Bronze or Berylliumn
WWII MK V Dive Knife

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ALL BRONZE or
BERYLLIUM
MK V DIVING KNIFE & BELT

All Bronze blade MK V knife and sheath image

All Bronze or Beryllium                                                   20th
Century
Overall Dimension knife 13 3/4
Blade 6 3/4 x 1 x 1/8
Hilt  4 3/8 x 1 1/4  x 1 1/4 
No Markings

Ferule 1                                                                                
Sheath 8 3/8 L x 1 7/8 Dia
Weight  3 lbs. 7 7/8 oz.

Presented
is a very rare MK V dive knife that has been owned by a Navy diver during most of his 26 years of active duty and reserve
service, and since his retirement in 1992. His first 5 years included 2nd and 1st Class Diver’s School, and
two tours in Vietnam. During his second Nam tour he was wounded in action on board his “Mike” Boat*, a Combat
Salvage Craft (CSC) on the way to a new wreck site. In the ambush, the Officer in Charge was killed by a direct hit
from an RPG while standing next to him. Seriously wounded himself, as the leading petty officer and Craft Master, he assumed
command and directed the crew’s defensive action. After wards, he spent a month in the Third Surgical Hospital
in Binh Tue and was then Medivaced to Bremerton Naval Hospital for further treatment. For this action he was presented
the Purple Heart and the Bronze Star with Combat “V” which are awarded for acts of heroism under
fire.
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Pictures taken while diver was in Vietnam image=left>
Pictures of the diver and the Combat Salvage Crafts in 1971 in Vietnam near the time of the ambush

 

In
1972, he was released from active duty to attend college, and transferred to the Navy Reserve where he had other
challenging diving duty assignments including Marine mammal training (dolphin mine detectors and swimmer interdiction)
with Explosive Ordinance Disposal, (EOD) Main Operating Group (MOB) One, San Diego; Ordinance clearance projects with
MOB Group One; Three – Ammunition pier in Puget Sound and Tierra Santa tank practice area in California; Three
experimental air saturation dives with the Submarine Medical Research Lab in Groton, CT.; Swimmer Delivery Vehicle (SDV) operations
with Special Warfare Group One SEALS; Master Diver screening and evaluation with recommendation for Master Diver School.

A
complete Naval service resume will be furnished the buyer with the knife.

The blade of the all bronze MK V knife image

             The blade
of the all bronze knife has been sharpened        

Rarely do
you find any dive knife whose prior history is known.

THE
BERYLLIUM BRONZE TYPE MK V KNIFES: Most people seeing this type knife for the first time and some more experienced
in dive knives think the blade is made of bronze when in fact it is made of Beryllium, a non-magnetic, non sparking material
that is highly toxic. It is advised that these blades not be sharpened or polished or handled in general so it is surprising
to see that the knife being sold has been sharpened.

The Beryllium knives
which follow the MK V design of a turned grooved wood handle, serrated top edge and lower cutting edge blade, and housed in
a round brass sheath are very rare and only infrequently turn up on the market. They were issued for the hazardous duty of
bomb disposal and EOD. For comparison, a Vince knife of this type is shown below. It has twelve teeth per inch and so
does this one.

Vince dive knife with Berylliumn blade image

           Pictures of a
Vince Forge Co. Beryllium knife and its sheath. Note the color of its blade

Unless a buyer is lucky and gets one from a seller
who doesn’t know their value, they are expensive. Two sales on eBay in the last two years were in excess of $1400.00 and
that is with no known history.

Most of the Berylliumn knives come from two principal
manufacturers that made them during World War II. The Charles Fisher Spring Co., was based in Brooklyn, NY. and the Vince
Forge Co., of Easton, PA. The unique bail on the pommel of the Vince knife makes it easy to identify and the ones made
by Fisher Spring are generally marked on the blade with the company’s name and the government contract number. The one
being offered is a mystery because it is unmarked and has a bronze hilt.

Hilt of the all bronze MK V knife image

             Hilt
of the all bronze Mk V Dive Knife        

The
other was made by the Vince Forge Company of Easton, PA. Vince was one of the low volume producers of these knives which makes
them scarce and highly collectible. Two features make the Vince knife distinctive. The first is a loop that is
fitted to the pommel on a swivel that rotates around its circumference. It was the only MK V style knife made with this feature. The
second is the tiny teeth that are along one serrated edge that number 13 to the inch. Unfortunately, there is no documented
information as to when Vince made these knives, but the most knife experts believe them to be first introduced in 1935
and made until after WW II.

The MK V Dive Knife became part of the MK V Diving System in 1929 and was included in the specifications first
adopted by the U.S. Navy in 1916. The MK V System was used until 1984. However, this type of knife is reported to have been
in use in Europe and this country as early as 1915.

The
knife is designed to screw into the top 1″ of a cast brass sheath which is included using Acme threads which hold
it securely, and allows it to be easily and quickly removed. The upper edge of the knife blade has saw teeth while the
lower edge has a very sharp knife edge. This style knife without the loop is still in production today
by Morse and DESCO.
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All bronze knife in sheath image

                         The
all bronze MK V knife screwed into its sheath

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CONDITION:  This
knife was used in salt water and shows pitting as would be expected. The blade is tight in the ferule and is in very
good condition and tight. The wood handle is in good shape and has the brass brail swivel loop
attached. The sheath is missing it’s leather strap, and there are some marks from use. Overall this is a very desirable
piece.

STANDARD FLAT RATE SHIPPING & PACKING to 48
contiguous States, $30
.00

 

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Established in 2003

Celebrating 18 Years of Exellence in Nautical Antiques