My friend Brian’s neighbor is a relative of Thurston Shinn. Shinn was in the Navy during WWII and was assigned to a PT boat in the Aleutian Islands. Shinn was in the area when the US discovered the famous Akutan Zero. The Zero pilot tried to land the plane in a field but unbeknownst to him what looked like a nice flat field was really just a thin layer of dried mud. Underneath that layer was thick mud which caused the plane to flip over. The pilot died instantly.
According to Brian’s neighbor, the Zero was gutted by servicemen looking for souvenirs. Thurston acquired this knife from a fellow serviceman who salvaged parts off the downed Zero. The blade was made out of parts from the landing gear, the handle was made of parts from the canopy and the sheath was leather from the pilot’s seat.
The knife was accompanied by some literature which has some passages highlighted and a note written by Thurston Shinn.