Dear Mr. Malloy:
I was given your e-mail so I could contact you in regard to a knife made by the Draper Company during WW2 that was given to every Hopedale resident that was entering the war. I am researching this issue and found out about it thru another person who knew a fellow who made these knives when he worked for Draper. This fellow has, however, passed on and that's really all I know about this issue. Any assistance in speaking to someone about these knives would be appreciated. I will try the local veterans organizations as well.
Chuck Gricus, Marion, MA
Here's part of another email from "Ernie," who'd also like to know more about the knives.
I really regret that I did not put more effort into uncovering more about these knives when I lived in Milford and Reno was still living.
I have also placed notices on popular military knife collector web sites, but no results. It's a real shot in the dark, unless a veteran or family member comes forward and helps out.
BTW; It was not unusual for private companies, even high schools, to make knives in the early days of the war. Some are fairly well documented, many, such as Draper, are not. Still, it's a great story, with much to be told.
After posting the above paragraphs, I received an email from Ernie. He said that not everyone got a knife, and added the following that he had once put on a military knife collector's website.
Wanted: Information regarding WW 2 knives made by, the Draper Company in Hopedale, MA. These were made at their machine shop and were provided to local men who were entering the armed forces during the WW2 period.
I was personal friends with one of the employees who made them - his name was Reno Guglielmi, now deceased. Reno told me about making quite a number of these knives, but unfortunately he never kept one for himself, nor did he have any photos. They were not marked, as far as I know. They were also supplied with sheaths made from leather shop belts at Draper. Ernie M., Cape Cod.
There may be other people who remember Reno and possibly were involved in making the knives. I do not believe it was a one-man effort.
If you have anything on this let me know and I'll pass your response on to Chuck and Ernie. You can contact me through the email link below
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