Original Rare U.S. WWII USMC Marine Raider "Gung Ho" Large Aluminum Handled Bowie Knife with Scabbard
Original items: Only One Available. Here we have an extremely rare piece of U.S. Marine Raider history! Originally designed in the design of the Marine Raider "Gung Ho" V-44 knife made by Collins, these were custom ordered and made in the Pacific theater during 1943 for the 1st Battalion, 21st Marines. These knives are truly impressive, with a huge blade and substantial cast aluminum handle, painted OD Green.
Per Evans C. Carlson, son of the famed Evans F. Carlson of the Carlson Raiders, who also served as a Platoon Commander under his father:
"the so-called "Gung Ho" knife [was] issued in the Battalion which I had Manufactured in New Zealand for personnel of the 1st Bn. 21st Marines, in the summer of 1943. The Blade was made of Australian carbon steel and the handle was die cast of aluminum alloy. The case was made by a manufacturer of sporting goods in Aukland. About 1,000 were produced. Most of these made it through the war or were sent home as souvenirs."
This example is in choice condition, with the huge 9 1/4 inch "Bowie" clip-point blade showing only light wear, and still having a great bright finish. There is very little staining at all, and the handle has almost all of the original painted finish, with just a bit of chipping and other wear. The leather scabbard is in good complete condition, and still has a functional snap on the retainer loop. It is made from very thick leather, far more sturdy than the somewhat flimsy scabbards that the V-44 knives were supplied with.
One of only 1000 made, this will make an incredible addition to any WWII Edged weapon or Pacific War collection. Included are printouts of relevant reference information. Ready to display!
Blade Length: 9 1/4"
Blade Width: 2 3/16" at Clip
Blade Style: Clip-point "Bowie" Style
Overall length: 14 1/4“
Crossguard: 4 3/8”
Scabbard Length: 10 1/4" with Belt Loop
The Marine Raiders were originally elite units established by the United States Marine Corps during World War II to conduct special amphibious light infantry warfare, particularly in landing in rubber boats and operating behind the lines. "Edson's" Raiders of 1st Marine Raiders Battalion and "Carlson's" Raiders of 2nd Marine Raiders Battalion are said to be the first United States special operations forces to form and see combat in World War II.
However, despite the original intent for Raiders to serve in a special operations capacity, most combat operations saw the Raiders employed as conventional infantry. This, combined with the resentment within the rest of the Marine Corps that the Raiders were an "elite force within an elite force", led to the eventual abandonment of the experiment.
Four Raider battalions served operationally but all were disbanded on 8 January 1944 when the Corps made the doctrinal decision that the Raiders had outlived their original mission. The changing nature of the war in the Pacific, with many large-scale amphibious assaults to come against well-defended islands, negated the requirements for small light units that could strike deep into enemy territory.
On 1 February 1944, the 1st Raider Regiment was redesignated the 4th Marine Regiment, thus assuming the lineage of the regiment that had garrisoned Shanghai in the interwar years and fought so gallantly on Bataan and Corregidor. The 1st, 3rd, and 4th Raider Battalions became respectively the 1st, 3rd, and 2nd Battalions of the 4th Marines. The 2nd Raider Battalion filled out the regimental weapons company. Personnel in the Raider Training Center transferred to the newly formed 5th Marine Division. Leavened with new men, the 4th Marines went on to earn additional distinctions in the assaults on Guam and Okinawa. At the close of the war, the regiment joined the occupation forces in Japan and participated in the release from POW compounds of the remaining members of the old 4th Marines.
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