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

Item Description

Original Item: Only One Available. This is a very nice example of a U.S. M1917 "Doughboy" helmet, with an original liner, and original sand-based textured paint on the outside of the shell. The helmet also has an original hand-painted emblem of the 7th Infantry Division - Hourglass Division. It is the usual red circle, with a black "hourglass" symbol in the center. The helmet paint job has seen wear, and a good amount of the sand has worn off over the years. The top paint was lacquered at some point in the past to preserve the paint. The interior paint job is still retained very well. There are also two holes drilled in the top of the helmet by the liner nut, so we assume that this was part of a museum display, and the helmet permanently affixed so it would not fall off.

The shell of this helmet is maker marked with a stamping on the underside of the rim that reads MLS, though it is hard to read. This indicates 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. The maker stamping indicates that the shell was produced by J & J Maxfield & Sons Ltd Sheffield, who produced shells from 1916 to 1918.

The liner is present, though it has suffered due to age. The felt top pad is somewhat worn due to age and use, and the oil cloth is very nice, but the underlying netting is a bit deteriorated. The chin strap is present and complete, but it is in very delicate condition.

A great example of an authentic WWI "Doughboy" helmet from the 1st Infantry Division, with sand textured paint, ready to display!

History of the 7th Infantry Division in WWI:

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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