That I can empathise with. As a very young lad I managed to lose a small cleaver looking 'thing'. My dad never forgave me for that. Evidently and not from my dad but one of his many brothers. My dad had made the cleaver himself to 'tidy' up hides as he was his units sniper during WW2. Something else I had been unaware of until my uncle told me. (It also explained why for years plod had came to the house to talk to dad - it was to ask if they could use his rifle which was held at the local police station).
Luckily for dad he was removed off the Normandy beaches because he had lied about his age and another brother bubbled him. Not before dad was shot in the stomach - again, luckily, the round was at the end of it's trajectory and simply seared itself into his skin!!! One lucky man!!!
A Fascinating story. Like you I know very little about what my father did as he would never talk about it