air force survival knife history

( Log Out /  Style: Fixed Spear Overall Length: 24 cm (9.5 in.) As a further development on the Air Force Survival Knife, the Ontario Knife Company offers a second-generation civilian version of the knife in its Special Purpose SP® series of knives. Next to Les Stroud, Camillus joined forces with several other so-called Pro Staffers. The knife also comes with a parachute cutter that has a separate sheath which can be attached to a MOLLE vest. I would love to see a picture of the knife. It is assumed that such information resides in the archives of the companies that have manufactured the knife as well as the files of the DoD. It is currently still in inventory with the DoD through the GSA. However, because of Marble’s premature manufacturing of the knife before it was awarded a government contract, the rest of the world gained the privilege to own this knife. €39.75 . Thanks for looking and have a great day. Additionally, synthetic composite materials like Kevlar had not been fully integrated into aircraft construction until the late 1970s and 1980s. You are able to get the knife because it is dummy corded to you. As the development and testing process began to take shape, updates to the original specification documents were published. The pommel is marked CAMILLUS N.Y. 2-1971 for February 1971 . Change ), Origins Of A New Survival Knife for Military Aircrews, The Air Force Survival Knife Introduced to the Commercial Market, Design Features for the Air Force Survival Knife, The blade is to be a “through tang” blade blanked from AISI 1095 steel conforming to MIL-S-8665, The blade will be tempered to a Rockwell Hardness of C50-C55. In 1983, this registration was amended to add the use of the product for incorporation into cork insulation for military use. Hi John, Additionally, the jet age in military aviation increased the number of gear pilots and aircrews had to carry on their flights. I believe before it made its way into the survival kit it went on the ALSE vest. It may add to your history file. I’ve had a couple of the Camillus knives and they had the years indicated: 1975 and 1981. You pull the knife out but drop it. Valor is the name of the US company that retailed the 998. Regards, The intended use of the knife is for pilots as required in survival situations. Additionally, OKC is the only company selling this knife commercially. Relevant!! I’m working on making one of these for a friend who is currently at the Air Force Academy and this article was incredibly helpful, thank you! In the late 1940’s, General Curtis LeMay, the head of the Strategic Air Command (SAC), authorized the creation of a survival kit for the crews of long range bombers. Still being supplied during Desert Storm and into the 21st century. I recently bought a new Ontario that has 3-11 on the pommel (March 2011 I reckon). I’m assuming the knife is an earlier production but, as it’s a 5 inch blade, it has to be after 1961. The grip will be made of leather in compliance with Federal Standard KK-L-165. The serrated spine on this knife is part of the functional requirements for this knife. The item “US WW II Imperial Army Air Force Survival Machete Knife -Folding/Military -WW2″ is in sale since Wednesday, February 21, 2018. United States Army Natick Soldier Research, Development and Engineering Center, United States Army Aeromedical Research Lab, "Army developing new aircrew survival knife", List of individual weapons of the U.S. Armed Forces, Cutlery and Allied Trades Research Association,, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, holes for tying the knife to a stick to act as a spear, This page was last edited on 3 January 2021, at 06:06. I hope this helps. Many GIs bought these knives and carried them during the war in Vietnam, including my father, who bought on in the exchange in Takhli, Thailand, and wore it during missions over North Vietnam. Even if the Ontario Knife Company discontinues their production and the DoD phases them out of their inventories, the knife will be around for commercial purchase. Thanks for the feedback. It is also suspected that knife makers will begin to find ways to improve the knife and manufacture their versions of the knife similar to what knife companies are doing with other legacy knife designs. Here is the basic history of this knife. As late as the ’80s and ’90s, Japanese made copies of the MK2 “KABAR” and the Air Force Survival Knife were sold in exchanges around the globe. In all other ways, it totally resembles the pilots survival knife distributed to the military in the 1950’s. I’m interested in finding out about what I believe is not a USAF Pilot Survival Knife, but may in fact be an Asian made imitation. I apologize for the delay in responding to your question. Subscribe for more, drop a like or dislike, click the bell! To recuperate some of the money that they had spent producing blades and knife components, Marble offered a civilian version of the knife to the public in 1961. The Gerber ASEK has been approved for purchase, and Gerber released an additional version with a foliage green handle to match the Army Combat Uniform. [2], During the initial evaluation, an electrically insulated handle was considered to be desirable but not mandatory. Can These Awesome Items Make A Great Backpack Loadout. The Air Force Survival Knife has had a storied, yet obscure, history. Hello, [1] The knife is 10.25 inches (26.0 cm) in length, the blade is 5 inches (13 cm) in length, .1875 inches (4.76 mm) thick and constructed from 1095 carbon steel. Mine has a blued blade and crossguard. If you have some method to receive photos, let me know and I’ll forward the photos. So far I haven't found any ASEK's ordered by the Air Force, but that doesn't mean they aren't. ( Log Out /  . These knives could be a welcome addition if you like to collect edged weaponry, and they may bear the standard hallmarks of use or age. However, there is not enough information in the literature to determine with certainty the purpose of the holes. This happens quite often. Bruce Mergele, QMC, USNR-Retired. When you order any knife you are confirming that you are an adult making a legal purchase. In the early 2000s, the U.S. Army published requirements to private industry for an aviation survival knife to replace the aging Air Force Survival Knife. In particular, some questions that arise with this knife are those regarding two specific features of the knife: the saw-toothed spine and the two holes in the handguard. The back piece has also been cut-through by the blade over the years, so the metal addition was definitely needed. Ontario Knife Company 499 Air Force Survival Knife 5" Sawback Blade with False Top Edge and Blood Grooves, Natural Leather Handle and Sheath - 6150 4.5 out of 5 stars 992 $51.65 $ 51 . A zinc phosphate finish over the tough high carbon 1095 steel helps protect from rust. The Ontario Knife Company identifies this knife as the 499 Air Force Survival Knife on their website. The sharpened clip point on the blade allows the pilot to punch a hole in the aluminum then use the knife spine as a hasty saw to cut through the aircraft skin during an aircraft egress situation. Thank you, this is a very informative treatise on this knife. Furthermore, standardization of equipment reduces costs upon the logistical system. The knife has been in continuous service with the Department of Defense for over sixty years. Thus, the current standards, methods, and procedures were not necessarily applicable to the procurement process that brought this knife into existence. It includes a crushed diamond disk sharpener and a separate blade for cutting through seatbelt webbing. Thanks for your work. That latest acquisition also had a sheath lacking the metal back and tip of the sheath, but appears original in all respects. Currently, one pesticide product is registered to contain para-nitrophenol as an active ingredient. As such, this knife was not intended as a frontiersman or bushcraft knife, per se. Most knives I seen are marked 10998 or some other number not marked on my blade. Some companies marked them and some did not. Any information you could provide would be greatly appreciated. It’s nice to come across a blog every once in a while that isn’t the same old rehashed material. Bama Knives takes no responsibility for any illegal purchase. It may also be used as a screwdriver or precision edge marker. The fixed blade’s length is 4.5 inches. Glen, Another possibility, is that a previous owner modified the knife after it was issued or purchased. Sure, they were still primarily for fighting, but they could also easily assist with other tasks soldiers might need outside of combat – like basic survival. Those who do not currently own one should purchase one. It used to be a standard piece of gear for anyone, including backpackers, who was a serious outdoorsman and wilderness adventurers back in the 1970s and 1980s, before the Rambo movies made popular the Rambo-type survival knife. Each knife is manufactured in accordance with US Government specifications. With a bowie-style clip-point tip and serrated teeth on the spine, this knife is ideal for a variety of cutting applications. Possibly, some may have had one issued to them while serving in the military. The sheath also comes with the original leather tie-downs in their original bags. Dear Major,I have had this knife for 30 years when I picked one up at local sporting goods store ,it served me well but, sadly had it stolen a few years ago….my question is how to safely (without too much damage to tang or butt plate (large nut square hole) to change handle ? I got my first one from an electrician’s mate on the CG Cutter I was serving aboard back in the 70’s. As with many uses of military equipment, service members use considerable ingenuity in the field when employing their equipment and therefore, the use of the holes in the blade guard for cordage lashing points may have been a field expedient use of the knife rather than as an intentionally designed purpose. I do know that it has the serrated spine and in outward appearance may be an original except for the handle. Consequently, the knife blade being reduced from six inches to five inches allowed it to retain some of the qualities necessary to carry out survival tasks, but small enough that it could be easily stowed on an aircrewman’s vest without causing interference for aircrews trying to carry out their duties while flying. But if it’s an Asian imitation then it’s hard to determine when it was made. The ASEK, made by Ontario, was adopted after trials by United States Army Natick Soldier Research, Development and Engineering Center in Natick, Massachusetts. While researching this knife I discovered that Camillus, the same manufacturer as the iconic Kabar fighting knife, was the main producer of these knives. The Air Force Survival Knife is an excellent knife. They needed an effective tool for survival in … Contact the Ontario Knife Company. If you have any question’s or concern’s please ask and be sure to ZOOM in on picture’s as they describe the item better than I can. The Mark I is based on the French variety, except i… But you have an injury to your arm. Their commercial version of the survival knife had a polished blade instead of a subdued or blued blade, brass guard, and polished pommel. Change ), You are commenting using your Facebook account. The sharpening stone size shall be 3 inches long, 7/8-inch-wide, and 1/4 inch thick. Not sure about the pommel stamping. Any Further Details or assistance is greatly appreciated. Paranitrophenol was first registered in the United States in 1963 as a fungicide incorporated into leather products and hides as a preservative. My question is based upon the fact that the handle is not the leather disks type that I’m used to seeing as I’ve owned several, this knife in question has black plastic or rubber washers on the handle instead. This military specification document would become the standard for further improvements and changes to the pilot survival knife throughout the years. After vetting the information against the published government standards for this knife and the government procurement process, what emerged was a unique story of an iconic knife that has found its way from the military to the civilian outdoor world and into the hearts of many owners and users. However, the registrations for all registered products containing salicylanilide as an active ingredient have been canceled. World War I saw horrific fighting in close quarters, which helps explain the knife’s nickname as “Knuckle Dusters,” referencing their heavy brass knuckle grip. This registration, granted in 1980, is for use of paranitrophenol as a fungicide incorporated into leather for military use, at a concentration not to exceed 0.7% on the basis of dry finished leather weight. The Fallkniven F1 is the official survival knife Swedish Air Force pilots since 1995. The second question that arises concerning some of the features of this knife is the purpose of the two holes in the blade guard. I have little knowledge on the Use of it in Vietnam, that said, I cant find much details. This page is about the knives I make for United States Air Force Pararescuemen, with plenty of examples and links to these very special knives right here on my web site. The knife was probably modified by a previous owner. You are correct. With out further adieu I present the Ontario Military Issue Air Force Survival Knife w/Sheath. The tip of the sheath is pointed and the back part of leather extends beyond the front for two lanyard holes. We have a great online selection at the lowest prices with Fast & Free shipping on many items! The Air Force Survival Knife will be around for a very long time. Many thanks! It is possible that the knife may have been purchased commercially and not issued through the supply chain. You need to get the knife out to cut your way out. (The 1958 designed knife is still issued by US military, and is currently made by Ontario Knife. By contrast, the current DoD procurement process is much more refined and regulated. I am trying to find any information on a 7 inch U.S. Camillus. 65 $71.95 $71.95 I agree. The U.S. Defense Department published to private industry requirements for a standardized fixed blade knife to issue to pilots and aircrews of the various service branches. I’ve read reviews that claim the new ones (from Ontario) are not as good. This is a quick look at the Ontario Knife Company 499 Air Force Survival Knife. I sent some pictures I have of mine, Major. The sharpening stone shall be fabricated from silicon carbide, grain size 280, hardness P, vitrified bond. It is the SP 2, Survival Knife. Entertaining and informing. It does, however, have a small “Japan” stamped in the blade at the hilt. These influences upon the procurement system tempered the DoD design features of the knife. They may allow you to send it to them to get refurbished. The Air Force Survival Knife was introduced to the commercial market by Marble after not being awarded the DoD contract to supply the new survival knife to the military. I have a MK2 copy that I bought in the US Army AAFES exchange in West Germany in the mid-1980s. However, it was still adequate for survival situations and therefore remained in the Federal Supply System. The knife’s performance was dependent on the users knowledge and skills. Also it is not cut to put on a belt. I own one of these knives and recently became interested in it’s history when one was found in a japanese built WWII tunnel system in a mountain in Northern Luzon, Philippines. Camillus 5 inches Jet Pilot's Survival knife on top of. Interesting information. The genesis of the Air Force Survival Knife goes back to the 1950s at the dawn of the jet age. During WWII, survival knives were issued to aircraft crew, as it was a real possibility that these personnel might be shot down over wilderness or … The knife’s 1095 Carbon Steel fixed blade has an epoxy textured powder coated finish. Fighting knives were no longer single-purpose tools of war, but were intended to be used in a variety of ways, as well as being combat blades. You can find items such as a Camillus Air Force survival knife from the Vietnam era or a Colonial knife that belonged to a World War II pilot. The Ontario Knife 6150, 499 Air Force Survival Knife has become an Ontario CLASSIC also used by US Armed Forces. The Boker Plus U.S. Air Force Survival Knife is a good quality knife at a decent price that won’t break your bank. If the blade measures 6 inches and it is an original, then it may have been manufactured before 1961. The Newer one is by Camillus the older one I got given to by my uncle, who got it from someone in Vietnam. I have a one of the knives that came out of a survival kit. Many of us have been exposed to the fixed blade knife known popularly as the Air Force Survival Knife. Ontario Knife Company is most well known as a supplier of military knives. These knives, along with machetes and bolos constituted survival knives as used by military, explorers, and outdoorsmen up through at least the 1930s. Thanks for filling in the blanks. Marble produced several thousand knives for field testing and delivered them to the U.S. Air Force between 1957-1959. The reason behind Marble selling their knife to the general public was due, in part, to pre-maturely manufacturing several thousand knife blades and parts in advance of learning who would be awarded the government contract to supply the knives to the military. The Gerber ASEK met all requirements, and outperformed the Ontario model in the area of electrical insulation. A comfortable Kraton® handle provides a … The Air Force Survival Knife has had a storied, yet obscure, history. This design was accepted, and the military specifications documents were updated to reflect Marble’s concept in MIL-K-8662A (04 November 1957). Camillus produced the knife with a 6-inch blade from 1959-1961. Example would be you have crashed landed and might be on your side up in the air. I was wondering if you had run across anything about the dates on the pommel nut. I own one as a backup knife for my backpacking, outdoor, and emergency needs. The Ontario Knife 6150, 499 Air Force Survival Knife has become an Ontario CLASSIC also used by US Armed Forces. The iconic design features of the knife, that have characterized its look, have remained unchanged since its inception. The leather will be treated with para-nitrophenol fungicide. Ontario’s knife became procured by the U.S. Army and was issued a National Stock Number, NSN: 1095-01-530-0833 within the Federal Supply System. One of the tasks that this knife was designed to accomplish was helping pilots and aircrews egress their downed aircraft or to help first responders extract them from their downed aircraft. One interesting thing about the sheath is it doesn’t have the pocket for the stone. As such, finding a definitive history of the development and procurement of this knife is difficult to reconstruct. Description. Phillip; It appears that in 2006, Ontario Knife Company became the current vendor to the DoD of the Jet Pilot Survival Knife under the National Stock Number (NSN): 7340-00-098-4327. It is a Japanese made copy of the US Air Force Survival knife and was sold through the US military exchanges. This blog was… how do you say it? Later, after service members began returning from Vietnam, the military-grade issued knives began to be seen on the market. The knife went through a couple of different vendors over its life cycle. Throughout the years they have supplied the U.S. military with products such as the M7 bayonet, the USAF Survival Knife, the M1942 Machete, the Navy MK3 MOD 0 diving/survival knife, the M9 … Change ), You are commenting using your Twitter account. 1971 marked Camillus 5 inches Jet Pilot Survival knife complete with scabbard. Handle: Brown Leather Sheath: Brown Leather Canada's Source for Knives by Ontario Knife Company. Thank you…. from - The Original and Largest Online Catalog of Cutlery Both products contained a second active ingredient, salicylanilide. Thus, this knife became obsolete for its original intended use when the majority of military aircraft incorporated composite materials. The 1954 update calls for the knife to have a sharpened clip point blade and an additional rivet to the sheath. The story of this knife seems to begin in 1953, when the DoD announced to private industry their specifications for a standardized survival knife for pilots to interested vendors in Military Specification MIL-K-8662 (16 October 1953). However, based on the information that I have collected, vetted, and coupled with my own experience with the DoD procurement and testing process, here is the basic history of this knife. Thanks for contacting me. Most of the information that I have collected about the knife comes from blogs and knife forums on the internet. Camillus 6 inches Jet Pilot's Survival knife . In 1957, the Marble-Arms Corporation submitted to the U.S. government a design based on their Ideal Hunting Knife design. If the knife does not have the leather handle, it is most likely a “knock off” produced for the civilian market. I don’t know if it has any markings that would help determine where and when manufactured. Companies interested in gaining the government contract received these requirements and submitted proposals for consideration based on those requirements. The leather for the grip will be cut into washers, 1/8 inch in thickness. Some Comments on the Design Features of the Air Force Survival Knife, Further Developments of the Air Force Survival Knife, A Short History of the U. S. Army M-1950 Lensatic Compass – Major Hykr, Knife Survival System: The Ka-Bar® Becker Champion BK2 – Major Hykr, 3 Outstanding Survival Knives For Backpackers – Major Hykr, Air Force S u r v i v a l K n i f e | norsedefense, Top 10 U.S. Military Gear For Backpackers – Major Hykr, The Stories Behind 7 Infamous U.S. Military Knives | Fishing, Top 10 U.S. Military Gear For Backpackers. Bama Knives takes no responsibility for injury, accident, death or criminal acts due to the misuse of any of our products. 1 review(s) | Add your review. The Trench Knife Boker Plus U.S. Air Force Survival Knife. Both are excellent knives. ( Log Out /  ( Log Out /  About 99% of the knives you'll see offered will be commercial one's made by Marble's or fakes put together by others. Any information is appreciated. Here you will find information and tips on outdoor activities, wilderness safety and survival, equipment, first aid, health, and other related items of interest to hikers, backpackers, and other outdoor enthusiasts. The iconic design features of the knife, that have characterized its look, have remained unchanged since its inception. The stamping was kind of inconsistent from my research. The US Air Force jet Pilot Survival Knife that we know today has a history that goes back to the end of the Korean Conflict. Thanks! I have several good photos of the knife which I’d be happy to forward but there doesn’t seem to be a way to send them to you on this site. The genesis of the Air Force Survival Knife goes back to the 1950s at the dawn of the jet age. The serrated spine was designed to cut through the aluminum skin surrounding the airframes of Korean and Vietnam War-era aircraft. It was enlightening to discover that there is very little information available on the background and origins of this knife. Over the decades, this document has been updated. The one I have comes with a green pouch that went on the vest and the leather sheath was sewn into the pouch. However, this was not the end of the aging Air Force Survival Knife. Currently, the military-grade Air Force Survival Knife is only manufactured and sold by the Ontario Knife Company. Phil, Air Force Survival Knife 9/14/20 - This is a civilian version of an Air Force survival knife- aka the jet pilot's survival knife. This knife was issued. Bear7, Thus, finding ways of reducing the bulk of the Aviation Life Support Equipment (ALSE) assisted in the overall weight considerations for flying. Major Hykr is my blog site to chronicle my hiking and backpacking experiences. As a result, the Ontario Knife Company developed a prototype based on the 1957 design that was first submitted by Marble. That same year, the Marble-Arms Corporation (now known as Marble’s®) began work on designing their prototype for the survival knife based on the government specifications.
air force survival knife history 2021