Original U.S. WWI 79th Infantry Division Painted British Made M1917 Doughboy Helmet - "Cross of Lorraine"

Item Description

Original Item: Only One Available. When America was drawn into the European conflict it possessed no steel helmets of its own. They looked to other nations for ideas and selected the British helmet as the most suitable. Britain supplied about half a million helmets to the Americans before production of an American version was started in the U.S. This is a fantastic, genuine Great War hand painted 79th Infantry Division British made helmet, complete with its original liner.

The heat stamp on the underside of the rim is BS 10, a nice and low lot number for a helmet manufactured by W. Beardmore & Co Ltd of Glasgow. The heat stamp and the split rivets on the chinstrap bales are a solid indication and a good reference point for identifying British made helmets for American use during the Great War. The best feature on this helmet is the hand painted 79th Infantry Division “Cross of Lorraine” on the front in a light blue shield and what is now faded to pink.

The helmet is in lovely condition with a solid liner, oilcloth, under netting and felt top pad. The leather chinstrap is also in solid condition and unbroken, but does still show its age. The size stamp is still very legible on the upper portion, 6 ⅞.

This is a fantastic helmet attributed to the “Defenders of France” and is ready to be added to your AEF collections!

79th Infantry Division (United States)
The 79th Infantry Division (formerly known as the 79th Division) was an infantry formation of the United States Army Reserve in World Wars I and II.

Since 2009, it has been active as the 79th Theater Sustainment Command.

World War I

- Activated: August 1917
- Overseas: July 1918
- Major operations: Meuse-Argonne
- Casualties: Total-6,874 (KIA-1,151 ; WIA-5,723)
- Commanders: Maj. Gen. Joseph E. Kuhn (25 August 1917), Brig. Gen. William Jones Nicholson (26 November 1917), Maj. Gen. Joseph E. Kuhn (17 February 1918), Maj. Gen. Joseph E. Kuhn (16 April 1918), Brig. Gen. W. J. Nicholson (22 May 1918), Maj. Gen. Joseph E. Kuhn (8 June 1918), Brig. Gen. W. J. Nicholson (28 June 1918), Maj. Gen. Joseph E. Kuhn (23 July 1918), Brig. Gen. Evan M. Johnson (29 December 1918), Maj. Gen. Joseph E. Kuhn (31 December 1918), Brig. Gen. Evan M. Johnson (19 January 1919), Brig. Gen. John S. Winn (2 February 1919), Brig. Gen. Andrew Hero Jr. (3 February 1919), Brig. Gen. Evan M. Johnson (9 February 1919), Maj. Gen. Joseph E. Kuhn (28 February 1919), brig. Gen. Evan M. Johnson (16 March 1919), Maj. Gen. Joseph E. Kuhn (30 March 1919), Brig. Gen. Joseph S. Winn (4 May 1919), Maj. Gen. Joseph E. Kuhn (8 May 1919).
- Returned to U.S.: May 1919
- Inactivated: June 1919

The division was first activated at Camp Meade, Maryland in August 1917, composed primarily of draftees from Maryland and Pennsylvania. After a year of training the division sailed overseas in July 1918. The 79th Division saw extensive combat in the Meuse-Argonne Offensive area where it earned the name of "Cross of Lorraine" for their defense of France. The division was inactivated June 1919 and returned to the United States.

Throughout its entire World War I campaign, the division suffered 6,874 casualties with 1,151 killed and 5,723 wounded. Private Henry Gunther, the last American soldier to be killed in action during World War I, served with the 313th Infantry Regiment of the 79th Division.

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