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U.S. M3 Knife remains

Article about: Thought you might like to see what is left of an M3 knife that was carried by a U.S. serviceman on the Solomons. The ex serviceman was recently visiting where I work and after having a long

  1. #1

    Default U.S. M3 Knife remains

    Thought you might like to see what is left of an M3 knife that was carried by a U.S. serviceman on the Solomons.

    The ex serviceman was recently visiting where I work and after having a long chat, he mentioned he had a knife that I might like to see that he carried in the war. I visited his home and he told me about carrying this knife on his belt and getting wounded in the thigh, it would seem that the bullet passed through the upper blade of the knife but he only had some bleeding on this leg and no "real wound, but enough for the purple heart", his words!

    If you look closely at the blade you can still make out some copper colour, so it would tend to reinforce his claim that it was shot, rather than a piece of schrapnel that broke the blade. The rest of the blade apparently shattered into bits, and you can see how the handle has been bent with the force of the impact, actually breaking the cross guard as well. He kept it all these years to remember how lucky he was.

    He was a truly remarkable gentleman to talk with and had great recall, he gave me the knife handle as he said non of his family were interested, which I thought very sad.


    Cheers,

    Grant
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  2. #2

    Default Re: U.S. M3 Knife remains

    Hi Grant, that is a wonderful story and a great item! I would agree it looks like a bullet hit to me. Thanks for sharing it with us.

    Cheers, Ade.

  3. #3

    Default Re: U.S. M3 Knife remains

    Hi Ade,

    Thanks for that, I'm quite please with it. It is always nice to be given something so personal.

    I know the old adage about don't buy the story etc, but when the guy is in his late eighties, is giving you the item and it looks like the sort of damage he is telliing you about....... even this doubting Thomas thought it would be okay to post

    Cheers,

    Grant

  4. #4
    ?

    Default Re: U.S. M3 Knife remains

    great item as well as a great story behind it, its a real shame that his own family have no interest in this thanks for sharing & the pics

  5. #5

    Default Re: U.S. M3 Knife remains

    UPDATE==========UPDATE

    Mr Keane (The Ex U.S. Serviceman), came over to see me after work yesterday. Unfortunately I was working a late shift and missed him, but he left the piece of bullet that went into his thigh when the knife was smashed with my wife. He mentioned that he still had it when we last met, but couldn't find it. It raises a few questions in my mind, I thought that the Japanese rounds mainly had cupronickle projectiles?? I wonder if he may have actually been hit by one of his own guys????

    Have a look and let me know if it appears to be the remains of a Japanese projectile or a U.S. one

    Cheers,

    Grant
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  6. #6
    MCLMM
    ?

    Default Re: U.S. M3 Knife remains

    May be a Jap 7.7mm. They had a copper jacketed boattail projectile. Very, very similar to a .303.

    I've got a live one I picked up at the Z Experimental Station site in Cairns several years ago. Z Special Unit were using captured Japanese weapons for training and familiarisation.

    EDIT: Also, was Mr Keane a Marine? That knife looks like a USN MKII "Ka-Bar" and if he served in the Solomons, it fits.

  7. #7
    Hydro101
    ?

    Default Re: U.S. M3 Knife remains

    I concur with MCLMM's "Edit" remark - the knife you have is almost certainly a Ka-Bar, not an M3....
    I have both. Admittedly, mine are recent reproductions - but the manufacturers claim they're made to 'original specs'.... I'll share the reason I think it's a Ka-Bar:
    1) the blade is wider than an M3...
    2) the manufacturer's stamp (or "proof", maybe? not sure of the terminology, but in this case, its Camillus) is parallel to the crossguard. On the M3, the stamp is parallel to the upper edge of the blade, i.e. the un-sharpened side...
    3) The M3 had one side of the crossguard 'bent' or angled towards the blade. The Ka-Bar crossguard was always flat or straight, like the one show in your pics...
    3) Most tellingly, in my opinion, are the leather washers on the handle: your photo shows 6 stacked washers. They are wide, with shallow indentations between them. My M3 has 9 washers - they are narrower than my Ka-Bar's, and have deeper indentations.

    I've seen all the above details in photos of original wartime specimens. BTW, Ka-Bars were carried by US Marines (USMC) and not really by the US Navy.

    Best I recall (and my memory ain't what it was !) both Army and Marines fought in the Solomans. I expect some Army guys got Ka-Bars, and vice versa.

    But, MCLMM is right - thats a Ka-Bar, lads.... Will be glad to post a side-byside pic of my two knives, if it matters.

    Best Regards,
    me

  8. #8

    Default Re: U.S. M3 Knife remains

    Thank you both MCLMM and Hydro101 for your thoughtful and informative responses.

    As silly as it sounds, I never asked him if he was a Marine, however I will make some inquiries as soon as possible

    Thank you for putting me straight with the detailed explanation as to why it is a Ka-Bar and not an M3, really great details, many thanks

    Cheers,


    Grant

  9. #9

    Default Re: U.S. M3 Knife remains

    would love to tread where you tread mate - care to meet up some time?

    i'm in melbourne if it helps

  10. #10
    ?

    Default Re: U.S. M3 Knife remains

    Grant

    What a great post/story.

    What a fine relics too and made even more valuable by having the story behind it straight from the original source.

    I hope you will treasure it.

    Thanks for sharing it with us.

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