Original U.S. WWI M1917 28th Infantry Division Doughboy Helmet Shell With Textured Paint - Keystone Division
Original Item: Only One Available. This is an excellent example of a U.S. M1917 "Doughboy" helmet, which features original period textured OD Green paint and a painted Unit Insignia. The shell is maker marked with a stamping on the underside of the rim that reads YJ 160. The solid rivets and heat lot number indicate that this helmet shell was produced in the United States.
The paint is in good condition both inside and outside the helmet. The liner is no longer present, but a partial chinstrap and top felt pad is present. The remnants of the top pad and broken chinstrap reflect that of a helmet that saw solid use and wear.
The best feature of this helmet is definitely the original hand painted 28th Infantry Division - The Keystone Division emblem on the left side of the helmet. The Division Insignia maintains most of the original paint and is somewhat dirty from years of service. It is a nice red "Keystone" emblem, well known to residents of Pennsylvania.
A great example of an authentic WWI "Doughboy" helmet shell from the 28th Infantry Division, ready to display!
History of the 28th Division:
The 28th Infantry Division ("Keystone") is a unit of the Army National Guard and is the oldest division-sized unit in the armed forces of the United States. Some of the units of the division can trace their lineage to Benjamin Franklin's battalion, The Pennsylvania Associators (1747-1777). The division was officially established in 1879 and was later re-designated as the 28th Division in 1917, after the entry of America into the First World War. It is today part of the Pennsylvania Army National Guard, Maryland Army National Guard, Ohio Army National Guard, and New Jersey Army National Guard.
It was originally nicknamed the "Keystone Division," as it was formed from units of the Pennsylvania Army National Guard; Pennsylvania being known as the "Keystone State". During World War II, it acquired the nickname the "Bloody Bucket" division by German forces during the Second World War due to its red insignia. But today the 28th Infantry Division goes by the name given to it by General Pershing during World War I: "Iron Division".
The division moved to Camp Hancock, Georgia, in April 1917, and was there when the entire division was federalized on 5 August 1917. From May to 11 October 1917, the division was reorganized into the two-brigade, four regiment scheme, and thus became the 28th Division.
By May 1918 the division had arrived in Europe, and began training with the British. On 14 July, ahead of an expected German offensive, the division was moving forward, with most of it committed to the second line of defence south of the Marne River and east of Château-Thierry. As the division took up defensive positions, the Germans commenced their attack, which became the Battle of Chateau-Thierry, with a fierce artillery bombardment. When the German assault collided with the main force of the 28th, the fighting became bitter hand-to-hand combat. The 28th repelled the German forces and decisively defeated their enemy. However, four isolated companies of the 109th and 110th Infantry stationed on the first defensive line suffered heavy losses. After the battle, General John Pershing, commander of the American Expeditionary Force, visited the battlefield and declared that the 28th soldiers were "Men of Iron" and named the 28th ID as his "Iron Division." The 28th developed a red keystone-shaped shoulder patch, officially adopted on 27 October 1918.
During World War I, the division was involved in the Meuse-Argonne, Champagne-Marne, Aisne-Marne including the Battle of Fismes and Fismette, Oise-Aisne, and Ypres-Lys (FA) operations. During the war, it took a total of 14,139 casualties (2,165 killed and 11,974 wounded). 2 individuals received the Medal of Honor: Sergeant James I. Mestrovitch, Company C, 111th Infantry; and Major Joseph H. Thompson, Headquarters, 110th Infantry. More detail about the history of the division during World War I can be found in Edward Martin's The Twenty-Eighth Division: Pennsylvania's Guard in the World War.
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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