Lt. Gen. John F. Mulholland, Jr. presents September 11 Memorial V-42s to Colonel 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. The commemorative knives were crafted by W.R. Case & Sons Cutlery Co. with donated steel recovered from the World Trade Center.
Nov. 10, 2017, Bradford, Pa. - W.R. Case & Sons Cutlery Co. was honored to unveil the September 11 Memorial V-42, a limited production World War II-era military knife featuring donated steel recovered from the World Trade Center, at a special event held yesterday at the National September 11 Memorial & Museum in New York City. The three commemorative V-42s – which will never be made available for sale to the public – were crafted to uniquely honor and recognize three specific groups of Americans whose stories are forever embedded in the history of that tragic day: the citizens who were the innocent victims of the attacks, the first-responders who heroically rushed into action, and the men and women of Combined Joint Special Operations Task Force-North (aka Task Force Dagger) who served as our Nation's military response.
The World Trade Center steel incorporated into the V-42s was originally presented by the Port Authority of New York & New Jersey to the United States Army Special Operations Command. Lieutenant General John F. Mulholland, Jr., a senior officer in the United States Army and former Associate Director of the Central Intelligence Agency for Military Affairs, coordinated the delivery of the recovered World Trade Center steel to the Case factory in Bradford, Pennsylvania, and commissioned the development of the memorial knives.
"W.R. Case has been a long-time supporter of the U.S. Armed Forces," commented Lt. Gen. John F. Mulholland, Jr. "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."
Case presented commemorative V-42's to two units that were among the first to respond in the face of the 9/11 tragedy in 2001: 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 was presented to the National September 11 Memorial & Museum. Colonel 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 elite 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 very first teams to enter Afghanistan for Operation Enduring Freedom were on hand to witness yesterday's event – Chief Warrant Officer Brad Fowers and Sergeant Major Michael Bowman.
"We are extremely humbled that Lt. Gen. Mulholland invited Case to be part of this powerful project," remarked 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 original V-42 is one of America's most famous wartime fighting knives. 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. The 1st Special Service Force, which became better known as "The Devil's Brigade," now serves as one of the forefather units of today's U.S. Army Special Forces. In recognition, an image of Case's V-42 stiletto sits in the center of the U.S. Army Special Forces crest and Regimental colors, and occupies a central place of honor in the official Task Force Dagger graphic.
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. Other notable attributes include a leather-covered and blued steel guard, a hand-worked leather handle, and a threaded and pinned-on pommel. A specially engraved 'thumbprint' is embedded within the knife's ricasso, which historically served to help soldiers orientate their blades with a sure grip. The newly 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.
The commemorative V-42, which will be a part of the National September 11 Memorial & Museum's permanent collection, joins America's Response Monument as 9/11 tributes whose compositions include reclaimed World Trade Center steel. Stationed in Liberty Park overlooking the 9/11 Memorial, America's Response Monument – created by acclaimed sculptor Douwe Blumberg – commemorates members of Task Force Dagger who rode into combat on horseback in October 2001 for the first time since World War II. Each Special Forces team continuously carried a piece of World Trade Center steel throughout their tour of duty. Lt. General Mulholland dedicated the statue to the Special Forces with Vice President Joe Biden on November 11, 2011.