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Question for Patton sabers

Started by pony soldier , Jan 08 2012 11:02 AM

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#1 pony soldier

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Posted 08 January 2012 - 11:02 AM

Hello all fellow members and collectors:

I keep reading all of your great shows and finds and cannot help but envy in some respects the access to material that is not as readily available here on the West Coast, namely Oregon. Would love to see these large shows that are set up east of the Mississippi River. My question: if you would, I have an abiding interest in the Patton saber and can only surmise these shows must offer some. Would appreciate it greatly if when a Patton shows up if you could record the date and serial number. This would mainly be true for only the Springfield Armory variety, however the LF&C sabers were serial numbered up to 4000. The information goes into a study I am working on.
Thanks for any you find and email me. Address is lbh62576@frontier.com

Pony Soldier
Ken Andrews

#2 robinb

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Posted 08 January 2012 - 01:41 PM

Ken, there was a Patton at the Portland Expo gun show yesterday. Sorry, but I didn't look at it.

#3 Frank Trzaska

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Posted 08 January 2012 - 04:53 PM

Ken,
Many years ago I followed serial numbers very closely and recorded what I actually viewed. This list has not been updated in a year or two but is actual numbers viewed.

Hope it helps your research.

M-1913 Cavalry (Patton) Saber

Year - Production- Low Serial No.- High Serial No.

1913 - 200 - 13- 8,140
1914 - 24,799 - 8,246- 29,574
1915 - 5,292 - 30,119- 30,440
1916 - ? - 30,735- 30,817
1917 - ? - 31,199- 33,482
1918 - 5,000 - 32,822- 37,610



All the best
Frank Trzaska

Edited by Frank Trzaska, 08 January 2012 - 05:00 PM.


#4 kenneth Whitcomb

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Posted 08 January 2012 - 10:10 PM

Ken, my Patton is a 1914, ss#10782. Hope this helps a bit.

#5 Varangian

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Posted 08 January 2012 - 11:36 PM

Ken, my Patton is a 1914, ss#10782. Hope this helps a bit.


May I ask what type of scabbard? Tent peg, ground tent peg, no tent peg, painted/unpainted?

Thanks!

#6 noworky

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Posted 12 January 2012 - 12:21 PM

I know what you mean Pony the only thing going near my area in Idaho is the show Hayes puts on in Missoula in August. I can't wait to head back to Colorado it's been good here but time to head back home. I will always keep my eyes open for SA Patton serial numbers for you and anything else interesting like another nice SA 1911!!

#7 hbtcoveralls

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Posted 12 January 2012 - 05:50 PM

Hi Pony,
My Wife's Patton Sword is S.A. 1913 and is serial 3768. I came to us in the later scabbard unpainted and with the exception of some blade dings, is in very nice shape.
Tom Bowers

#8 pony soldier

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Posted 15 January 2012 - 09:21 AM

Hello to Frank, Ken and Tom:

A general note to all of you for answering my request with thanks.

Ken and Tom:
Thank you for your numbers which I have already recorded. The more numbers and information I can get is great, each number just helps fill in the gaps and brings the picture better in focus.

Frank:
On your listing of numbers, I believe those are the ones that appeared in Kellerstedt's book on the Springfield sabers and swords and also are shown on Tom Wiltzuis's Springfield Edge website. Have you any others that you saw at shows and recorded? Also on your website I keep hoping you will be able to find some government records concering Patton's and put them up in your repo. documents section for sale. In particular somethng from the Office of the Chief of Cavalry, some of which appear to be "lost".

As for the Kellerstedt listing I can now add an extention to the highest number noted. About three years ago I was able to get SN 36734, 24 numbers higher than the 36710 previously accepted as the highest number. It is of course dated 1918 and it is a modified saber in the so called "San Antonio" format with the usual tooled sheath. These San Antonio knives have become accepted as being made by San Antonio Iron Works and appear in all books as such. However I have not yet been able to find verification of that fact and even if the Iron Works firm that made these knives during WW2 is still in business. Still trying to work with candidates in Texas and one collector in Texas to validate this important part of Patton history.

Again thanks for any help and look forward to future numbers

Pony Soldier

#9 Varangian

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Posted 15 January 2012 - 09:37 AM

As for the Kellerstedt listing I can now add an extention to the highest number noted. About three years ago I was able to get SN 36734, 24 numbers higher than the 36710 previously accepted as the highest number.


Ken;

The highest number recorded by Kellerstedt is 37610; you transposed a number or two. I haven't run across one with a higher number than Kellerstedt's, though I have seen three others in the 37K range: 37242 on Ebay in July 2008; 37271 by Mark R. here on the USMF; and 37478 on Ebay in September 2008.

#10 67Rally

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Posted 15 January 2012 - 11:02 AM

My LF&C is a 1918. Where is the serial number located? Directly below the ordinance symbol (the flame) is stamped "No 13"

#11 Varangian

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Posted 15 January 2012 - 11:22 AM

My LF&C is a 1918. Where is the serial number located? Directly below the ordinance symbol (the flame) is stamped "No 13"


After producing around 4000 sabers with a serial number, LF&C petitioned for and was granted permission to cease serial numbering their sabers. It was, apparently, a huge and expensive pain in the butt.

The "No 13" under an eagle head (not a flame) is the inspector mark. The ordnance bomb is located between the "F." and the "&" on the other side

#12 pony soldier

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Posted 15 January 2012 - 03:43 PM

Sean:
Thanks for the note on the transposed number, Frank's listing and your note are correct in that the my number should have read 37634. How many times do I have read the posting before I push post!!!!When will I learn??

Be that as it may I truly do have 37634, San Antonio knife. I will try to post it next week. Sean, I believe I also have some earlier 1918's you may not have. They are:

37303 Saber
37416 Saber, no guard
37515 Saber
37547 Knife with unusual horsehead mounted where pommel would be/ bowie blade
37634 Knife/San Antonio

Another part of the Patton story is why the disparity on numbers from what Springfield Armory lists. A theory I heard before is that the higher numbers were for replacement blades. I believe that the numbers produced in 1917 and 1918 are inaccurate. I think they actually made more. 30000 were made by 1914 which was more than enough to arm regular cavalry of 15 regiments, which tends to understand why so little made in 1915 and 1916. The war was going full force with the US involved by 1917 which meant Springfield capacity was needed for other purposes than Patton sabers. The 7634 that were made in 1917 and 1918 were probably in response to the Pancho Villa New Mexico incursion in 1916 and some National Guard units requiring equipment plus lost, stolen or broken replacement blades. The 16th and 17th cavalry US regiments were authorized in July 1916 for Mexican border service. I have ten rusted blades only that came from Penn. Nat. Guard station at Mt. Gretna cavalry depot. I have been able decipher four of them so far, 2 are 1916 and 2 1918. I am sure the rest will be similar. The fellow I bought them from indicated that when he came by them, there may have been several hundred at one time, enough to arm a NG cavalry regiment or at least several troops. Strange, they would have 1916 dated units when so few were made by Springfield, but it does tend to support my thought on the higher numbers.

As for the LF&C blades having no serial numbers beyond 4000, the firm stated they were breaking too many blades in the numbering process. What were they doing different (process or material) from Springfield which apparently did not have the same problem.

Thanks again and keep the numbers coming.

Pony Soldier
Ken Andrews

#13 Varangian

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Posted 15 January 2012 - 09:21 PM

Sean, I believe I also have some earlier 1918's you may not have. They are:

37303 Saber
37416 Saber, no guard
37515 Saber
37547 Knife with unusual horsehead mounted where pommel would be/ bowie blade
37634 Knife/San Antonio


You are correct, I did not have those. Thanks!

Another part of the Patton story is why the disparity on numbers from what Springfield Armory lists. A theory I heard before is that the higher numbers were for replacement blades. I believe that the numbers produced in 1917 and 1918 are inaccurate. I think they actually made more. 30000 were made by 1914 which was more than enough to arm regular cavalry of 15 regiments, which tends to understand why so little made in 1915 and 1916. The war was going full force with the US involved by 1917 which meant Springfield capacity was needed for other purposes than Patton sabers. The 7634 that were made in 1917 and 1918 were probably in response to the Pancho Villa New Mexico incursion in 1916 and some National Guard units requiring equipment plus lost, stolen or broken replacement blades. The 16th and 17th cavalry US regiments were authorized in July 1916 for Mexican border service. I have ten rusted blades only that came from Penn. Nat. Guard station at Mt. Gretna cavalry depot. I have been able decipher four of them so far, 2 are 1916 and 2 1918. I am sure the rest will be similar. The fellow I bought them from indicated that when he came by them, there may have been several hundred at one time, enough to arm a NG cavalry regiment or at least several troops. Strange, they would have 1916 dated units when so few were made by Springfield, but it does tend to support my thought on the higher numbers.


I have no theory for the disparity, other than that the answer is in the SA files, which I hope to sift through myself one day. LTC Brophy published what he found, and Mr. Kellerstedt, who spent countless hours in the SA archives, confirmed Brophy's numbers. But the answer has to be in there somewhere; it was missed or, more likely, misinterpreted as I believe the numbers for the M1902 were.

I've often pondered over the chaos of the serial number transition between 1917- and 1918-dated blades, which was very un-Springfield like. I corresponded with Mr. Tom Wiltzius, and his explanation fits well with your idea; they had blades without serial numbers in storage as spares, and when the perceived need for a large number of sabers hit, they just grabbed and stamped without bothering with little details like pulling the 1917-dated blades first.

As for the LF&C blades having no serial numbers beyond 4000, the firm stated they were breaking too many blades in the numbering process. What were they doing different (process or material) from Springfield which apparently did not have the same problem.


Don't know, but I have noticed that the serial-numbered LF&C blades tend to be dark. Not all I've seen have dark blades, but most do.

Edited by Varangian, 15 January 2012 - 09:32 PM.


#14 kanemono

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Posted 16 January 2012 - 07:34 AM

I was wondering if you could give me some information on the Patton sabers carried by the Horse Marines in China. I had posted a number of photographs of the sabers in use in China. The parade sabers seem to be chromed the service sabers seem to have dark hilts. Do you know of any documented sabers in museums or private collections?
Dick

#15 pony soldier

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Posted 16 January 2012 - 09:19 AM

Dick:

Regarding the China Horse marine sabers, what pictures I have seen always show the "parade" bright finished units. Two interesting items I can offer which just add to the mystery. I have serial number 33. It bears a tag that says it was used by the Legation Guards. It came from an auction in Fort Lee, VA which is a major military presence. The puzzle is how such a low serial number made it to China. The first 200 M1913 sabers were sent to trial with the 11th. cavalry. They bear a special marking of "B-11" on the rim of the guard. 33 has that marking. So how did it get from USA to China as a test piece?? The only explanation I can think of is that an officer with the 11th. somehow either went to China or gave it to a Marine officer friend of his. Either that or the officer was high ranking and had enough pull to bring the saber back to the states after he found it The tag clearly notes it is Marine material. The scabbard is the standard service one with a black painted body and gold painted metal for the drag and the throat. I can see the Chinese likiing gold, but I thought black was not used by them, rather red. The blade is standard bright finish and the guard is black. A question that probably will never have an answer. I am sending Dusan Farrrington pictures of it and my 1911 for inclusion in his upcoming triology book on equipping the US cavalry.

Secondly, about a year ago an auction showed up using a grouping of items from the Horse Marines. Included was a service scabbard marked "Legation Guards". I tried to buy the set including the saddle but it did not reach the reserve. Email to seller was not successful as they did not want to break up the set. I have not seen it come up for sale since.

Like you always interested in China Marine information as it is an important chapter in the Patton saga.

Ken
Pony Soldier

#16 mmerc20

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Posted 17 January 2012 - 05:58 PM

My SA 1914 is sn 25863

#17 Gary Cain

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Posted 21 January 2012 - 04:19 PM

I have SA 8278 Dated 1914
SA 31213 Dated 1917 Painted Scabbard
LF&C NSN Dated 1919






My SA 1914 is sn 25863



#18 Varangian

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Posted 22 January 2012 - 10:08 AM

I have SA 8278 Dated 1914
SA 31213 Dated 1917 Painted Scabbard


Those are both at the very low end of serial numbers for each of those years. 31213 is the lowest I've seen reported for 1917 outside of Kellerstedt, and I've only seen 3 1914 blades outside of Kellerstedt numbered below 8278.

#19 Gary Cain

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Posted 22 January 2012 - 08:13 PM

Here they are in the flesh so to speak!


Those are both at the very low end of serial numbers for each of those years. 31213 is the lowest I've seen reported for 1917 outside of Kellerstedt, and I've only seen 3 1914 blades outside of Kellerstedt numbered below 8278.

Attached Images

  • usmf_size_1914.jpg


#20 Gary Cain

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Posted 22 January 2012 - 08:14 PM

2

Here they are in the flesh so to speak!

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  • usmf_size_1914_3.jpg
  • usmf_size_1914_2.jpg



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