A knife –– produced by W.R. Case & Sons Cutlery Co. –– featuring World Trade Center steel was unveiled at a special event held Friday at the National September 11 Memorial & Museum in New York City.
Lt. Gen. John F. Mulholland Jr., a senior officer in the U.S. Army and former associate director of the Central Intelligence Agency for Military Affairs, commissioned the Bradford Township-based manufacturer to craft a knife honoring America’s heroes. The knife, titled September 11 Memorial V-42, is a limited-production World War II-era military knife.
“We are extremely humbled that Lt. Gen. Mulholland invited Case to be part of this powerful project,” said George Duke, owner, W.R. Case & Sons Cutlery Co. “Throughout our nearly 130 year history, Case has been proud to be a quality American-made company with the privilege of working alongside some of the finest people our country has to offer, and we are honored to present these V-42s as a small token of our collective appreciation for the sacrifices made every day by members of our military and first responders.”
The three commemorative V-42s — that will never be made available for sale to the public — were crafted to honor and recognize three specific groups of Americans: The citizens who were the victims of the attacks, the first-responders and the men and women of Combined Joint Special Operations Task Force-North, also known as Task Force Dagger, who served as the nation’s military response.
Case presented commemorative V-42s to two units that were among the first to respond in the face of 9/11: The U.S. Army’s 5th Special Forces Group, the first American unit deployed into Afghanistan for Operation Enduring Freedom, and the Central Intelligence Agency. A third commemorative knife was presented to the National Sept. 11 Memorial & Museum.
The World Trade Center steel incorporated into the V-42s was originally presented by the Port Authority of New York & New Jersey to the U.S. Army Special Operations Command. Mulholland coordinated the delivery of the recovered World Trade Center steel to the Case factory.
The original V-42 is one of America’s most famous wartime fighting knives, Case officials said. With the “V” standing for “Victory” and “42” for the year it was created, the stiletto was originally manufactured by Case from an original design submitted by the commander of the 1st Special Service Force, then-Colonel Robert T. Frederick.
Like the original V-42, the distinctive stiletto blade is double-concave ground, yielding the knife’s signature center line along the length of the blade, and blued to retain its characteristic patina. The crafted September 11 Memorial V-42 features a special tang stamp on the blade to accentuate the historical significance of the steel which comprises it.
“W.R. Case has been a long-time supporter of the U.S. Armed Forces,” Mulholland said. “As we set out to create a tribute to the World Trade Center and the men and women who have fought bravely to defend our freedom since that fateful day, we knew that Case was the right partner to help forge a symbol of American strength and resilience.”
Col. Lewis Powers, commander of the U.S. Army’s 5th Special Forces Group; Toni Hiley, director of the CIA Museum; and Alice Greenwald, president and CEO of the National September 11 Memorial & Museum, were on hand to accept the specially prepared memorials.
Also in attendance was Gene Gutierrez, an original member of the 1st Special Service Force, an American-Canadian commando unit that was the first to carry the original V-42 in World War II. Two others who were assigned to the first teams to enter the World Trade Center site on 9/11 were on hand to witness Friday’s event – Chief Warrant Officer Brad Fowers and Sergeant Major Michael Bowman.