Also known as the "Demo knife" They were made by a few quite a few companies over the years. Stevens, Kingston, Ulster, Imperial, Western, Case, Queen and Camillus made versions of this knife.
So mine does not have a year stamped in it. Does that mean it was not an issued knife? Possibly a civilian market product?
I do know that, about 5-ish years ago, Ontario sold them on their website for about $35 as a "Camp Knife". Possibly, that was one of those.
I see the Demo knives a lot at the flea market but not always in the best shape. Many times the sellers want quite a lot IMO. Heres my Camillus Air Force knife.
That may all be true. Myself, I have a hard time thinking that people in the 1940's weren't highly familiar with opening cans by using this type of can opener, as a separate tool. Nowadays, with rotational can openers superfluous, and pull-tab cans common as well, (not to mention so much fast-food and instant breakfast), it would be far more common for green GI's to not know what the can opener is, but I would think in 1943, everybody would have known. However, I wasn't born yet at that time, so
When it comes to opening cans, my sister in law is a bit spoiled. Electric everything. Can opener, stirrer and beater, anything. One day about 15 years ago, the wife and I were over the SIL's and I was helping make a spaghetti dinner. Diane, (the SIL) was opening a can of tomato paste for the suave, and her wonderful electric can opener broke. he little cutter thing sheared right off the spine it was mounted on. Di was frantic to send her hubby out to the store for a can opener when I opened my wallet and produced my old army issue P-38. Blank stares. They hd no idea what it was, and how was that silly little thing going to open a can?About 40 seconds later, (I was out of practice from my army days) the can was opened and Diane and her hubby Roy, ( a college guy who had a student deferment during the draft and never served) were amazed. I doubt many people under 50 who never served in the old army would recognize or know how to use a P-38. The most wonderful little multitool in the world.