Back to Gerber Main Page

GERBER Mark II™ IN VIETNAM

[Shriver Thumbnail Image] Photo: Medal of Honor winner, Jim Fleming
A picture of Jerry Michael Shriver, Master Sergeant, CCS, MACV-SOG (5TH SF GRP), SPECIAL FORCES U.S. Army. MIA 4/24/1969 in Cambodia. Note the Gerber Mark II worn in an inverted carry, fastened to web gear on his left side. While this carry position afforded quick access to the knife, part of the Mark IIs ricasso can be seen indicating the knife was barely being held in place by the sheaths retaining strap. Picture is not detailed enough to determine if possibly the wrist tie was used to insure the knife would not be lost.

NOTE: See the Vietnam Veterans Memorial site http://www.virtualwall.org/ds/ShriverJM01a.htm for more details about MSG Shriver. Also see http://taskforceomegainc.org/s139.html for more information and details about his last mission.



[Terry B. Thumbnail Image]
A picture of Terry Bryant, VICTOR PLATOON, U.S. Navy ST1 (SEAL TEAM 1) taken in 1971 in Vietnam. Terry was originally a Marine who became a SEAL team member and was a medic, HM1. Note the Gerber Mark II worn on a belt on the right hip.

The knife, serial number 9537, is missing the two leading zeros. Both blade and handle have been painted to prevent reflections.

The sheath has been modified by cutting off the sheath back above the throat and adding webbing to the sheath back forming a belt loop. In addition, the original retaining strap has been replaced with a nylon strap with velcro closure.

Pictures of the actual knife that Terry carried are shown below.

[TerryKnife Thumbnail Image] [TerryKnife Thumbnail Image] [TerryKnife Thumbnail Image]


[LRRP Thumbnail Image] Photo: www.4thdivrangers.com
I believe this to be a picture Larry Flannagan from the 1st Brigade 4th Division LRRP (Long Range Recon Patrol) taken in 1967 or 1968. Note the Gerber Mark II hanging on his belt. If you examine the photo closely, you can see the sharpening steel on the knife sheath face.



[SixSilentMen Thumbnail Image] Photo: Book cover by Gary A. Linderer
In his book "Six Silent Men - 101st LRP/Rangers - Book 3", Gary A. Linderer mentions the MACV Recondo School at Nha Trang, run by the 5th Special Forces Groups. Probably the finest school of its kind anywhere in the world, this was the 'finishing school' of long range patrolling.

"It was the tradition that the honor graduate of each class at MACV Recondo School be awarded a Gerber commando dagger by the school's staff. During the school's illustrious history, a large number of 101 st Airborne Division Lurp/Rangers won that coveted award, a testament to the quality of men who served in the division's Long Range Patrol units".



[Saigon Post Ad Thumbnail Image] Photo: Doug Hutchens
A page out of the Vietnam SAIGON POST Newspaper in the early years of the war. The page isn't dated but from the article about the Manila Mayor, I'm pretty sure it was the Dec. 21, 1966 issue.

Note the harsh wording in the advertisement with emphasis on the knife's "deadly" aspects. The ads were soon toned down.



[NVA Recovered Knife Thumbnail Image] Photo: Charlie Sharps
Canted blade Mark II - Serial Number 003934 - This knife was taken from a dead NVA soldier by SGT Charlie Sharps, an infantry platoon sergeant with the 173rd Airborne. The NVA soldier was killed in an ambush in Vietnam's Central Highlands, somewhere west of Buon Ma Thout, in October of 1968 .

After the war, wondering about the history of the knife, Charlie wrote to Gerber (this was years before the internet) and sent a picture of the knife and its serial number hoping Gerber could tell him who had originally purchased it and when.

Gerber stated that their records were scarce, but they did know the knife had been included with four others sold to the Post Exchange (PX) at Ft. Benning, Georgia in October of 1967.

So, sometime after that date, Charlie's Mark II was purchased by a U.S. soldier and taken to Nam. The original purchaser was probably Special Forces as they trained to become jump qualified at Ft. Benning’s jump school.

It is unknown whether the Mark II was possibly lost in the field and later found by enemy solders, or if the U.S. SF soldier was killed by some of the same NVA who died in the October 1968 Central Highlands ambush.

Back to Gerber Main Page