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Old 12-30-2016, 06:15 PM
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A WW2 Theater Made Knife from a 100th Division Soldier A WW2 Theater Made Knife from a 100th Division Soldier A WW2 Theater Made Knife from a 100th Division Soldier A WW2 Theater Made Knife from a 100th Division Soldier A WW2 Theater Made Knife from a 100th Division Soldier  
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Default A WW2 Theater Made Knife from a 100th Division Soldier

Here is another knife I bought at a flea market in Springfield, Ohio in 2006. I really liked the looks of it and "bought the story" and probably paid to much at the time ($75). The vendor guy is from across the border in Pennsylvania, said he picked it up at an estate sale and said it was used by a soldier during the war.
The blade appears like it was made from a piece of scrap metal or a file. It's a well made knife. The blade portion is approximately 6 1/2 inches long. It was only after I got it home and oiling the blade that I noticed there was writing on the blade. With the help of a magnifying glass, I could see the fellows name: "Harry Adriance Jr. "; under his name is: " U.S.A.".
Up by the hilt (I think that is what it is called), it shows a date: January 15, 1945". I suspected the knife was made by this fellow or for this fellow and the date was when it was made. I was able to get Harry Adriance's military records from St. Louis which shows he entered the Army in October 31,1944 and eventually assigned to Company C, 398th Infantry Regiment, 100th Division as a replacement. Harry Adriance lived in Tioga, Pennsylvania for many years. For those familiar with that area, his obit said he was the retired owner of the Bush House Hotel in Tioga.
So it appears the knife belonged to him!
Here are some photos:



Last edited by kfields; 12-30-2016 at 06:26 PM.
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Old 12-30-2016, 06:16 PM
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A WW2 Theater Made Knife from a 100th Division Soldier A WW2 Theater Made Knife from a 100th Division Soldier A WW2 Theater Made Knife from a 100th Division Soldier A WW2 Theater Made Knife from a 100th Division Soldier A WW2 Theater Made Knife from a 100th Division Soldier  
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Some more photos. Kim


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Old 12-30-2016, 06:37 PM
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A WW2 Theater Made Knife from a 100th Division Soldier A WW2 Theater Made Knife from a 100th Division Soldier A WW2 Theater Made Knife from a 100th Division Soldier A WW2 Theater Made Knife from a 100th Division Soldier A WW2 Theater Made Knife from a 100th Division Soldier  
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I figure if he entered the military in October 1944, it probably would have taken him at least 2 1/2 months or more to get to his front line company (training, travel, etc) so I figure someone made the knife for him somewhere along the way - possibly someone from home. I'm glad they took the time to put his name on it and date it. Kim
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Old 12-30-2016, 07:06 PM
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A WW2 Theater Made Knife from a 100th Division Soldier A WW2 Theater Made Knife from a 100th Division Soldier A WW2 Theater Made Knife from a 100th Division Soldier A WW2 Theater Made Knife from a 100th Division Soldier A WW2 Theater Made Knife from a 100th Division Soldier  
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That's a nice little historical treasure with a personal story behind it. I don't think you paid too much for it. I like it. Then again, I like stuff like that.
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Old 12-30-2016, 09:35 PM
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I have a small collection of Unit historys from WW2. It is interesting how many mentioned receiving gifts of sheath knives from local High School shop classes. I suspect that many knives listed as "theater" made are actually shop class made. I've seen documents of both the Army and Navy releasing obsolete swords to high schools so the blades could be used for these projects. I do not mean this as detraction in any way from the knife and any item that can be accurately attributed has extra interest.
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Old 12-30-2016, 09:50 PM
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A WW2 Theater Made Knife from a 100th Division Soldier A WW2 Theater Made Knife from a 100th Division Soldier A WW2 Theater Made Knife from a 100th Division Soldier A WW2 Theater Made Knife from a 100th Division Soldier A WW2 Theater Made Knife from a 100th Division Soldier  
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walnutred: Yep your right. The knife is what it is. It is a handmade knife (whether theater or the States) and is a cool tool tied to a specific soldier. If it were made by a kid in shop class, it still is a prize in my collection.
Kim
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I have a small collection of Unit historys from WW2. It is interesting how many mentioned receiving gifts of sheath knives from local High School shop classes. I suspect that many knives listed as "theater" made are actually shop class made. I've seen documents of both the Army and Navy releasing obsolete swords to high schools so the blades could be used for these projects. I do not mean this as detraction in any way from the knife and any item that can be accurately attributed has extra interest.
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Old 12-31-2016, 02:15 AM
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It's not a knife I would use--too long and unwieldy--but I would certainly pay what you did for it as a piece of history and a fascinating curio.

I might mount it on a plaque or in a shadow box.

Very nice find.
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Old 12-31-2016, 05:33 AM
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A WW2 Theater Made Knife from a 100th Division Soldier A WW2 Theater Made Knife from a 100th Division Soldier A WW2 Theater Made Knife from a 100th Division Soldier A WW2 Theater Made Knife from a 100th Division Soldier A WW2 Theater Made Knife from a 100th Division Soldier  
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Personally, I like the "kid in shop class" story better than "theater made".

It shows the mindset of the nation at the time.
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Old 12-31-2016, 07:10 AM
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My eye is drawn to the guard. It looks familiar to me, but I can't quite place it.

A handle from a heavy switch or valve of some sort. Definitely repurposed.

Nice knife, I like the shop class story too. We all pulled together to win that one.
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Old 01-02-2017, 12:54 PM
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A WW2 Theater Made Knife from a 100th Division Soldier A WW2 Theater Made Knife from a 100th Division Soldier A WW2 Theater Made Knife from a 100th Division Soldier A WW2 Theater Made Knife from a 100th Division Soldier A WW2 Theater Made Knife from a 100th Division Soldier  
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Yeah I like the shop class story too! Maybe he made it purposely for this one soldier which is why his name is scribed into the blade. Also, how else to explain how a loose factory made scabbard would have made it to a war zone.
The sheath looks like it has been mated to the knife since day one based on the impressions made in the leather from the knife and hilt.
Yeah I like the shop class story!
Kim
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Old 01-02-2017, 02:59 PM
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Great looking knife and great part of history, too.

Not to detract from the original thread, but here's an article about Crozier Technical High School in Dallas, Texas, and their knife-making project for our WWII soldiers. Interesting read. Like eveled said, "We all pulled together to win."

Tuesday, October 26, 2010
High School Made Bowie Knives for WW II Troops
During the early days of World War II, a call went out for bowie knives from troops serving in the Pacific. Americans donated personally owned knives, and several high schools manufactured them in their machine shops, most notably the Crozier Technical High School in Dallas which shipped more than a thousand. The story was first covered in February 1943:

Texas Bowie Knives Making New History In Solomons
DALLAS - Dark night in a Pacific jungle .... patrols .... the slither of steel .... one less Jap, then the blade of a knife wiped clean.

Perhaps a knife of the sort Jim Bowie used and made famous with his name, or one modelled after those the Sioux Indians handled, so well.

Both kinds, fashioned from discarded hacksaw blades and files by a group of Dallas boys, are going to war to prove worth as weapons or utility as tools.

The boys -- students at Crozier Technical High School here -- shaped a few by hand, sent them to Soldiers, Sailors, and Marines. This week they set up a regular factory production line. They've been getting letters such as that from a soldier in Guadalcanal: "I need something to slash off my pack when we're surprised. Something, too, to use at close quarters."

Ed Thatcher, a retired mechanical engineer whose hobby is metallurgy, and the school's machine shop instructor, P. W. Loucks, put their heads together. Hacksaw blades were the first available material.

From his private edged weapons collection Thatcher took a Sioux knife for a pattern, but went a bit further; left one edge sharp enough to shave; the other with its hacksaw teeth.

"They slice right through barbed wire, and are useful for ripping containers," says Thatcher. The first supply of hacksaws, which had come from war plants, ran short. An air craft plant offered all the files the boys could use.

Thatcher dug into his collection again, found a Texas Bowie Knife. Delicately balanced. Heavy enough to swing with vicious hiss. Now the knifemakers turn out both styles, but more of the Bowies.

There was a follow-up story in August of that year:

Knives Made by High School Boys At Dallas in Great .Demand Among Men in Armed Forces Overseas

Dallas, Tex.. Aug. I. AP "Thanks for the knife. First chance I get to use it. I'll send you back a couple of Jap teeth for souvenirs."

Crozier Technical High-School Principal Walter J. E. Schiebel penciled "ugh!" in the margin of Marine E. L. Moore's letter and sent it to his machine shop boys. The boys grinned. Then they spit on their hands and returned to their grinding wheels and furnaces.

It was one of several hundred letters received since they began making steel combat knives from defense plant scrap for servicemen in months ago. To date, Principal Schiebel said today, the boys, assisted by a half dozen business men who work at the shop occasional evenings, have made and mailed 929 knives.

Vicious, tempered weapons patterned after the traditional Texas Bowie that sang in battle song at .the Alamo, the knives have been sent to servicemen in every battle area except China, proper.

"And," appended Schiebel, whose pilot son is in Burma, "some of the airmen who asked for our knives may be in China by now."

Men of every service branch have requested the knives, Schiebel said, although most have gone to the navy and the marines.. One went to an army nurse embarking for the southwest Pacific. An other to a WAC already overseas.

Thank-you letters include many from buck privates, one from a marine general now somewhere in the Pacific, and another from Col. Clayton P. Kerr, chief of staff for the 36th Infantry Division. "It is the best balanced knife that I have seen and will undoubtedly stand a lot of hard use," wrote the colonel.

While the boys get special pleasure from sending knives to Texans, Schiebel said, most of their knives have gone to out-of-staters.

"Well, pal, and I mean pal," Pfc. Milton Henderson wrote Schiebel upon receiving his knife at Camp Roberts, "I am not from Texas, but from Tennessee. And, don't forget, all the Tennessee and Texas boys all stick together. We say: T stands for Texas and T stands for Tennessee. If you fight him, you got to fight me.”

Ed Thatcher, retired mechanical engineer who presented the project to the boys and has been serving as adviser, plans increased production.

'We're going to keep making more and more knives as long as we get letters like this," he said, exhibiting one from Capt. Martin W, Roberts, stationed at an Eastern port of embarkation.

"We have seen two of the knives that you so kindly sent Lt. Lowry and Lt. Besser of our section at this port," Capt. Roberts wrote. “We are sure that both Lt. Besser and Lt. Lowry will find these knives very useful. In fact, there are six other officers here who would like to have a knife of this type before leaving for foreign service ..."

These were not beautifully crafted knives like Randalls, nor were they comparable to commercially available knives from Western or KA-BAR. They were crude, functional, heavy-duty knives that could do the job expected of them. There was an excellent article on the Crozier bowies by Frank Trzaska, published in Knife World.
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Old 01-02-2017, 05:03 PM
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The hand guard looks kind of like a small boat cleat with one of the ears cut and ground off.
It looks like zinc.
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Old 01-02-2017, 06:14 PM
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Jessie, I think you're right in that it looks like zinc to me too.

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The hand guard looks kind of like a small boat cleat with one of the ears cut and ground off.
It looks like zinc.
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Old 01-02-2017, 06:18 PM
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Mule-packer, Thanks for adding the story. A great read! Kim
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