Original U.S. WWI M1917 Doughboy Helmet of the 78th Infantry Division with Textured Paint

Item Description

Original Item: Only One Available. This nice example without liner that has original period textured paint green brown. The shell is maker marked with a stamping on the underside of the rim that reads ZF 38. 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 78th "Lightning" Division insignia. The Division Insignia maintains approximately 80% of its original paint and remains bold visible and easy to see.

The 78th Infantry Division of the United States Army was activated on 23 August 1917 at Camp Dix, New Jersey. It consisted of four infantry regiments – the 309th, 310th, 311th and 312th and three artillery Regiments – the 307th, 308th and 309th.

The division was originally allocated to New York and northern Pennsylvania in the National Army plan. Whilst the HQ of the 78th Division was activated in August, with the first draftees arriving in September, it was not fully active until early 1918. It was transported to France in May and June 1918.

In France, during the summer and fall of 1918, it was the "point of the wedge" of the final offensive which knocked out Germany. The 78th was in three major campaigns during World War I – Meuse-Argonne, St. Mihiel, and Lorraine. Demobilization at the end of the war took place in June 1919.

HQ, 78th Division was returned to the Organized Reserve List, and reallocated to the Second US Corps in Spring of 1921, with its area of allocation changed to New Jersey and Delaware.

Activated: 27 August 1917.

Overseas: May 1918.

Major Operations: Meuse-Argonne, St. Mihiel.

Roll of Honor: two Medal of Honor recipients

Casualties: Total-7,144 (KIA-1,169; WIA-5,975).

Commanders: Maj. Gen. C. W. Kennedy (23 August 1917), Brig. Gen. J. S. Mallory (28 November 1917), Brig. Gen. James T. Dean (28 December 1917), Maj. Gen. Hugh L. Scott (2 January 1918), Brig. Gen. James T. Dean (16 March 1918), Maj. Gen. J. H. McRae (20 April 1918).

Inactivated: June 1919.

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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