% of the blade length (it was previously 14%). This means that new dies would have to be made for some current spring knife patterns. (I suspect that the government is hoping the manufacturers will not feel it is worth the bother!).
Thought this might be of interest to you and fellow colonists!!
Thank You Peter, it is indeed of interest.
Little is written about these prototypes but they continue to hold a fascination with many. The T8 is the first knife bayonet designed for the M1 Carbine. The T8E1 is the culmination of that project as a knife-bayonet that was standardized as the final M4 product. The difference was in the pommel. The T8 had one spring clip catch as a retaining device while the T8E1 had the now well known dual retainers. A few T8 bayonets are in collections around the country and are very rare. Developed by the Imperial Knife Company in accordance to Ordnance specifications the M3 Trench Knife was modified into the M4. Prior to these the Carbine bayonet was planned to be a clamp on affair much like the grenade launcher with a wing-nut locking device. As an additional development the forward band on the carbine stock needed to be redesigned to accommodate the bayonet stud. While we have seen numerous photos of the M4 bayonet in World War Two, photos of the Carbine with the front band are as rare as henís teeth. We have observed photos from the Pacific Theatre but none in the European Theatre prior to warís end. Would love to see one if you know of one!
As reported to us by good friend Carter Rila we need be on the lookout for e-mails that look like they came from ebay. If you receive an e-mail directing you to a web page that looks to be an official page with ebay header and similar lay out and are asked to enter your used name and password for confirmation donít do it. It is a recent scam to rob your identity and use your account. For more detailed information go to: http://www.msnbc.com/news/837882.asp
While searching through the Navy Bureau of Ordnance S79-4 files at the National Archives the other day we came upon a telegram that bears repeating here:
From: 12th Construction Battalion X DIS260232
Request shipment of 80 38 Cal Revolvers X Five hundred bayonets to be used with rifles point 30 M1903 X Expedite shipment to pier 41 NSD Seattle Washington X 500 bayonets received were M1905 instead of M1903 X
That one made us chuckle a bit! A few pages later we see the response:
URDIS 260232 X M/1905 bayonets are used with M/1903 rifles X There are no M1903 bayonets X
We wonder how long it took someone in supply to figure that one out!! It would have been funny if they sent Rod bayonets!
Click on thumbnail for full size scan
Machetes for PT Boats
A one page memo dated November 18, 1942 recently found requests machetes. The
memo was from the Chief of the Navy Bureau of Ordnance to the Supply Officer in
Command, Naval Supply Depot Oakland Ca. In affect it states: "It is
requested that fifty (50) machetes be added to the equipment for each PT Boat
Base now assembled or subsequently assembled at Advance Base Depots."
We can only wonder why such a decision was made but it was made. So each PT Boat Base for the duration of the war would receive 50 machetes. It is not specified which type but in late 1942 it could have been the USN Mark 1.
Marines Falling from the Sky??
Here we see our good friend and world traveling bayonet salesman in a far away place. Getting a little old for that kid stuff arenít we. Guess which one should not be jumping out of airplanes!
Click on thumbnail for full size photo
Get Well Soon Homer!!
We hear from our good friend Barry Brown that Rock Island Arsenal issued a PO in the beginning of November 2002 for an additional 4500 bayonets from Lan-Cay. This is now the 4th year of the 5 year, split contract between Lan-Cay and Ontario to produce the M9 bayonet for the Army. The contract calls for 4500 bayonets to be produced at a rate of 500 per week. This contract allotment should be finished in January. The bayonets being produced are the typical green G.I. version familiar to most of you. Nothing Desert Tan yet, at least not to our knowledge!
We saw the advertisement but have not seen the bayonets yet. A quick call to Ontario for information did not get us far. The two people spoken to didnít even know the ad was running yet and were being somewhat quiet about it. We do not find fault with that, it was a prudent business practice on the employeeís part not to reveal any information on new product. Anyway, there are now three new bayonets made to stick on the end of your M-16 or AR-15 from Ontario Knife Company. The OKC 1 FT (Frank Trzaska??) Ultra is of a tanto type blade, the OKC 3 Ultra is of a bowie type blade and the OKC 6 Ultra is of the USMC Fighting / Utility type blade but stretched to 8 inches in length. Check out the handles in the photo, remind you of anything?? The three styles will be available in two differing types of steel. Diamond Steel is a proprietary mixture used by Ontario while the carbon steel models will be of the typical 1095 type. Prices are stated at Diamond Steel model $197.78 while the Carbon steel editions will list at $123.70. That makes 6 new bayonets on the market. With the Marines currently searching for replacement bayonets for their old M7ís are these the models submitted by Ontario? You be the judge.
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The M5 Bayonet
We stated last month that Camillus made the blades for TMN to put together their version of the M4. In further research we find that Camillus also worked with another unknown manufacturer but this time on the M5 bayonet. The M5ís made by J&D Tool were heat-treated, straightened and ground by none other the Camillus Cutlery Co. It is noted on the factory work cards that the punched blades were supplied to Camillus by J&D Tool for the work, after which Camillus, returned the product to J&D for assembly into the M5. The date for all this, 8/24/55. Unfortunately the total numbers were not recorded on the work card for us to see. That is a number we would love to find. The cutlery world is a small world but we still wouldnít want to paint it!
The M6 Bayonet
This is just too much. Continuing the search we find that Camillus made blades for the M6 bayonet also! From 4/12/60 to 5/21/61 Camillus supplied to Aerial Cutlery Company 271,700 blades for the M6 bayonet. The blades were made from .190 X 7/8" Hot Rolled Strip Steel according to drawing number 7267650 produced below for your viewing pleasure. The operations included:
2. Press Straighten
3. Shave shoulder and Butt
4. Hollow Mill
5. Drill 5 Holes
7. Ream 3 holes in drill press
9. Tumble in Sawdust
10. Straighten Blades
13. Grind Back
14. Flat Grind
15. Sabre Grind
16. Hand Grind
17. Glaze & Compound
18. Inspect Product
19. Pack and Ship
So we can see it included soup to nuts in the blade production portion of the bayonet. Makes one wonder if they also had anything to do with the rare AN marked M6 bayonets. Further research is ongoing in the archives. Thanks again to our good friend Tom Williams for digging out these marvelous tidbits of info.
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While searching through the library we pulled a few old magazines from the stacks to look for advertisements of knives. There werenít a lot of them but some were pretty good. Below we feature an ad by Anderson of Glendale Ca. Note the hilt section knives were being offered along with the fish knives. These hilts sections are like the ones recently discovered in California from the remaining Anderson stash at the old homestead. Likewise it features the mostly unknown fish knives Anderson sold postwar. This is from an old Outdoor Life magazine dated May 1947. So we can see Anderson was still active sometime after the war, the final days are still open for debate and discovery.
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United Machine Tool
Another ad we found in the search was this one for the Giant Jack Knife. This is the only ad for United we are aware of and it holds a potentially good clue. They state 60,000 knives were made for Air Force survival kits. Does this mean they only contracted through the Army Air Force and not the Navy? Is that number, 60,000 accurate? We have never seen another number to refute it so it is plausible. Either way it is a great ad. Found in a Field and Stream magazine dated August 1946. Love those prices too!
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We received this want ad and thought it was interesting. As we know most small shops did not place any markings on the knives that they produced, as it was illegal to make these items during the war. The War Production Board had a strict enforcement policy on the use of steel during the war and most folks did not want to get hit with a fine or possibly jail time hence the knives were unmarked. We would love to see or identify the one.
Wanted: Information regarding WW 2 knives made at or by, the Draper Company
in Hopedale, MA. These were made at their machine shop and were provided to
local men who were entering the armed forces during the WW2 period.
I was personal friends with one of the employees who made them - his name was Reno Guglielmi, now deceased. Reno told me about making quite a number of these knives, but unfortunately he never kept one for himself, nor did he have any photos. They were not marked, as far as I know. They were also supplied with sheaths made from leather shop belts at Draper. Any and all info will be greatly appreciated. I keep in contact with his family and they are very interested in any info, photos, etc., that may be available.
If you have any information on these please let us know. Thanks in advance.
The Best of Cole
We hear that the newest edition of the marvelous Cole books will be hitting the docks on or about 12/09/02. This is not really a new book but a compilation of his works from books III and IV. Mike Silvey worked on piecing the pages together to fit one volume without much over lap. Many items were left out of the new book for space reasons also. We are sad to say all the mistakes are still in there but very glad to have a book in print as opposed to no book at all. We worked with Mike on the pieces to be included, and those, which were left out. While we could not satisfy all requirements we tried to include the most important which would produce a book collectors could use. For those who are advanced in collecting and want all they can get, stick with book III and IV, if you can find one, for those new to the field or just expanding you will want to pick up the new one. As soon as we receive a copy it will be written up here for all to see, the good parts and the bad. We take our hats off to IDSA as they didnít really have to reprint either of the books, they arenít really big sellers to begin with. In fact we donít believe book IV ever went into a second printing through all the years it was around. That is hard to believe for a book that regularly brings in $150.00 or more in the secondary market today.
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Another item we receive a large number of questions on is the Western Cutlery Company. So here we post a copy of the 1945 Western Cutlery Co. single page catalog of the knives made during World War Two. Not much information here but it shows a great sample of the cutlery the company produced. Just for your viewing pleasure and a place we can refer future inquiries to.
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Machete, Weapon of Choice?
Well at least it seems to be in the backwater, 13th Century like, country of Nigeria. Perhaps we should be grateful, it could be nuclear weapons, yeah right. The "Religion of Peace" once again rises to the occasion, a chance to kill Christians, with a vengeance. Our problem isnít with Nigerians killing Nigerians, it is with all the bad press the machete is receiving from it. It couldnít be a group of mentally sick individuals who created this problem so it must be the machetes, yeah thatís the ticket. How long do you suppose it will be until we see calls for restrictions on machete sales? We have a better thought, how about we purchase a few thousand, take them over there and sell them cheap! Now that sounds like a plan. We guess we should count our blessings that the religious majority in this country doesnít cut out your insides based on the written word they donít agree with, we would personally be in big trouble here!
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