Original U.S. WWI 82nd Airborne Division Panel Camouflage Painted British Made M1917 Doughboy Helmet With Liner - “All-American” Division

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 82nd Infantry Division British made helmet, complete with its original liner and chinstrap.

The heat stamp on the underside of the rim is D/F 93, a nice and low lot number for a helmet manufactured by James Dixon & Sons of Sheffield. 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 vibrant panel camouflage consisting of blues, orange, yellow and various shades of green. This type of camouflage was seen on all fronts and used by nearly all military forces fighting. The front of the helmet has a fantastic burnt orange square with a blue circle and “AA” painted in the center.

The helmet is in lovely condition with a solid liner, oilcloth, under netting and felt top pad. The leather chinstrap top portion is present but the lower portion is completely missing. The worn top part is held on by a wire tie to ensure the liner does not suffer any further damage. The size stamp is still legible on the upper portion, 6 ⅞.

This is actually a fantastic British made example, used by a member of the "All-American" Division. Comes more than ready for display.

The 82nd Airborne Division is an airborne infantry division of the United States Army specializing in parachute assault operations into denied areas with a U.S. Department of Defense requirement to "respond to crisis contingencies anywhere in the world within 18 hours". Based at Fort Bragg, North Carolina, the 82nd Airborne Division is part of the XVIII Airborne Corps. The 82nd Airborne Division is the U.S. Army's most strategically mobile division.

When the United States entered World War I on April 6, 1917, it looked like the adventure of a lifetime for many of America’s young men, including those of the 82nd Division. Soldiers of the 82nd came from all 48 states, and from all walks of life, to fight for the United States during WWI.

As new units were formed, nicknames were given to help build esprit de corps between the Soldiers. Brigadier General W. P. Burnham of the 82nd held a competition in conjunction with the Soldiers of the Division, the citizens of Atlanta, and The Atlanta Georgian newspaper, to provide a suitable nickname for his diverse unit. It was determined that Georgia Governor Hugh Dorsey, BG Burnham, and Major R.E. Beebe would be the judges.

Thousands of people submitted names, but eventually, Mrs. Vivienne Goodwyn’s, “The All American Division” was selected on April 6, 1918. Vivienne felt like the Soldiers of the 82nd represented the best attributes and values of America. To pay tribute to their nickname, 82nd Soldiers began sewing the blue circle that was in the middle of their red square shoulder patch, with the double “AA” for “All American.” Originally, some thought the “AA” on the patch stood for “All Aboard”. When the patch was first authorized, full gold patches were used for officers. Eventually the patch was standardized with the red, white and blue that you can see on this example.

History of the M1917 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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