Original U.S. WWII RH PAL 36 MkII-Style Fighting Knife with Leather Belt Scabbard named to J.W. Shaw
Original Item: Only One Available. This is a great nice example of the U.S. PAL RH 36 fighting knife, manufactured by the PAL Cutlery Company, complete with original leather scabbard, which has been personalized with designs on the front. Both are named to John W. Shaw, a serviceman during WWII, something we do not see often at all! These knives were quite popular, much more sturdy than the Mark 1, but not quite as substantial and heavy as the Mark 2 KA-BAR. Still, the blade profile and design is very similar to the KA-BAR.
According to The Official Price Guide of Collector Knives by C Houston Price & Mark D Zaleysky, PAL was originally used as a trademark by the Utica Knife & Razor Company of Utica, NY from about 1924-1939. PAL marked knives of that era used blades imported from Germany, and the blades typically bore the word “Germany” as well. Another company using the name PAL was established in Chicago in 1934. This company was known as the Pal Blade Company of Chicago, and was started by Otto Kraus. In 1935 the two “PAL” companies merged into one, known simply as the PAL Blade Company, and opened a manufacturing facility in Plattsburg, NY. Around 1940 PAL purchased the cutlery division of the Remington Arms Company, including of their existing stock of completed knives and knife parts.
While PAL was originally a manufacturer of pocketknives, but after the Remington acquisition they expanded their range of products to include a variety of fixed blade knives as well. PAL received a number of US government knife contracts during World War II and produced thousands of combat knives during the war years. Pal went out of business in 1953.The USN Mark 1 combat knife was produced by a variety of manufactures during World War II and was issued to Navy personnel by the thousands. It had a 5 ¼” long blade and was patterned after typical hunting and sideknives of the era. The subsequent Mark 2 knife had a longer 7” blade.
This particular example was manufactured by the PAL Cutlery Company, with an overall length of 11 inches, and is in very good used condition. The knife comes complete with the matching leather scabbard, and has a substantial 6 1/4 inch long wide clip-point blade, patterned after the USN MkII. The ricasso is marked on one side of the blade: RH – PAL / MADE IN USA – 36. These were generally private purchase knives, and were available to anyone, as well as the public. They were similar to the "Q" series "Quartermaster Knives" manufactured by Case and Cattaraugus. The blade is in very good condition, though it does some overall surface oxidation due to service and being in the scabbard. It is however still quite sharp, and does not look to have been sharpened much during service.
The hilt is composed of multiple thin leather washers, with the ones closest to the cross guard being of black plastic. This same black washer occurs near the cast aluminum pommel cap as well. This helped prevent corrosion damage from the leather tanning agents. The leather does show aging and a bit of wear, though there is no cracking or major damage. A nice lightly used grip, just the way you want to find them. It has also been personalized with J.W. SHAW marked on one side, and E-103 on the other. The pinned aluminum pommel cap and crossguard both are slightly loose due to the age and use.
The scabbard is the earliest leather version and is in good condition. The leather has aged to a nice dark brown, and is now somewhat stiff, possibly due to exposure to moisture over the decades. There is a bit of cracking in areas, especially on the securing strap, though all stitching and rivets are still intact. The back of the scabbard is stamped with:
JOHN. W. SHAW
The front of the scabbard is also marked with the initials J.W.S., a star, and an anchor amidst some simple line designs. There is also another J.W. SHAW under where the handle of the knife would rest. We have unfortunately not been able to find out anything about Shaw, and leave this as a great research opportunity!
Overall this is a great chance to own a very nice PAL 36 knife, complete with a customized leather scabbard, both named to the same serviceman. No collection of World War II US military knives is complete without a PAL knife. Ready to display!
Blade Length: 6 1/4"
Blade Style: Clip-point "Bowie" Style
Overall length: 11“
Crossguard: 2 1/16”
Scabbard Length: 6 3/4" with Belt Loop
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