KST – Cattaraugus 225Q the Para and Commando fighting knife

The Dutch Special Forces in the East Indies, both the Para and the Commando unit had a very interesting mixture of clothing and equipment. Mainly bought from the US in the pacific but also quite a lot of surplus English material.

This mixture can be seen in many of the photo’s of the unit. Like the Rawlings tanker helmet that was used as a practice helmet for the para’s. Below Lt Castelein his helmet and next to a photo from his album where he is wearing it.

For combat used there were not enough English para helmets so the motorhelmet was used. For clothing the US Army HBT camouflage (frogskin) overalls were widely used, not only by the special forces but all units. Use by para’s seen in the photo on the left. Even some very rare US camouflage experimental jackets and trousers were used, the photo on the right shows an example of the top being used.

Man on the left wearing the trousers and severall men with the overall. Photo’s Kloër estate.

But which knife was used? In photo’s you can find a wide variety again of different knives including the US M3 knife but most often the Cattaraugus 225Q is seen and it is found in several museum and private collections with a direct link to the KST and Para company.

With some reading on US fora the background of the knife can be easily established. It was a 6″ hunting knife that was ordered by the Quartermaster Corps for both the Army and Navy and it was used in all sorts of units as a general purpose/ fighting knife like there were several others in both the army and navy. In war period advertising it was described as the commando knife with a drawing of a para with the knife:

Ad found on the internet
A well used and a near mint version of the same knife!

This knife was used extensively by the commando’s and the para’s of the Speciale Troepen and the Para Company in the Dutch East Indies. Below the KST commando’s with the knife

Photo from the Kloër estate
Another KST commando with the knife. Photo Kloër estate.

And a famous picture of a group of para’s getting ready for one of the action jumps were several are wearing this type of knife!

Photo from the NIMH