Original U.S. WWI M1917 Doughboy Helmet of the 77th Liberty Division with Textured Paint
Original Item: Only One Available. This nice example with complete liner but broken chinstrap that has original period textured paint green brown. The shell is maker marked with a stamping on the underside of the rim that reads BS 14. This is an nice example of a genuine USGI Great War helmet from an well known infantry division of the US army. The best feature of all is the original hand painted 77th "Liberty" or "Metropolitan" Division Statue of Liberty Insignia. The Liberty Division Insignia maintains approximately 95% of its original paint and remains bold visible and easy to see. The liner and chinstrap are absent.
The 77th Infantry Division was organized from draftees, drawn mostly from New York City, and trained at Camp Upton in Yaphank, NY in the central part of Suffolk Country, Long Island; the camp is now Brookhaven National Laboratory. The division consisted of the 153rd and 154th Infantry Brigades.
The 77th Infantry Division was the first American division composed of draftees to arrive in France in World War I, landing in April 1918; overall it was the seventh of 42 divisions to reach France. The division fought in the Battle of Château-Thierry on 18 July 1918.
It sustained 10,194 casualties: 1,486 killed and 8,708 wounded. The division returned to the U.S. in April 1919 and was deactivated that month.
The 154th Infantry Brigade was composed of the 307th and 308th Infantry Regiments and the 306th Machine Gun Battalion. While the division had been recruited as a National Army unit from the New York City area, attrition and replacements had complicated the complexion of the unit. For example, Company K, 307th Infantry, had been redesignated from the former Company L, 160th Infantry, California Army National Guard. The company had belonged to the 40th Division, which had been converted into a depot division in August 1918.
The "Lost Battalion" of World War I fame was composed of six companies of the 77th's 308th Infantry Regiment and one from the 307th Infantry Regiment.
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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