Original U.S. WWI M1917 91st Infantry Division Doughboy Helmet With Textured Paint - Wild West 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 ZA 180. 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. The liner is present, though it has suffered somewhat to age. The felt top pad is somewhat worn due to age and use, however the original tag is still present. The oil cloth is in similar condition, and underlying netting is a bit deteriorated. The chin strap is present, though it is broken in the middle, and repaired with a leather strip. Overall it is in somewhat delicate condition.

The best feature of this helmet is definitely the original hand painted 91st Infantry Division - The Wild West Division emblem in the center of the shield. The Division Insignia maintains most of the original paint and is somewhat hard to see due to dirt and wear. It is the standard "Fir Tree" with a white "91" in the middle.

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

History of the 91st Division in WWI:

The 91st Infantry Division, famously nicknamed as the "Wild West Division" with a "Fir Tree" as its Division insignia to symbolize its traditional home of the Far West, was an infantry division of the United States Army that fought in World War I. Constituted on 5 August 1917 at Camp Lewis, Washington, near Tacoma, the division soon thereafter departed for England in the summer of 1918. In September 1918, the division's first operation was in the St. Mihiel Offensive in France. Serving under the U.S. Army's V Corps, the division fought in the Meuse-Argonne Offensive and successfully helped to destroy the German First Guard Division and continued to smash through three successive enemy lines.

Twelve days before the end of World War I, the division, as part of the VII Corps of the French Sixth Army, helped drive the Germans east across the Escaut River in the Battle of the Lys and the Escaut. The division was awarded separate campaign streamers for its active role in the Lorraine, Meuse-Argonne and Ypres-Lys campaigns.

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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