Original U.S. Marine Corps Mameluke Sword named to WWII Silver Star Medal Recipient Keigler E. Flake
Original Item: One-of-a-kind. This is an incredible WWII era USMC Mameluke Officer Sword Named to U.S. Marine Corps First Lieutenant Keigler E. Flake. It even still has the original leather sword knot! Lt. Flake's Silver Star Citation for actions during the WWII New Britain action can be found at this link. It reads:
The President of the United States of America takes pleasure in presenting the Silver Star to First Lieutenant Keigler E. Flake (MCSN: 0-15849), United States Marine Corps, for conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity while attached to the FIRST Marine Division during action against enemy Japanese forces on Cape Gloucester, New Britain, 3-4 January 1944. While in command of a self-propelled 75-mm. gun section, in support of the Third Battalion, Seventh Marines, First Lieutenant Flake fearlessly advanced with his weapon through deep jungle terrain to within 30 yards of a strongly defended hostile position and, skillfully firing at point-blank range, assisted in the destruction of the heavily fortified emplacement despite a constant, intense barrage of enemy machine-gun, rifle and mortar fire. First Lieutenant Flake's brilliant initiative, valiant fighting spirit and unwavering devotion to duty in the face of grave peril contributed to the success of our forces in that area, and his heroic action was in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service.
This WWII era USMC Officer's Mameluke sword with scabbard features handle grip scales that have yellowed with age but have no cracks or chips. Sword alone is approximately 37“ long overall and in scabbard is approximately 41“ overall. Blade is approximately 31" long, curved, and unsharpened. Blade is nickel-plated and has been etched on both sides with UNITED STATES MARINES and various other military motifs. The blade is also etched with the name K. E. Flake in Black Letter typeface on one side. Scabbard is is in great shape, with both of the original hanger rings, as well as the brass throat.
A fantastic USMC Mameluke Officer Sword named to a Silver Star recipient from the Pacific Campaign of WWII. Ready to display!
Marine Corps history states that a sword of this type was presented to Marine First Lieutenant Presley O'Bannon by the Ottoman Empire viceroy, Prince Hamet, on December 8, 1805, during the First Barbary War, in Libya, as a gesture of respect and praise for the Marines' actions at the Battle of Derna (1805). Upon his return to the United States, the state of Virginia presented him with a silver-hilted sword featuring an eaglehead hilt and a curved blade modeled after the original Mameluke sword given to him by Hamet. Its blade is inscribed with his name and a commemoration of the Battle of Tripoli Harbor.
Perhaps due to the Marines' distinguished record during this campaign, including the capture of the Tripolitan city of Derna after a long and dangerous desert march, Marine Corps Commandant Archibald Henderson adopted the Mameluke sword in 1825 for wear by Marine officers. After initial distribution in 1826, Mameluke swords have been worn except for the years 1859–1875 (when Marine officers were required to wear the U.S. Model 1850 Army foot officers' sword), and a brief period when swords were suspended during World War II. Since that time, Mameluke swords have been worn by Marine officers in a continuing tradition to the present day.
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