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A USMC M1917 Knuckle Knife


Charlie Flick

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Charlie Flick

This photo is featured in the book "Grunt Gear" by Alec Tulkoff.

 

That's good to know. BTW, Alec is a valued member of our Forum.

 

Regards,

Charlie

 

 

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I have my Dad's M1917. It was issued to him in 1940 when he joined the NY National Guard. He said he sent it home when he was later issued a more modern knife sometime in 1942. He didn't say what the replacement knife was. I remember him mentioning that the M1917 was no longer legal to carry.

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Another "flyspeck" interesting aspect of this photo is the pant legs over the leggings.

 

I showed Martini's picture to my uncle before he died, and he told me that he learned after Guadalcanal experience that the

real killer of his feet was sand/grit irritation, with moisture being second. He could occasionally dry his feet, but if the

were the skin was chewed up to raw flesh, he was in trouble.

 

In the early days they would hack off their pantlegs & go without socks & leggings to allow their feet to dry out. But many

decided later it was better to forget the socks, wear the leggings, cut 2 holes in the hem of the hbt trousers, thread in a

piece of cord like a drawstring, to pull the pant legs snug over the leggings. - Like the hood on a sweatshirt-. That this was more effective in keeping out the skin irritating sand/grit, which was the biggest source of footsores and infections, etc.

 

If you look at Martini's left calf, you can make out how much extra buffer this made between the top of the legging, and where is pant leg is tied down.

 

By Iwo, Sgt. Martini had apparently decided this too.

 

For so many reasons, especially knowing Martini's wealth of combat experience before Iwo, this is still my favorite combat

picture of a WW2 Marine in the Pacific !

 

Best regards,

Paul Walker

Klamath Falls, Oregon

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Paul

 

Great observation and infon the trousers over the leggings.Tidbits like this are not seen books and often only learned from personal contact and conversations with vets.

 

Often wonder when wading ashore through water how much water was trapped in the trousers by having them inside the leggings.Im sure it drained out but not quickly.

In Memoriam:
Lieutenant J.Kostelec 1-3 First Special Service Force MIA/PD 4 March 1944 Italy
I HAVE SEEN THE ENEMY AND IT IS DAYLIGHT
Forget about the tips..We'll get hell to pay (AC/DC)
"If you cant get out and run with the big dogs then sit on the porch and bark at the cars going by.."

Have you Hugged a Clown Today?

You Cant Get A Sun Tan On The Moon..





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  • 3 weeks later...

It's also in Eric Hammel's, "Always Faithful: US Marines in World War II Combat - The 100 Best Photos"

 

 

 

This photo is featured in the book "Grunt Gear" by Alec Tulkoff.

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  • 2 years later...

Haven't posted for quite some time. Just bringing this topic back up to the top. I encourage all interested to check out Clinton Watters Youtube. Watters was best man at Basilone's wedding, former Gualdalcancal Marine with Basilone, later 3rd Raider. And Rinaldo Martini was also in the Basilone's wedding party. See Martini's parachute wings ? 5th Division. None of these NCO's were pikers; they'd already been there once or twice. Part of making the new 5th Division USMC an outfit that could survive, thanks to their training and previous experience.

 

Best regards to all,

Paul Walker

Klamath Falls, Oregon

 

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I never felt there's any real mystery or chronic head scratchin' to do about a period picture of Raiders, Para's, or anybody else for that matter, from having something on their belt or pack in WW2 combat that does't show up in the a Handbook. Long ago, I once acquired a broomhandle Mauser from a ww2 Navy CB Chief he'd carried in the South Pacific. His Dad had brought it back from ww1. He even had a picture of it on his belt on New Caledonia on Bougainville. In the same handmade holster that I got with the gun. Go figure ??? Fake ?? No. But I'm sure it will inspire some. That's why I hesitate to mention it . . .

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Haven't posted for quite some time. Just bringing this topic back up to the top. I encourage all interested to check out Clinton Watters Youtube. Watters was best man at Basilone's wedding, former Gualdalcancal Marine with Basilone, later 3rd Raider. And Rinaldo Martini was also in the Basilone's wedding party. See Martini's parachute wings ? 5th Division. None of these NCO's were pikers; they'd already been there once or twice. Part of making the new 5th Division USMC an outfit that could survive, thanks to their training and previous experience.

 

Best regards to all,

Paul Walker

Klamath Falls, Oregon

 

 

 

Paul

 

Glad to see the posts.You have always added great information and personal insights.You need to post more ;):)

In Memoriam:
Lieutenant J.Kostelec 1-3 First Special Service Force MIA/PD 4 March 1944 Italy
I HAVE SEEN THE ENEMY AND IT IS DAYLIGHT
Forget about the tips..We'll get hell to pay (AC/DC)
"If you cant get out and run with the big dogs then sit on the porch and bark at the cars going by.."

Have you Hugged a Clown Today?

You Cant Get A Sun Tan On The Moon..





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I could see the M1917 being used in WW2. There was a severe knife shortage the first few years of the war. Obviously there were plenty laying around since they are fairly common today. I have seen pictures of soldiers carrying two knives. Usually one strapped to their leg. I have knives from two different WW2 vets. One was army he carried a Wilkerson knife like the air borne troops and he had a theater knife with a sheath specially made to go around his leg. I also have his foot locker. The other was a Seabee he carried a Mk2 and a theater knife. The Mark 2 doesn't show a lot of use. The theater knife that is a dagger looks like it was used daily. The dagger is sharp as heck.

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Frank Trzaska

In 1927 there were over 250,000 Trench Knives in Inventory. 139,000 were M1918 MKI Trench knives.

 

In 1942 there were 157,000 Trench Knives in Inventory. So if there were on 139,000 M1918 MkI knives previously we would need to believe that at least 18,000 M1917 and M1918 Trench Knives were in Ordnance Inventory in the 1942 count.

 

This does not tell us they were issued but it tells us the US military had them available for use.

 

All the best

Frank Trzaska

All The Best

Frank Trzaska

Visit us at USMilitaryKnives.Com

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