Shortly before the outbreak of World War II the United States Coast Guard approved the design of new rope knife for use by Coast Guard Personnel. The knife is sometimes called the Pattern Q5 due to the tang stamp on the blade. Officially, the Coast Guard referred to as the #425 Knife. Unlike the U.S. Navy pattern rigger the Coast Guard opted for a simpler design lacking the marlin spike; essentially a large sway back jack with a single coping-sheepfoot blade.
There is quite a bit of debate on if this knife was issued to Coast Guard or Navy personnel. A post war advertisment by Camillus refers to the knife as the "Maritime Commission and Merchant Marine SailorsKnife." The USCG approved tang stamps refers to the knife being officially approved for maritime service by the Coast Guard but not neceraily for Coast Guard use. With that said, personal recollection among USCG and USN personnel says they were indeed used by service personnel.
My example is a World War II veteran dating from 1944 made by Camillus.
The obverse tang stamp reads: Camillus/New York/USA
The reverse tang stamp reads: Approved/USCG/1944Q5
In all, the knife is in excellent shape considering it was most likely used during war time. (The U.S Coast Guard spent quite a bit of time overseas securing shorelines and US supply ports as well as other dangerous duties.) The carbon steel blade shows obvious signs of sharpening as well as patina from age but is free of rust as is the rest of the steel components of the knife. The scales are made of a dense hard wood (some were made of plastic) and show a hairline crack near one of the pins but otherwise show the normal characteristics of pocket worn wood. With the exception of three notches which appear to have been deliberately cut in the handle by the owner the handle is in remarkable shape. The pins are fairly tight. The blade is free of wobble - stopping perfectly in the half and full open positions. The blade also snaps closed quite well with the choil giving plenty of protection to the blade. The bail is also secure and free of drift or wobbles. All in all I’d say the knife is great shape for WWII vet. Compare this to its grand-son, the S702 Rope Knife.
Pattern: Coast Guard (Q5 or USCG #425)