Original WWII U.S. Navy Mark 2 Blade Marked KA-BAR Fighting Knife by Union Cutlery with Leather Scabbard

Item Description

Original Item: Only One Available. This is a very nice service used example of the legendary WWII Production USN Mark 2 "KA-BAR" fighting knife by Union Cutlery of Olean, N.Y., with a correct "USN" marked WWII leather scabbard. Overall length of this Mk2 is 12 inches, with a 7 inch clip-point blade. This early production example is marked on the blade ricasso with USN, while the reverse ricasso is marked:


This is a trademark brand of Union Cutlery, but after WWII it became nearly synonymous with the Mark 2 Knife.

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.

This knife features the early-style markings on the blade, and has a straight early issue type cross guard. Knife features original leather washer grip, which is in good condition but worn. Most importantly, it has a heavy 3/8" thick pommel with a peened round tang. Only the earliest KA-BAR knives had these, later moving to a rectangular tang, and then to a 1/4" thick pinned pommel. The original stacked leather washer grip is in very good service used condition, now stained and worn smooth, with that lovely broken in look.

The blade is currently relatively sharp, though it definitely shows signs of use and sharpening. The edge is no longer completely straight, and there is some spotted oxidation near the spine. It does look like the finish was touched up at arsenal or by the owner at some point, and then it saw further service as evidenced by wear.

The U.S.N. marked leather sheath is the standard type used with the Mark 2, and is in good used condition. The leather has aged to become quite dark, with the belt loop showing a bit of a lighter dark red brown color. It is still supple and without cracks, except on the securing strap. All of the stitching and rivets are still intact, and it is structurally very sound. The securing strap is intact, and the snap is still functional, with a faded finish. The back has the initials J. W. O. scratched into the leather.

A very nice example of the hard to find USN-marked early Blade 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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