Previous Next World War II Exhibit Page Home Search
Record 527/959
Copyright Oshkosh Public Museum
Enlarge Image
Description U.S. Army M3 fighting or trench knife and M8 fiberglass sheath. Spear point blade is 6.750" long with 3.5" long sharpened false edge. Blade is .875" wide and .187" thick with Parkerized finish. Grip is 4.750" long and made of grooved stacked leather washers; angled steel cross guard 2.25" long, and steel pommel. Blade is marked "US IMPERIAL M3" Imperial Knife Co. was one of nine companies contracted to produce the knife. Flaming bomb ordnance mark on pommel. Sheath is made from olive drab colored fiberglass with steel throat marked "US M8 BM CO" and 8" long wrapped rawhide lace at tip of sheath. Back of sheath is crudely engraved "HANSEN ENGLAND 1942" and front of sheath has crudely marked letter "A." Belt loop is khaki colored cotton web material riveted to Parkerized steel fittings. Sheath has .625" wide khaki loop with steel ends and snap that goes around grip near pommel. Overall length of sheath is 12.250" The M3 was adopted in 1943 and was standard issue to U.S. Army paratroopers. It was often strapped to the lower leg.

Used by Adrian Hansen during World War II. Adrian Donald Hansen was born in Eldorado, WI on February 7, 1919, the son of Margaret May Griffiths Hansen and Pearl Steven Hansen. He attended Slough Bridge School, Winnebago County, Wisconsin. Before World War II, he worked for his father and the Wisconsin Diamond Match Company. He entered the U. S. Army on September 29, 1942. He was in the 82nd Airborne Division, 1st Battalion of the 325 Glider Infantry. He was awarded the Purple Heart after being wounded in action in Normandy, France on June 14, 1944. He also received the good Conduct Medal, European-African-Middle Eastern Service Ribbon with one Silver and one Bronze Battle Star (six Campaigns or battles), and bronze arrowhead for combat glider landing; Glider Badge, four oversears Service Bars for two years overseas, Distinguished Unit Badge, Combat Infantryman Badge and Glider Wings. His unit received a Presidential Citation for volunteering to go behind enemy lines to rescue troops in the Battle of the Bulge. He served with the 325th glider Infantry in French Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Sicily, Italy, Ireland, France, Holland, Belgium and Germany. He was part of the Normandy Invasion on D-Day. He served in Foreign Service for 2 years, 4 months, 16 days. He was honorably discharged on September 22, 1945. He returned to the Diamond Match Company to work until it closed. He worked for the Turner Horse Stables and the Universal Foundry, Oshkosh until he retired at age 62. He died on September 8, 1998 in Oshkosh WI.
Dimensions L-12.25 inches
Dimension notes Length is overall length of knife when in sheath. Length of knife alone is 11.7"
Event World War II
Year range to 1942
Material Steel/Fiber/Leather
Object ID 2002.110.37
Object Name Knife
Place of Origin United States of America
People Hansen, Adrian Donald
Used Hansen, Adrian Donald
COPYRIGHT INFORMATION ~ For access to this image, contact

NOTICE: This material may be freely used by non-commercial entities for educational and/or research purposes as long as this message remains on all copied material. These electronic pages cannot be reproduced in any format for profit or other presentation without the permission of The Oshkosh Public Museum. 2005 Oshkosh Public Museum, All Rights Reserved   
Last modified on: December 12, 2009