Original U.S. WWI M1917 Doughboy AEF 3rd Air Service Mechanics Regiment Painted Helmet

Item Description

Original Item: Only One Available. This is an incredibly rare WWI helmet that features totally original period paint. The shell is maker marked with a stamping on the underside of the rim that reads ZC 65. This is a wonderful example of a genuine Great War helmet from the 9th Company 3rd Air Service Mechanics Regiment of the American Expeditionary Force. Features original hand painted camouflage, Air Service Wings, 3rd ASM and 9th Co and the U.S. aircraft cockade, or roundel, of late World War I on the crown. Included is an original chinstrap.

The unit was formally organized on 26 August at Ligny-en-Barrois, France It consisted of the French Aerial Division, which consisted of a large number of pursuit and day bombardment squadrons. In addition, there was one other French pursuit group and three American pursuit groups-one American day-bombardment group-the 1st Army observation, and one French Army artillery group for the adjustment of long-range artillery fire. Eight night-bombardment squadrons of the British Royal Air Force. were to cooperate with the First Army Air Service whenever the tactical situation made such action expedient. The establishment of the First Army Air Service marked the first contingent of American air forces under its own commander.

The front of the First Army, extending from Châtillon-sous-les-Côtes to Pont-sur-Seille, insofar as aviation was concerned, had been very quiet for some time. The enemy performed his photographic reconnaissances with single aircraft, flying at high altitudes, and his pursuit patrols were small and infrequent. In the matter of airdromes, the enemy was better off than the First American Army, and possessed many small fields within access of any part of the front line. Several airdromes were unoccupied, and were in such condition that they could be utilized quickly by reinforcements, their barracks and hangars being more or less serviceable.

For the Americans, almost every available field had been taken up and they were short in hangars and billet space, so that by the time the allocation of aviation units had been made to the First Army, the problems of locating and housing the units was a serious one.

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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