HERO’S BATTLE OF PELELIU
KA-BAR KNIFE & SHEATH
DATING FROM WW II
Steel, brass & wood
Made 20th Century
Overall Dimension knife 14 1/4 in sheath
Blade 6 3/4 x 1 x 1/8
Hilt 4 3/4″ x 1 1/4″ x 1 1/4″ Markings USMC/KA-BAR.
Sheath 8 5/8 L x 1 7/8 Dia
Weight 3 lbs. 2 5/8 oz
is an authentic WW II issue KA-BAR knife that was issued to a Navy Hospital Corpsman serving with the Marines at the
Battle of Peleliu in 1944. It was brought home at the end of a sailor’s service along with other momentos and has
been in the same family ever since. Everything is in its last used condition with USMC struck on the blade’s obverse
ricasso and KA-BAR on the reverse. The marks are clear and sharp, and easy to read. The accompanying original leather
sheath is in very good condition with tight stiching and metal U clamps. It is cleaner on its front than would be expected.
The back of the sheath is marked with the corpsman’s intitials and specialty, HM WME. It is darker and shows the evidence
of age. The name of the 18 year old hero who was awarded the Purple Heart and Bronze Star will be told to the buyer.
|Showning both sides of the KA-BAR knife|
Battle of Peleiu Service history:
This story begins over 72
years ago, at a time when the world was at war, and millions of young men and women heeded our nation’s call to bear
arms, make sacrifices and endure hardship to defeat a powerful enemy. The date is September 15, 1944, and after nearly
two months at sea in a small, cramped and stiflingly hot LST, the men of Lima Company, Third Battalion, First Regiment, First
Marine Division are making their final predawn preparations for the invasion of Peleliu, one of the Palau Islands in the Southwestern
Pacific. One of these men is Hospital Apprentice First Class with the initials, WMB, a 19 year old Navy corpsman from
Encino, California, known to his family and friends as Bill.
island of Peleliu was a natural fortress dominated by towering limestone ridges into which had been dug artillery batteries,
machine gun nests and blockhouses, Interconnecting tunnels had been excavated throughout the ridges and many were too
deep to be affected by the tons of bombs and shells dropped on the island for three straight days prior to the invasion,
Awaiting the marines and sailors who stormed ashore that day were over 10,000 highly trained, heavily armed and fiercely
dedicated defenders. The grueling assault was spear headed by the First regiment, under the command of the legendary
Colonel Chesty Fuller. They found hell on Peleliu as described below.
on the blade’s ricasso
By dusk on September 15th,
the 1st regiment had suffered 1000 casualties, 20% of whom were dead. Among those wounded was Hospital Apprentice
First Class Bill Edrington, who was hit by shrapnel from heavy machine gun fire. Many of his fellow corpsman had also
been wounded or killed. And despite his painful wounds, Bill remained on the island that first night and continued to
render badly needed medical aid. His buddies pulled him around on a blanket. On the second day of fighting, he
received a much more serious wound from a mortar round, which also took the life of his best friend only yards away.
The death of his friend was devastating, and for many months after the war, Bill could be heard screaming in his sleep, desperately
and futilely yelling to his buddy to watch out….He was evacuated on day 5 for hospital care.
Bill’s active involvement
in combat ended that day on Peleliu, but he fought that battle, that campaign and that war for the rest of his life, and the
physical and mental wounds he suffered on that beachhead never fully healed until his death in September, 1994.
His body was committed
to the sea from the USS George Washington on May 5, 1995. The American flag flown from the carrier during this ceremony
Both the Purple Heart and Bronze
Star medals, his canvas Navy Medical Kit, and his original bad ass KA-Bar USMC fighting knife will be available
Hero’s Battle of Peleliu KA-BAR knife in sheath shown over back of sheath
Everything is in its last used condition with USMC struck on the blade’s obverse ricasso and KA-BAR on the reverse. The
marks are clear and sharp, and easy to read. The accompanying original leather sheath is in very good condition with
tight stitching and metal U clamps. It is cleaner on its front than would be expected. The back of the sheath is marked with
the corpsman’s initials and specialty, HM WME. It is darker and shows the evidence of age.
sides of the blade of the KA-BAR battle knife
knife and its sheath and belt are in near new condition and have been in the same family for the las sixty five years. The
blade is tight in the ferule and the wood handle has all its bright varnish. The brass brail swivel bail
is attached. The sheath has a drain hole.
Pommel of KA-BAR knife showing tang image