navy mark 2

Jan 19, 1999
I just picked up a USN Mark 2 by Camillus what can someone tell about these when were they produced and does anyone have any photo to match mind by thanks Mike
Mr Mike,

The Mark 2, A.K.A. KA-BAR has been produced since WWII. Camillus was one of the original contractors and they have continued production to present day. Do a search under KA-BAR anywhere and you will pull up plenty of PICs.

Anyway, its a nice general field knife - hope you enjoy it.
I think it is a bit more complicated than that......the knives may be the same but the nomenclature depends upon whom they were made for.
I believe that ,if they were made for the Navy (US), they were Mk2s.....the Marines called the same knife the Mk 3.
"Ka-Bar " was a completely unofficial and erroneous name. Union (?) Cutlery ( Ka-bar} was just one of several makers.....the name just stuck.
The US Navy issue knife is, now, the Mk 3
and, I think, is made by Ontario. Blade shape is similar to the Kalashnikov rifle bayonet.
But, I am sure, someone more informed than I will fill in the gaps.
Anyway, a genuine Mk 2 Navy is ,most likely, of WW2 vintage........??
I look forward to a more erudite view.

Brian W E
ICQ #21525343
Money : spend it before it's all gone


I had to dig up my Cole's US Military Knives and Bayonets (vol III) to double check, but this is what I found.

Re.: USN Mark II
The knife was first made by Cammillus, Roberson, Ka-Bar, and Pal during WWII; and, were later made by Utica, Camillus and Corneta (post WWII). The post WWII knives were marked "U.S. (over) [maker's name]". The Marines adopted the USN Mark II - we can tell some of these apart from the USN MKII because they are marked "U.S.M.C." on the blade.

The mark III was a trench knife developed and produced for for all services. About 2.5 million were produced under eight different manufacturers. The most distinctive feature was probably the blade design which was later retained in a series of bayonets up to and including the M7-(US M16 bayonet - pre-Phrobis). Original WWII M3s are rare and desirable today on the US market.

By the way I highly recommend M.H.Cole's U.S.Military Knives (vols 3 & 4) if you are interested in this area.

[This message has been edited by not2sharp (edited 26 September 1999).] are perfectly correct.
I should always read what I have written before sending.

But I believe the Mk III Trench Knife is an entirely different design to the USN Mk III (Mod O)....mine has the Kalashnikov style blade and a hard plastic handle. Last I heard, they were still in production and were, recently, still being issued.
The "USN Mk III" nomenclature suggests that the Trench Knife was not a Navy issue ..although I seem to recall having read that some Marines carried them late in WW2.
I welcome more information or clarification.

Brian W E
ICQ #21525343
Money : spend it before it's all gone

where can you find the cole's military
did the mark2 come with a plastic sheath thanks Mike

The Cole's books were available from Knife World Books 1-800-828-7751.

p.s. Yes, some of the MKII were supplied with plasitc sheaths (similar to the WWII bayonet sheaths).
Thanks Not2Sharp and the others for all the info I try to find all I can about a knife when I get one seens to help me in my collecting but maybe I am just a little off the edge. thanks again Mike
Some confusion in the previous posts about the official names. The original USN Mark-2 was followed up by the Mark-3, Model-O knife which is the Russian style blade. It is currently made by Ontario and is the current issue Navy knife. The "M3" knife was used in WW II by the US Army not the Mark-3. The Mark-3 is a much newer knife from the 1970's era. The official name for the Mark-2 when used by the Marine Corps is the "Fighting / Utility" knife. The Marines also used the numerical designation of 1219C2 for this pattern. Universally they are generically known as the K-Bar regardless of who made them. I use the spelling "K-Bar" to differ from the company name of Ka-Bar who was one of the producers of the Mark-2. Camillus has not produced a USN stamped Mark-2 except in commemorative's since WW II. The current government issue Mark-2's do not have a branch of service marked on them, they simply have "U.S." over the makers trade name. Currently it is also Ontario.

Frank Trzaska
Thanks, Frank.....a very concise account.
I was interested to see that Mk2s are still an issue item.

Brian W E
ICQ #21525343
Money : spend it before it's all gone

The Mark-2 carries a National Stock Number and is available to every branch of the government. It is in the published catalogs also. In this P.C. environment of today many commanders may not allow such items on a base to be carried. Most are probably locked in the armory.

Although Ontario may have the current government contract for the "Fighting/Utility" (1219C) for the USMC, Camillus is putting out the same knife through Brigade Quartermaster's in the PX/BX and military clothing sales stores for individual purchase. It's about $30, all black (including sheath) and does not have USMC stamped anywhere on it (important to us in the Army).

The above is not a poke in the collective Marine eye but one service does not want its equipment marked with the designation of another service. Even during the Gulf War, the desert pattern service designating tapes sown over the left pocket stated "U.S.Army" for the Army and "U.S.Marines" for the Marines. Since the Army is the proponent service for the development and purchase of all common uniforms, the Marines always considered this an Army ploy to anger the Marines since they have always had the identification of "USMC" and did not want to follow, or have forced on them, the Army convention of U.S. XXXX.

It isn't wrong, just service tradition!

Bruce Woodbury