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Thread: Possible Vietnam Pilot knife

  1. #1

    Possible Vietnam Pilot knife


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    I would just like to know some of the history behind this knife

  2. #2
    Nice example of a pre-1967 knife.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 1999
    Location
    Camillus, N.Y., Onondaga
    Posts
    539
    This is a Model #5733 Pilot Survival knife with a 5" blade. As sac troop pointed out it is an earlier model because later models have the stamping moved to the butt which also included the date of manufacture. The leather sheath contains a sharpening stone. This knife has several built in features that include sawteeth for cutting through an aluminum fuselage, the butt could be used as a hammer and the two holes in the guard can be used to tie the knife to a stick to make a spear. Camillus made a large quantity of these for the U.S. Military. This knife was also sold to the civilian market. Camillus also offered a polished blade (no black parkerized parts) known as the Model #1010 which was sold to the civilian market.

    Tom Williams

  4. #4
    Here are some images that Tom sent over to me.




  5. #5
    Thank you guys for all of this information. This was my great uncle's, who was a paratrooper in Vietnam. I was given this knife along with an AR-7

  6. #6
    While it's called a pilots knife it was in fact one of the most carried knives during Vietnam. Not at all unusual for SF, Airborne, infantry, etc. to carry this knife. They were commonly available in the PX system for private purchase. I've been told they sold for less than $5 back during that time. I know this isn't the forum for it but I'd love to see detailed pictures of the AR-7. Lots of different manufacturers. If your's is an actual Armalite you have a treasure.

  7. #7
    I'm sorry to disappoint you, but it's a Charter Arms Ar-7. I believe my uncle received it later on in his military career

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 1999
    Location
    Camillus, N.Y., Onondaga
    Posts
    539
    Camillus also made a hybrid version of the Model #5733 Pilot's Survival knife. I received a call one day and Westwind Productions (Paragon Sales) wanted to order the Model #5733, but they wanted to etch the blades with several models of the aircraft used in Viet Nam. We offered them the polished blade as used in the Model #1010 and the parkerized butt and guard that were used on the Model #5733. The customer ordered 3,000 knives. The knives were shipped to Tennessee Knife Works (makers of the Colonel Coon knives) which was owned by Mr. Adrian Harris (one of the nicest people that I ever met in the knife business and a true gentleman) to have the blades etched. The knives were packed in a special box. I believe that seven models were made. Individual knives and complete sets are occassionally offered on Ebay. These knives were made in January of 1984.

    Tom Williams

  9. #9
    What year would you say this knife was made? It shows that it was in use. The saw edge is worn down

  10. #10
    62 to 66. Some would say that the first 5" blades may show up as early as 61. Maybe CAMCO has some documents in his stash that would clear that up.

    Heres an example I have of one of the first 67 made knives. The story goes that when the specs. were changed to mark the knives on the pommel in 1967 Camillus still had a few blades left over from their 66 inventory. Don't know how many of these knives were made. But most of the 1-1967 knives you'll run across won't have the CAMILLUS/N.Y. marking on the blade ricasso. I haven't heard of a knife with a marked blade and a date later than 1-1967 on the pommel. This makes me believe that they used up the left over blades fairly quickly.




    Hey my AR-7 is also a Charter Arm's. It works.

  11. #11
    I'm not sure when my uncle acquired the knife and Ar-7, but it still shoots, and they're both in good shape

  12. #12
    Posting this from Tom:

    *** Camillus made the first run of the 5" Pilot Survival knife with the date stamped butt on 11-28-66. I am not surprised to see a knife like you have with both the blade and butt stampings. Nothing ever got thrown away. If the extra blades were not used for a government contract then they would have been used for knives made for the civilian market. Do you know if your knife came from a military or nonmilitary source? Camillus would regularly bid on the military contracts and also supplied knives to other companies that received contracts. We used to sell the MC-1 Paratrooper's knife to companies that had been awarded contracts for survival kits. I recall one time getting a call from a customer wanting to buy the 5" knife for a contract for the Taiwan Military.
    *** I have attached the manufacturing information for the first 5" knives made in 1961 and the butt date stamped knives made in 1966. The production figures are for the date stamped knives.
    *** Camillus lost the contract for the 5" Pilot Survival knife to Ontario Knife Co. around 1984. I believe that after the date stamped butts were used up, the stampings were then done on the blade.
    *
    Tom Williams




    Tom you ask a good question regarding the origins of my JPSK with the double marks. The owner did get it while in service. But he remembers it as a private purchase thru the PX. I’ve talked to more than one veteran who remembers these knives being available thru the base exchange and saying that they were the exact same knives that were also issued thru normal government procurement. Not foreign knock offs. I also know first hand that the JPSK's could be bought as new on the commercial market back in the 70's at least. I wondered if there was something fishy going on at the time. Thanks for clearing that up for me.
    I believe the PX system worked independently of standard government procurement and I know they often bought goods for sale from makers like Buck,Camillus, Case, KaBar, and Western. I’m sure there were others too.
    Nice to see the S-card with the 61 date for the 5” knife.
    Also I now have something else to look out for a pommel marked Camillus pilots knife dated to 1966.

  13. #13
    [IMG]<a href="http://s1295.beta.photobucket.com/user/BootsWilliamson/library/" target="_blank"><img src="http://i1295.photobucket.com/albums/b632/BootsWilliamson/sawphoto.jpg" border="0" alt="Photobucket"/></a>[/IMG]

    [IMG]<a href="http://s1295.beta.photobucket.com/user/BootsWilliamson/library/" target="_blank"><img src="http://i1295.photobucket.com/albums/b632/BootsWilliamson/knifebutt.jpg" border="0" alt="Photobucket"/></a>[/IMG]

    [IMG]<a href="http://s1295.beta.photobucket.com/user/BootsWilliamson/library/" target="_blank"><img src="http://i1295.photobucket.com/albums/b632/BootsWilliamson/knifephoto.jpg" border="0" alt="Photobucket"/></a>[/IMG]

    Here are some more pitures. Im not sure if they'll help. The saw and the butt of the knife look like they were used alot

  14. #14
    [IMG]<a href="http://s1295.beta.photobucket.com/user/BootsWilliamson/library/" target="_blank"><img src="http://i1295.photobucket.com/albums/b632/BootsWilliamson/knifephoto.jpg" border="0" alt="Photobucket"/></a>[/IMG]

    [IMG]<a href="http://s1295.beta.photobucket.com/user/BootsWilliamson/library/" target="_blank"><img src="http://i1295.photobucket.com/albums/b632/BootsWilliamson/knifebutt.jpg" border="0" alt="Photobucket"/></a>[/IMG]

    [IMG]<a href="http://s1295.beta.photobucket.com/user/BootsWilliamson/library/" target="_blank"><img src="http://i1295.photobucket.com/albums/b632/BootsWilliamson/sawphoto.jpg" border="0" alt="Photobucket"/></a>[/IMG]


    Here are some more pitures. Im not sure if they'll help. The saw and the butt of the knife look like they were used alot

  15. #15
    Ahh I'm not sure why my pictures aren't uploading correctly?

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    NH
    Posts
    2,498
    you need to get rid of the normal html info an simply use the links.



    I've gotten that dreaded furniture disease. That's when your chest is falling into your drawers!

  17. #17
    Quote Originally Posted by sac troop View Post
    While it's called a pilots knife it was in fact one of the most carried knives during Vietnam. Not at all unusual for SF, Airborne, infantry, etc. to carry this knife. They were commonly available in the PX system for private purchase. I've been told they sold for less than $5 back during that time. I know this isn't the forum for it but I'd love to see detailed pictures of the AR-7. Lots of different manufacturers. If your's is an actual Armalite you have a treasure.
    To give a financial context: In the late 60s at the Fort Lewis PX, I bought a Gerber Mark II for $25.00.

    In those days that was big bucks.

  18. #18
    Thank you

  19. #19
    Tom cleared something up for me. Even though the first production run of the pommel marked JPSK’s was on 11/28/66 those knives would have been marked 1-1967. That does show up in the image of the second S-Card pictured in my earlier post.

    Here’s some more from the old Camillus files:











    Even as late as 1987 Camillus is still providing JPSK’s to the ArmyAirforceExchange.

  20. #20
    What year would you say my knife was manufactured?

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