WW2 Army Air Corps mechanic's knife?

Discussion in 'Camillus Collector's Forum' started by clockworkgator, May 31, 2019.

  1. clockworkgator

    clockworkgator

    40
    May 18, 2019
    Gents -

    Can anyone give some guidance on what knife would've been standard issue for a plane mechanic with the AAC in the Pacific (enlisted in 42, deployed in January 43, discharged Nov 45)? My great uncle served in an MRRS unit (fixing planes, but also stripping downed planes before the Japanese could get to them). He died before I was even born, but I'm putting his service record together for my dad and I'd love to get a best guess on his SI knife and then find one to give along with the history. I know Camillus made the Army Air Corps Utility and then I think a clevis version later in the war, but I wasn't sure if a mechanic would carry something with a screw driver? (Then again, with all the heavier duty tools they'd need for plane engines, maybe the knife was literally just a knife.) Any guidance on best guess for issue and where to find one in decent shape MUCH appreciated.

    Matt
     
  2. zzyzzogeton

    zzyzzogeton

    Feb 17, 2013
    Many carried TL-29s. Cutting blade and screw driver blade. They have been made for a long time, and modern versions are still being made. Go to ebay and search on "knife tl29" for many examples.
     
  3. clockworkgator

    clockworkgator

    40
    May 18, 2019
    I've looked at quite a few TL-29s. As you note, they're readily available. The AACU seems much harder to find...
     
  4. David Martin

    David Martin Gold Member Gold Member

    Apr 7, 2008
    Here is a 57L70 Electricians. DM
    Electricians.jpg
     
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  5. clockworkgator

    clockworkgator

    40
    May 18, 2019
    Thanks for the photo, David. I've got a solid 4 stamp TL-29. But I'm all ears for the AAF utility.
     
  6. sac troop

    sac troop

    900
    Mar 4, 2009
    Matt, IMHO, your 4-line Camillus TL-29 knife would be a good candidate for a representation of a knife your Great Uncle might of had.
    IMHO, there doesn't seem to be any good records to support the idea that we had a "standard issue" pocket knife during WW2. I'm not saying that pocket knives weren't issued to thousands of service personnel during the War. Just that it appears to be more of a decision handled more closely to the unit level than any thing that would be considered wide spread.
    In a lot of cases the personal purchase option was often used.
    Three good possibilities would be the engineers knife, your TL-29, and what we generally refer to as the 3 bladed pilots knife. All three are shown in Camillus records as having been provided for PX sales both oversee's and domestically, as well as being provided for more direct distribution.
     
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  7. clockworkgator

    clockworkgator

    40
    May 18, 2019
    Thanks, sac. I've also got an M Klein and Sons TL with the WW2 era stamp. Did Camillus make those, too?

     
  8. David Martin

    David Martin Gold Member Gold Member

    Apr 7, 2008
    clockwork, my Father in Law was in the Army Air Corps. He went in at late 1940 out of high school. When they bombed Pearl Harbor in Dec.
    1941 he was immediately shipped off to flight school in South Texas. After finishing and getting his wings he began dropping welcome mats on occupied areas in Europe. Later he flew supplies over the 'Hump' as a CBI pilot. Later he flew in the Air Lift of Berlin and became a Colonel. He went on and flew in every campaign through Vietnam and mustered out at Wright Patterson, OH. in 1972. He past recently and I found it
    among his things. I cleaned it up and posted the photo. I don't know the story on it or how he came to own it. I do know he carried it for most of his career as he liked it. DM
     
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  9. clockworkgator

    clockworkgator

    40
    May 18, 2019
    Sounds like you know a heck of a lot... very cool details. The knife looks great, by the way. (I hope my post didn't seem to minimize it.)
     

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