Original U.S. WWII RH PAL 36 MkII-Style Fighting Knife with Plated Blade & U.S.M.C. Personalized Leather Scabbard

Item Description

Original Item: Only One Available. This is a very nice example of the U.S. PAL RH 36 fighting knife, manufactured by the PAL Cutlery Company, complete with original leather scabbard. It has been personalized, both by having the blade plated and with a very nice U S M C marked on the front of the scabbard. These knives were quite popular, more sturdy than the Mark 1, but not quite as substantial and heavy as the Mark 2 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 10 7/8 inches, and is in very good condition. The knife comes complete with the matching leather scabbard, and has a substantial 6 1/8 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 has has significant sharpening, which has reduced the blade size a bit. It is still very sharp, and looks to have had the blade plated at some point, and treated to give a lovely colorful reflection. We do not know if this was post manufacture, or at the factory. There is some plating loss and oxidation, and the edge flat is missing most of the finish due to wear and polishing.

The hilt is composed of multiple thin leather washers, with the ones closest to the cross guard being of red plastic. This same red 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. The pinned aluminum pommel cap and crossguard both are slightly use due to the age and leather shrinkage.

The scabbard is the earliest leather version and is in very good condition. The leather has aged to a nice red brown, and is still supple, with no cracking that we can see. The snap is still functional, though most of the original finish is worn off. Just beneath the throat it is marked PAL BLADE CO., which is above the USMC personalization. All of the stitching and rivets are intact, and the original leg tie down is as well, having been braided very nicely.

Overall this is a great chance to own a nice personalized PAL 36 knife. No collection of World War II US military knives is complete without a PAL knife. Ready to display.

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