Original U.S. WWII KA-BAR with Personalized Vietnam War USMC Scabbard
Original Item: This is a great example of a WWII KA-BAR fighting knife with a leather belt scabbard. Overall length of this knife is 12 inches, with a 7 inch clip-point blade. The markings on the hand guard are as follows;
The original leather scabbard is marked on both sides. The front side reads:
The reverse side reads:
March 66 - Jan 67
2nd Battalion, 5th Marines: In April 1966, the Battalion deployed to the Republic of Vietnam and served there until 1971. During this time, 2nd Battalion, 5th Marines participated in combat operations at Huế, Quế Sơn, Phu Bai, Đông Hà and Phú Lộc. Immediately after their return to Camp Pendleton in 1971, the Battalion joined Operation New Arrivals, the relocation of Southeast Asian refugees to the United States.
The Mk2 Knife was developed as an improvement over the Mk1 design, which had issues with blade snapping due to the thinner design. Working with Union Cutlery, USMC Colonel John M. Davis and Major Howard E. America contributed several important changes, including a longer, stronger blade, the introduction of a small fuller to lighten the blade, a peened pommel (later replaced by a pinned pommel), a straight (later, slightly curved) steel crossguard, and a stacked leather handle for better grip. The knife was officially known as the 1219C2, but it was commonly called the "Ka-Bar" after the trademark of Union Cutlery that was on the blades of early examples. The first production order went out to Camillus Cutlery Company, who produced the largest number of knives during WW2. The design was subsequently adopted by the Navy as the US Navy Utility Knife, Mark 2, and the USMC adopted it as the USMC Mark 2 Combat Knife, or simply the Knife, Fighting Utility.
In 1944, the US Navy put through a change order to have the markings moved from the blade to the cross guard, so this knife was produced after that change. The cross guard is also curved, like all later-issue knives. It features original leather washer grip, which is in great shape with no cracks or splitting. It also does not have much wear, indicating this knife did not see much use. Over 80% of the original blade finish is still present, and it has a heavy steel pommel with cross pinned tang. The blade is in great shape, and is still sharp, with only a bit of evidence of being sharpened after issue. No nicks or dents, with just a bit of light corrosion on the edge.
The leather scabbard is in excellent condition, and has aged to a wonderful chestnut brown color. All stitching and rivets are intact, and the snap still works. No major damage to leather, making this an excellent period example.
A great example of an exceptionally hard to find USN-marked "KA-BAR" knife, in excellent condition. No knife collection is complete without an example of a "Ka-bar".
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