Original U.S. Vietnam War US Marine Corps Named Gerber MkII Grouping With Cap, Insignia and Discharge Copy - Lcpl William Gross Purple Heart and Bronze Star W/ V Recipient

Item Description

Original Items: Only One Group Available. As far as legendary fighting knives go, there are a few that stand the test of time. The Ka-Bar, the Bowie knife, the Fairbairn-Sykes, and the often forgotten Gerber Mark II Combat Knife are all famed fighting knives. The Mark II was designed in 1966 and quickly became a popular choice with soldiers and Marines headed overseas. Particularly, the Mark II became a favorite with the MACV SOG teams that were the premier special operations unit in Vietnam.

A former Army Captain designed the Gerber Mark II. And he designed it not just to be a tool but a weapon. The Mark II has a 6.5-inch blade. That length allows the blade to strike something vital in the torso from almost any angle. The Mark II uses a dagger type design making it less of a slasher and more of a stabber. This dual-edged blade, with its dagger point, will penetrate deep and with ease.

During the Vietnam War, the first production run of this knife had a five degree offset between the blade and the grip in order to ride in the sheath more comfortably, and give the user a grip similar to that of a fencing foil. This design feature led to a significant number of knives being returned by users for having a "bent blade", so Gerber discontinued that element on subsequent production runs.

At 12.75 inches (32.39 cm) long it has a 6.5 inch (16.5 cm) 420 HHC stainless steel double edged spear point wasp-waisted blade, weighs 8 ounces, and has a die cast aluminum handle. It has a distinctive look similar to that of the Fairbairn-Sykes Fighting Knife developed during World War II for the British Commandos.

In the 1970s, the military's base/post exchanges discontinued selling these knives, reasoning that they were "not in good taste" or "too brutal". Al Mar, then working for Gerber as a knife designer, added the sawtooth serrations toward the hilt, marketing the knife as a "survival aid", making it more appealing to the PX System, which resumed selling the Mark II as a survival knife, rather than a fighting knife.

The knife is name engraved on the blade to William L. Gross / 2157864 USMC an 0311 (Rifleman) who served with the Force Logistic Support Group Alpha during the Vietnam War. LCpl Gross was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania on August 31, 1947 and enlisted in the Marine Corps on October 1, 1965. LCpl Gross served honorably for 6 years and left the service on September 30, 1971.

During his time in service he was awarded the following:
- National Defense Service Medal
- Vietnam Service Medal
- Vietnam Campaign Medal
- Combat Action Ribbon
- Purple Heart Medal
- Bronze Star Medal With “Combat V” For Valor
- Vietnamese Cross of Gallantry
- Rifle Sharpshooter Badge
- Pistol Expert Badge

Unfortunately we have not been able to locate the service information of LCpl Gross, but we do include the copy of his discharge paperwork, which lists his awards, unit served and other basic information.

Also included in this grouping is the following:
- Armed Forces of the United States ID Card: The ID card is faded but all information, including his picture is very visible and easy to read.

- Mitchell Camo Pattern 8-Point Cover: The cap is in a lovely field worn condition and features a lovely Eagle, Globe and Anchor on the front.

- Notched Dog Tags: The dog tags belonged to Gross and can still be read clearly.

Large Screw-Back EGA: The Eagle,Globe and Anchor is from a Service Alphas Green Visor and does have some black finish loss in areas.

5” x 3 ½” Color Photograph: The photo is of LCpl Gross shirtless sitting cross legged while smoking a cigarette and reading what appears to be a newspaper. This is a copy and not an original.

Gerber MkII Knife With Leather Sheath: The wear on both the knife and sheath are consistent with service wear and use, but are without damage. There is some paint loss on the cast aluminum crossguard and pommell, but no corrosion is present. The blade is without any significant damage and all engraving is deeply made and still easily read. The sheath exhibits minor wear and is free of damage. The sheath is correct to the knife and the belt loop is marked with Gerber. The sheath also has a pistol belt brass hook attachment at the top.

This is an incredible grouping attributed to a member of the world’s finest fighting force, the United States Marine Corps. The grouping comes more than ready for further research and display!

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