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American Expeditionary Force WW1 helmet

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Military and Wartime1748 of 3980British WW1 Royal Artillery Officers steel helmetWWI German Iron Cross with original ribbon
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Posted 2 years ago

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petey
(433 items)

American Expeditionary Force WW1 helmet with 103rd Infantry Regiment, 26th Division insignia.
The American Expeditionary Forces or AEF were the United States Armed Forces sent to Europe in World War I. During the United States campaigns in World War I the AEF fought in France alongside French and British allied forces in the last year of the war, against Imperial German forces. The AEF helped the French Army on the Western Front during the Aisne Offensive (at Château-Thierry and Belleau Wood) in June 1918, and fought its major actions in the Saint-Mihiel and Meuse-Argonne Offensives in late 1918.
At the rear is scratched VENI VEDI VICI, (I came, Isaw, I conquered)

Comments

  1. petey petey, 2 years ago
    Thanks for your comment BELLIN68.
  2. petey petey, 2 years ago
    Thanks for looking walksoftly, and thanks for the link AR8Jason, the writing on the front appears to be IN HOC SIGNO VINCES.
  3. JueBoo, 2 years ago
    Love this and always enjoy your descriptions .So very interesting .Looking forward to your future postings
  4. miKKoChristmas11 miKKoChristmas11, 2 years ago
    I never tire of these wonderful helmets of yours, Petey!

    As a youth, I learned in a History class that the phrase originated with Constantine I. It is Latin for "In this sign you will conquer." The sign in question was the 'Chi-Rho symbol/cross complex'. This phrase has been used by numerous persons and organizations since 'then'. A noble motto for a knight. I was quite astonished one day to find it on the Pall Mall cigarettes logo, but the logo does feature a knight's helm. I told a Physician who collects old cigarette ads about it, and she did not believe me! (I do think that the cigarette will conquer the smoker, but I don't think that that was the message Pall Mall meant to convey. : ) ) Follows a link to a discussion of "In hoc signo vinces".

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/In_hoc_signo_vinces
  5. miKKoChristmas11 miKKoChristmas11, 2 years ago
    I'm glad that you've got AR8Jason here! I tried a quick search for use of this motto by 91st Division and failed. That means very little, as I am very ignorant of military things. In the process I did find some interesting uses of this motto. See below. Counting on AR8Jason to find the solution!!!

    http://www.whale.to/c/in_hoc_signo_vinces.html
  6. miKKoChristmas11 miKKoChristmas11, 2 years ago
    Final note, if this is AEF, could this have been a Chaplain? Caesar's 'Veni, vidi, vici' would be an odd thing to find on a Chaplain's helmet, though - perhaps.
  7. miKKoChristmas11 miKKoChristmas11, 2 years ago
    Hi, AR8Jason! Thanks! Yes, that makes sense. I think that a Chaplain might have had a more professionally executed paint job. The motto looks like it's been inscribed with pen or pencil. Come to think of it, the tree doesn't look professional, either. Do you think that a child might have gotten hold of an old helmet and 'customized it'? Please just have a laugh if I'm too far left field! I like the Knights Templar suggestion, sir! : )
  8. Chrisnp Chrisnp, 2 years ago
    I agree with Kevin about the 91st Division attribution, but not the New England connection. The 91st was called the “Evergreen Division” and trained at Camp Lewis, Washington – Washington State’s nickname being the “Evergreen State.” The division was made of men from Washington, as well as other states/territories as far north as Alaska, south to California, and as far east as Wyoming and Montana.

    The rendering of the tree is not as seen in most 91st division patches, and I think is likely the artist’s own idea of what a tree should look like. The white diamond beneath the tree is not part of the divisional insignia, and I wonder if it could designate the soldier’s brigade or other element of the 91st. Finally, I think the Latin mottos are simply the whim of the artist – perhaps it was a bit of showing off.
  9. scottvez scottvez, 2 years ago
    Agree-- supposed to be the 91st "Evergreen Division" but very poorly executed.

    I am very skeptical of WW1 painted helmets. There are fakes out there-- some elaborate with unbelievable painting and others made to look amateurish.

    scott
  10. Chrisnp Chrisnp, 2 years ago
    Sorry Kevin, I guess I should have read your post more carefully.
  11. petey petey, 2 years ago
    Thanks for looking JueBoo, and your kind comment. Thanks for your info and links AR8Jason, and miKKoChristmas11, the links make fascinating reading. Thanks for looking officialfuel, blunderbuss2, Dr_Rambow. Thanks for the info Chrisnp. Thanks for looking scottvez. I agree I am also skeptical re painted insignia. With this one I think original, my reasoning as follows; the paint appears to have age cracks, there is another smaller insignia under the diamond which I can not make out. This top insignia has been done in a hurry and not quite central, covers part of the writing, and the helmet did not cost me, so it follows, why paint over an original insignia as the helmet would have been worth more. If faking it, the insignia would have at least been painted to the centre of the motto and not covering part of it. Also looking closely at the helmet, it appears that it has been fitted with a sackcloth cover for some time as the weave pattern has marked the insignia paint surface, (may be why the helmet is in such good condition). A lot of trouble to go to for no monetary profit. Of course I could be wrong.
  12. scottvez scottvez, 2 years ago
    petey-- my "Fake alert" was a general statement not specifically tied to the authenticity of your helmet but a warning to new collectors.

    scott

  13. scottvez scottvez, 2 years ago
    Additional thoughts/ exploring other possibilities:

    Original insignia (under the diamond) was fraternal related and meant to go with the Latin motto-- could have been done War era, but more likely a post war adornment. Maybe veterans who were lodge members used it for a parade? Maybe is was used in a lodge ceremony?

    In later years someone (could be a vet) wanted to return it to a war helmet and added the insignia.

    50 year old paint would exhibit cracking as well.

    Additionally, these helmets were a dime a dozen 40+ years ago.

    Again, I am not saying the item is a fake-- I do think that there are plausible explanations for the indicators that you cite that would lead to a different conclusion.

    scott
  14. petey petey, 2 years ago
    Scott don't worry, I did not think your comment was a direct accusation, and I agree with everything you have said, unless one of these helmets comes direct from the original owner, there can always be a little doubt. Give it another 500 years and it would not matter what insignia was on it, the helmet itself would be the valuable thing.....like finding a Roman helmet with something scratched on it by a Norman soldier.
    Peter
  15. scottvez scottvez, 2 years ago
    You are correct, pete!

    Pls keep sharing your helmets-- you have some great helmets in the grouping. I am only familiar with the US helmets and enjoy seeing all of the others.

    scott
  16. petey petey, 2 years ago
    Thanks for looking kerry10456
  17. aef1917, 2 years ago
    The insignia is the 103rd Infantry Regiment, 26th Division.
  18. scottvez scottvez, 2 years ago
    Here is a link for you petey:

    http://worldwar1letters.wordpress.com/the-adventure-unfolds/watchful-waiting-1917/26th-yankee-division/the-yankee-division-patch/

    scott
  19. petey petey, 2 years ago
    Outstanding link scottvez, insignia is almost identical and similar crude design as the one in this collection! and thanks for the info aef1917
  20. scottvez scottvez, 2 years ago
    I was suprised how similar it was.

    aef1917 alerted me about the 26th Division having subordinate unit helmet insignia and found the site while confirming his information.

    scott
  21. petey petey, 2 years ago
    Thanks for the love Poop
  22. petey petey, 2 years ago
    Thanks for the love bratjdd

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