Original U.S. WWI M1917 3rd Army Painted Doughboy Helmet - Complete

Item Description

Original Item: One-Of-A-Kind. This is a fantastic genuine Great War hand painted helmet complete with its original liner and chinstrap. Helmet features original period painted insignia for the 3rd Army as well as an American flag and a roundel with French colors.

The paint is somewhat worn, and definitely shows use, but it has a great look and the colors are still easily discernible. The interior of the helmet has some of the original paint from when the soldier repainted the helmet. It also has a complete liner with felt top pad. The liner size stamp is visible, the size is 7 1/8. The liner does show minor age, and the leather is somewhat degraded, but the oil cloth is quite solid, as is the underlying netting.

The underside of the rim is stamped ZB 51 and is American made. With the heat stamp and the solid rivets, that is a solid indication of an American made helmet. The helmet has a gray color to the outside, whether this was done for the occupation or an American Legion we are uncertain.

A wonderful totally original helmet with genuine original paint! Ready to display!

United States Army Central
The United States Army Central, formerly the Third United States Army, commonly referred to as the Third Army and as ARCENT, is a military formation of the United States Army which saw service in World War I and World War II, in the 1991 Gulf War, and in the coalition occupation of Iraq. It is best known for its campaigns in World War II under the command of General George S. Patton.

Third Army is headquartered at Shaw Air Force Base, South Carolina with a forward element at Camp Arifjan, Kuwait. It serves as the echelon above corps for the Army component of CENTCOM, US Central Command, whose area of responsibility (AOR) includes Southwest Asia, some 20 countries of the world, in Africa, Asia, and the Persian Gulf.

Activation and World War I
The Third United States Army was first activated as a formation during the First World War on 7 November 1918, at Chaumont, France, when the General Headquarters of the American Expeditionary Forces (AEF) issued General Order 198 organizing the Third Army and announcing its headquarters staff. On the 15th, four days after the Armistice with Germany, Major General Joseph T. Dickman assumed command and issued Third Army General Order No. 1. The Third Army consisted of three corps (III, Maj. Gen. John L. Hines; IV, Maj. Gen. Charles Henry Muir; and VII, Maj. Gen. William G. Haan) and seven divisions.

First Mission
On 15 November 1918, Major General Dickman was given the mission to move quickly and by any means into Central Germany on occupation duties. He was to disarm and disband German forces as ordered by General John J. Pershing, commander of the AEF.

The march into Germany for occupation duty began on 17 November 1918. By 15 December the Third Army Headquarters at Mayen opened at Coblenz. Two days later, on 17 December 1918, the Coblenz bridgehead, consisting of a pontoon bridge and three railroad bridges across the Rhine, was established.

Third Army troops had encountered no hostile act of any sort. In the occupied area, both food and coal supplies were sufficient. The crossing of the Rhine by the front line divisions was affected in good time and without confusion. Troops, upon crossing the Rhine and reaching their assigned areas, were billeted preparatory to occupying selected positions for defense. The strength of the Third Army as of 19 December, the date the bridgehead occupation was completed, was 9,638 officers and 221,070 enlisted men.

Third Army Advance
On 12 December, Field Order No. 11 issued, directed the Third Army to occupy the northern sector of the Coblenz bridgehead, with the advance elements to cross the Rhine river at seven o'clock, 13 December. The northern (left) boundary remained unchanged. The southern (right) boundary was as has been previously mentioned.

Before the advance, the 1st Division passed to the command of the III Corps. With three divisions, the 1st, 2d, and 32d, the III Corps occupied the American sector of the Coblenz bridgehead, the movement of the troops into position beginning at the scheduled hour, 13 December. The four bridges available for crossing the river within the Coblenz bridgehead were the pontoon bridge and railroad bridge at Coblenz, the railroad bridges at Engers and Remagen. On 13 December the advance began with the American khaki crossing the Rhine into advanced positions. On the same day the 42d Division passed to the command of the IV Corps, which, in support of the III Corps, continued its march to occupy the Kreise of Mayen, Ahrweiler, Adenau, and Cochem.

The VII Corps occupied under the same order that portion of the Regierungsbezirk of Trier within army limits.

On 15 December, Third Army Headquarters at Mayen opened at Coblenz: III Corps Headquarters at Polch opened at Neuwied and IV Corps Headquarters remained at Cochem, with the VII Corps at Grevenmacher. In crossing the Rhine on the shortened front—from Rolandseck to Rhens on the west bank—the Third Army encountered no hostile act of any sort. In the occupied area both food and coal supplies were sufficient.

By the night of 14 December, Third Army troops had occupied their positions on the perimeter of the Coblenz bridgehead.

Army of Occupation
During January 1919, the Third Army was engaged in training and preparing the troops under its command for any contingency. A letter of instruction was circulated to lower commanders prescribing a plan of action in case hostilities were resumed. Installations were set up throughout the Army area to facilitate command.

In February, military schools were opened through the Third Army area; a quartermaster depot was organized; 2,000 officers and enlisted men left to take courses in British and French universities; better leave facilities were created; and plans for sending American divisions to the United States were made. On 4 February, the military control of the Stadtkreis of Trier was transferred from GHQ to the Third Army.

In March, routine duties of occupation and training were carried on; an Army horse show was held; Army, corps, and divisional educational centers were established in the Third Army Zone; the Coblenz port commander took over the duties of the Coblenz regulating officer; and the 42d Division was released from IV Corps and was placed in Army Reserve.

In April, the exodus of American divisions from the Third Army to the United States began. During the month, motor transport parks were established; an Army motor show was held; the Army area was reorganized; and the centralization of military property was initiated in anticipation of returning it to the United States. On 20 April 1919, Third Army command changed from Maj. Gen. Dickman to Lt. Gen. Hunter Liggett.

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