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Australian Military Knives

WW2 Machete
Australia produced several types of machetes during the war. The British Bolo pattern with plastic
handle and known as Machet 15" is the most commonly found.
Australian manufacturers produced the M1942 US pattern machetes for the US as well. These
machetes are not often seen in Australia.

Bolo Style
The machete most commonly used by the Australian Army during WW2 were the (British) Bolo
style of machete.
Gregory Steel Products
This Machete is by Gregory Steel Products, Melbourne and is complete with the original

This machete is in the collection of the Imperial War Museums Great Britain
This is the most commonly encountered Australian WW2 machete. This machete has bakelite
handles instead of wood as used previously. It is normally found with a canvas sheath, evidently a
leather sheath was issued prior to the adoption of the canvas sheath
This machete is marked D /I\ D above DC 45. Examples are also found with 44. This is believed
to be the year of manufacture.

This machete is marked D /I\ D above MP 44

From the Kennington collection

My research has led me to believe that the manufacturer of these machetes marked DC was Die
Casters Pty Ltd a Melbourne based firm.
I believe that the manufacturer of the machetes marked MP was Marsden Products Pty Ltd of
Because of the distinct similarities between the two machetes I believe that production of both
occurred in the same factory. Die Casters were precision moulding specialists and because of
this some researchers doubt that they are responsible for the DC marked machetes. I have
recently been made aware that Marsden Products were a Division of Lysaght Works Ltd. Did
Lysaght manufacture the machetes for both Marsden and Die Casters at their Port Kembla
If anyone has any information that can help me, I would very much like to hear from them. Please
email me

Australian Army Long Machete

During WW2 Australia makers produced a distinctive long machete for the Australian Forces. This
machete was completely different to the previous bolo machetes. The machete has a 19 inch (43
cm) blade and a simple wooden handle.
I am aware of three manufacturers:

H. Barker

Greg Steel and


Whittingslowe Engineering in Adelaide produced this distinctive long machete for the Australian
Forces during WW2. It is marked WHITTINGSLOWE ADELAIDE over D/I\D. I have no
information on the sheath that would have accompanied this machete.

This very large Machet has been referred to as a "Parang" by eminent researcher Keith Spencer.
I am aware of this machete being made by three Manufacturers,

Gregory Steel Products

Marsden Products and

Scott Trojan.

The machete was issued with a very robust leather scabbard.

This machete is unmarked.

Air Force Survival
A survival machete for issue to air crews was manufactured in Australia during World War 2.
These machetes' were issued to USAAF as well as Australian air crews.
The survival machete was made by several manufacturers:

JM Avon & Co

East Bros


Scott Trojan

Not all examples carry makers marks.

These machetes are found in two basic versions. One has Aluminium grips, the other has
wooden grips.
From the Marsella collection

This Air Crew Survival Machete was issued to Flight Lieutenant David Jones while serving with
100 Squadron RAAF in New Guinea in 1945. It is by Scott Trojan.
Flt Lt Jones enlisted in the RAAF in 1940. He underwent his initial training at Point Cook in
Victoria. On completion he was posted to Point Cook as an Instructor. After 3 years as an
Instructor he was posted to 100 Sqn RAAF in New Guinea where he flew Beaufort Bombers on
bombing missions against the Japanese.
On 15 August 1945, Flt Lt Jones and crew were returning from a bombing mission when informed
over the radio that the war was over. This meant that their mission was the last one for their
Squadron and one of the last missions of the war against the Japanese. The machete featured
was part of his flying kit and was being worn by him at that time.
On 13 September 1945, Flt Lt Jones and members of 100 Sqn were part of the guard at the
ceremony for the surrender of the Japanese Forces in New Guinea at the airstrip at Cape Wom,
Wewak, New Guinea where Lieutenant-General Hatazo Adachi, Commander 18 Japanese Army
in New Guinea, formally surrendered to Major-General H.C.H. Robertson, General Officer
Commanding 6 Division.
The machete is now on display in an RSL sub branch museum.

Flight Lieutenant Jones when an instructor at Point Cook

These Machetes' were still being held in Australian stores up until the late 1960's. I have heard
from one Australian Infantry Soldier who, while he was deployed to Vietnam in the late 1960's
was issued one from the Q store by the staff who had a supply of them. Feeling it was a pretty
useless piece of kit for infantry use, he just left it with his gear. On his return to Australia he had a
knifemaker convert it in to a knife as a souvenir of his deployment.
From a private collection

British Bolo pattern

The British Bolo machete was issued to Australian Forces during WW2. I have no information on
the scale of issue. So far I only have evidence of one brand being issued to Australian troops,
that by Joseph Beal and Sons but it is likely that there were others.

US M1942 pattern
This pattern machete was manufactured in Australia during WW2 for US forces. It most likely saw
service with Australian troops as well.
The examples I am aware of are marked:

DC and


Both leather and canvas sheaths have been noted with these machetes.
DC marked machete

From the Bartel collection

Machetes have been found marked both 44 and 45.

Marsden machete

From the Bartel collection

US M1942 short
This machete appears to be based on the M1942 pattern and was manufactured in Australia
during WW2 for US forces. It may have been used as an Air Crew machete and it may have been
more convenient for use in heavy jungle. Any information on this machete would be appreciated.
The only example I am aware of is by Marsden.

From the Marsella collection

Markings found on this machete