Original U.S. WWI M1917 7th Infantry Division Doughboy Helmet with Camouflage Paint - Hourglass Division

Item Description

Original Item: Only One Available. This is a very nice example of a U.S. M1917 "Doughboy" helmet, with original liner and chinstrap, that also features original period camouflage paint on the top side. The shell is maker marked with a stamping on the underside of the rim that reads ZC 186. The solid rivets and heat lot number indicate that this helmet shell was produced in the United States. The paint is in excellent condition both inside and outside the helmet. The liner is  intact, with a complete intact leather chin strap. The felt top pad is somewhat worn due to age and use, however the original tag is still partly intact. The oil cloth is very nice, but the underlying netting is a bit deteriorated.

The best feature of this helmet is definitely the original hand painted camouflage paint job, which has an American Shield in the center, with a 7th Infantry Division - Hourglass Division emblem in the center of the shield. The camouflage paint is a lovely brown and black design, and the Division Insignia maintains almost all of the original paint and remains bold and easy to see.

A great example of an authentic WWI "Doughboy" helmet from the 7th Infantry Division, with hand-painted camouflage, ready to display!

The 7th Infantry Division was first activated on 6 December 1917, exactly eight months after the American entry into World War I, and was and based at Fort Ord, California for most of its history. It was first assembled as the 7th Division of the Regular Army at Camp Wheeler, Georgia. One month later, it prepared to deploy to Europe as a part of the American Expeditionary Force (AEF). Most of the division sailed to Europe aboard the SS Leviathan.

While on the Western Front, the 7th Division did not see action at full divisional strength, though its infantry and reconnaissance elements did engage German forces. On 11 October 1918, it first came under shell fire and later, at Saint-Mihiel, came under chemical attack. Elements of the 7th probed up toward Prény near the Moselle River, capturing positions and driving German forces out of the region. It was at this time that the division first received its shoulder sleeve insignia.

In early November, the 7th Division began preparing for an assault on the Hindenburg Line as part of the Second Army. The division launched a reconnaissance in force on the Voëvre plain, but the main assault was never conducted as hostilities ended on 11 November 1918 with the signing of the Armistice with Germany. During its 33 days on the front line, the 7th Division suffered 1,709 casualties, including 204 killed in action and 1,505 wounded in action. and was awarded a campaign streamer for Lorraine. The division then served on occupation duties as it began preparations to return to the continental United States.

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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