OSS Stiletto Fighting Knife – “Pancake Flipper”

Condition: Excellent

Maker: Sykes & Fairbanks

Pattern: Pancake Flipper

Base Material: Steel/Brass

SKU: JW2938 Categories , Tags ,


Product Description: This OSS Stiletto Fighting Knife, known as the “Pancake Flipper,” is a rare knife produced between 1942 – 1943. This was made for behind the front line members of the OSS (Office of Strategic Services). The initial production order was for only 10,000 knives, and these are very seldom encountered today. The OSS Stiletto Fighting Knife was designed off the British Fairbanks & Sykes Fighting Knife. This particular example is believed to have been produced by Landers, Frary, and Clark of New Britain, CT. The sharp steel blade on this piece is exceptional, and retains approximately 98% of its original bluing. The stippled brass grip retains loads of original blackening, with some light wear to the pommel area revealing some bare brass that has taken on a deep patina over time. The scabbard and “pancake flipper”-style belt loop fittings retain approximately 98% of their original olive drab paint, and show only light, honest wear. The brass grommet holding the leather scabbard to the belt loop has detached, as is the case with most of these. A piece of rubber band hold, which can be removed easily, holds the two pieces together to keep any accidental damage from happening. This is a choice example of the scarce and very desirable OSS Stiletto Fighting Knife, in excellent condition overall.




Historical Description: The fighting knives used by Allied forces in WWII had their roots in the “trench knives” used by both sides in WWI. Initially, the type of large, fixed blade knives that we would see as “combat knives” were only issued to military personnel in specific roles, such as Navy sailors who worked “topside” and who had to cut rope and line. Issue of knives eventually expanded to commando units and to other types of units as well, but many soldiers bought or were gifted various types of private purchase knives, some of which were hunting knives, some of which were intended specifically for military use. A large number of “theater made” knife types were produced, sometimes by civilian in occupied areas and other times, by the soldiers themselves. The Army, Navy and Marines all had their own knives that they issued, with some soldiers issued “survival” knives (such as machetes) that were not chiefly intended for combat. By 1943, knives were being issued to all combat soldiers who carried a weapon that did not have a bayonet. As with all edged weapons of WWII, the knives used by Allied servicemen are avidly collected today for their historical value.


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