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Old 04-22-2004, 09:14   #1
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Rare Bowie knife donated to Special Warfare Museum

Rare Bowie knife donated to Special Warfare Museum

By Capt. Natasha N. Standard
U.S. Army John F. Kennedy Special Warfare Center and School Public Affairs

FORT BRAGG, N.C. (USASOC News Service, April 21, 2004) — For retired Lt. Col. Buck Wilkerson, donating his Buffalo Bill Bowie knife to the John F. Kennedy Special Warfare Museum was similar to passing a piece of history from one generation of Special Forces Soldiers to another.

Wilkerson donated the knife to the museum during an April 16 ceremony here at the museum’s neighboring John F. Kennedy Plaza.

In 1966, legendary Special Forces Col. Arthur “Bull” Simons presented the Buffalo Bill Bowie knife to then-Capt. Buck Wilkerson, with the engraving, “Up your (expletive) with shining brass.” The infamous inscription was a silent agreement to the frustrating diplomatic policies in Vietnam, which caused lengthy delays and sometimes cancellations of critical missions, Wilkerson said.

“(Simons) shared my frustration,” Wilkerson continued. “He just never expressed it (until) he gave me that knife.”

Wilkerson said he was honored to receive the knife from such an extraordinary leader.

The rare 14-inch knife is one of the most prized sterile fighting knives by collectors due partly to the fact that only a total of 26 were ever made. Sixteen of them were delivered to Military Assistance Command Vietnam - Studies and Observations Group.

The knife has a 10-inch stainless steel blade, and a wooden handgrip with the infamous engraving on one side and “To Buck Wilkerson from the gang. SOG 1966,” on the other side. It is one of three engraved knives in existence from Operation Shining Brass.

The knife now sits in the museum just to the left of a beautiful hornlike canteen that also belonged to Simons.

The museum director and curator, Roxanne M. Merritt, said she is very appreciative of the valuable donation and feels the museum’s mission is being accomplished when donations are made.

The museum acts as a repository and provides an educational tool to tell the history of Special Forces, Merritt said.

Somewhere a True Believer is training to kill you. He is training with minimal food or water, in austere conditions, training day and night. The only thing clean on him is his weapon and he made his web gear. He doesn't worry about what workout to do - his ruck weighs what it weighs, his runs end when the enemy stops chasing him. This True Believer is not concerned about 'how hard it is;' he knows either he wins or dies. He doesn't go home at 17:00, he is home.
He knows only The Cause.

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