This is a mint condition, unissued example of the very desirable World War II issue 1219C2 Combat Knife better known simply as the USN Mark 2 utility knife. The knife was produced by the famous Camillus Cutlery Company of Camillus, NY. Camillus was one of the oldest knife making companies in the United States during World War II, and was established in 1876. The original Camillus Cutlery Company filed for bankruptcy in 2007, and Acme United Corporation purchased its patents, designs and intellectual property in 2009. Acme United now produces knives under the Camillus name, but they are not the original Camillus Cutlery knives. During their 130+ years of production, Camillus Cutlery Company produced a wide array of fixed and folding blade knives, as well as marlinspikes, surgical scalpels and knife/fork/spoon combinations, to name just a few items. Some of their most famous knives were the ones produced on contract for the US military during World War II. Camillus produced some 13 million knives for the US military during the war, which included the famous Marine Corps Raider Stiletto, M-3 Trench Knives, USMC Mark 2 and USN Mark 2 knives and TL-29 Signal Corps pocket knives, among many others. Camillus started the production of 1219C2 Combat Knife, what became known as the USN Mark 2 Utility Knife, in 1942. Their original design did not pass inspection and they quickly redesigned the knife (the Number 2 design) and changed the threaded and peened pommel cap to a flat tang, which was secured by a steel pin. The earliest Camillus USN Mk2 knives were marked on the blade with the firm’s name on the obverse ricasso and the knife designation on the reverse ricasso. The earliest knives were delivered with leather scabbards, but these were replaced within a few months with a gray composite scabbard which was more durable and held up better in extreme environmental conditions. The early production USN Mark 2 knives were marked on their blades, but by the middle of 1943 these marks were moved to the front of the cross guard, due to concerns about the markings weakening the blades of the knives.
The Camillus USN Mark 2 utility knife offered here is in brand new, mint and never issued condition. The blade retains the original factory edge and has never been sharpened since it left the factory. The knife retains its original paper instruction tag, which explains how to care for and sharpen the knife. The most telling statement on the tag, which brings home the reality of war is the two line statement in bold red print: TAKE CARE OF YOUR KNIFE / IT MAY SAVE YOUR LIFE!. The scabbard retains the original anti-corrosion paper wrapping around its metal throat, and the original craft paper and wax paper wrapping for the knife and scabbard is present as well. The knife is an original number 2 design Mark 2 which is blade marked on the obverse ricasso: CAMILLUS. N.Y. and on the reverse ricasso U.S.N. / MARK 2. The blade of the knife retains about 98% of it is original parkerized finish, with only some minor scuffing due to the knife being inserted and removed from the scabbard. The leather washer handle is in excellent condition as well, with only a handful of minor scuffing and handling marks. The scabbard is in equally excellent, unissued condition, and the protective wrapping at the throat has never been removed. The scabbard body shows only some very minor scuffing from handling.
Overall this is simply an end of the road, best you could hope to find, unissued example of the U.S.N. / MARK 2 knife by the famous Camillus Company. If you are an advanced blade collector who has always wanted to add an unissued World War II combat knife to your collection, this is a great example that it would about impossible to improve on. It doesn’t get any better than unissued, with the rarely encountered instruction tag and the original wrapping paper, now does it”SOLD