Jump to content


Photo

Eugene W. Stone WWII Knuckle Knives


  • Please log in to reply
28 replies to this topic

#1 Trinity

Trinity
  • Members
    • Member ID: 92,846
  • 57 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Oregon

Posted 02 March 2019 - 11:01 AM

I realize there have been several topics in the past related to the Eugene W. Stone iconic knuckle knife, but I thought I would start a new one, with some additional thoughts and photos of both Stone original knives and some of the period copies that were presumably made aboard other auxiliary Navy ships. The first picture is of E.W. Stone M3 knife examples. The two on the left are authenticated originals, while the other two are suspected period copies. However, the third knife from the left may also be an original. It has one single small casting flaw that differentiates it from known originals. This particular knife has polished mollusk shells set in the eye cavities and Bill Stone, Jr. has said his dad and other sailors aboard the USS Holland dove for these shells and polished them for soldiers who wanted to customize their knives. It is believed E.W. Stone never personally made a knife in which he placed shells or stones in the skull eye sockets. The fourth knife from left to right is definitely a period copy, showing some definite casting differences between an authenticated original. The first knife on the left is the actual knife shown in Cole Book IV, page 160. The knife came with a M8A1 scabbard that E.W. Stone had originally paired the knife with, but I included a M6 Milsco sheath because Cole shows this pairing in his book.

Attached Images

  • 46217012-FE02-4EC5-AF6C-9276894A268D.jpeg


#2 Trinity

Trinity
  • Members
    • Member ID: 92,846
  • 57 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Oregon

Posted 02 March 2019 - 11:45 AM

Most of E.W. Stone knives were made from Ka-Bar blades. It is estimated that approximately 80% had Ka-Bar blades, while the remaining 20% were made with Pal Cutlery blades. Most of us collectors will probably always accept that original knives only have the USN Mark 2 blade or the USMC 1219c2 blade from Ka-Bar or Pal. However, this assumption creates some questions. There are quite a few Camillus blades that are found on presumed period copies that are believed to have been made aboard other auxiliary ships. Camillus Cutlery was the first government contracted manufacturer of these knives and also made the most out of any manufacturer during WWII. E.W. Stone charged $15 for one of his knives and the soldier had to provide their own blade. Given that there were probably just as many, if not more, Camillus Cutlery knives issued to soldiers in comparison to Ka-Bar and Pal knives, would E.W. Stone have refused to make a knife just because a soldier did not have one of those two knives? To me it seems unlikely. I would venture to guess that if a soldier had given Stone a Camillus blade simply because that is all he had been issued, E.W. Stone probably would have made the knife. Although Bill Stone is the foremost expert on the authenticity of all the knives and he should be consulted first on any questions regarding originals versus period copies, it appears that some Camillus-bladed knives have very close or almost identical casting similarities to known original Ka-Bar or Pal knives, which adds a bit of intrigue on whether some Camillus E.W. Stone knives are actually originals or period copies. These four knives include an authenticated original on the left, with a Ka-Bar blade, and the other three being presumed period copies because they have Camillus blades. The knife on the far right has had the knuckle bow period removed, which is estimated to have been done on about 25% of the knives. This modification was done by individual soldiers and not by E.W. Stone himself.

Attached Images

  • 50B392A3-D16D-4825-832F-9D0D94AFE6FF.jpeg


#3 Trinity

Trinity
  • Members
    • Member ID: 92,846
  • 57 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Oregon

Posted 02 March 2019 - 12:26 PM

Most of us would probably agree that there are more E.W. Stone period copy knives than originals. I propose this simply because period copies show up much more often than authenticated originals. One style of period copy that has shown up somewhat often are those knives that have a M1913 Patton Saber blade. Some may question why these sword blades would have been aboard some of the submarine tender ships and other auxiliary ships during the mid-war period in the Pacific. However, there may be a simple and acceptable explanation. Many U.S. territories, in which had U.S. military bases, most likely had Patton Sabers in their armory inventories. As Japanese forces invaded islands that had these bases, there may have been an attempt to clean out as many weapons as possible before U.S. personnel retreated. In a specific example, it is known that the military bases in the Philippines had stockpiles of edged-weapons, including Patton Sabers. This has been established because it has been documented that the last horse-mounted U.S. Cavalry charge took place in the Philippines in 1942 by the 26th Cavalry Regiment. This regiment would have been equipped most likely with Patton Sabers. Coincidently, the USS Holland, along with other USN auxiliary ships, were anchored in Manila Bay, Philippines during the Pearl Harbor attack and were rushed out of port afterwards. Some of these ships may have gathered inventories of weapons, including the Patton Sabers. This would be one possible explanation on why several of the E.W. Stone period copies have been found with these blades. The picture shows three period copy Stone knives made with the Patton Saber blade - one from the tip section, one from the mid section and one from the bottom section of the blade.

Attached Images

  • 2FEA62DD-F80E-4785-BA30-355544B88557.jpeg


#4 sactroop

sactroop
  • Members
    • Member ID: 17,422
  • 2,301 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Cascadia Fault

Posted 02 March 2019 - 01:33 PM

Ka-Bar is so frequently used to describe the 1219C2 regardless of manufacture references to the name can't always be associated with Union Cutlery.



#5 Trinity

Trinity
  • Members
    • Member ID: 92,846
  • 57 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Oregon

Posted 02 March 2019 - 01:39 PM

Another unique E.W. Stone period copy example are those knives deemed the Jolly Rogers knives. The Jolly Rogers was the name given to the VF-17 Fighter Squadron. The squadron flew the F4U-1 Corsair and because of this, the commander wanted a piratical theme to match the Corsair designation. A skull and crossbones was chosen and this was displayed on the tails and engine cowlings of the planes. Although pilots did not carry traditional combat knives, many had knives or machetes that accompanied their bailout kits. Many of these knives were the Collins No. 18 machete knives, with a 9 inch blade. There have been discovered several of the E.W. Stone style handles cast to Collins No. 18 blades and it is theorized that airmen from the VF-17 Squadron may have wanted a knife that tied in with the skull and crossbones theme of their planes. These knives have become known as the Jolly Rogers E.W. Stone knives, but they are not originally cast by Stone and instead are assumed to have been made aboard other ships, possibly those accompanying the USS Hornet. Although unverifiable, the Jolly Rogers knives add another unique storyline behind the E.W. Stone saga or at least possibly related to the origin of some of the period copy knives. Below are two E.W. Stone period copy knives, both with a Collins No. 18 blade.

Attached Images

  • 2E881FCE-1968-4739-8790-4F845676C286.jpeg


#6 Trinity

Trinity
  • Members
    • Member ID: 92,846
  • 57 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Oregon

Posted 02 March 2019 - 02:05 PM

Although there appears to be distinct patterns to many of the E.W. Stone period copy knives, in that there seems to be numerous examples across a single style of blade, such as Patton Saber blades or Collins No. 18 blades, there are just as many that have unknown blades. Some of these include blades possibly made from tool steel, such as from a file or saw blade, while others are made from presumably cut down bayonet and sword blades. Included in the photo are three of these period copy knives. The most unique example here is the knife with an E.W. Stone 1st Pattern brass knuckle handle. Just prior to WWII it is believed E.W. Stone experimented with making standalone knuckles. The first knuckles, which have become known as the 1st Pattern Knuckles, were made from brass and have a distinctly different style and look than the aluminum knuckles found on his knives. The 1st Pattern brass knuckle knife was discovered by Bill Stone, Jr. in Australia and is believed to have been made by another craftsman or USN molder either in Australia or aboard an auxiliary ship. It has never been documented that E.W. Stone himself made a knife using a pair of the 1st Pattern brass knuckles. The other picture includes two original pairs of E.W. Stone 1st Pattern standalone knuckles, two original pairs of his later 2nd Pattern aluminum knuckles and a pair of ultra-rare 2nd Pattern brass knuckles.

Attached Images

  • 161D604F-AF55-4535-BF34-D1062ECB8A9E.jpeg


#7 Trinity

Trinity
  • Members
    • Member ID: 92,846
  • 57 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Oregon

Posted 02 March 2019 - 02:07 PM

Original E.W. Stone stand-alone knuckles

Attached Images

  • F1ABBDA1-F4E7-4EAE-9586-992D127CF7F1.jpeg


#8 Trinity

Trinity
  • Members
    • Member ID: 92,846
  • 57 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Oregon

Posted 02 March 2019 - 02:31 PM

As my final posting on the Stone knives, I wanted to show one of the last two combat knives that Eugene W. Stone made. Although he left Navy service on June 19, 1946 and presumably did not make another knife for over the next twenty years, when his son Bill Stone, Jr. joined the military during the Vietnam War, E.W. Stone made two additional knives. One was an aluminum knuckle handle cast to a bolo blade, which was done because Bill Stone, Jr. was partial to the M1910 Bolo knife. This was his personal knife during the Vietnam War. The other knife, which is pictured below, was an aluminum knuckle handle cast to a M6 Bayonet blade. This knife was never used and remains in mint condition. Both of the knives were one-of-a-kind castings and were made using the original sand molds from World War II. I believe Bill Stone has said that there were no other knives made by his dad other than those last two during the Vietnam War years. Bill has since made numerous commemorative knives using the original World War II sand molds, but has been very careful to differentiate these from the original knives his dad made by listing serial numbers on the back of the skull pommel.

Attached Images

  • 0614E059-8027-4E7A-939D-FCC632312195.jpeg


#9 Brian Keith

Brian Keith
  • Members
    • Member ID: 1,549
  • 3,571 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Portland, Indiana, USA

Posted 03 March 2019 - 05:31 AM

Excellent Post! Thanks for all the great info and photo's.
BKW

#10 groserm

groserm
  • Members
    • Member ID: 157,481
  • 113 posts
  • Gender:Male

Posted 03 March 2019 - 02:09 PM

Thanks!

#11 knucvks7

knucvks7
  • Members
    • Member ID: 148,333
  • 126 posts

Posted 04 March 2019 - 03:59 PM

Trinity,

 

Excellent post and information, thanks for sharing.

 

Lets touch base soon.

 

Greg



#12 siclfde

siclfde
  • Members
    • Member ID: 8,804
  • 309 posts

Posted 05 March 2019 - 02:42 PM

What an amazing set of knives!.  Great worksmanship and they feel good in the hand.  These are extremely rare and hard to find. 

 

The proliferation of fakes coming out of the NW has made a lot of folks shy away from them.  Absolutely agree that it borders on recklessness to buy one w/o Mr Stones authentication letter.  

 

Wish I knew how to tell the difference.  Anybody have any clues?



#13 Trinity

Trinity
  • Members
    • Member ID: 92,846
  • 57 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Oregon

Posted 05 March 2019 - 03:54 PM

Ive done quite a bit of research on the likely source of aluminum that Stone used for his handles. In the Knife World publication, which was written by Bill Stone, Jr. and as told to him by his father, the aluminum originated from Japanese aircraft propellers and struts. The Japanese had begun using a new secret aluminum alloy, which was developed by Sumitomo Metal Industries in 1936 and called "extra super duralumin" (ESD). It was lighter, stronger and more ductile than other aluminum alloys used at the time, but was more prone to corrosive attack, which made it somewhat brittle. Most of the Japanese military aircraft was made from this new alloy. It is known that Stone added amounts of nickel to his aluminum and this was done probably in order to increase hardness and strength, along with decreasing corrosiveness. By doing this, Stone essentially ended up creating his own alloy. Assuming that he used this same blend to make his knife handles, there may be a simple method to test for the authenticity of various susceptible knives. A X-ray Fluorescence (XFR) Analyzer could be used to accurately identify the aluminum alloy grade of an authenticated original knife and then could be compared against other knives. Although there may be some slight discrepancies across knives, the method probably could differentiate between a WWII-era aluminum alloy and more modern alloys. Unfortunately, most collectors arent going to go to this extreme to test the specific metal chemistry of aluminum. One reason is the cost. A XFR Analyzer isnt cheap, costing thousands of dollars.

#14 Trinity

Trinity
  • Members
    • Member ID: 92,846
  • 57 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Oregon

Posted 05 March 2019 - 04:04 PM

As a follow up to my previous post, the only accurate way to test the accuracy of the chemical analysis of a specific alloy using an XFR Analyzer would be to create a baseline sample, which would probably require at least three to five authenticated original knives. The results could then possibly be used to test the authenticity of other presumed original knives or even the period copy knives.

Edited by Trinity, 05 March 2019 - 04:12 PM.


#15 Tony-in-NH

Tony-in-NH
  • Members
    • Member ID: 1,889
  • 527 posts

Posted 08 March 2019 - 06:03 AM

Ditto on the excellent post, if I was able to post pictures I could add to this thread.



#16 militariaone

militariaone
  • Members
    • Member ID: 31,352
  • 699 posts
  • Gender:Male

Posted 18 March 2019 - 10:08 AM

Greetings all,

Posting two knives' images on behalf of member Tony-in-NH.

"1st issue Stone knuckle knife aluminum handle. This is the only one observed. Tony-in-NH"

 

 

V/r Lance

 

 

Attached Images

  • DSC00946.JPG


#17 militariaone

militariaone
  • Members
    • Member ID: 31,352
  • 699 posts
  • Gender:Male

Posted 18 March 2019 - 10:10 AM

Greetings all,

"1st issue brass handled Stone knuckle knife. This one of 3 known to have been observed. Tony-in-NH"

First image:

 

V/r Lance
 

Attached Images

  • DSC00986.JPG


#18 militariaone

militariaone
  • Members
    • Member ID: 31,352
  • 699 posts
  • Gender:Male

Posted 18 March 2019 - 10:11 AM

Last two images from the last post's knife. belonging to member Tony-in-NH.
 
Best,
 
V/r Lance

Attached Images

  • DSC00987.JPG


#19 Tony-in-NH

Tony-in-NH
  • Members
    • Member ID: 1,889
  • 527 posts

Posted 18 March 2019 - 10:59 AM

When Militariaone posted the pictures for me I forgot to add that the two knives were theatre made period knives and not Original Stones.



#20 Trinity

Trinity
  • Members
    • Member ID: 92,846
  • 57 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Oregon

Posted 18 March 2019 - 04:47 PM

As Tony-in-NH affirmed, the 1st Pattern knuckle knives are extremely rare. Since only about three have been observed, it is difficult to pinpoint where or who may have made these. Bill Stone found the one he had in his collection in Australia. It is known that E.W. Stone made some of his early stuff, probably both knuckles and knives, at an old foundry in Port Darwin, Australia, while the USS Holland was stationed there in early 1942. These 1st Pattern knuckle knives may have possibly been made there in Australia, but we will probably never know. According to Bill Stone, his dad never made a knife using a set of the 1st Pattern brass knuckles, so someone else who had access to a pair of the original knuckles must have theater copied the pattern and added blades. Unique knives, but practically unusable because of the weight of the knuckles. The knife I have is over three pounds. Ricasso is stamped T1177. Have spent countless hours trying to find anything that explains the alphanumeric stamping, hoping that if I did, I would be able to get some clarification on where or who made these. No luck yet.

Attached Images

  • B1244DFF-4E56-471E-818B-276373389300.jpeg


#21 ccyooper

ccyooper
  • Members
    • Member ID: 2,641
  • 1,183 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Michigan

Posted 19 March 2019 - 07:47 AM

What a great thread on a rare knife!



#22 Trinity

Trinity
  • Members
    • Member ID: 92,846
  • 57 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Oregon

Posted 19 March 2019 - 12:56 PM

Here is another WWII period copy of the E.W. Stone knife. This one has a double-edge, unmarked blade that may have originated from a file. What is somewhat interesting about this knife - at least to me - is where it came from. It came from the estate of Aurtha Leonard LeVan, who joined the Marines two months prior to his 18th birthday. The parent consent letter is shown below. He was immediately shipped to Guadalcanal for combat training, which lasted from August 1944 until April 1945. He then shipped from Guadalcanal to Okinawa and participated in action against the enemy from April 1, 1945 until June 21, 1945. He was a light machine gun crewman, with the M1918 Browning Automatic Rifle. Okinawa appears to be the only combat he participated in and afterwards he was stationed in Tsingtao, China, helping overseeing the surrender of Japanese forces. He returned to the States in April 1946 and was discharged on May 5th.

Collectors of the period copy Stone knives have always wondered where and who made some of these knives. The path of this soldier may narrow down one possible origin. According to his deployment and service records, he only boarded four ships during his two year span in the USMC. Two of these ships, the USS General C.G. Morton (AP-138) and the USS H.W. Butner (AP-113) were troop transports to and from his home port of San Diego. The other two ships were the USS George Clymer (APA-27) and the USS Jerome County (LST-848). The USS George Clymer was an attack transport ship and the USS Jerome County was a tank landing ship. There is the possibility that one of these two ships may have had a foundry aboard and someone was making copies of the Stone knife.

Attached Images

  • 21D62A6A-A0A4-48FA-824B-7902B735DA1E.jpeg
  • 7926C5B3-48AC-4A0F-9299-E24997691B90.jpeg


#23 Trinity

Trinity
  • Members
    • Member ID: 92,846
  • 57 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Oregon

Posted 19 March 2019 - 12:57 PM

Aurtha Leonard LeVan

Attached Images

  • 7ED76F6C-B2E1-459A-8F8F-8C345DBEC081.jpeg


#24 Trinity

Trinity
  • Members
    • Member ID: 92,846
  • 57 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Oregon

Posted 19 March 2019 - 01:00 PM

Consent of parents to enlistment of a minor in the Marine Corps

Attached Images

  • 4968A8CD-FB69-41C4-9F74-CE214E6539B0.jpeg
  • 14F4500F-5253-4E2B-8501-E0218778313F.jpeg


#25 Tony V

Tony V
  • Members
    • Member ID: 4,932
  • 899 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:North Wales, Pa.

Posted 19 March 2019 - 01:26 PM

I will also agree "Excellent posting" ! Just great information. Thank you

 

Tony




0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users