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  #76  
Old 07-26-2017, 12:56 AM
jeepster jeepster is offline
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Two of the best Threads on any of the forums has been this one and the one by Wally on the other forum. Interestingly both involved Gen. Westmoreland to some degree.
I've said all along that I thought the handle was wood and I'm sticking with that. I don't believe it's pinned but as Jack has said...the knife handle could be grimy and the pin covered a bit. Being Gen. Westmoreland I doubt that the handle is dirty. I also said I thought this was a Heiser sheath at the beginning. I must say that these clearer shots do make me think on the one hand that it is a Johnson. Then on the other hand the keeper strap says Heiser.....not definitive but....
Finally I think it's a 6" knife. I'm not technical like Jack but the brown buttons had a diameter of 1/2" maybe just a tad larger but a half inch at least. Looking at the brown buttons and adding them up it appears the sheath is just over 6" from the throat to the tip.
Do we know where this knife lives? Did Lt. Col Moore say his brother has this knife? If so Jack you need to beg for photos. Keep this one going.
Ronnie
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  #77  
Old 07-26-2017, 07:37 AM
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samg samg is offline
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My opinion is that the sheath is a brown button Heiser, based on the very blunted stone flap. I believe all 3 primary makers Moore, Heiser and Johnson, had their own style of finishing the end of the tab. This one speaks Heiser to me.

Moore style



Heiser style slightly rounded/blunted



Johnson style more blunted



I know that there are exceptions always between Heiser and Johnson tabs but this Heiser sheath below IMO is a dead ringer to the subject sheath



The back of the Heiser above



Regards, Sam
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  #78  
Old 07-26-2017, 09:41 AM
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Jacknola Jacknola is offline
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Ronnie, an earlier post told how this knife was stolen from Gen. Moore in 1971 when he was returning to the US from Korea. He always expressed regret losing this knife when he would see it in pictures..and would relate how Gen Westmoreland had given it to him.

This is an interesting study. I see the "point" Joe and Ronnie are making about the sheath tip. But the horizontal keeper, brown buttons etc., could indicate an earlier sheath. So how do we rationalize contradictory data? My problem is the spacers. They just are not looking like typical 7-spacer stack, but look to have the thicker white spacer that was used briefly in the mid-50s. But is this fact?



Here is a picture of a bunch of 7-spacer stack, pinned handles, with all pictures reduced to black and white for comparison (Joe E-mailed me noting B&W photos can distort whites because of the comparative bright reflections). No ... looking at this comparison, the spacers of Moore's knife do not look like those 7-stacks.

Also included in the picture is a '50s m2 with leather handle and 5-spacer stack, and a 1943 m2 also with standard 5-stack. To me, the spacers in Moore's knife look most like a standard 5-spacer stack though not perfect. But the handle does not appear to be leather, but does look like wood. OK, there is a disconnect, but there are examples of 5-stack on non-leather handles.

My current conclusion: The sheath and knife features we can see make it likely to be pre-1963 (it has brown button, horizontal keeper), post about 1954 (it has narrow stone flap). For the purpose of the article, I'm probably going to finesse the issue, calling it "'50s," or perhaps "late 50s." We could debate this until everyone's position hardened.. but for literary purposes that will do.

Of course if we could see the back of the sheath, blade, etc., bingo. But that will sadly never happen. The good news is that thanks to this line and everyone's participation, this little piece of history, and bigger piece of Randall history has been discovered and preserved. The military history of Randall knives is the reason I came to collect and a big reason for the lore of the Randall. This line has made a contribution here, and the article I'll write will share it with a larger military community. Thanks all...

Ciao

Last edited by Jacknola; 07-26-2017 at 10:54 AM.
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  #79  
Old 07-26-2017, 10:55 AM
crutchtip crutchtip is offline
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Jack -

I would say that those most recent photos used as examples are relative close-ups with the knives being the subject of those photos, with better lighting, giving us a much better look, and offering much better contrast. In comparison we are using 50 year old photos taken at some distance, the knife is not the subject of the photo but an ancillary item, and they are very grainy upon enlargement. I don't know if those are a valid comparison.

To sam,

I see a wholey different sheath. No throat flair at all like your Heiser example, a rounded toe unlike the "point" of your Heiser example.

The flap of the Johnson you use is also more pointed and is not really "blunt".

Different eyes I guess.

I still can't post photos but will send some more to Jack on a later 2-8 sheath that is most likely early 60's HKL imo, and it has the same shape as your Heiser example. Nothing like Col. Moore's sheath that I can see. I sold this 2-8 sheath to the buyer not too long ago to put together with the knife. So I don't know if the knife could be slightly earlier. I hope he will post one or two of them for comparison.

Not to get into a debate, but I think we can all agree there was an overlap of time, albeit short, of concurrent HKL and Johnson BB sheath availability.

As a footnote, and after scanning the databank, I seem to recall a couple of mid 60's #2's with handle keepers. If I am not mistaken, you could order a handle keeper on that model if desired. Not saying for sure, but I seem to recall a couple of examples.
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  #80  
Old 07-26-2017, 12:21 PM
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I see your point on the throat flair and shape of the foot Joe.
Thanks, Sam
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  #81  
Old 07-26-2017, 10:00 PM
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In an investigation, the biggest mistake is to try to prove your case and excuse the evidence. I've done considerable searching and Joe's point about Heiser m2 sheaths with a more pointed toe seems to be a pretty solid rule.

What that means is that this could be a very unusual "A" type Johnson brown button horizontal keeper sheath. There have been only about 10 Johnson brown button sheaths identified of all kinds, and no m2s that I can remember...though there have been some "B" types. If this is a Johnson brown button, it would be fair to call it rare on many accounts ... if the frontal shape is accurate. Unfortunately, with no diagonal keeper, and no view of the back, we don't have a comprehensive confirmation in my opinion. However, the shape is different from the Heiser-west (HKL) sheaths which were also not usually equipped with a horizontal keeper. The package is made more unique by the spacer arrangement in conjunction with the wood handle.

If this is accurate, we can probably identify the age of this knife with great precision. It was made in about an 8-month period between mid-1962 and very early 1963, which is the documented time Johnson used brown buttons.

I think that is the date that is most accurate from the data to adopt for this purpose. However it is peculiar in context. Westmoreland was Superintendent of the United States Military Academy from 1960 to 1963 and Commander of XVIII Airborne Corps from 1963 to 1964. He went to Vietnam in late 1963 and took over MACV command from Gen Harkins in Mid-1964.

I'm not sure why he would procure a RMK m2 in late'62 early '63 or so. Perhaps it was given to him when he left West Point, or took command of the XVIII Corp, or even when he reported to Vietnam ... Perhaps the m2 blade didn't fit his likings so a year later he acquired the m1/5 ivory that he carried thereafter. It is a confusing story that requires inserting some assumed data... we will see. It would be a much easier story if this were a mid-50s blade.

Last edited by Jacknola; 07-27-2017 at 03:43 PM.
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  #82  
Old 08-13-2017, 12:11 AM
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I received a truly hi-res picture from the family and I think I can now agree this is probably a seven-spacer model 2. The sheath is unusual... horizontal keeper brown button "A" probably made by Johnson. He did make "B" sheaths with horizontal keepers and made quite a few "A" sheaths for small knives using that retaining method.. While Heiser made a lot of these combat "A" type sheaths with horizontal keeper, this is the only possibly Johnson-made large combat-knife sheath I've seen that used the horizontal keeper, especially with brown buttons.

BUT... I notice the stone pocket seems to be a lot higher than normal- it would have been very hard to set the male button end to secure a diagonal keeper on this sheath. As a matter of fact, I suspect the stone pocket position is why they opted for a horizontal keeper or perhaps Johnson installed the pocket higher when using that retaining method. Heiser seems to have done that occasionally when using the horizontal keeper, but I just haven't seen any Johnson examples to compare. It makes me wonder just a little if this was made by Stockman or "other?"

The article about Gen. Moore's Randall for publication as been written and approved. When it is published, I'll link it and post it here.

Last edited by Jacknola; 08-13-2017 at 02:04 PM.
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  #83  
Old 08-13-2017, 03:59 AM
jeepster jeepster is offline
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I would agree. I believe that's a seven spacer.
Ronnie
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