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Original U.S. WWII US Army “Presentation” British Second Pattern Fairbairn-Sykes Fighting Knife by Wilkinson with Sheath - Presented to Lt. Col. Oakley Beland, 30th Infantry Division

Regular price $2,495.00

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Item Description

Original Item: Only One Available. This is one of the rarer versions of the Fairbairn-Sykes fighting knives. Featuring a blackened brass handle and etched blade, making this an even more attractive offering. The blade ricasso has a lovely WILKINSON SWORD CO / LONDON marking with nearly all details still retained. The blade is etched with the name of LT. COL. OAKLEY B. BELAND in a scroll which retains all details. After a quick search we found that Beland was the 2nd Battalion Commander of the 120th Infantry Regiment serving under the command of the 30th Infantry Division. It isn’t very often that we come across a Fairbairn-Sykes knife that is named etched/engraved, making this a rare and fantastic research opportunity.

Condition of the knife is very good, still with a sharp edge, however it definitely shows use and minor sharpening. The handle has much of the original blackening retained with just a few areas showing bare brass. The crossguard is still tight to the handle and is unmarked. For more information on the 2nd pattern knife variations, please see this website: Standard P-2 Fairbairn-Sykes Knives.

Scabbard is in used condition, with a lovely patina of age. The belt loop has broken and completely missing. The reinforced tongue is missing the extra leather piece at the top entirely.

A very nice service used example of a rare knife that would fit well into any British WW2 collection.

Blade Length: 6 3/8”
Handle Length: 4 3/4”
Total Length: 11 1/4”
Crossguard: 1 7/8"
Scabbard Length: 13”

History of the FS British Commando Dagger:
The demand for a good fighting knife was so very urgent that a meeting was arranged in November 1940 between W. E. Fairbairn, E. A. Sykes and Jack Wilkinson Latham at Wilkinson Sword Company.

Fairbairn and Sykes described the type of knife they envisioned and the purpose for which it was intended. As discussion continued, preliminary sketches were drawn up and modified time and time again.

As Robert Wilkinson Latham tells it: 'In order to explain exactly their point, the two men rose to their feet and one, it was Fairbairn my grandfather mentioned, grabbed the wood ruler from his desk and the two men danced around the office in mock combat'.

The very first 1st Pattern F-S Fighting Knives were made in November 1940. In January 1941, the full war full production started, according to Robert Wilkinson Latham.

The grip was made from solid brass and cut by 16 lines per inch in a diamond pattern. The grip and hand guard were nickel plated. The hand guard was curved to S-shape.

The blade was grounded by hand. For this reason it is difficult to find two blades of exactly the same size and shape. This model was produced in very limited numbers.
The very first 1st Pattern Wilkinson Sword F-S knives were ordered the 14th of November 1940. Order 294 mentions 500 'RBD and Commercial knives' but possibly less. They were called in this way in the order to disguise the actual type of knife.

The 1st Pattern was delivered from November 1940 until April 1941. 17th of December 1940 5000 "hunting knives" were ordered. This order concerned the first 1st Pattern knives. Price for each was 13 s 6d. All together 6 779 - 1st pattern were made according to Robert Wilkinson Latham.

In 1941 to speed production, the design was simplified and it was called the 'New Pattern' in Wilkinson Sword Contract Book and Pall Mall Works Orders, which is now called the 2nd Pattern. The blade was still drop forged and hand ground, but without special square ricasso. The hand guard was no longer curved, though otherwise the grip remained the same. This pattern was made between 12th of August 1941 until the end of 1943.

Originally, these were nickel-plated as the First pattern knives had been, but as production increased, the blade was left bright steel, and the grip was instead blackened. After 6th of February 1943, the blade was also finished black, so the entire knife was now black.

Markings were also minimized to reduce production time, so often the only markings would be the broad arrow proof on the grip.

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