USAF Camillus pilot survivor knife

David Nowlin

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Not the USAF Pilots knife but the knife my father carried on over 300 combat missions in Vietnam 1968-1969.
 

David Nowlin

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After he got back as a 10 year old i used to sneak it out of his 50’s issued foot locker and play Daniel Boone in the woods behind our house in Kent Washington. Then sneak it back lol
 
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David Nowlin

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Please let me know if i should post a new thread? I stumbled apon this one by accident
 
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Not the USAF Pilots knife but the knife my father carried on over 300 combat missions in Vietnam 1968-1969.
After he got back as a 10 year old i used to sneak it out of his 50’s issued foot lokker and play Daniel Boone in the woods behind our hous in Kent Washington. Then sneak it back lol
That's a Navy MK. 2. My dad had a Mk. 2 and the Pilot knife from this thread. I remember playing with both as a kid and also sneaking them back into his "gear box" before he got home from work haha. I have both in front of me now, doing some research on some childhood memories and that's how I found this thread.
 
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Bcamos welcome. Are you saying my dads Knife is a Navy MK2?

Yes and No. In a way it is and in a way it is not. It's heritage is the WW2 USN-MK2/1219C2.

In 1957, the USN-MK2 (394831) / USMC 1219C2e designations were changed to MIL-K-20227 and the branch stamps eliminated, i.e., no more USN or USMC - just US over the maker name.

The Marine Corps started phasing in black rather than russet/ox blood/brown around 1962, but it wasn't until 3/4/1968 when it became a specification for the knife handle (MIL-K-20227d) Prior to that the sheaths would start life as russet/ox blood/brown and then be dyed (sometimes on just the front) at the Depot level before issuing.

On 5/10/1970, Camillus finally started a new production card using the 20227d specs, indicating the use of dyed black leather discs (Standard Black Shade No. 111). All sheaths after this time were for sure also dyed black from the factory. They had been going out black before then, but no specific dates have been identified.

The next change for Camillus made 20227s was the dropping of the NY from the stamp, leaving the stamp -- US over CAMILLUS. This change happened on 01 February 1974.

So your knife is a 20227 made by Camillus between 5/10/1970 and 01 February 1974 as it appears that the handle discswere not dyed black over ox blood / russet discs.
 

David Nowlin

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All really good info to know. As is with information regarding the military and production is un explainable mysteries do exists. For example my dad used this knife in Vietnam in early to middle of 1968 ending one year later in 1969. Was the only weapon he brought home with him as he told me while flying it always dug into his back.
So what do you think? Could it be possible these disc are died from the russet brown?
 

David Nowlin

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I will dig it out of the safe later and see if i can tell. Your thoughts are valuable to my research that appears to have not ended. Does it ever end. Lord i hope not.
 
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All really good info to know. As is with information regarding the military and production is un explainable mysteries do exists. For example my dad used this knife in Vietnam in early to middle of 1968 ending one year later in 1969. Was the only weapon he brought home with him as he told me while flying it always dug into his back.
So what do you think? Could it be possible these disc are died from the russet brown?

Is it possible that the discs were originally russet or ox blood and then dyed black? Yep. No telling what it looks like in person vs what shows up on my monitor.

Could it be black only but made before the 5/10/70 date that Camillus started a new manufacturing card indicating that was what they were doing? Also, yep.

We're going on what is KNOWN based on WRITTEN documentation. Since 03/04/68 was the date the specs changed, the change could be implemented any time after that when another run was made - IF Camillus' disc supplier had made the change. Camillus contracted out the disc making to Standard Washer and Materials, Inc. How many fungal treatment ox blood discs did they have on hand before they started dying them? No one knows.

If your dad got the knife in EARLY 1968, it would almost have to be dyed black over ox blood, as the change did not occur on military paper until 03/04/68. A mid-68 acquisition could have a "originally black from the git-go" if the black washers were available almost immediately from SW&MI.

Could the discs have been available that quickly? Again, yep. The military procurement people would have been talking with the manufacturers of (everything) prior to implementing any changes. It would have been simple for Camillus to tell SW&MI "Hey, dye those puppies black from now on. There's a change coming."

It could be that the change was implemented for quite a while before the S-card was modified.

If you could get the exact date your father reported to Viet Nam, that would put a NLT date for acquisition because he would surely have had it in his possession prior to getting there. Then if it has black only discs, that would provide us with an anecdotal data point in the determination of when Camillus started using black discs.

This exemplifies the exilhiration, fun, frustration AND intrigue of knife collecting. Little things coming from nowhere opening up new possibilities.
 
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