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WWII KA-BAR COMMANDO


Bob Hudson
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This is the WWII vintage KABAR Commando, which apparently was not issued, but rather a private purchase item that could be bought in the base or post exchange and was favored by Navy pilots and SeaBees, among others, because its blade is shorter than the issue KA-BAR's and because the shiny blade is less prone to corrosion.

 

kabarbakelite.jpg

 

kabar2cu.jpg

 

kabar2dual.jpg

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Greg Robinson
This is the WWII vintage KABAR Commando, which apparently was not issued, but rather a private purchase item that could be bought in the base or post exchange and was favored by Navy pilots and SeaBees, among others, because its blade is shorter than the issue KA-BAR's and because the shiny blade is less prone to corrosion.

 

And you're a lucky guy to have found such a nice example. :D

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  • 1 month later...

Give us some "gen" as to what it says Gunbarrel..i would get shot if i logged into another forum...:-)

 

Regards

 

Lloyd

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Lloyd, it says that 'There are two versions...the "Polished Commando" with blade fullers (grooves) and bright finish. The other is the "Parkerized Commando" with no fullers, and black finish. Total production of both was 500,000...This was a private purchase knife, not issue.'

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Thanks buddy..so i have brought the parkerised non fuller type then...see the Ebay link.

 

and 1/2 a million......for production.That makes them in the uncommon bracket doesnt it ?

 

Regards

 

Lloyd

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  • 2 weeks later...

Hey Bob..that polished Kabar commando knife of yours...can you look at the crossguard and see where the Kabar Olean New York is please.

 

My EBay won Parkerised commando arrived yesterday and the maker markings are upside down and in line with the blade edge...like the cross guard has been assembled upside down.

 

Surely for "correctness" the Kabar Olean New York should be at the top of the crossguard in line with the top of the handle

 

is this a factory "mis-assembly" or were they all like this ?

 

Regards

 

Lloyd

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Hey Bob..that polished Kabar commando knife of yours...can you look at the crossguard and see where the Kabar Olean New York is please.

 

My EBay won Parkerised commando arrived yesterday and the maker markings are upside down and in line with the blade edge...like the cross guard has been assembled upside down.

 

Surely for "correctness" the Kabar Olean New York should be at the top of the crossguard in line with the top of the handle

 

is this a factory "mis-assembly" or were they all like this ?

 

Regards

 

Lloyd

 

I have since sold that KA-BAR, but the photos above show all the marks.

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Greg Robinson
Hey Bob..that polished Kabar commando knife of yours...can you look at the crossguard and see where the Kabar Olean New York is please.

 

My EBay won Parkerised commando arrived yesterday and the maker markings are upside down and in line with the blade edge...like the cross guard has been assembled upside down.

 

Surely for "correctness" the Kabar Olean New York should be at the top of the crossguard in line with the top of the handle

 

is this a factory "mis-assembly" or were they all like this ?

 

Regards

 

Lloyd

 

Unless you see signs of it having been disassembled I'd say it was quite possible the piece was assembled wrong at the factory. This is rare....but it happened. I own a CASE 337 6"Q that has the markings upside down on the blade.

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I have checked the pics of Bobs "Commando" and his markings appear to be upside down...and i have checked mine and they are DEFINATLEY upside down....

 

no repunch marks on the pommel...so some shoddy work in Olean that day....:-)

 

Regards

 

Lloyd

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Hey Bob..that polished Kabar commando knife of yours...can you look at the crossguard and see where the Kabar Olean New York is please.

 

My EBay won Parkerised commando arrived yesterday and the maker markings are upside down and in line with the blade edge...like the cross guard has been assembled upside down.

 

Surely for "correctness" the Kabar Olean New York should be at the top of the crossguard in line with the top of the handle

 

is this a factory "mis-assembly" or were they all like this ?

 

Regards

 

Lloyd

>>>> Most of these "Commando" were not marked "KA-BAR" on blade, but only on the UNDERSIDE of Crossguard. BOB

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Thanks for that Bob RK-SS....so the cross guard markings on the bottom of the crossguard are correct ?

 

Regards

 

Lloyd

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Thanks for that Bob RK-SS....so the cross guard markings on the bottom of the crossguard are correct ?

 

Regards

 

Lloyd

>>>> YES <<<<

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Nice one Bob....thanks for posting.Great looking knife.

 

That puts the markings to bed then..that underneath is correct.

 

Now for the $64000 question

 

Has anyone got any pictures of these in use during WW2

 

Regards

 

Lloyd

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  • 1 year later...

I would disagree about the Commando never having been issued. However I do fully agree that they were also sold in PXs and in the first post war catalog to about '47. You will find it (as well as the Case, Marbles and similar 'Pilot" knives) in the Quartermaster books as "Hunting knife." All of the services had them in survival bags found on bombers, packed with rafts, etc. Coast Guard had them too. I don't know if the Seabees purchased theirs, or if they were issued to those contractors, but they were a historically ignored military issue item as well as being available for post war sale to civilians. Markings seem to be the key to determination which was which. Some (on other forums) maintain the 'for PX and civilian sale variants had blade markings, while the intended for actual lift raft issue variants only had the crossguard markings. I suspect that more than one account of someone finding themselves in a raft or accessing a survival kit and referencing a Ka-Bar has been wrongly attributed to the MKI or MK2 when it was the humble Commando knife packed in the box that was saving the day. My own Pa was in the AAF on 26s (Op Torch, sub patrol, Sicily and all that) and he said they were in the bombers and issued to pilots until the M-3 came out and replaced them. Interestingly enough his own bring home seems to have been the 471(?, lack the appropriate pre war Ka-bar catalog to be sure of the number) ancestor of both the MK2 and the Commando which he said was the best available knife before Torch and suddenly a few weeks later the Commandos popped up in the raft kits issued for sub patrol and the Navy guys all started getting MK2s. Ka-Bar, after the war, stated they made about 500,000 of them, but didn't say how many were military purchased and how many went to civilian sales. I know some of the Home Guard, in the states that had Home Guards, were issued them, but don't know if that would count as a military issue here or not. Marketing wise, I truly doubt that a decision to flood the civilian market with them in the midst of the war would have been either viewed lightly by the War industries steel rationing boards, or even a good sales decision since most civilians had no need for such a tool.

 

 

 

BTW, I just bought this one on Ebay

http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewI...:EOIBSA:US:1123

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  • 7 years later...

This is one of the oldest topics on the forum, but stills gets updated.

 

Here's some photos of the parkerized Ka Bar Commando. Someone put it in a custom-engraved scabbard.

 

1.jpg

 

2.jpg

 

3.jpg

 

4.jpg

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