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USAAF Engineer/Gunner 1940-43 - Would he have had a knife?


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OK . . . a question that just came to me. My GGGUncle was an Engineer/Gunner on B-17s and B-24s. He was in the AAC/AAF from 1939 until his death in the Aleutians in 1943. My question . . . as an Engineer/Gunner, would he have had a knife of any kind? If so, would love to see pics. Thanks!

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These are three types of issued blades carried by USAAF pilots and crew. They are associated with survival gear. Pilots and crew also wore other blades and these could be other types of issued gear or blades they bought on their own and wore.

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OH . . .cool! Anyway to get the names/numbers (or whatever you ID them by) for those three?

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If you ever want a custom hand-embroidered (no machine) patch, I'm open to commissions! Pay or trade!
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For an idea of my military collecting interests and wish list, see my profile page!
Looking for Old-Style US Coast Guard Commendation Medal (w/ or w/o ribbon)!

Oh, tarry and be strong; Tell God in prayer. What is thy hidden grief; Thy secret care.

Yet, if no answer come; Pray on and wait: God's time is always best; Never too late.

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I believe that an electricians knife (TL-29 type) could be possible for an engineer in the USAAF to have. The Navy had special ones marked "R41-K-455" for their aviators and it would be likely that the army might issue such a useful knife to their own aviators. You would want to find one marked "US Army" which is most commonly found on Pal and KABAR knives. I believe that these were issued to different areas of the army that might need them including to mechanics because there seems to be no evidence that the rare "G41-K-370" mark used by army mechanics was used until post war.

 

Also sorry the pictures appear blurry when I uploaded them which kind of made including them pointless in the first place.

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For the sake of accuracy,

-The knife pictured middle in Post #2 is a Giant Jackknife which did not come onto the scene until late 1944 so would not be accurate for 1943 or earlier.

-The 9-inch machete first pictured in Post #2 is more relative to a jungle survival machete provided in back-pad kits, it is possible they had these but highly unlikely serving in the northern regions of Alaska and Canada so that wouldn't be entirely accurate as well

-The third knife in Post #2 is the 10-inch folding machete that again was provided in emergency back-pad kits did not come onto the scene until 1943, unlikely very many were circulation at the time of KIA so it too is in accurate.

 

An electricians knife as seen in post #4 is probable for a personal pocket knife but so would any of a hundred or more types, so make your choice as long as it is era.

A sheath or hunting knife would be accurate 5-6 inch blade. There are a few known AAC hunting knives but a multitude of commercial types would be appropriate as well.

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My first K-Bar was from a guy who said his grandfather owned it. His grandfather was a pilot on a B17 and the K-Bar was made in 1942 (one of the first ones with the thick pommel and round peen). Point is that he could have carried about any knife of the period, and could have traded for an early K-Bar or a Mark 1, picked up one of the 6-inch hunting knives the Army had, or a private purchase item. I'd just look for one from the period as any of them could be correct.

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An electricians knife as seen in post #4 is probable for a personal pocket knife but so would any of a hundred or more types, so make your choice as long as it is era.

A sheath or hunting knife would be accurate 5-6 inch blade. There are a few known AAC hunting knives but a multitude of commercial types would be appropriate as well.

It would have been issued to the person as opposed to crew issue like the survival kit knives in all likely hood, however they would not have been a commercial type because all three are marked as US army issue either by it's stock number, U.S.A., or U.S. Army meaning that they were originally issued by the army. It could be possible that a flight engineer could be issued one or get one by other means since the screwdriver seems like it could be particularly useful to have with the knife.

 

P-59A I agree that does look like a standard "engineer knife" with the exception that it doesn't appear to have the steel bolsters on either end.

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The knife referenced with the B-1 kit is a standard stock item for the USAAF referecned as a Scout Knife. The knife they procured and stocked was a model referred to as a Cattlemen, it has three cutting blades. This was the standard pocket knife included in parachute kits or I should say the B-Series.

The electricians knife has had a bit of focus here but that is a specific tool. I would recommend the shift of emphasis to the Engineer type pocket knife. This was an all so common pattern issued to all services, it consists of a main blade, can-opener, screwdriver cap lifter and an awl or sometimes pen blade. This also the standard Scout Knife.

 

This is the type of knife included in the B-1

 

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