Original U.S. WWI M1917 Refurbished Doughboy Helmet of the 304th Patton Tank Brigade
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 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.
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 Patton's famous 304th Tank Brigade.
The helmet has an original liner (unattached to shell) and a chinstrap (broken).The 326th (under the command of Sereno E. Brett) and 327th Tank Battalions (later renamed the 344th and 345th and organized into the 304th Tank Brigade, commanded by Patton), were the first into combat, beginning with the Battle of St. Mihiel (as part of the US IV Corps) on 12 September 1918, followed by the Meuse-Argonne Offensive (as part of the US V Corps) on 26 September. Major Brett assumed command of the 304th after Patton was injured on September 26, the first day of the Meuse-Argonne Offensive near Cheppy, France. The small French Renault FT tanks they were equipped with found the going hard and many were lost or ran out of fuel crossing the battlefield – the Germans, forewarned, had largely retreated from the salient.
The 331st Tank Battalion (organized into the 306th Tank Brigade) first saw action in the Meuse-Argonne Offensive (as part of V Corps) in November.
The 301st, equipped with British Mark Vs, suffered large casualties in the Battle of St. Quentin Canal on 29 September as part of the British 4th Tank Brigade, under the control of the Australian Corps. Some tanks were hit by shelling before the start line, while others were lost crossing an unreported British minefield. Of the 34 participating tanks, only 10 made rallying. The 301st then seized the village of Brancourt on 8 October, fought in the Battle of the Selle on 18 October, and participated in a night attack on 22–23 October in the vicinity of the Sambre Canal.
During the war, two members of the Tank Corps (both from the 344th Battalion) where awarded the Medal of Honor; Donald M. Call and Harold W. Roberts.
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