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  #1  
Old 02-13-2017, 08:09 PM
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Jacknola Jacknola is offline
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RIP Lt. Gen Hal Moore... Vietnam legend... Randall user

RIP General. Lt. Col. Hal Moore commanded the 1/7 Cavalry in the Ia Drang Valley battle in 1965, depicted by the book/movie "we were soldiers once..." He was a Vietnam legend for leading from the front. He was also combat company commander in Korea and much much more... over 200 jumps (airborne).



His Randall looks to be a 1950s era. I have been curious about what he carried and was close to getting a picture of Col. Moore with his Randall a couple of years ago at the SOF Association meeting. I regret not being able to accomplish that.

Rip Sir...

Last edited by Jacknola; 07-16-2017 at 01:12 PM.
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  #2  
Old 02-14-2017, 08:53 AM
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Thanks Jack for the post on this leader of men. I will have to watch the movie.

Regards, Sam
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  #3  
Old 02-14-2017, 03:03 PM
Sligo Sligo is offline
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He was ! The ranks are thinning.
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  #4  
Old 07-14-2017, 10:44 AM
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Gen. Hall Moore's Randall knife



I contacted General Hal Moore's son, Lt.Col. Steve Moore, and explained my Vietnam service and the Randall collection community. He then forwarded some amazing pictures of General Hal Moore's Randall, and the story of his knife. (Edit: upon further review, this does not appear to be the same knife in the picture above.) Never-the-less, in my opinion, this documented story makes it possibly one of the more unique Randall's in existence. The knife pictures he forwarded appear to be mid/late WWII (? - need help here - Ron?) with double pinned stag handle. Here are the pictures.









LTC Steve Moore wrote: "The knife actually belonged to my grandfather, COL Compton - Dads father in law, as you can see from the name inscribed on the blade."

So, it turns out that then-Captain Moore may have been given this knife by his father-in-law during General Moore's service during the Korean war. His father-in-law was Col. L. J. Compton who served in WWI and WWII. I'll quote General Moore's son, Steve Moore:

"In WWII, [Col. Compton] was with the Artillery Section of the 15th Army and was actually the commander of the Army during its deployment from the US (11/3/44 1/2/45). He did receive a Bronze Star for his actions when his troop ship was torpedoed in the English Channel. After the war, he was on the military tribunals in Germany we have a picture of him and other members in LOOK (or maybe LIFE) magazine. No reason to believe he did not carry the knife in Germany."

I told Steve Moore about the small Randall collecting community including those with a passion for historical RMKs. I also warned him that there were some "collectors" who were "fast operators" and some who would take advantage of a widow, or "age" a knife, or created a false history to make a buck. I also told him that his knife, wf it were documented to service in three wars, owned and carried in Vietnam by an authentic American hero, Gen. Moore, could bring $10,000 if auctioned... So he should be aware of that in case any "collectors" graciously offered to take it off his hands or have him donate it for a small sum.

Here are a couple of pictures of Hal Moore. The first is Capt. Moore in Korea. The second is Lt. Col. Moore's battalion command team immediately before deploying to LZ X-ray in Vietnam in 1965... Neither shows his Randall, but they are historically interesting in this line.

Korea



Battalion Command, Vietnam


Korea

Last edited by Jacknola; 07-15-2017 at 01:23 AM.
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  #5  
Old 07-14-2017, 11:49 AM
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I've looked at these pictures in more detail. Col. Compton's knife does not seem to be the one that is pictured being worn by Col. Moore with his DSC. That one has a dark wood (?) commando handle, with all-medium spacers, whereas Col. Compton's knife has a stag handle and WWII (?) mixed spacers.

Regardless, Col. Compton's knife is historically interesting and Gen. Moore's son says he may have taken it to Vietnam... However, I've asked him to forward additional pictures if he comes across another Randall that matches the one pictured in the DSC photo. I'm going to post Col. Compton's knife in the WWII Randall line too.


Last edited by Jacknola; 07-14-2017 at 03:46 PM.
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  #6  
Old 07-14-2017, 01:09 PM
BoBlade BoBlade is offline
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Jack,

Amazing Provenance aside, Jack. The knife itself is as rare as hen's teeth. There have been only a few WWII era double pinned stag fighters come to light. I can provide pics chronologically as follows:

IMO this is the earliest stag handled fighter ever seen. It's "pre" WWII and pre-dates Tune's Zacharias:



Here's that knife of his:



Here's the only other one have a pic of. There may be another in the Randall Model 1 thread on another forum, but I didn't check. This one I put late '44 or even early '45 due to the spacer set (No metal spacers):



I put your General Moore's knife late '42 or early '43 due to (1) The blade grind (Which is similar to that of Tom Dehart's Fighter which did have a metal spacer):



.....(2) The high keeper (Only on the earliest of WWII sheaths, and (3) The stone pouch set up for the long narrow Lily White Wa####a stone.

Thanks sooooooooo much for your research effort! It's quite a knife!
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  #7  
Old 07-14-2017, 01:11 PM
Ta2bill Ta2bill is offline
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What an awesome knife!
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  #8  
Old 07-14-2017, 03:27 PM
crutchtip crutchtip is offline
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Ron -

I don't think that the Commando you posted that belongs to a guy we know pre-dates Mitchell's Zach fighter. In fact, if reading Gaddis, page 69, he pretty much says most of the Commando models were made in the period of mid to late 1942 into early 1943 when he was experimenting with fighting blades.

I believe Tune's Zack pre-dates the Commando. I know the style of sheath would make us question the date, but that was the style Moore made for that blade grind, so it would stand to reason he would continue with that pattern in the short term.

Note also the stepped choil on Tune's knife which is absent on the Commando.

Since Bo went almost exclusively to leather november 1942, it is unusual to see any stag handle fighters.

Edited to add, I think Compton's knife is early mid 1943, IF it has a metal spacer. It appears it may. The 6" blade is a tell tale sign for me, as is the shallower choil and finger relief. I am gonna go out on a limb and by my observation, I believe most of the very earliest #1 style knives had 7" blades at a minimum with most longer in the 8" to 8 1/2" length. In any event, it is a pretty neat knife.

The knife Moore is wearing in the photo appears to be a brown button sheath. The spacers appear to be 5 medium thick which could put it say 1949-50, or around 1955. It also appears to have a Commando shape handle which of course would make it a model 2 or a model 1.

Last edited by crutchtip; 07-14-2017 at 03:58 PM.
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  #9  
Old 07-14-2017, 03:47 PM
BoBlade BoBlade is offline
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Joe,

Which knife (Commando) photo are you referring to above. Thanks.

Ron
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  #10  
Old 07-14-2017, 03:49 PM
crutchtip crutchtip is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BoBlade View Post
Joe,

Which knife (Commando) photo are you referring to above. Thanks.

Ron

The only Commando pictured, the stag with the fancy spacers.
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  #11  
Old 07-14-2017, 05:35 PM
BoBlade BoBlade is offline
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Joe,

You and I disagree on this one:

I don't know how you can apply the description "Commando" to this knife. I don't think it looks like any other Commando I've seen (or any other fighter for that matter). Reference the one in Pete's book on page 88: This knife has no hump in the middle of the spine nor does it have the upswept blade. It does, however have all the earmarks of a pre-WWII war knife to include the spacer set and the sheath. It precedes the Zacharias in my opinion.

We've disagreed on this knife before. Joe. You have your opinion and I have mine. We will leave it at that. I'm not going to bandy this back and forth as I know it will deteriorate to the point that it takes away from the thread.


Thanks for understanding.

Ron
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  #12  
Old 07-14-2017, 05:50 PM
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It appears that the early stag fighter that Jack posted, IMO the blade has been altered just a bit? Notice the slight dip of the top clip at the point. Plus the angle of the edge seems a bit sharper to the tip. I scaled the knife to the sheath, and there seems to be a bit more room in the sheath than usual.


Last edited by samg; 07-15-2017 at 11:19 PM.
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  #13  
Old 07-14-2017, 06:18 PM
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Jacknola Jacknola is offline
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Sam, I don't think the grind was altered because the flats are intact and the knife above and below the flats is consistent. However, it is possible that the tip was broken off at some point, maybe losing half-inch or so, and was then ground down to produce a point along with a slightly unusual clip. But I wouldn't put money on it. There are not a lot of comparable knives out there to say this is altered from the way it was made by the shop. It does seem to be a 6-in (unusual) and with a stag handle (unusual).

In any case it was sheer serendipity to find pictures of this knife. I e-mailed LTC Steve Moore looking for the knife his father was pictured with. And he responded that he though it was his grandfathers knife. Turns out, Col Compton, his grandfather, had an entirely different but very scarce WWII Randall an Steve was kind enough to share it with all of us. Shoe boxes are full of the hidden treasures of the world...

Last edited by Jacknola; 07-15-2017 at 01:25 AM.
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  #14  
Old 07-14-2017, 06:52 PM
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Talking about finding a needle in a haystack....that is an outstanding find and story Jack.
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  #15  
Old 07-14-2017, 09:17 PM
crutchtip crutchtip is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BoBlade View Post
Joe,

You and I disagree on this one:

I don't know how you can apply the description "Commando" to this knife. I don't think it looks like any other Commando I've seen (or any other fighter for that matter). Reference the one in Pete's book on page 88: This knife has no hump in the middle of the spine nor does it have the upswept blade. It does, however have all the earmarks of a pre-WWII war knife to include the spacer set and the sheath. It precedes the Zacharias in my opinion.

We've disagreed on this knife before. Joe. You have your opinion and I have mine. We will leave it at that. I'm not going to bandy this back and forth as I know it will deteriorate to the point that it takes away from the thread.


Thanks for understanding.

Ron
No problem Ron. Just stating what is recorded history, not what I wrote, what Gaddis wrote about 25+ years ago. If you disagree with what he wrote, take it up with him.

I am going with what Gaddis states in the chapter beginning on page 65 and also from memory about conversations with Bob. According to him, there is not a journal entry describing a double hilt fighting knife prior to the the Zacharias fighter, the very first fighter Bo ever made. He even alludes the that during the entry to the chapter.

Apparently you didn't bother to knock the dust off your copy and read it , so I will put it here:

"During the last half of 1942 and into the first couple of months of 1943, Bo experimented with a few combat knife designs besides the Zacharias-Randall style. At first some men had him modify his catalog Models 6 and 7 hunters for combat duty. This consisted of sharpening the blade on the top edge and using a double hilt. The handles were of stag but usually not crown. He adopted the term "Commando" to denote these earliest of his double-hilted combat knives".

All there in print, so I am not sure where the debate is.

There are 28 entries in Bo's journal dating from Zach's knife until 7 January 1943. That is a fact. Six months. Not many knives, about one knife per week.

Last edited by crutchtip; 07-14-2017 at 09:30 PM.
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