Original Post-Vietnam War Era Rare Randall Knife Model 1 “Tom Clinton Special” Limited Edition Vietnam Veteran Knife - #73 of 100 Made
Original Item: One-Of-A-Kind. Now this is truly an unbelievable knife! The Vietnam Veteran Model # 1 was put together by long-time Randall Knife Dealer Tom Clinton in 1987 and limited to only 100 knives made. This knife is number 73 of those original 100 made.
The knife has an 8″ stainless steel blade that is etched VIETNAM VETERAN with the typical RANDALL MADE / ORLANDO FL on the opposite side. The knife is fitted with a double nickel silver hilt which has red, white and blue spacers separating it from the handle. The white spacers are now faded to almost the same yellow as the handle. The handle is made of Yellow Westinghouse micarta and is fitted with a parachute cord wrist thong. The handle was scrimshawed and signed by Ron Skaggs on both sides. The left side features VIETNAM VETERAN in the Vietnamese style script, while the other side shows a black Vietnamese Dragon behind bamboo. The dragon is very similar to the one found on the 1954-55 Vietnamese State Coat of Arms. Below the bamboo you will find R.E. SKAGGS. Each knife was serial numbered under the dragon and this knife is number #73 of 100 made. The sheath is a Randall Made smoothback which houses a salmon colored stone. The reverse of the belt loop the following stamped:
This is truly a spectacular example of these limited edition knives. Rarely these come up for sale and you do now want to miss your chance on this one! Comes more than ready for display.
Blade Length: 8"
Blade Style: Single Edge Drop Point
Overall length: 12 ¾”
Crossguard: 2 ¾”
Scabbard Length: 12" with Belt Loop
Randall Model 1:
World War II production Randall Model 1 "All Purpose Fighter", the knife that really put Bo Randall's knives on the map. The first Model 1 was manufactured on a custom basis for Lt. J.H. Zacharias of the US Army. Lt. Zacharias apparently approached Randall about a custom fighting knife that Randall felt would have been too large and unwieldy in practice. The Model 1 was Randall's "practical" execution of Zacharias' request. According to several sources, the entry line for the June 1942 order in Randall's book reads: "1 Special made, Swedish steel Jap Sticker for Lt. J.H. Zacharias." As the well-worn phrase goes, "the rest is history". The knife is marked on the reverse ricasso: RANDALL MADE / SPFLD, MASS, flanked by Randall's trademark scimitars. This marking makes this knife what collectors have long referred to as a "Springfield Randall". The story of this association is still shrouded in some controversy and contradictory information, but the basic story is as follows.
The popularity of Randall's knives meant that as World War II proceeded, the requests for the knives started to outstrip Randall's production capacity. In mid-1943 W.F. Larsen approached Bo Randall about having the knives produced on a licensed basis by a cutlery company in Massachusetts. Larsen proposed to have the knife manufactured to Randall's specifications, but on a mass production basis. In return for the right to manufacture the knives, Larsen would pay Randall a $0.50 per knife royalty. Larsen apparently arranged production with the Northampton Cutlery Company of Northampton, MA; a cutlery manufacturing company located about twenty miles from Larsen's home in Springfield. After getting the facility up and running, it appears that Larsen had managed to have some 263 knives produced by October of 1943, as he sent Randall a royalty check for those knives in that month. Reports indicate that the number of Northampton knives produced by January of 1944. At this point the story become less consistent with various versions floating around. The general consensus is that as of August 1945, Randall received royalty payments for a total of 1,179 "Springfield" knives. Thus, it is generally believed that about 1,200 of the knives were manufactured in total. Some stories indicate that at some point in 1944 Larsen began assembling the knives at home in his basement, presumably from parts produced by Northampton. Collectors generally agree that 1) the "Springfield" Randall knives are nothing if not inconsistent in small features, and 2) there is a marked quality difference between the early production knives, thought to be the complete work of Northampton Cutlery and the later knives that were apparently finished by Larsen himself. Even Larsen's son recalls seeing his father placing leather washers on the hilts of knives that he was finishing in the family basement. Collectors have noted a definitive difference in the quality of the final blade finish, polish and grinding between Springfield marked knives, and attribute these lower quality knives to Larsen's work. In the end, while there is certainly some level of difference between the various Springfield marked Model 1 Randall Knives, all were apparently made during World War II, and most saw significant use during that war and conflicts that enveloped the United States over the next three decades.
The Model 1 was the original military style fighting knives that Bo Randall built his business on during the 1940s and 1950s. The knife featured a semi-clip pointed single edged blade that was nominally 8" in length, with a thick Randall curved brass cross guard and a leather washer grip with a moderate palm swell. The knives were very strong and durable, and were equally at home doing traditional cap duties as well as being used in combat, something that could not be said of many of the specialized US fighting knives of World War II, like the USMC Raider Stiletto of the Case V42.
The name Randall is one of the most iconic names in American knives. In the world of modern combat and fighting knives, the name is probably as revered as the name "Bowie" is among 19th century knives. Walter Doane Randall Jr. (better known simply as "Bo") first became interested in making handmade knives in 1936 after encountering a man using a handmade William Scagel knife. The quality of Scagel's work impressed Bo to the point that he set out to try and emulate the quality and to make knives of his own design. By 1938 his hobby of knife making had become a small business and on September 13, 1939 Randall trademarked his classic two-line Randall logo: RANDALL MADE / ORLANDO, FLA., flanked by a pair of scimitars. The following year, Randall Knives published their first catalog. The timing could not be more auspicious.
After the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941, the US found itself thrust into World War II, and without an official fighting knife in inventory. The only combat knives in storage were leftover US M1918 MK1 brass knuckle trench knives from World War I that had never been issued. As a result, many of the young men heading overseas to fight in North Africa, the European Theater and the Pacific Theater chose to take their own personally owned combat knives with them. Those familiar with Bo Randall's work often chose to take a Randall, like the Model 1 "All Purpose Fighter", the Model 2 "Fighting Stiletto" or the Model 3 "Hunter". Still more sent letters back to Orlando addressed simply to "Knife Man - Orlando, Florida" to request that Bo make a knife and send it to him in the theater of operations where he was serving. These men had seen other Randall knives in use and in combat and knew that Bo was making something special in Orlando. Demand grew to the point that a small number of knives were produced by the Northampton Cutlery Company of Springfield, MA on behalf of Randall and with his trademark "Randall Made" legend on the blade. Some of the more prominent US soldiers to carry Randall knives during WWII included General James Gavin of the 82nd Airborne, and Major Richard Ira Bong, America's top fighter ace in the Pacific Theater. In fact, one anecdote claims that an American war correspondent credited Bo Randall's knives with killing 384 enemy combatants.
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