There hasn't been an official issue ka-bar in decades. Some units still award them for various reasons.I have a Ka-Bar given to me by a Marine friend of mine. I treasure it. For whatever reason (although I'm sure I'll hear plenty from the peanut gallery here..) the Coast Guard did not issue us any type of utility knife.
Unit armors guarded the bayonets like they were gold. we had to buy our own knives.I have a Ka-Bar given to me by a Marine friend of mine. I treasure it. For whatever reason (although I'm sure I'll hear plenty from the peanut gallery here..) the Coast Guard did not issue us any type of utility knife.
However, the USN adopted the same knife and USN ka-bars were issued.Some Ka-Bar trivia. I am reaching way back here, over 40 years, but here goes. Ka-Bar never made the fighting knife that was issued to the Marines.
The contract was issued to Camillus Cutlery who was the primary manufacturer of the "Ka-Bar"There were several other companies that also made them. PAL and Union Cutlery are two that I remember. There were others.
Before WWII. The Union Cutlery company received a letter from a trapper telling how he had killed a bear with one of their knives. The letter was partially unreadable. Thus the Ka-Bar. Ka-Bar was the name of a line of knives that the Union Cutlery made that were mostly folders.
Marines disliked the WWI fighting knife being issued to them so much that they were buying their own knives to take into battle. Mostly of the Bowie design. This prompted the design of a new fighting knife that began issue in 1943. By 1944 the Marines began calling the issue knife Ka-Bar, regardless of who made it. The Corps called it the MKII Combat Knife.
About 5 years after the war Union Cutlery changed their name to Ka-Bar. By that time they were no longer producing for the Marines. Which is why no Marine was ever issued a Ka-Bar.
This is as best as I can remember as taught to me from my instructor when I was in school at 29 Palms. Regardless of the above trivia, Ka-Bar has become a Marine Corps status symbol. Either purchased by individual Marines, or awarded to them. I received mine for being NCOIC of the mobile communications section of the 4th FSSG, 4th Mar Div. I lost mine after my kids saw me cutting up meat with mine. They did not want to eat what was cut up with a tool that they thought had been used for more nefarious reasons. They admitted to taking it out in the woods and burying it. No amount of punishment would entice them to tell me where they buried it.
I really don't know what the USN issues today. It would make sense that they were from the same makers of the USMC knives though. Don't know? I would think that the USN utility knife issued today would be Ontario.However, the USN adopted the same knife and USN ka-bars were issued.
The original order of ka-bars from Camillus ran out during Korea. And since the 80's, Ontario Knife Company is also an officially licensed Ka-bar producer.
Well the original official issue was the USN and USMC stamped 1219C2, later dubbed the USMC and USN Mark 2 ordered from Camillus in WWII. Camillus was the original manufacturer along with Union, PAL, and Robeson who manufactured them under licensed contract after the knives were officially adopted. After WWII Utica and Conetta Cutlery joined Camillus in manufacturing the Mark 2 with Ontario Knife entering the fray in 1980. Because Union Cutlery stamped Ka-Bar on all of it's knives, the Marines started calling them Ka-Bars, regardless of who made them. Union changed their name to Ka-Bar in 1952, and the rest is history.I really don't know what the USN issues today. It would make sense that they were from the same makers of the USMC knives though. Don't know? I would think that the USN utility knife issued today would be Ontario.
I do know that KA-BAR was stamped on the ricasso of the Union Cutlery Co produced knives. It's just a bit of fun trivia. Ka-Bar identified the contractor, but the contractor was Union Cutlery.