Gerber Mark II

One of two 1970, Gerber Mark II fighting knives (serial numbered 016375) that were purchased by John Plaster during the war.

John L. Plaster served three tours in Vietnam with Military Assistance Command Vietnam Studies and Observations Group (MAC V SOG), Command and Control Central (CCC), Recon Company, assigned to Recon Teams:  Illinois, Washington, California and Hawaii before he transferred to the CCC Launch Site Office and as a Covey Rider.

Staff Sergeant (E-6) Plaster processed out of the Army in December 1971 after five years’ service with thirty-six months in Vietnam. He later received a degree in journalism from the University of Minnesota while serving with different US Army Reserve components. John received a federal direct commission and retired in 1992 with the rank of Major (O-4).

During the war, Gerber Knives was one of the largest commercial scale knife manufacturers in the United States and one of the first to market a specific double-edged combat knife. The Gerber Mark II Fighting Knife was created in 1967 and each had a hand stamped serial number that can identify the year of manufacture. The weapons were made available to the civilian and military market where they were sold through Post Exchanges (PX) and department stores as a private sale.