"Pilots, Man Your Planes!"   
                                         WWII U.S. Naval Aviation Collector's Guide                                                                              
 
THE CUTTING EDGE

The Pal Blade Co. manufactured a wide variety of knives for the US military including jackknives such as the E-Z pull, TL-29 and Engineer Knife. Their model can be found in both bone stag and black plastic handles of all steel construction but often with brass handle pins. Two variations of blade markings can be found and they are Pal Blade Co. Made in USA and Pal Cutlery Co Made in USA.  In 1940, the Pal Blade Co. purchased the cutlery tooling equipment from the Remington Arms Co. and established a separate manufacturing facility utilizing the newly acquired machinery from Remington. From this new facility Pal was making pocket knives with miss-matched parts from their tooling and parts from the Remington buy-out so it is not uncommon to find Remington part numbers or patterns on Pal labeled knives but by 1942 the Remington parts were exhausted. The name "Pal Cutlery and Blade Co." was used for knife manufacturing during the war then consolidated into Pal Cutlery Co. in the post-war years until they closed their doors in 1953.

This is an example of a Remmington pattern can opener used on a PAL jackknife manufactured from 1940 to 1942. These parts were exhausted prior to wartime manufacture and would not have been used on government contracts. Knives that include this opener could have been used by military service members however, but were probably not issue pieces.


The 4 blade utility knife M-575 was not standardized until May of 1943. Camillus and the Imperial Knife Associated Companies were the prime suppliers. Prior to that time, the standard jackknife in use was the Knife, Jack, 3 Blade Naval Aircraft Factory drawing 1156-1. It is not known when the NAF drawing was effective but it is known to pre-date the M-575 by at least 1 year and was stocked under R41-K-365. The BuAer often did not assign new stock numbers on new equipment if it was  superseding a like item. These three bladed pocket knives share the same construction details as the Army Air Corp three bladed knives which are known to being procured as early as 1940 for their emergency parachute kits. Just because the NAF has its own drawing number does not mean it differs from the USAAC model. It was common practice for each service to have their own drawing number for record and supply purposes. Indexes were available to cross reference inter-service drawings and stock numbers.  This knife uses 3 cutting blades; a main spear blade, a sheepfoot and a pen. The known suppliers for both the BuAer and AAC are Imperial and Case. It is highly likely that Camillus and Pal provided these knives to the BuAer as well since they were contractors for the AAC. Pre and inter-war 3 bladed knives for the AAC were constructed of brass linings and bone, later changed to all steel and bone, then all steel and plastic. Camillus is highlighted here to demonstrate the variety available. There might be slight variations within other manufactures.

For Case 3 bladed jackknives, the tang will be stamped with the above type marking.


Below: A jackknife was included in all raft kits.