japanese world war 2 bayonet what is the value?

very good shape

the value will greatly depend on its current state, whether it has someone's name/rank engraved on it (and whether you can locate that soldier's name/batallion/regiment, etc.), details on where it was acquired (battle details) and the potential interest of the buyer I have seen a couple over the years at flea markets and they usually sold for about $20-$25 (before major haggling). This does not mean yours is not worth much more but you will need to take it to an antique dealer to have it assessed

In this economic climate it is vital to get the most you can for your online money. So there is no valid reason to over pay for when there is thousands of them available for sale on eBay. Plus, eBay is considered the largest sized and most respected online shopping sites globally. This web site is approved by eBay to help you locate the you are hunting for and show them for you. If you can not find the hunting for directly below. Use the query feature on your right, or use one of the recent searches in the list.

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Down to Earth   by Owen Zupp

Simply through our everyday lives, we have cause to encounter all sorts of personalities; some interesting, some complicated and others that spring to mind for all of the wrong reasons. They can be found in a marketplace in some far-away hidden corner of the globe, or right around the corner next to the pie shop. Part of the fun is never knowing quite where you'll find them.

Some time back, I took to speaking to veteran aircrew of past conflicts in an effort to record their stories. It allowed me to tie together my interest in history, writing and aviation. Along the way meeting characters who have 'been there and done that' but retain modesty and the art of the understatement. While some stories are published, others are simply retained by the family to pass on to the enquiring grandchildren whose questions always seem to surface around ANZAC Day assignment time.

Two years ago, I was approached by one such survivor of World War Two. Not through the Department of Veteran's Affairs, or the RSL, but an electrician. Repairing all and sundry in the aftermath of a lightning strike, the 'sparky' mentioned an old fella he knew who had been trying to get his story recorded for a few years. He'd started to write it himself, but hadn't gotten very far; maybe I'd like to have a chat with him?

Kenneth Butterworth McGlashan was standing in his shed, shaking his head at a recalcitrant lathe when I first met him. He'd taken to restoring tired antique furniture in his retirement and his workshop was a mix of turned table legs and sawdust. Turning away from his tools, Kenneth greeted me warmly and immediately began chatting about his Royal Air Force days. With a Scottish accent, the 84 year-old started to describe an aerial combat over Dunkirk in 1940 on which he had come out on the wrong side. We wandered inside and began to chat over a cup of tea about aerial campaigns that had become folklore; the Battle of Britain, Dieppe, D-Day. Kenneth had been there for all of them as a fighter pilot, he was one of 'The Few' who had defended Britain in her darkest hour.

His sharp eyes hadn't aged a day, nor had his sense of humour. He related anecdote after anecdote with tremendous clarity and the hours ticked by until it was time for me to leave. Sensing my movement toward the door, Kenneth asked me if I was interested in writing his story and I knew I was, however I sensed immediately that this wasn't a magazine article or a short story for the family archives; it was a book. This bloke had received his wings on rag and tube biplanes before the war and flown through the entire conflict, from the retreat at Dunkirk to the landings at Normandy and beyond. He was living history and I was hooked. I had to say yes.

Was I up to writing a book? Between a two year-old, a wife pregnant with twins and good dose of self-doubt, I had reservations. But as I sat in Kenneth's lounge room a week later with the wheels of a tape recorder slowly turning, I started to gather momentum. Not through any skill on my part, but because Kenneth was a natural story teller with an 'A Grade' memory. He jumped from episode to episode, but I let him go as sorting out the chronology was my job. For a starting point, I couldn't go past the tale of Dunkirk with which he had first captivated me.

He had been 19 years of age as he sat perched above the English Channel in his new single-engined Hawker Hurricane. The airframe had only eight hours in the air and, by modern standards, Kenneth didn't have much more. Leading the rear section of three at 25,000 feet, he was tasked with covering the backs of his leading sections. Not long over the Channel, one of his trio turned back with engine trouble, leaving him and Geoff Howitt to fly as a pair. As they flew toward the plume of smoke lifting skyward from Dunkirk on the French coast, the massive evacuation of allied troops was taking place on the waves below in everything from Thames paddle-steamers to personal yachts.

Suddenly, the leading sections dived towards a flock of marauding German bombers. Simultaneously an ear piercing squeal rang out in Ken's headsets and his wingman broke formation clean in front of him as a pair of Messerschmitts roared from left to right. McGlashan rolled in on his foe, but seconds later heard what sounded like an alarm clock going off behind his head. (It was actually bullets hitting the armour plating.) Reality struck when the port side of his Hurricane began ripping under a hail of gunfire and red tracers skipped between his legs, tearing up the piping and framework of his aeroplane's floor.

What ensued was a turbulent spinning plummet towards the French sand. When the attack abated, he attempted to level out and get out as his fighter was bleeding to death. Crippled, the Hurricane was attacked again and he was ultimately forced down on the beach just south of the Belgian border. On the ground, he hurried from his fighter and dived beneath one of a sea of abandoned Lorries on the beach. His subsequent nine mile walk to Dunkirk was a drama that included being shot at by German infantry and being threatened at bayonet-point by French Algerians, but ultimately it was a walk of isolation. As a nineteen year old he watched Spitfires dive into the sea and soldiery drift on the swell like so much flotsam as he trudged toward the final point on the Continent held by allied forces.

Needless to say, Ken survived his encounter over Dunkirk. After an eventful boat ride back to England he went on to fly in the Battle of Britain from the RAF's easternmost airfield at Hawkinge until it was abandoned and laid to waste by the Luftwaffe. At this time his squadron was transferred to Ireland, where they trained foreign pilots on the Hurricane and attempted to protect coastal towns and the vital shipping routes supplying the British Isles from the west. There was no radar or organised control system in this region, so it was not unusual for the pilots to be scrambled by an irate Postmaster yelling down the phone, "We're being attacked, what are you going to do about it?"

From Ireland he would be a pioneer in night-fighting in a time when pilots were force fed carrots to improve their night vision. Stacked from 13,000 feet at 500 foot intervals above a burning Merseyside, the 'advanced' technique of detection was to wait for the bombers silhouettes to appear against the backdrop of the inferno. The fighters would then dive down, but inherently the bombers had already slipped away into the veil of darkness. Later in the war he would 'night fight' again, this time in company with a bomber equipped with a massive light in its nose. Termed 'Turbinlite', this technique involved sneaking up on the target in absolute darkness before illuminating it with a 2,700 million candlepower searchlight. This highly unsuccessful game of cat and mouse provided a greater risk to friend through collision than to foe through combat.

Through the disastrous raid on Dieppe in which Ken's aircraft was again badly shot up, he continued to fly operationally. On the eve of D-Day, he was one of a handful of aircraft airborne in darkness over France seeking out the German aircraft designed to jam the communications of the Normandy landings. Following D-Day he was deemed 'Tour Expired' and was to be pulled from operational flying. Instead he was seconded to BOAC and sent to Cairo as the British carrier set about re-establishing civil air routes in the Middle East. Be it serving in Cyprus through the EOKA campaign, welcoming in the jet age in Gloster Meteors and de Havilland Vampires or winning the Air Force Cross, there always seemed to be something happening for Kenneth McGlashan.

He finally retired from the RAF in 1958 and later established his family and a civilian life here in Australia. In 1990 he received a very cryptic letter from the Tangmere Aviation Museum who was undertaking some research following the discovery of the Hawker Hurricane that Kenneth had left on the Dunkirk beach in 1940. Today the aircraft is set to take to the English skies once more.

So tale after tale occupied afternoon after afternoon. I would sit and listen as Kenneth would detail his extraordinary life and tale of survival, taping every word before spending the night tying it together into some sort of order. Slowly but surely, his life became the book we had both envisaged. We agreed to title it 'Down to Earth', partly to reflect Kenneth's level-headed approach and also as a humourous jibe at the fact he had a few RAF aircraft make 'unscheduled' landings in his time.

Along the way, I gained two valuable friends in Kenneth and his wife, Doreen and this is another wonderful by-product of my hobby. Sadly, when the book was launched at Kenneth's stomping grounds during the Duxford Air Show in July, he had not lived to see it happen. However, Doreen made the long trip to the UK to be a part of the event. On the second day of the air show she was flown by helicopter to be reunited with the restoration of Kenneth's Hurricane. Nearing 90, Doreen is insistent that she'll be back next year to see the fighter fly once more.

Ken always stressed that by numbers, there were 3,000 fighter pilots who defended the realm through the Battle of Britain and within this sum only three percent were officially recognised as "Aces". He was always proud to be counted amongst the remaining 97%. To me this in many ways sums up who he was.

His life was an extraordinary tale. I didn't have to venture to some far flung corner to find it though; Kenneth McGlashan was virtually over my back fence and my life became richer because of it.

About the Author

Owen Zupp is a published aviation author. Aside from his first book, titled 'Down to Earth', Owen has been published around the world in various aviation journals.

2010 will see Owen fly around Australia to raise funds for charity.

Follow his flight at http://thereandback.com.au/

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