Need help identifying this bayonet knife

#1
Hello,

My father recently passed away and I've been going through his things. I found a Bayonet knife in a leather scabbard. The knife has black plastic handle in a style that seems to date back to WWI. It is configured to mount under the rifle barrel. The knife has a short, heavy-duty steel blade that is 7" long. The handle is 4 1/2" long. I cannot find any production markings on knife. Perhaps there is information under the handles but I'm not sure how to remove them without damaging the knife. My father engraved the handle pins with "C" and "H" on opposing sides. The leather scabbard is stamped with "WJM".

My father served in the Marine Corps during the Korean War, but he had been a knife collector since he was a boy so this knife could pre-date the Korean War. He also worked for 10 years in Colombia, traveling frequently to other South and Central American countries, so the knife may not be American.

I'd like to find out as much about this knife as possible, particularly time-frame. I am attaching some photos.

Thanks for any info!

Consuelo
 

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John Wilson

Well-Known Member
#2
Hi Consuelo,

First- I'm very sorry for your Father's passing. God bless him, you, and your family.

To answer your question:

That is a bayonet for an M1 Garand rifle, with the barrel lug ground off and the blade shortened to a useful length for a knife. The leather sheath is a custom made one, I'm assuming it was made by whoever made a knife from the bayonet. The work looks well done. And- you are right. The style does date back to World War I. However, the story is more interesting.

Time-frame wise, the M1 Garand was used in both WWII and Korea. This particular bayonet was from at least later during WWII. Earlier in the war, 16 inch bayonets were in use (a tactical holdover from WWI when a longer bayonet would be warranted). During WWII tactics changed. Long bayonets which were appropriate for trench warfare and massive charges in the First World War were not the best tools for the fighting of WWII. The 16inch bayonet was replaced by the ten inch bayonet, which became standard. Yours is a ten inch bayonet by the looks of it because the groove down the center of blade would extend past the tip were it from a 16 inch bayonet. Given that, your bayonet is from the 1940s. That is just my opinion. Hopefully an expert will come along and we will both learn something.
 
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John Wilson

Well-Known Member
#3


In its original form. Notice the guard? It is really long and has a loop. This is the barrel lug. That was ground off on yours to shape the guard more appropriately for a knife. Then the blade was shortened to just past the end of the groove. On your bayonet, this was nicely done. Yours looks like it was made that way, which it wasn't.
 
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John Wilson

Well-Known Member
#4
This is what it looked like mounted



This is the rifle your bayonet goes to. Notice the early bayonets in the picture. Be glad you don't have to run, jump, or crawl through the bush with that thing on your belt.

 
#5
Hi John,

Thank you for your kind words... Dad was an interesting, fun person and I already miss him. Your explanation about this knife makes good sense... I took a close look at the top guard and, while it's nicely done, you can see the shape is not factory perfect.. the top is very slightly off center. Never would have noticed this if I did not know to look! BTW, I found a great document regarding M1 Garland bayonets in case you're interested - http://thegca.org/pdfs/Bayonets409.pdf

Thanks again... I never would have figured this out on my own. :1:

Best,
Consuelo
 
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