Original U.S. WWI M1917 Refurbished Doughboy Helmet of the 94th Aero Squadron
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, and this is such an example. The US-Made M1917s 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 94th Aero Squadron, a stars and stripes top hat through a circle, with a red white and blue sectioned rear.
Helmet has almost all of the the liner, but unfortunately only about half of the chin strap. It features original olive drab on the underside of the shell. The shell is maker marked, however the marking is covered with paint and not legible. This is one of the 400,000 Brodie helmets supplied by the British, as indicated by the split pin rivets that hold on the chin strap bales.
This is a very nice example of a genuine USGI Great War helmet from an legendary unit of the US army.
The 94th Aero Squadron was an Air Service, United States Army unit that fought on the Western Front during World War I.
The squadron was assigned as a Day Pursuit (Fighter) Squadron as part of the 1st Pursuit Group, First United States Army. Its mission was to engage and clear enemy aircraft from the skies and provide escort to reconnaissance and bombardment squadrons over enemy territory. It also attacked enemy observation balloons, and perform close air support and tactical bombing attacks of enemy forces along the front lines.
The squadron was one of the first American pursuit squadrons to reach the Western Front and see combat, becoming one of the most famous. The 94th was highly publicized in the American print media of the time, and its exploits "over there" were widely reported on the home front. Its squadron emblem, the "Hat in the Ring" became a symbol in the minds of the American Public of the American Air Service of World War I. Three notable air aces served with the squadron, Eddie Rickenbacker, who was awarded almost every decoration attainable, including the Medal of Honor and the Distinguished Service Cross. Douglas Campbell was the first American trained pilot to become an air ace. He shared the honor of having the first official victory over an enemy aircraft with Alan Winslow. Another squadron member, Raoul Lufbery, attained 17 aerial victories before leaping to his death from a fiery Nieuport 28 aircraft in May 1918.
After the 1918 Armistice with Germany, the squadron returned to the United States in June 1919 and became part of the permanent United States Army Air Service in 1921. The current United States Air Force unit which holds its lineage and history is the 94th Fighter Squadron, assigned to the 1st Operations Group, Joint Base Langley–Eustis, Virginia.
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