Original U.S. WWI M1917 33rd Infantry Division Doughboy Helmet with Liner & Chinstrap - "Golden Cross Division"

Item Description

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 ZD / 37. The solid rivets and heat lot number indicate that this helmet shell was produced in the United States.

The paint is in very good condition both inside and outside the helmet, with only light wear from service. There are a few small areas of flaking and oxidation, but no major degradation or denting. The liner is present and complete, with some light wear and age related degradation. The top strap is size marked 7, and there are also some illegible markings on other leather components. The top label has mostly deteriorated, and the felt top pad is in good shape, with light moth damage. The chin strap is complete, with the leather showing only a bit of cracking from age and dryness.

The best feature of this helmet is definitely the original hand painted 33rd Infantry Division - Golden Cross Division emblem on the front of the helmet. The Division Insignia maintains most of the original paint and is somewhat dirty from years of service. It is a nice black circle with a yellow "Geneva cross" inside.

A great example of an authentic WWI "Doughboy" helmet shell from the 33rd Infantry Division, ready to display!

History of the 33rd Division in WWI:

The 33rd Infantry Division was a formation of the U.S. Army National Guard between 1917 and 1968. Originally formed for service during World War I, the division fought along the Western Front at Le Hamel, in the Meuse-Argonne Offensive, on the Somme and around St. Mihiel.

The 33rd infantry division was a division that served in World War I and beyond that. The 33rd division was trained at Camp Logan in Houston, Texas as part of the National state guard in Illinois. The 33rd infantry division was made up of around multiple companies. The first unit went to France in 1918. The first unit to go into France was the 108th engineers, under colonel Henry A. Allen. On June 20 and 21st the division went to the Amiens sector, where there was expected to be a major German attack. The division was trained by British and was part of some of their operations. The first major battle the 33rd division took part in was the assault on Hamel on July 4 . Four companies took part in the assault they were 131st infantry and 132nd infantry. From a strictly military point of view, the battle was not that significant. However, it was the first occasion on which US Army personnel fought alongside British Empire forces. It was also the first time that American troops fought alongside Australians. It demonstrated to their allies that US troops could play an effective role in the war.

On August 23, the 33rd Division was moved to the Toul sector. It was the only division to fight as part of British Empire, French and US corps in the history of the US Army. The last mission the 33rd division took part in was on December 27, 1918.

In total, from the 33rd arriving in France to the German armistice on November 11, 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 WW1. 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 infantry division received 215 American decorations, 56 British decorations, and various others. 

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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