A descendant of the Fairbairn-Sykes combat knife, the V-42 Stiletto was designed with input from members of the First Special Service Force, the joint American/Canadian arctic and mountain warfare unit that is considered one of the forefathers of modern American Special Forces. While the majority went to the 1st SSF, around 70 were diverted to the Navy, and were among the armament issued to the U.S.S. Omaha. The lead ship of the Omaha-Class Light Cruiser, the Omaha was originally ordered in 1916 but not commissioned until 1923, and would be active in the Navy to 1946. During World War II the vessel chiefly performed shore bombardment and anti-blockade runner actions, including an incident where they became the last American crew to get paid prize money for taking an enemy vessel at sea; spotting a German cargo vessel trying to pass itself off as an American ship, a crew or boarders managed to save the vessel after the Germans tried to scuttle it, successfully arguing in an admiralty court that the sinking vessel counted as fair salvage. The stiletto measures 12 1/2 inches overall, with a 7 1/4 inch double edged needle point blade, showing the signature serrated "thumbprint" on the ricasso above "CASE", as well as the inscription "Wm.B.McIntosh/U.S.S. Omaha" on the reverse. The blackened metal guard is fitted with a thick leather finger pad on the underside, with a ribbed leather washer grip and distinctive "skull crusher" pommel. The brown leather sheath is been shortened from its original long drop configuration to a more traditional style web mount (a typical modification for Navy V-42s), with a set of steel reinforcement plates on either side near the tip, stitched and riveted construction and "U S S OMAHA/C-15" stamped on the front.
Very good, with over half of the blue finish, showing patches of pitting, especially along the high points and towards the tip. The grip is solid, with a few light scuffs, and the pommel and guard show a similar finish. The sheath is good, with some lost stitching, staining, and cracking. William McIntosh has not been identified, though further research may turn up something interesting.
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