Original U.S. WWI M1917 Refurbished Doughboy Camouflage Helmet of the 82nd Division "All American"
Original Item: Only One Available. 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 MkI 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.
This fine example has been restored with new paint by a master helmet restoration expert. It is a fantastic camouflage design featuring the insignia of the 82nd Infantry Division, the opposed letter "A"s for "All American Division" along with American and French flags.
Helmet has a good portion of the original oil cloth liner, though it is somewhat deteriorated from age, and fragile. The instruction label at the top has long been removed. The shell is maker marked with the stamping on the underside of the rim TC 819, which along with the standard rivets for the chin strap bales, indicates that this is an American production helmet. The underside is also painted with initials L.S. to add to the impression.
The chinstrap is partially missing, and what remains is in very delicate condition. However, it still bears the 7 1/4 size stamping on the crown strap. This is definitely a helmet that saw significant use.
This is a very nice example of a genuine USGI Great War helmet, refurbished based on period photographs of a legendary division of the US army.
History of the 82nd "All American" Division
The 82nd Division was first constituted on 5 August 1917 during World War I in the National Army. It was organized and formally activated on 25 August 1917 at Camp Gordon, Georgia. The division consisted entirely of newly conscripted soldiers. The citizens of Atlanta held a contest to give a nickname to the new division. Major General Eben Swift, the commanding general, chose "All American" to reflect the unique composition of the 82nd—it had soldiers from all 48 states. The bulk of the division was two infantry brigades, each commanding two regiments. The 163rd Infantry Brigade commanded the 325th Infantry Regiment and the 326th Infantry Regiment. The 164th Infantry Brigade commanded the 327th Infantry Regiment and the 328th Infantry Regiment. Also in the division were the 157th Field Artillery Brigade, composed of the 319th, 320th and 321st Field Artillery Regiments and the 307th Trench Mortar Battery; a divisional troops contingent, and a division train. It sailed to Europe to join the American Expeditionary Force (AEF), commanded by General John Pershing, on the Western Front.
World War I
82nd Division "All American Division" (1918-19)
William P. Burnham, who had previously commanded the 164th Brigade, led the division during most of its training and its movement to Europe. In early April, the division embarked from the ports in Boston, New York and Brooklyn to Liverpool, England, where the division fully assembled by mid-May 1918. From there, the division moved to mainland Europe, leaving Southampton and arriving at Le Havre, France, and then moved to the British-held region of Somme on the front lines, where it began sending small numbers of troops and officers to the front lines to gain combat experience. On 16 June it moved by rail to Toul, France to take position on the front lines in the French sector. Its soldiers were issued French weapons and equipment to simplify resupply. The division was briefly assigned to I Corps before falling under the command of IV Corps until late August. It was then moved to the Woëvre front, in the Lagney sector, where it operated with the French 154th Infantry Division
The division relieved the 26th Division on 25 June. Though Lagney was considered a defensive sector, the 82nd Division actively patrolled and raided in the region for several weeks, before being relieved by the 89th Division. From there it moved to the Marbache sector in mid-August, where it relieved the 2nd Division under the command of the newly formed US First Army. There it trained until 12 September, when the division joined the St. Mihiel offensive.
Once the First Army jumped off on the offensive, the 82nd Division engaged in a holding mission to prevent German forces from attacking the right flank of the First Army. On 13 September, the 163rd Infantry Brigade and 327th Infantry Regiment raided and patrolled to the northeast of Port-sur-Seille, toward Eply, in the Bois de Cheminot, Bois de la Voivrotte, Bois de la Tête-d'Or, and Bois Fréhaut. Meanwhile, the 328th Infantry Regiment, in connection with the attack of the 90th Division against the Bois-le-Prêtre, advanced on the west of the Moselle River, and, in contact with the 90th Division, entered Norroy, advancing to the heights just north of that town where it consolidated its position. On 15 September, the 328th Infantry, in order to protect the 90th Division's flank, resumed the advance, and reached Vandières, but withdrew on the following day to the high ground north of Norroy.
On 17 September, the St-Mihiel Operation stabilized, and the 90th Division relieved the 82nd's troops west of the Moselle River. On 20 September, the 82nd was relieved by the French 69th Infantry Division, and moved to the vicinity of Marbache and Belleville, then to stations near Triaucourt and Rarécourt in the area of the First Army. During this operation, the division suffered heavy casualties from enemy artillery. The operation cost the division over 800 men. Among them was Colonel Emory Jenison Pike of the 321st Machine Gun Battalion, the first member of the 82nd to be awarded the Medal of Honor. The division was then moved into reserve until 3 October, when it assembled near Varennes-en-Argonne prior to returning to the line. During this time, the division trained and prepared for the war's final major offensive at Meuse-Argonne.
The division was next moved to the Clermont area, located west of Verdun on September 24. They were stationed there to act as a reserve for the US First Army. George B. Duncan, former commander of the 77th Division, relieved Burnham on 3 October, and Burnham subsequently served as military attaché in Athens, Greece. On the night of 6/7 October 1918, the 164th Infantry Brigade relieved troops of the 28th Division, which were holding the front line from south of Fléville to La Forge, along the eastern bank of the Aire River. The 163rd Infantry Brigade remained in reserve. On 7 October, the division, minus the 163rd Infantry Brigade, attacked the northeastern edge of the Argonne Forest, making some progress toward Cornay, and occupied Hill 180 and Hill 223. The next day it resumed the attack. Elements of the division's right flank entered Cornay, but later withdrew to the east and south. The division's left flank reached the southeastern slope of the high ground northwest of Châtel-Chéhéry. On 9 October, the division continued its attack, and advanced its left flank to a line from south of Pylône to the Rau de la Louvière.
For the rest of the month, the division turned to the north and advanced astride the Aire River to the region east of St-Juvin. On 10 October, it relieved troops of the 1st on the right, north of Fléville, as far as a new boundary extending north and south through Sommerance. It then attacked and captured Cornay and Marcq, and established the front just to their south. On 11 October, the right flank of the division occupied Sommerance and the high ground north of la Rance Rau while the left advanced to the railroad south of the Aire. The next day, the 42nd relieved the 82nd's troops in and near Sommerance, allowing it to resume the attack. The 82nd passed through part of the Hindenburg defensive position, and reached a line just north of the road from St-Georges to St-Juvin.
On 18 October, the division relieved elements of the 78th as far to the left as Marcq and Champigneulle. Three days later it advanced to the Ravin aux Pierres. On 31 October, the 82nd, except the artillery, was relieved by the 77th Division and the 80th Division, and assembled in the Argonne Forest near Champ-Mahaut. On 2 November, the division concentrated near La Chalade and Les Islettes, and, on 4 November, moved to training areas in Vaucouleurs. On 10 November, it moved again to training areas in Bourmont, where it remained until the 11 November armistice. During this campaign the division suffered another 7,000 killed and wounded. A second 82nd soldier, Alvin C. York, won the Medal of Honor during this campaign.
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