Original U.S. WWI M1917 30th Division Doughboy Helmet with Trench Art Panel Camouflage Paint - "Old Hickory"
Original Item: One-of-a-kind. This is a fantastic genuine Great War 30th Infantry Division hand painted camouflage helmet complete with its original liner. The helmet features original period colored panel camouflage paint in various shades of green, brown, red, and yellow. This was a very popular design for camouflage during WWI.
The front of the helmet also bears original painted division marking, featuring the O.H. XXX logo, for "Old Hickory", the nickname of the 30th Infantry Division, signified by the Roman Numeral XXX (30). As correct for WWI, the badge is actually sideways from the correct orientation. The logo is in great shape, with the original texture still visible, with a great patina.
The paint is very nice and vibrant, with great color retention, and a nice patina of age. It was applied over the original textured camouflage paint, and much of the original texture is still easily seen. There are some scratches and oxidation, as expected of a helmet that went through war over 100 years ago, but it still presents very nicely! The liner is present, and is in very good condition, with great looking oil cloth and netting. The original felt top pad unfortunately has suffered moth damage, as shown. The original chin strap is also still present, though it is in delicate condition, with some tearing.
The underside of the rim is stamped F S 2, 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. F S is one of the standard markings used by T. Firth & Sons Ltd of Sheffield.
A wonderful totally original 30th Division helmet with an incredible paint job! Ready to display!
History of the 30th Infantry Division "Old Hickory":
The division was originally activated as the 9th Division (drawing units from North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia and Tennessee) under a 1917 force plan, but changed designation to the 30th Division after the American entry into World War I in April 1917. It was formally activated under its new title in October 1917, as an Army National Guard division from North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, and Tennessee.
The Division was named after the famed and illustrious soldier and President, Andrew "Old Hickory" Jackson, who was born near the North/South Carolina border, and rising to fame in Tennessee, where he provided some regional flavor to the tightly knit group of soldiers that he led there during the Indian Wars.
The Division's logo is an obvious link to this heritage, being represented by an "O" and "H" with the Roman Numeral "XXX" in Royal Blue on a background of Scarlet Red in the center. During World War I, the shoulder patch (logo) was worn horizontally, which actually was the incorrect orientation, which was not discovered and corrected until the mid 1920's.
In May 1918 the division was sent to Europe and arrived in England, where it departed for the Western Front soon after. The division, along with the 27th Division, was assigned to the U.S. II Corps but did not serve with the main American Expeditionary Force (AEF) and was instead attached to the Second Army of the British Expeditionary Force (BEF), trading American equipment for British equipment.
The major operations the 30th Division took part in were the Ypres-Lys, and the Somme offensive, in which it was one of the two American divisions to break the Hindenburg Line in the Battle of St. Quentin Canal. The division had, in three months, from July until October 1918, sustained 1,237 officers and men killed in action (KIA), with a further 7,178 wounded in action (WIA) or missing in action (MIA).
More on the M1917 "Doughboy" 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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