is the 7" fighting / utility knife used by the US Marines
in World War II
. The name came from the manufacturers of the knife, the Union Cutlery Company, who stamped their trademark into the mark side tang. More than 1 million of these knives were manufactured during the WWII. The Ka-bar remains a favorite, virtually obligatory piece of equipment with US Marine infantry at present, although the US Marine Reconnaissance units generally prefer the Gerber Mark II[?]
The KA-BAR company was founded in 1898 as Tidioute Cutlery Company; following its financial collapse and take-over it was renamed the Union Cutlery Company. KA-BAR was initially a trademark but in 1952 the company renamed itself KA-BAR Cutlery Inc.
The origin of the word KA-BAR is uncertain. The company claims it is a corruption of "Kill a Bear", an ability ascribed to the knife by a customer.
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