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A Marine's Knife on Iwo Jima: What Is It?


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I ran across this image and found it interesting because of the knife stuck in the pants of the Marine on the left. It sorta looks like one of the Camillus USAAF knives or perhaps some type of private purchase knife, but maybe one of our Members has a better suggestion.

 

The caption reads Marines warm coffee at a Japanese sulphur pit in February 1945. Pipe was used in Japanese steam bath. Left to right, Cpl Roy F. Webster and Sgt DeWaine J. Fish – both from 2d Bn 26th Marines.

 

Marines with Carbines and knife warm coffee at Iwo Jima suphur pit.jpg

 

To me the overall shape of the handle and blade outline appears similar to the Camillus Model #5665 Hunting Knife. It was issued as part of the USAAF Emergency Kit. About 35,500 were purchased from Camillus which, of course, had made this model of knife for civilian users before the war. I have an example of that Camillus in my collection. An old image of it that I had handy is below. Is it the same blade used by the Marine in the pic, or not?

 

Camillus USAAF Emerg Kit #5665 knife ed.jpg

 

Regards,

Charlie

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Bob, Camillus records show that the knife you posted pictures of was supplied to both the U.S. Army Engineering Corps, with another small contract for the United States Marine Corp. by Camillus. If the notes on the document are correct it looks like about 825 to the Army and only about 1000 to the Marines. The document also states that Utica Cutlery was another manufacture for a similar knife.

Maybe others have more information about this.

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Looks to me to be some type of bone, as a replacement. As stated, picture not the best but don't see evidence of the rivets holding grips. Leather & plastic grips weren't meant for the environment of the Pacific theater. Many MK1's & MK2's as well as other types had their grips replaced, thereby, became know as "theater made".

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