Original U.S. WWI M1917 First Army Engineers Camouflage Doughboy Helmet with Liner & Chinstrap
Original Item: Only One Available. This is a very nice example of a U.S. M1917 "Doughboy" helmet with original liner & chinstrap, marked on the front to the First United States Army Engineers. It also features a lovely original "trench art" camouflage paint on the exterior. It is a unique pattern with two yellow "horns", which divide the rest of the helmet into dark blue, green, and black areas, with red borders. Definitely an interesting and well executed design!
The shell is maker marked with a stamping on the underside of the rim that reads ZF 38. 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, though there is a dent in the shell on the rear left crown. Much of the original corked texture from the original paint can still be seen. The liner is is intact, and still attached correctly to the chinstrap, which is also intact and supple, though it does have dry rot on the exterior. The oil cloth sweatband is in good shape, though as expected it is quite stiff now. The underlying netting is in great shape, with an intact tie string.
The best feature of this helmet is definitely the original hand painted camouflage paint job, with a First United States Army Engineers emblem in the center of the front of the helmet. The design shows the large "Squared A" insignia of the First Army, with the red "Castle" emblem of the Army Engineers underneath. This is on a light blue field bordered with red. The camouflage paint is a lovely design, and the Division Insignia maintains almost all of the original paint and remains bold and easy to see.
A great example of an authentic WWI "Doughboy" helmet from the First Army Engineers, with hand-painted camouflage, ready to display!
The First United States Army
First Army is the oldest and longest-established field army of the United States Army. It served as a theater army, having seen service in both World War I and World War II, and supplied the US army with soldiers and equipment during the Korean War and the Vietnam war under some of the most famous and distinguished officers of the U.S. Army. It now serves as a mobilization, readiness and training command.
The First Army was established on 10 August 1918 as a field army when sufficient American military manpower had arrived on the Western Front during the final months of World War I. The large number of troops assigned to the American Expeditionary Forces (AEF) required the activation of subordinate commands. To fill this need, First Army was the first of three field armies established under the AEF. The first commander was General John J. Pershing, who also served as Commander-in-Chief (C-in-C) of the AEF. The headquarters planned and directed the first major American offensive, the St Mihiel Offensive (September 12 to 16, 1918). It later went on to fight in the largest and deadliest battle in the United States Army's history, the Meuse–Argonne offensive. Serving in its ranks throughout World War I were many figures who later played important roles in World War II. First Army, now under Lieutenant General Hunter Liggett, was inactivated on April 20th, 1919, five months after the Armistice with Germany which ended hostilities.
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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