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Gunsil wrote:PvtRossi, here is a WW2 era Camillus utility knife made for the army. The USA on the shield is for US Army. These and ones by other companies were what preceded the all metal MIL-K knives. These would have been general issue knives, that is not made for specific units like the Ulster mountain troop knives. On the Robesons Charlie shows the USA on the tang is for US Army.
Gunsil wrote:Both knives you show would be classified as FARB, they were both made after WW2. No, the government did not just go out and buy a lot of pocket knives from all over and distribute them to troops. The government contracted with most but not all major American cutlery companies for specific knives. NONE of the issue utility knives had synthetic scales, you need a bone handled one with USA marks to be considered properly suited for re-enactment. If you can't afford books there are libraries, perhaps you should try going to your closest one. Libraries can get any book you wish for study. I should think other re-enactors in your group would also know which knives were actually available to troops in WW2.
Old Hunter wrote:Go look at this thread - PX knives were non-issue knives ordered for stock in the PX and sold to Soldiers - good likelihood that your average Grunt or Doggie would have one of these if not carrying an issue pocketknife. I don’t think that has changed since WW-II; most Soldiers still carry a knife that they bought - everything from customs to cheap imports. OH
Mumbleypeg wrote:I think you were on the right track with the knives in your initial post. The most common pattern having a can opener and bottle opener (cap lifter) is the scout/utility pattern. Also sometimes called a camper pattern. It was adopted as an official knife of the Boy Scouts of America around 1912. Unofficial scout/utility knives were made by almost every American knife maker (or they had them made for them with their name stamped on them, by Camillus and others). Here’s a thread dedicated to the pattern, containing both official and unofficial versions. viewtopic.php?f=35&t=12874#p103392
Of soldiers carrying “civilian” knives, many undoubtedly had one of these. If a civilian knife with can opener and botttke opener fits your needs, find a scout/utility knife from pre-1944 and you’ll be all set. JMO
orvet wrote:This topic reminds me of a conversation I had with the late Tom Williams; he was the official historian of Camillus Cutlery as well as a 30-year employee.
Tom told me once that at the beginning of World War II the military was not prepared with knives for issue. He said we at Camilla and most Cutlery companies in America shipped just about every hunting knife we had to the military. They issued many of these fixed blade hunting knives to Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Marines. There was even a civilian knife drive where are the civilian population of the United States donated knives to the military to be issued to soldiers. I believe that included both fixed blade and folding knives.
My conversation with Tom, focused primarily on fixed blade hunting knives but I expect the military probably bought knives that had originally been made for the civilian Market and issued them to the Troops. They may have not been official military patterns but they where in all likelihood issued or given to the Troops.
As far as a period correct knife for your reenactment purposes goes, most any knife made prior to the start of the war potentially could have ended up in the hands of the troops. Do if the knife was made prior to 1941 I would think it would be right for your reenactment as this could have been a knife used by the greatest generation.
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