Original U.S. WWI M1917 Refurbished Doughboy Helmet of the 7th Infantry Division
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 famous 7th Infantry Division. Most units in the 7th simply used the insignia but one platoon used the elaborate flag color which is finely represented on this helmet. It is complete with chinstrap but no liner and has original period brown paint on the underside of the shell. The shell is maker marked with the stamping on the underside of the rim ZF 51.
This is a very nice example of a genuine USGI Great War helmet from an legendary division of the US army.The 7th Infantry Division was activated on 6 December 1917, exactly eight months after the American entry into World War I, as the 7th Division of the Regular Army at Camp Wheeler, Georgia. One month later, it prepared to deploy to Europe as a part of the American Expeditionary Force (AEF). Two brigades were assigned to the division, the 13th Infantry Brigade (containing the 34th and 55th Infantry Regiments) and 14th Infantry Brigade (consisting of the 56th and 64th Infantry Regiments), together with supporting units. Most of the division sailed to Europe aboard the SS Leviathan.
While on the Western Front, the 7th Division did not see action at full divisional strength, though its infantry and reconnaissance elements did engage German forces. On 11 October 1918, it first came under shell fire and later, at Saint-Mihiel, came under chemical attack. Elements of the 7th probed up toward Prény near the Moselle River, capturing positions and driving German forces out of the region. It was at this time that the division first received its shoulder sleeve insignia.
In early November, the 7th Division began preparing for an assault on the Hindenburg Line as part of the Second Army. The division launched a reconnaissance in force on the Voëvre plain, but the main assault was never conducted as hostilities ended on 11 November 1918 with the signing of the Armistice with Germany. During its 33 days on the front line, the 7th Division suffered 1,709 casualties, including 204 killed in action and 1,505 wounded in action. and was awarded a campaign streamer for Lorraine. The division then served on occupation duties as it began preparations to return to the continental United States. The 7th Division arrived home in late 1919, and was gradually demobilized at Camp Meade, Maryland until on 22 September 1921, when it was inactivated.
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