Original U.S. WWI Named M1917 5th Infantry Division Doughboy Helmet with Liner & Chinstrap - Red Diamond
Original Item: Only One Available. This is a very nice example of a U.S. M1917 "Doughboy" helmet, with original liner, that also features original period OD Green paint. The shell is maker marked with a stamping on the underside of the rim that reads ZG 42. The solid rivets and heat lot number indicate that this helmet shell was produced in the United States. The paint is well retained on the shell, though the exterior looks to have been repainted during the war, as all of the cork on the exterior is missing, while there is still some on the interior.
The liner is is intact, and still attached correctly to the chinstrap, which is also intact and supple. The strap going across the top of the helmet is marked with size 7 1/8, but also has the name SAM REYNOLDS written on it with pencil. We assume this to be the name of the soldier it was issued to, and the marking definitely looks to be period. 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 5th Infantry Division - Red Diamond Division emblem in the center of the shield. The insignia, as one might guess, is a red diamond in the middle of the helmet's front, which has the correct darker border around the edges.
A great example of an authentic WWI "Doughboy" helmet from the 5th Infantry Division, ready to display!
The 5th Infantry Division was activated on 11 December 1917, just over eight months after the American entry into World War I, at Camp Logan, near Houston, Texas and began training for deployment to the Western Front. The entire division had arrived in France by 1 May 1918 and components of the units were deployed into the front line. The 5th Division was the eighth of forty-two American divisions to arrive on the Western Front.
The 5th Division trained with French Army units from 1 to 14 June 1918. The first soldiers of the unit to be killed in action died on 14 June of that year. Among the division's first casualties was Captain Mark W. Clark, then commanding the 3rd Battalion, 11th Infantry Regiment, who would later become a four-star general. On 12 September, the unit was part of a major attack that reduced the salient at St. Mihiel. The division later fought in the Meuse-Argonne Offensive, the largest battle fought by the American Expeditionary Force (AEF) (and the largest in the history of the U.S. Army) in World War I. The war ended soon after, on November 11, 1918. The division served in the Army of Occupation, being based in Belgium and Esch-sur-Alzette, Luxembourg until it departed Europe. The division returned to the United States through the New York Port of Embarkation at Hoboken, New Jersey, on 21 July 1919
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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