Original U.S. WWII M4 Bayonet by Rare Manufacturer Aerial Cutlery Company, Marinette, Wisconsin for the M1 Carbine with M8 Scabbard
Original Item: Only One Available. This is a very good condition genuine WWII U.S. Army M4 Carbine bayonet fighting knife, with an original M8A1 scabbard. Nicely marked U.S. M4 / AERIAL on the blade side of the hand guard, underneath on the blade side is the U.S. Ordnance "Flaming Bomb". The guard is the narrow version and not the post war wide version. The blade is in excellent condition, showing barely any use, and almost no sharpening after arsenal. The crossguard, handle, and pommel are all tight to the blade.
The Aerial Cutlery Company was founded in 1912 by Fred Jaeger, Sr., who had been working as a knife salesman based in Duluth, Minnesota. He bought a knife company located in Morris, Illinois and had the operation relocated to Duluth. The Aerial name was chosen to honor a Duluth landmark, the Aerial Bridge. It was a symbol for the "high ideals, lofty aspirations, and quality products" that he envisioned for his company.
In 1913 the company was moved to Marinette, Wisconsin. Aerial began as a knife and cutlery company with a large line of knives with pictures such as nature and wildlife scenes carved into their handles. The company was a major supplier to Sears Roebuck, and also made custom designed knives. In the 1920's, Aerial was actively involved in selling barber supplies including straight razors, shears, sharpening strops and hones. During the depression days of the 1930's, Aerial began distributing a variety of other goods to keep the company alive during some very lean years, selling radios, fishing equipment, jewelry and silverware as well as their cutlery line.
During World War II, Aerial did its part to support the war efforts by manufacturing pocketknives, bayonets and military trench knives. Thousands were produced by Aerial for the Armed Forces and Aerial was honored with the prestigious Army-Navy E Award for outstanding effort and contribution. Approximate number delivered by Aerial: 91,898, making them the company with the least known bayonets made for the war effort and a rather rare one to find!
The bayonet still has the original WWII issue leather washer grip. The pommel is held on by the correct peened over tang with the lovely “starburst” peen pattern on the end of the tang. The grip does not show much wear, just a bit of drying out from decades of storage. The pommel locking mechanism is fully functional and moves easily. An excellent example of a WWII M4 bayonet.
The original scabbard is marked, U.S. M8 / B.M. CO and in very good condition with no major defects to note, however, the bottom portion of the scabbard was snapped off and appears to be intentional to allow water and other moisture to drain from it. This is the earlier version of the scabbard with the retaining strap being added like most of the M8 scabbards. The canvas is very good, with a bit of wear, and the finish on the snaps on the frog has worn. The thermoplastic impregnated cotton fabric shell is excellent, with excellent paint, and the throat still has most of the original finish. The scabbard was manufactured by Beckwith Mfg Co. a division of Victory Plastics.
A very nice example of an early issue M4 bayonet from a rare maker, ready to add to your WWII edged weapon collection!
Blade length: 6 3/4”
Blade Style: Spear Point Knife
Overall length: 11 5/8”
Crossguard: 2 1/4”
Scabbard length: 7 3/8" with belt loop.
History of the M4 Knife Bayonet for the M1 Carbine:
After U.S. Army ordnance began developing a proprietary bayonet for use on the M1 carbine, it was realized that the new carbine bayonet, which already incorporated the M3 blade design and leather-wrap grip, could also replace the M3 in service in a secondary role as a fighting knife. The carbine bayonet, now designated the Bayonet, U.S. M4, was added to the Company Table of Organization in June 1944, and the M3 was declared to be a limited standard ordnance item, with supplies to be issued until exhausted. Nevertheless the final M3 production run did not take place until August 1944, by which time 2,590,247 M3 trench knives had been produced.
At termination of production in August 1944, the M3 trench knife had one of the shortest production and service records of any U.S. combat knife. However, the M3's blade design continued in U.S. military service in the form of the U.S. M4, M5, M6, and M7 bayonets.
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