This is a real RARITY issued only in the early days of WW2 before the huge (and very ugly) RNZAF Survival Bowie that was based on the Carlson’s Raiders (USMC) “Gung Ho” knife, BOTH manufactured here in Auckland, NZ.
MANY of the ARMY Knuckle Knives are not maker marked, as this RNZAF example is, by “NZ Cutlers Co. Auckland”.
ONLY the RNZAF Survival Knuckle Knife features the Pilot Protective Brass scabbard tip enclosure that was designed to prevent the knife harming its owner, in the event of a crash landing (This feature was carried-over onto the RNZAF Survival Bowie)
Like the RNZAF Survival Bowie the ONLY NZ Govt. contract marking was placed on the scabbard, most scabbards issued for use in the Pacific Theater are either lost in time or have succumbed to the climate. This example has survived better than any example, Army or RNZAF, that I have ever seen, even RETAINING the details of the WW2 pilot that carried it, on the back of the scabbard
Bowie style blades are much scarcer than the typical Army Knuckle Knife pattern (That was double edged Spring Steel, & very flexible) unlike the absolutely RIGID and much thicker Bowie style blade seen on this knife
It could be speculated that **less than 100** of these RNZAF Bowie Knuckle Knives were ever made. They were replaced during WW2 with the SCARCE RNZAF Survival Bowie “Gung Ho Knife” clone, which itself was unlikely to have been produced in more than 200 units, whereas the USMC “Gung Ho Knife” contract had 900 examples commissioned
This is an EXCEPTIONALLY RARE fighting knife, preserved in pristine condition, with the potential for research that the OWNER NAME DETAILS provide