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View Full Version : Western Bowie knife issued in SF?


Bettendorf
09-11-2011, 19:14
An older gentleman is trying to sell this knife. It belonged to his brother and I think his brother must have retired early to late 70's or so. I just talked to the owner of it on the phone and he's retired Army and his brother was SF who served in 7th and I don't know what other Group or Groups. He's trying to get an idea of value and maybe sell it. They seem to think it's made in the early 60's (this seems to be true from my research). It's made by Western out in Boulder, Colorado. I've seen one's just like it on Ebay for about $150 Buy-it-now's. I asked the owner of it what he's trying to get for it and he said $950. That blow me away as I don't think it's worth more than $100 or so without the guys DD-214 etched into it. But I said I'd see if I could find a story behind it for him. The brother said he seems to think it was an issued knife and I explained to him that it probably wasn't but maybe it was a going-away gift.

Have any of one seen one in the SF? Thanks.

And yes, I searched and came up with squat! What do you guys think?

http://forums.gunboards.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=462527&d=1315771415

http://forums.gunboards.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=462528&d=1315771415

http://forums.gunboards.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=462529&d=1315771415

http://forums.gunboards.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=462530&d=1315771415

JJ_BPK
09-11-2011, 19:48
An older gentleman is trying to sell this knife.

The web address for the auction is only for those that are registered users of that site.

Grab a copy of the picture or look on Google images for the knife.

Without a picture??? :boohoo

In the mean time,, Here are some examples of Western knives in the service:

http://www.militaryfightingknives.com/collection.html#Western

:munchin

Bettendorf
09-11-2011, 20:05
Opps about the pictures. Here they are. I uploaded them to my photobucket account.

http://i441.photobucket.com/albums/qq136/Bettendorf/BOWIE1.jpg

http://i441.photobucket.com/albums/qq136/Bettendorf/BOWIE2.jpg

http://i441.photobucket.com/albums/qq136/Bettendorf/Bowie3.jpg

http://i441.photobucket.com/albums/qq136/Bettendorf/Bowie4.jpg

That's an awesome link you posted, JJ_BPK. I'm going to spend a lot of time there. Unfortunately, this knife isn't there.

Papa Zero Three
09-11-2011, 20:15
An older gentleman is trying to sell this knife. It belonged to his brother and I think his brother must have retired early to late 70's or so. I just talked to the owner of it on the phone and he's retired Army and his brother was SF who served in 7th and I don't know what other Group or Groups. He's trying to get an idea of value and maybe sell it. They seem to think it's made in the early 60's (this seems to be true from my research). It's made by Western out in Boulder, Colorado. I've seen one's just like it on Ebay for about $150 Buy-it-now's. I asked the owner of it what he's trying to get for it and he said $950. That blow me as I don't think it's worth more than $100 or so without the guys DD-214 etched into it. But I said I'd see if I could find a story behind it for him. The brother said he seems to think it was an issued knife and I explained to him that it probably wasn't but maybe it was a going-away gift.

Have any of one seen one in the SF? Thanks.

And yes, I searched and came up with squat! What do you guys think?

http://forums.gunboards.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=462527&d=1315771415

http://forums.gunboards.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=462528&d=1315771415

http://forums.gunboards.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=462529&d=1315771415

http://forums.gunboards.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=462530&d=1315771415



I'm gonna have to say that is not an issued knife. It very well could be that it was a going away gift and or a small group buy at the time by a bunch of interested guys, hence the etching of the SF crest. Personally, I think $100.00 would be on the high side unless there is some sort of providence associated with the knife that makes it more valuable.

Snaquebite
09-11-2011, 20:20
The SF Crest etching looks pretty fresh considering the "age"of the knife.

Bettendorf
09-11-2011, 20:29
The SF Crest etching looks pretty fresh considering the "age"of the knife.

I'm pretty sure it was etched years ago( mid-60's or so). If you follow the link below, you will see something else that old-timer sold off a a month ago through a family friend. It looks like he has some pretty legit stuff. Awesome helmet in link.

http://forums.gunboards.com/showthread.php?232110-Korean-War-M1-helmet-11th-ABN-187th-Regt-Pathfinder

Bettendorf
09-11-2011, 20:31
I'm gonna have to say that is not an issued knife. It very well could be that it was a going away gift and or a small group buy at the time by a bunch of interested guys, hence the etching of the SF crest. Personally, I think $100.00 would be on the high side unless there is some sort of providence associated with the knife that makes it more valuable.

I'm in full agreement. I'm just looking for the same and/or different opinions. Thanks!

CSB
09-12-2011, 00:23
What you have is a "Hail and Farewell" Bowie Knife.

I don't know if active duty units still have what we used to call the "Cup and Flower Fund" run by the S1. Every officer was docked about $10 - $15 per month in "dues" and the fund bought preapproved gifts under defined situations:

Baby = Silver Plated Cup, engraved with the baby's name.
Death in the immediate family = A wreath of flowers from the Battalion.

Hence the name "Cup and Flower Fund."

PCS = A Bowie knife like the one shown. It comes with a belt sheath that hangs down to about my knees, and a wooden display plaque for hanging in the den. Mine hangs in my office. To be blunt, it's physically unremarkable and you could buy one a a pawn shop for about $25.00.

Looks something like this:

http://www.knivesplus.com/case-knife-plaque-ca-317.html

Richard
09-12-2011, 06:51
I never saw nor ever heard of an issued Bowie - in my experience, it's either a farewell presentation gift from an ODA/B/C or something he bought for himself and had the engraving done as some form of memento or gift.

I purchased a folding Buck for my Dad at the old wooden IMA bookstore across Reilly from Center in '72 and had the following engraving added before giving it to him - name on one side of the blade and the SF SSI, parachutist badge, medical caduceus, and beret w/dagger on each of the four brass end pieces.

That fighting knife link is an outstanding resource, JJ.

Richard :munchin

MVP
09-12-2011, 09:47
As CSB as said it is probably worth about $25 on the open market. Even if the engraving is old it is/was not an issue item. The knife in like new condition would have greater value without the crest than with it. If there is some sort of proof showing this knife was actually used in the field vs being some sort of memento it could make a difference but still the knife is not likely to bring more than $50. Documented presentation knives are not bringing much more then their new cost and are rarely purchased by true collectors.

MVP

The Reaper
09-12-2011, 17:31
Bull Simons' Bowie used to be on display by the entrance to the SF Museum, along with his powder horn.

IIRC, he used to give the Western Bowies away as going away gifts.

Now if he can prove that COL Simons presented it, it might have some more value.

As it is, it isn't worth much, and it looks like a fake to me.

TR

Cowboy 1968
09-12-2011, 17:50
In '68 after being assigned to the 7th Group, my Father presented me with one and I carried it throughout my Army career. I didn't have the SF crest but it made a great substitute for a machete, was great for butchering wild game and the top fore blade was kept sharp enough to shave the hair on your arm. When my son enlisted in 1998, I passed it on to him and he carried it to Baghdad. I think in the '60s, the knife could be purchased for about $40-$50 dollars. There was no SF knife issued and most of the guys purchased the Gerber commando style knives. Hope this helps a little.

alright4u
09-12-2011, 22:50
I don't know if active duty units still have what we used to call the "Cup and Flower Fund" run by the S1. Every officer was docked about $10 - $15 per month in "dues" and the fund bought preapproved gifts under defined situations:

Baby = Silver Plated Cup, engraved with the baby's name.
Death in the immediate family = A wreath of flowers from the Battalion.

Hence the name "Cup and Flower Fund."

PCS = A Bowie knife like the one shown. It comes with a belt sheath that hangs down to about my knees, and a wooden display plaque for hanging in the den. Mine hangs in my office. To be blunt, it's physically unremarkable and you could buy one a a pawn shop for about $25.00.

Looks something like this:

I got a 3rd Group GB statue and later a 6th Group GB statue out of the fund in late 67 and again in late 69 or early 70. I think those statues ended before 75? I did not pay into the fund. I think it was just the married officers who paid in.

http://www.knivesplus.com/case-knife-plaque-ca-317.html[/QUOTE]

Bettendorf
09-17-2011, 17:59
Just an update. I just got off the phone with the owner of the knife. I told him the info I've received and the value of it.. "Fuck that!" "Fuck this shit!" "I know a gotta pile of gold" "I wouldn't take less than a $1,000 for it.". "Those guys don't know shit." I'm really qouting him here.

What a guy. I asked him to look this thread up and he flatly refused and said he's old school and doesn't want to look it up. I didn't even offer anything him for it.

Oh, well. Thanks for the insight, guys.

PRB
09-17-2011, 21:06
Oh I dunno, I remember lots of guys carrying swords in combat because our loads were so light....

Richard
09-17-2011, 21:24
Oh I dunno, I remember lots of guys carrying swords in combat....

Damn - you're older than I thought! :rolleyes:

Richard :munchin

colt
09-21-2011, 14:52
I carried a Western Bowie for a short period on my first tour in VN.It had a brown leather sheath,that attached by belt hooks on your pistol belt.There was a swivel attachment at the top of the sheath,below the belt hooks.The knife was hard to sharpen,too long and not practical for anything.I took it with me because I thought it looked"cool".I did absolutely nothing with this knife,except play with it.I traded the knife for something,I don't remember what.This is all from memory,probably before you were born.I hope this helps.I will try to answer any questions,but please remember the timeline.

Pete
09-21-2011, 15:05
colt

You need to follow the instructions you were given when you signed up on this board and make your "first" post in the intro thread.

Also fill out your profile.

chisumr
06-29-2013, 09:35
Vietnam Western Special Forces Bowie----Only 100 made in 1965 and sent to the Special Forces at Fort Bragg. The blade is 9 1/8" long and marked "Bowie" on one side and "Western / Boulder,Colo. U.S.A." on the other. On the Bowie marked side is the Special Forces crest. The blade has a blueish stained appearance with some scratches and light sharpening at the cutting edge. I'm guessing the owner tried to blue the blade and it also got wet. I'm betting this knife went to Vietnam with its owner. It comes with the original sheath that is in very nice condition. Ref: Cole III pg 168----Super Rare----$ 750.00

I bought his from John Gibson who has Militaryknives.com Thought you guys might like to know the real truth .......

SF_BHT
06-29-2013, 09:47
Photos go a long way...:munchin

Just because someone on military knifes.com Said so doe not make it true. Several of the people that have commented on this thread were in SF back then in RVN.

I would put more value in your statements if the manufacture documented this and if some SF guys said yeah I remember them being given out back then.

I am not saying you are wrong but what supports your claim......

Beef
06-29-2013, 12:17
Photos go a long way...:munchin

Just because someone on military knifes.com Said so doe not make it true. Several of the people that have commented on this thread were in SF back then in RVN.

I would put more value in your statements if the manufacture documented this and if some SF guys said yeah I remember them being given out back then.

I am not saying you are wrong but what supports your claim......

I totally agree. This is similar an ongoing topic on several watch forums regarding Rolex Submariners being issued to U.S. Military divers. The ONLY DOCUMENTED case of Rolex Subs being issued to U.S. Military divers are the prototype Sea Dwellers in the late '60's. There were, however, hundreds of Tudor ( Rolex's "economy" line) Subs issued to divers, primarily Navy, but some others, too. Then there where tons of PX purchase Rolex Subs used. Which has led to the myth of the issue watches. I suspect the " cup and flower fund" may possibly be responsible for the creation of a new military myth. However, anything is possible, it justs needs documentation.

Richard
06-29-2013, 15:06
I totally agree. This is similar an ongoing topic on several watch forums regarding Rolex Submariners being issued to U.S. Military divers. The ONLY DOCUMENTED case of Rolex Subs being issued to U.S. Military divers are the prototype Sea Dwellers in the late '60's. There were, however, hundreds of Tudor ( Rolex's "economy" line) Subs issued to divers, primarily Navy, but some others, too. Then there where tons of PX purchase Rolex Subs used. Which has led to the myth of the issue watches. I suspect the " cup and flower fund" may possibly be responsible for the creation of a new military myth. However, anything is possible, it justs needs documentation.

We had the Tudor Submariners (some with a black dial and some with a blue dial) in the 7th Group SCUBA Locker for issue to us on ODAs with a primary dive mission - but we all had our own dive watches and seldom used the Group's MTOE watches because it was always a paperwork pain in the @$$ to do so...depending on who the NCOIC of the locker and Group PBO were at the time.

Richard

Beef
06-29-2013, 15:37
We had the Tudor Submariners (some with a black dial and some with a blue dial) in the 7th Group SCUBA Locker for issue to us on ODAs with a primary dive mission - but we all had our own dive watches and seldom used the Group's MTOE watches because it was always a paperwork pain in the @$$ to do so...depending on who the NCOIC of the locker and Group PBO were at the time.

Richard

And those Tudors with some military documentation ( hand receipt or something similar or photos of it use) go upwards of $5-6K. Cost at the time new was ~ $250. I hope that you managed to "requisition" one, Richard!

MAB32
06-30-2013, 11:34
Western Bowies were also issued in large numbers by the U.S Army Air Corps for seat survival kits in Fighters. The same was done for Korean Era airplanes. This may have even over-flowed into some survival kits into Vietnam.

Peregrino
06-30-2013, 12:24
We had the Tudor Submariners (some with a black dial and some with a blue dial) in the 7th Group SCUBA Locker for issue to us on ODAs with a primary dive mission - but we all had our own dive watches and seldom used the Group's MTOE watches because it was always a paperwork pain in the @$$ to do so...depending on who the NCOIC of the locker and Group PBO were at the time.

Richard

Same for 5th SFG(A) in 79. Ours were actually issued to the dive teams though. On 511 we kept ours in the 1-drawer field safe and they never left the team room. The monthly 10% sensitive items inventories always seemed to include counting watches. Most of us younger guys bought and used Seikos because the Tudors weren't worth the PITA. Personally, after the G-Shocks came out, I went Casio and never looked back.

Beef
06-30-2013, 14:04
Western Bowies were also issued in large numbers by the U.S Army Air Corps for seat survival kits in Fighters. The same was done for Korean Era airplanes. This may have even over-flowed into some survival kits into Vietnam.

Western did make large numbers of knives for the Air Corps during WW II. Sheath knives as well as a 3 bladed stockman for smaller survival kits. I've never seen any special markings on any Westerns, though. The Ulster mountain pocket knife had U.S. on the bail and many other companies made a Scout type pocket knife with U.S.A. on the shield that was inlaid into the scale. And of course, the original "Demo" knife was issued as a utility pocket knife in 1944 with USMC engraved into the scale. HOOAH! Probably the only time in history we Jarheads were on the "cutting edge" in the equipment area. Been using the Army's leftovers ever since!

Beef
06-30-2013, 14:07
Same for 5th SFG(A) in 79. Ours were actually issued to the dive teams though. On 511 we kept ours in the 1-drawer field safe and they never left the team room. The monthly 10% sensitive items inventories always seemed to include counting watches. Most of us younger guys bought and used Seikos because the Tudors weren't worth the PITA. Personally, after the G-Shocks came out, I went Casio and never looked back.

You are dead on about the Seikos! In the late ' 70's- early '80's everyone showed up at or from the Q with a Seiko diver with a black rubber strap bearing a small compass! The peak of fashion amongst the newbies. ( I was a newbie at the time.)

Richard
06-30-2013, 20:26
And those Tudors with some military documentation ( hand receipt or something similar or photos of it use) go upwards of $5-6K. Cost at the time new was ~ $250. I hope that you managed to "requisition" one, Richard!

Wowsa! Now I wish I woulda "requisitioned" one or two or three of them... ;)

Richard

chisumr
07-13-2013, 11:04
Photos go a long way...:munchin

Just because someone on military knifes.com Said so doe not make it true. Several of the people that have commented on this thread were in SF back then in RVN.

I would put more value in your statements if the manufacture documented this and if some SF guys said yeah I remember them being given out back then.

I am not saying you are wrong but what supports your claim......


Try looking up the reference I gave. Cole book has the info. I also think John Gibson can verify this....