Third pattern M-3 Fighting / Trench Knife. By the Imperial Knife Co. Approximately 29.5cm/11.5" in length with a 16.5cm/6.75" spearpoint blade. The handle is formed of compressed, stacked leather washers with a steel crossguard and pommel. This example is guard-marked 'USM3 Imperial' and has the US ordnance flaming bomb symbol on the pommel. Comes with the correct lst pattern M-8 sheath in olive drab fibreglass with a steel throat and webbing frog. Fitted with leather leg thong and attached to a 1942 dated M1936 webbing belt by NASCo. The knife shows use and wear. The blade has lost much of the 'blued'/'parkerized' finish, the edges have a few 'bumps' and have been sharpened over the years. The handle also has some knocks but retains lovely patination. Clear markings on the crossguard. The sheath is manufactured by B.M. Co. and is in very good overall condition, again with clear markings. The original owner has engraved his name into the back - see photo 6. The webbing belt is in excellent condition.
These knives were issued to many American aircrew and they are often seen in period photos. They were also favoured by special/elite forces and the 101st Airborne wore them strapped to the lower leg. Stock code S19732.