Original WWII U.S. Marine Corps Theater Made Fighting Knife named to Medal of Honor Recipient Sgt. Elbert L. Kinser
Original Item: Only One Available. This is a wonderful WWII U.S. Marine Corps "Theater Made" fighting knife, 12 inches in length, with a 7 1/2 inch steel spear point blade, named to Medal of Honor Winner Sgt. Elbert L. Kinser. These knives were made by the armorers and engineers on request. The larger ships needed to have skilled fabricators on board to make repairs and modifications to weapons and gear. Usually the blades were made from existing weapons or from steel components, and the hilts were cast from metals such as aluminum or zinc.
This example has a very nice on piece aluminum hilt, cast directly onto the tang of the knife. It has both a pommel and crossguard as part of the casting, around a comfortable tapered grip. One side is engraved with U S M C written vertically, while the other side is marked E / KINSER.
The knife is in very good condition, showing some light wear and cleaning, as well as sharpening to the blade. It is still relatively sharp, and would have been very useful during the "Island Hopping" campaigns of the Pacific Theater of WWII.
Sergeant Elbert Luther Kinser (October 21, 1922 – May 4, 1945) was a United States Marine who sacrificed his life at the Battle of Okinawa during World War II. He threw himself on a grenade, absorbing the explosion with his body and protecting his men, for which he received the Medal of Honor. It was presented to his parents on July 4, 1946 in Greeneville, Tennessee.
Kinser had enlisted in the United States Marine Corps during December 1942 and received his recruit training at Marine Corps Recruit Depot Parris Island, South Carolina. He sailed from the United States in March 1943, and joined the 7th Replacement Battalion in Pago Pago, Tutuila, American Samoa. Later, that battalion joined the 1st Marine Division in Melbourne, Australia, and Sgt Kinser was assigned to Company I, 1st Marines. Action with the 1st Marines followed at Cape Gloucester, New Britain in Operation Cartwheel, and later at Battle of Peleliu in Peleliu, Palau Islands.
On Easter Sunday, April 1, 1945, Sgt Kinser landed with his unit on the Japanese island Okinawa. There Sergeant Kinser acting as a leader of a rifle platoon, serving with Company I, 3rd Battalion, 1st Marines, 1st Marine Division, and was subsequently killed in action on May 4, 1945. During a hand grenade battle, a Japanese grenade landed in the immediate vicinity, Kinser unhesitatingly threw himself on the deadly missile, absorbing the full charge of the shattering explosion in his own body and thereby protecting his men from serious injury and possible death. This won him the nation's highest military decoration.
A very nice theater made knife from WWII, named to a Medal of Honor recipient and ready to display!
Blade Length: 7 1/2"
Blade Style: Spear Point Double Edged Knife
Overall length: 12“
Crossguard: 2 3/16”
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