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Old 10-07-2017, 10:18 PM
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Jacknola Jacknola is offline
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Here is some interesting information that was in a letter I was pleased to receive from the Randall Shop. It is about Col. Compton and his relationship with the Randall family. Who could have guessed that Mr. Bo Randall was so close to Col. Compton when the historical discussion about LTG Moore began. What an interesting connection, and it adds valuable context to the portion of the story about COL Compton and his WWII Randall. Mr. Gary Randall wrote:

"...COL Compton was a wonderful friend of my Dad and both Dad and I camped and fished with him after WWII. He really was like a great uncle to me?"

I've forwarded the letter to LTC Steve Moore and his family. I'm sure they will enjoy knowing the personal connections between Col. Compton and the Randall family.

Last edited by Jacknola; 10-09-2017 at 10:40 PM.
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Old 10-08-2017, 04:07 AM
Sligo Sligo is offline
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Nice !
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Old 02-17-2019, 11:44 PM
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Jacknola Jacknola is offline
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Location: New Orleans
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Some time ago before my sabbatical, I received this final communication from LTC Steve. He relates finding letters from COL Compton that seem to imply COL Compton assisted Bo Randall in smithing early fighter blades, and may have participated in the development of the original fighter. He may have even helped make his own knife.... pictures of which are shown early in this line.

Also another letter confirms he carried his WWII knife with him into combat in the closing days of WWII. COL Steve asked, and I can easily imagine it further enhances the value of that blade. I'm relating this because it is of historical interest defining his knife and the construction or those early fighters. Here is what COL Steve wrote:

"Jack – I was going through some of COL Compton’s correspondence as I decide what we need to save for the family history and I ran into two very interesting letters he wrote to Bo. COL Compton was an accomplished iron worker. In fact, the communion rail in the old post chapel at Fort Sill was made by him when he was stationed there. That background leads to the interesting bits…

"In the March 1949 letter, he alludes to his collaboration with Bo on the knives. 'I am glad to hear that the knife business is still good and that you have such a fine helper. No doubt he is better than I but no more willing.'

"Interesting…. Then, in the May 1949 letter comes the most fascinating comment: 'I was very much struck with that line of knives you are making now and wish I had been there on the development of the others besides the fighting knife.'

"Wow… Do you have any perspective on this given your research? Finally, the letter also confirmed COL Compton carried the knife in WWII when he mentions Germany."

This is some good stuff. Hope the early Randall historians find this of interest.

Last edited by Jacknola; 02-17-2019 at 11:50 PM.
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Old 02-18-2019, 07:08 AM
Ta2bill Ta2bill is offline
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Great stuff Jack! And welcome back Sir, you have been missed!
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Old 03-02-2019, 11:16 PM
jeepster jeepster is offline
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Very nice. Great info. Good job Jack.
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Old 05-02-2020, 09:04 PM
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Jacknola Jacknola is offline
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The passing of Mr. Robert Gaddis prompted me to go back and re-read his excellent history book. I found something important and interesting that was previously overlooked. In a section entitled “Part-Time Help” about the early days of WWII knife manufacturing, Mr. Gaddis writes about COL Compton whose history was an important piece of the story about Hal Moore. Here is what Gaddis wrote beginning p. 85.

“Louis J Compton also began helping Bo in January or February 1943. He was a most unusual part-time employee because full colonels in the regular army didn’t usually volunteer to do odd jobs in their off-duty hours. Colonel Compton was in the field artillery stationed at the Orlando Army Air Force Base , and involved in the training of airborne spotters for the artillery. This was an early World War II version of forward air controller. Compton helped in the shop two or three times a week usually in the evening. Bo referred to him as ‘a great guy who came by my shop every few days and helped me put in a few licks.’

“He was always willing to do whatever was required to get the knives on their way to the GIs, anything from assembling the leather washer handles to wrapping packages. He did some polishing work too, but was not a blade grinder. Bo became quite good friends with Colonel Compton, having lunch with him on occasion at the officers’ club on base. As a token of this friendship, he gave the colonel a Randall Fighter with 6-inch blade and India stag handle on 9 May 1943.

So, now we have something unique...a very exactly dated WWII fighter, given to COL Compton by Bo Randall himself on 9 May 1943. Who would have thought pictures of that very knife would surface during the research started by a casual question about GEN Hal Moore’s Vietnam Randall.

Here are the pictures (again) of COL Compton’s knife, followed by portraits of him and a picture of Bo Randall and COL Compton together.

Last edited by Jacknola; 05-03-2020 at 07:38 PM.
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Old 05-04-2020, 09:05 AM
crutchtip crutchtip is offline
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Interesting that perhaps some of the knives with stag handles may have been made for people Bo knew versus standard delivery knives, this after the switch to leather handles in November 42. At least it seems this knife was, a little something special for a friend. There are only a handful known stag fighters from the period as we know.

Jack, you may want to suggest they not store the knife in the sheath for obvious reasons, but if they do put the knife in the sheath say for photos and such, put it in the correct way so as not to potentially damage the sheath. In this case, the knife should be inserted logo out. I have seen a few folks insert a knife into the sheath "backwards' and stick the doggone thing right thru the back of the sheath.
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Old 05-04-2020, 09:14 PM
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Jacknola Jacknola is offline
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You are probably right on .... logically, it was very likely Mr. Bo reserved whatever stag he had for only special occasions. Consider how difficult if not impossible it would be to get any stag from India during the war. He had to exert major efforts to just get steel, much less brass. There were very good reasons to switch to leather handles beyond just function. This would be a good topic for historical research some day... what was the supply infrastructure for stag from India, and how much did Bo have on hand when war started. I’ll bet there was correspondence that addressed that issue.

I’ll pass on the advice on storage to LTC Steve. I know he will appreciate it, thanks.
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Old 05-28-2020, 02:49 PM
Camouflage Camouflage is offline
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Thanks. it was an interesting read. I managed to find this Edition on the "Sentinel News Special Forces, Chapter 78"

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