Original Australian WWII Service Worn Royal Australian Air Force Pilot Survival Machete with Scabbard
Original Item: Only One Available. The Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) traces its history back to the Imperial Conference held in London in 1911, where it was decided aviation should be developed within the Armed Forces of the British Empire. Australia implemented this decision, the only country to do so, by approving the establishment of the Central Flying School (CFS) in 1912. The location for the proposed school was initially to be at Duntroon, Australian Capital Territory, but in July 1913 Point Cook, Victoria, was announced as the preferred location. The first flights by CFS aircraft took place there in March 1914.
The Australian Flying Corps (AFC) was formed as a Militia unit, with staff and students to be selected from the Citizen Forces. After an abortive deployment to German New Guinea at the end of 1914 as part of the Australian Naval and Military Expeditionary Force, it earned a most credible reputation in both Palestine and France during World War I as a part of the Australian Imperial Force (AIF). The Australian Flying Corps remained part of the Australian Army until 1919, when it was disbanded along with the AIF. Although the Central Flying School continued to operate at Point Cook, military flying virtually ceased until 1920, when the Australian Air Corps was formed. The Australian Air Force was formed on 31 March 1921. King George V approved the prefix "Royal" in June 1921 and it became effective on 31 August 1921. The RAAF then became the second Royal air arm to be formed in the British Commonwealth, following the British Royal Air Force.
The service was rapidly expanded during World War II and at its height, it was the fourth largest air force in the world, consisting of 53 squadrons based in the Pacific and a further 17 in Europe.
Like many other nations, the RAAF wasn’t any different when it came to pilot survival equipment such as jungle kits, knives and machetes. This example would have been apart of a survival kit or issued by itself. The machete has an almost billhook type tip and is not pointed like most knives and machetes.
The knife measures 12” overall with a 7 ¼” blade. The handle measures 4 1/2” and features an aluminum grip secured by brass rivets. This example is not marked on the handle, and the blade definitely shows period service wear and pitting oxidation, which most likely obliterated any markings if they were there. The handle is still solidly attached.
The leather scabbard is in good service used condition, now faded to a dark brown color from exposure and time. The leather tie straps on the top and bottom are still present, however the leather is delicate and cracked. The securing strap is present as well, with a functional snap. The top of the belt loop tongue is stamped with BONNEY & CLARK LTD MAKERS.
This is truly an attractive piece and is welcomed into any WWII Australian RAAF collections.
Blade length: 7 1/4”
Blade style: Rectangular Machete with Pointed Tip
Overall length: 12”
Scabbard length: 7" with belt loop
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