Original WWII Service Worn U.S. Navy Mark 2 KA-BAR Fighting Knife by Union Cutlery with USN MK2 Scabbard

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Item Description

Original Item: This is a very nice service used example of the legendary WWII Production USN Mark 2 "Ka-Bar" fighting knife by Union Cutlery, with a MK2 Scabbard. Overall length of this Mk2 is 12 inches, with a 7 inch clip-point blade. The markings on the blade cross guard are as follows:

KA -

Under the blade is marked:


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 slightly swept back, indicating later war production, and looks to have been bent back a bit further by the owner.

It features original stacked leather washer grip, which is in very good condition with no cracks or splitting. There is some light wear, and the original "polished" look has faded, with some dents into the leather. It has a heavy steel pommel with a "starburst" peened over tang, correct for WWII Manufacture.

The blade has lost most of the finish due to cleaning and use, except just near the crossguard. Some of the original factory machine marks can be seen, but there are also arsenal reconditioning grind marks. The blade has definitely been sharpened a few times, so the edge has moved in slightly. It is still relatively sharp, and has a great patina only achieved from real use.

The scabbard is the Mk2 version, very similar in construction to the M8 scabbard for the M3 fighting knife, with a thermoplastic impregnated cotton fabric body, metal throat, and canvas frog and securing strap. The front of the throat is marked U.S.N. / MK 2, and the rear is marked NORD - 8114 / B.M. Co. with a stylized V P logo. The NORD number is for the US Navy contract it was produced under, which was delivered between March 1945 and May 1945. It was manufactured by Beckwith Mfg Co., a division of Victory Plastics. The scabbard is in good used condition, with oxidation to the metal components, and wear to the canvas frog. There is some scuffing on the scabbard body, and the name CONARD has been scratched into it near the bottom. Also the securing strap snap is unfortunately broken.

A very nice example of the hard to find USN-marked "KA-BAR" knife, in good service used condition. No knife collection is complete without an example of a "Ka-bar".

Blade Length: 7"
Blade Style: Clip-point "Bowie" Style
Overall length: 12“
Crossguard: 2 7/16”
Scabbard Length: 8" with Belt Loop

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