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UNITED STATES NAVY KABAR MARK II UTILITY/FIGHTING KNIFE – EARLY PATTERN BLUED BLADE, BLADE MARKED USN - ORIGINAL  SHEATH DECORATED WITH THE SAILOR’S NAME, SHIP NAME AND CAMPAIGN RECORD – VERY NICE IDENTIFIED SET:  One of the most evocative edged weapons of World War Two, these Mark II Knives conjure up vivid images of the brutal amphibious assaults and the ensuing individual level of combat endured during the war.  This early World War Two production Mark II Utility and Fighting Knife and Scabbard is in very good condition with many of the desirable features sought by collectors.     

This particular knife is accompanied by an unusual historical record of service, as the sheath is inscribed with the initials or first name of the sailor who carried it - “B O B”, his hometown – Dayton, Ohio,  the identification of his ship - “LST 140”, the date of his service – 1944; and the campaigns in which he participated – “N. AFRICA, SICILY, CORSICA, FRANCE, SARDINIA, ITALY”.   

LST-140 was commissioned in February of 1944, was deployed to the European, African and Middle East campaigns, and participated in the invasion of Southern France in August-September of 1944.  She was decommissioned, 5 January 1946, at Mobile, Alabama, having earned two battle stars in her short career.  For such a short life span, LST-140 (these ships were not named, numbered only) was on station for the duration of the war, providing the most necessary transport for troops and supplies alike – to include rail cars during the invasion of southern France.   

That a “brown water” sailor carried this knife is not particularly surprising.  The LST’s were designed to land their troops and cargo directly on hostile beaches and the sailors were equipped and prepared to defend themselves and the ship.  No doubt, this knife was his constant companion, hence his inspiration for documenting his service on the face of the scabbard.    

Manufactured by Union Cutlery Company, of Olean, New York for the United States Navy under the trade name “KABAR” and so marked respectively on each side of the blade, this knife features the blued blade which still retains at least 50% of the original finish.  The blue finish is present in the hollows and protected areas near the guard, having worn only on the high points where it wore against the leather scabbard or where the knife was sharpened.  The “USN” and “KABAR” stamps are very legible and clear, and the blade is full form, shows no sign of heavy sharpening, if any at all and the edge is smooth. The guard is full form with no wear or damage and still retains its blue finish.  The leather grip is in excellent condition having no chips or wear spots in the leather and retaining the sharp edges to the concentric rings.  The pommel cap is the large or wide edged pattern, still retains much of its original blued finish now turned plum in color, and is peened in place on the blade tang without the cross pin of the later model.    

In addition to the inscription, the scabbard is in very good condition, and is original to the knife, in full form with no breaks or tears, and the seam is intact.  The leather surface is smooth and live with no crazing or flaking, and shows just enough use to speak of having “been there” rather than having waited out the war on a shelf in a Navy Yard supply depot warehouse.  The retaining strap is intact with a functional brass snap closure.  The surface of the strap does have some crazing to the leather surface, but is otherwise strong and stable.   

This is very nice US Navy Mark II and as a complete set, particularly with the unique detailed World War Two campaign history that accompanies the set, will make a fine addition to your collection.  (0705)  $475

 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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