The SOG knives were made and issued to SOG (Studies and Observation Group) clandestine and cross-border recon teams (RT) and Spike teams (ST) for their across the fence missions.
The original SOG Bowie was used by the Military Assistance Command, Vietnam Studies and Observations Group (MACV-SOG), an elite joint services military group designed for covert operations in the Vietnam War. This group was allowed to develop and purchase their own equipment for their operations, so they developed a knife that could cope with the harsh environments encountered in Vietnam, though a lot of recon teams said they rusted very quickly and wouldnt keep an edge.
The SOG knife was designed by Ben Baker if the Counter Insurgecey Support Office. CISO was formed in 1963 to provide "sterile" equipment to Special Forcesin South East Asia. The kife was allegedly based on a 1916 Marbles Bowie that Ken Baker owned and was produced in Japan There were two length bladesn for $9.85 per knife. The knife was produced in two lengths, 6 and 7 inches, the latter being made specifically for SOG and 1,308 were produced in teh initial batch. More orders were placed through the 1960's including a large number of 6 inch knives that bore a serial number for control purposes (SOG knifes being sterile). Ken Kaker also designed the sterile SOG Bolo knife, based on a South East Asian design.
SOG also made great use of private purchase knives such as Randall and Gerber but also the more common Ka-Bar and Airforce Survival Kniife.
The knife you see here is a modern reproduction so is not the real thing (a lot cheaper though and handy when camping...) I am looking for a real SOG Bowie with provenance so if you know of one please contact me.