Original U.S. WWI 33rd Infantry Division M1917 Doughboy Helmet - British Made Helmet

Item Description

Original Item: Only One Available. This is a fantastic genuine Great War hand painted 33rd Infantry Division helmet complete with its original liner. The helmet features a beautiful “golden cross” on the front with a black circular background. The helmet also has what appears to be a spade on the back of the shell, very faintly but a ♠ can be seen.

The paint is somewhat worn, and definitely shows use, but it has a great look and the colors are still easily discernible. The interior of the helmet has some of the original paint present. It also has a complete liner with remnants of the felt top pad. The liner does show age, and the leather is somewhat degraded, but the oil cloth is quite solid, as is the underlying netting. Unfortunately the leather chinstrap, although complete, has cracking throughout the surface of the leather, but is still completely intact due to a repair.

The underside of the rim is faintly stamped BS 78 and having split rivets attaching the chin-strap bales indicating that the shell is one of the 400,000 British manufactured helmets supplied to the U.S. at their entrance into the war. The split pin rivets attaching the chin-strap bales further confirm this. The marking indicates that the helmet
was produced using steel from W. Beardmore & Co Ltd of Glasgow, batch 78.

A wonderful totally original helmet with genuine original paint! Ready to display!

33rd Infantry Division (United States)
The 33rd Division served in World War I and beyond. The division was trained at Camp Logan in Houston, Texas as part of the National state guard in Illinois. The first unit went to France in 1918. The first unit to go into France was the 108th Engineers, under Colonel Henry A. Allen.

During World War I, the 33rd Division's officers included Second Lieutenant John Allan Wyeth, who has been called the only American poet of the Great War who can stand up to comparison with British war poets Siegfried Sassoon and Wilfred Owen. Wyeth later immortalized his war experiences with the 33rd U.S. Division in the 1928 sonnet sequence This Man's Army: A War in Fifty-Odd Sonnets.

On 20 and 21 June the division went to the Amiens sector, where there was expected to be a major German attack. The division was trained by British Army and Commonwealth soldiers – in particular the Australian Corps – and was part of some of their operations.

The first major battle in which elements of the 33rd Division took part was the Battle of Hamel on 4 July. Individual platoons from four companies from the 131st Infantry and 132nd Infantry were distributed among Australian battalions, to gain combat experience. This, however, occurred without official approval as there was controversy regarding the battlefield command of US troops by junior officers from other countries. Thus, while Hamel was a relatively minor battle by the standards of World War I, it was historically significant as the first occasion on which US Army personnel had fought alongside British Empire forces, and demonstrated that the previously inexperienced American troops could play an effective role in the war. The battle was also historically significant for the use of innovative assault tactics, devised by the Australian General John Monash, were demonstrated.

The 33rd Division was in reserve behind the British Fourth Army at the opening of the August offensive for emergencies only. With the British III Corps attack stalling at Chipilly Ridge during the Battle of Amiens, the 131st Regiment of the 33rd Division was sent to assist on 9 August, which it did with distinction. The following day the Regiment was attached to the 4th Australian Division and remained there until 12 August. From 12 August until 20 August it was combined with the 13th Australian Brigade in what was called the Liaison Force commanded by Brigadier General E. A. Wisdom. This was designed to hold the front from the Somme to the Bray-Sur-Somme to Corbie road to relieve the 4th Australian Division from the operation. After this it returned to the 33rd US Division.

On 23 August, the division was moved to the Toul sector. The 33rd Division fought in the Meuse-Argonne Campaign from 26 September 1918 to the end of the battle on 10 November 1918. The last mission in which the 33rd Division took part was on 27 December 1918.

In total, from the 33rd arriving in France to the German armistice on 11 November 1918, the division captured 13 units of heavy artillery and 87 pieces of light artillery. Also, they captured 460 machine guns and 430 light guns. In total, the entire division gained 40,300 meters of land in World War I. The 33rd Division was the only unit in the war to have machine gun barrage enemy nests while infantry turned the position. In total, the 33rd Division received 215 American decorations, 56 British decorations, and various others.

As a result of its World War I service, the division remains the only US Army division that has fought as part of the British Army and French Army corps.

The M-1917 Helmet:
The M1917 was the US Army's first modern combat helmet, used from 1917 and during the 1920s, before being replaced by the M1917A1. The M1917A1 helmet was an updated version of the M1917 and initially used refurbished WW1 shells.

The M1917 is a near identical version of the British Mk.I steel helmet, and it is important to note that when the US joined the Great War in 1917 they were initially issued with a supply of around 400,000 British made Mk.Is, before production began state side. The M1917 differed slightly in its lining detail, and exhibited US manufacture markings.

M1917 helmet liners typically show a paper label at the crown and the dome rivet head. The liner is set up as on the British versions, with an oilcloth band and net configuration, attached to a leather strap, riveted to the shell. The chinstrap is leather with steel buckle.

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