Original U.S. WWII USMC Early Mark 2 KA-BAR Fighting Knife by CAMILLUS with Named Leather Scabbard
Original Item: This is a great early example of the legendary WWII Production U.S.M.C marked Mark 2 "Ka-Bar" fighting knife fighting knife with an original leather belt scabbard. Marine Corps issue knives are much harder to find on the market than the U.S.N. marked variety. Overall length of this Mark 2 knife is 12 inches, with a 7 inch clip-point blade. The markings on both sides the blade ricasso are as follows:
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 before that change. Knife features original leather washer grip, which is in great shape with minimal cracks and splitting, and looks almost unissued. It has a a heavy steel pommel with cross pinned tang.
The blade is unfortunately quite worn, unlike the handle. The finish is almost completely missing, and there are some small areas of past corrosion. The edge however is still nice, and the blade has a great shape. Most likely the knife spent much time in the scabbard while in service, and the moisture was transported via the leather to the blade. This was then removed by polishing and cleaning, which also removed the original finish.
The leather scabbard is the standard type used with the Mark 2, and is in very good used condition, marked U.S.N. on the throat. The leather has faded to a lovely red brown, but it is still supple and without major cracks. Almost all of the stitching and rivets are still intact, though the finish is definitely worn. The securing strap is intact, unfortunately torn, and what remains is in delicate condition. The rear of the scabbard is marked EAVES / CBM, indicating the name of the owner, though we are not entirely sure whether CBM is a rank (Chief Boatswain's Mate, a Naval rank) or the unit / theater they were in.
A great example of an exceptionally hard to find USMC-marked "KA-BAR" knife, field used with a very nice original scabbard. No collection is complete without one! Ready to display!
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