Helmet, Type M1917, United States Army Air Service

Display Status:

This object is not on display at the National Air and Space Museum. It is either on loan or in storage.

Collection Item Summary:

The Type M1917 steel helmet was the first protective helmet adopted United States during World War I. The helmet was essentially a copy of the British Mk. I shallow-dome helmet designed by John L Brodie. The Americans adopted British produced helmets until U. S. factories could meet the demands of the growing army. The American helmet modified the design of the interior leather suspension system and untilized a different steel alloy. The one piece stamped steel Model M1917 steel helmet, issued to all U.S. Soldiers and Marines serving in France duing the war. Many units and individuals customized their helmets with their unit insignia painted on the front crown.

This helment was worn by John Rogers. He served as a flight mechanic of the 95th Aero Squadron. This was the first American squadron to fly in combat during the war on March 8, 1918. Rogers trained as specifically as a flight mechanic and served with the squadron during its entire overseas deployment from June 1917 until February 1919. The German objects in his collection were removed from a German Albatros D.Va that landed at the 95th Aero Squadron base and personally removed by Rogers as mementos of his service in the War.