I think there is evidence of some Divisions that had helmets and gear painted before Armistice Day. The 35th and the 80th Divisions come to mind. I believe both of these Divisions had helmets painted in use before the end of the war.
Yes Hink but the window for that is really small wouldn't you say, the 80th Div like a lot of division's had their shoulder patch approved near the end of October, 20 October, now considering when word got down and around, and even the idea of painting them on the fronts or sides of helmets would be a while, what 5 days, a week, a week and a half? , that's the shoulder patches, and most divison's were still in combat We know the 80th Div has a whole array of tactical unit Insignia on the books, approved when it was still in America in late April 1918, but not shoulder patches., I don't know the extent of the wear of these Tac Signs, very little photos of the division are around where helmets are worn, all one sees is helmets in collections on this forum with the makings, which were probably done up after 11 November, this topic HERE shows them, as well as original examples in collections, note that thee is not one period photo of these being worn, if anyone has a photo of these tac signs being worn from July 1918 till before 11 Nov please post it.
The 35th Div, yes we see that the sign used, the so called Santa Fe sign was used as a sign as of late March 1918 when it was still in the states for unit baggage and other divisional property, and some helmet markings with the Santa Fe seen, but that would be a rarity with the divisions, and and in my estimation shouldn't be used a a guide that since the 35th Div did it in the late summer of 1918, then all the divisions must of done it For reference Their shoulder patch based on the Santa Fe sign was approved a few days later then the 80th's, on 29 October.