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M17A1 Helmet.. Research assistance needed. Army Nurse..


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Good day everyone,

 

I have had this helmet for a few years and I need your assistance. I am not a helmet collector and I have limited knowledge and experience with earlier helmets. This appears to be an M17A1 with a heat stamp of 18A. Not sure what manufacturer made this helmet and if the 18A heat stamp is a low number for this production. The buckle portion of the chin strap is missing but overall this helmet is in very good shape..

 

What I am really looking for is assistance with the name. It is marked J. Willis N-726352. From what I can gather this belonged to an Army Nurse Officer. I have had no luck finding information about this person, so I am reaching out for some help. Normally I have relative ease in searching for records but with this one being an officer I am having difficulty. I reached out to another forum member that suggested that a member here who has access to officer records may be able to help, so I am hoping to put a story with this helmet.

 

I will upload some photos of the helmet..

 

Thank you all very much and I look forward to any information about the helmet and owner..

 

Best regards and Blessings

 

Leigh

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"Pain is only Weakness Leaving the Body"

MSG Leigh E Smith Jr
US Army (Retired)

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With J. Willis’s serial number being N-726352, based on the information below, I believe that would indicate the nurse originated from the Seventh Corps Area which would be either Missouri, Kansas, Nebraska, Colorado, Iowa, Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota, or Wyoming. That may not help all that much but it might narrow it down a little bit.

 

Women’s Army Corps:

First digit of all serial numbers already indicates the specific Service Command. The War Department allotted following ranges to WAC personnel:

 

First Corps Area = range from 100,000 > 199,999

Second Corps Area = range from 200,000 > 299,999

Third Corps Area = range from 300,000 > 399,999

Fourth Corps Area = range from 400,000 > 499,999

Fifth Corps Area = range from 500,000 > 599,999

Sixth Corps Area = range from 600,000 > 699,999

Seventh Corps Area = range from 700,000 > 799,999

Eighth Corps Area = range from 800,000 > 899,999

Ninth Corps Area = range from 900,000 > 999,999

 

7th Corps Area – MO, KS, NB, CO, IA, MN, ND, SD, WY

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Specific areas of collecting and buying interest:

WWI/WWII 40th (Sunshine) Division, Camp Kearny, Camp Harry Jones, WWI/WWII 158th Infantry, USS Oklahoma, USS Swordfish (SS-193), Pearl Harbor Survivors Association, Mexican Border (1916),

Norman Air Technical Training Center (NATTC) Norman, OK, Tinker Field or AFB, Submariner Items, Knives, Bayonets, Sweetheart Jewelry, other unique

or odd items with interesting stories.

 

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Very nice helmet!

 

Aznation, the ANC was not a part of the WAC so would that lists of numbers be incorrect for nurses?

 

Kat

 

 

Kat, to answer your question, I'm not entirely sure. After looking, I believe you're correct in that the ANC and WAC were separate organizations. So, perhaps the numbers I posted might be incorrect. I guess just keep looking for a nurse Willis. That might be difficult to find obviously, but you never know. Thanks for bringing that up.

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Specific areas of collecting and buying interest:

WWI/WWII 40th (Sunshine) Division, Camp Kearny, Camp Harry Jones, WWI/WWII 158th Infantry, USS Oklahoma, USS Swordfish (SS-193), Pearl Harbor Survivors Association, Mexican Border (1916),

Norman Air Technical Training Center (NATTC) Norman, OK, Tinker Field or AFB, Submariner Items, Knives, Bayonets, Sweetheart Jewelry, other unique

or odd items with interesting stories.

 

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Hi Kat,

 

Great to hear from you...

 

Thank you for your research efforts.. I too have been coming up with nothing.. I looked through several of the Army Nurse Cadet Corps rosters, found several Willis's but I don't think I am looking in the right direction. If it makes any difference the helmet is coming from New Mexico but in the bigger scope that could mean little..

 

I was thinking on the same lines as you that this Nurse served prior to the US entry into WW2. I wonder if this person served in the Philippines?? That would be something....

 

Thank you again for your efforts.. I hope that with a concerted effort the members on here can pull together resources and solve the mystery..

 

I want to thank you all once again for stopping by and reading this posting and contributing..

 

Best regards and Blessings

 

Leigh

"Pain is only Weakness Leaving the Body"

MSG Leigh E Smith Jr
US Army (Retired)

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Leigh,

 

I looked up when the Army started putting the "N" prefix on dog tags for the ANC. It looks like that may have started in 1921. This is looking more and more like this may have belonged to a nurse who was in prior to 1941.

 

This is getting very interesting!!

 

It's great to hear from you too! I hope you are doing well!

 

Kat

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Hi Kat,

 

Great to hear from you...

 

Thank you for your research efforts.. I too have been coming up with nothing.. I looked through several of the Army Nurse Cadet Corps rosters, found several Willis's but I don't think I am looking in the right direction. If it makes any difference the helmet is coming from New Mexico but in the bigger scope that could mean little..

 

I was thinking on the same lines as you that this Nurse served prior to the US entry into WW2. I wonder if this person served in the Philippines?? That would be something....

 

Thank you again for your efforts.. I hope that with a concerted effort the members on here can pull together resources and solve the mystery..

 

I want to thank you all once again for stopping by and reading this posting and contributing..

 

Best regards and Blessings

 

Leigh

Smitty,

You a gentleman and pleasure knowing.

 

Marty

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Marty,

 

Thank you for the compliment. Humbled by your words...

 

I have always tried to be a man of honor, courage and integrity..

 

Leigh

"Pain is only Weakness Leaving the Body"

MSG Leigh E Smith Jr
US Army (Retired)

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  • 8 months later...

Bumping this back to the top with some updated information:

 

I was able to get a very large packet of information back from NARA...

 

A nice thick packet, about 150 pages of infromation..

 

I can confirm she served in the Pacific at Pearl Harbor (Post Dec 7, 1941) at the 204th General Hospital...

 

More information will follow after I have time to put her record in order and I can read through the numerous orders and paperwork.

 

Leigh

"Pain is only Weakness Leaving the Body"

MSG Leigh E Smith Jr
US Army (Retired)

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Bumping this back to the top with some updated information:

 

I was able to get a very large packet of information back from NARA...

 

A nice thick packet, about 150 pages of infromation..

 

I can confirm she served in the Pacific at Pearl Harbor (Post Dec 7, 1941) at the 204th General Hospital...

 

More information will follow after I have time to put her record in order and I can read through the numerous orders and paperwork.

 

Leigh

Leigh,

 

I am looking forward to your updates! The person that has my book about the nurses on Anzio is On TDY in Texas. I will get it back when she returns. I will see if I can find anything out for you.

 

Kat

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Once I knew she was with the 204th - I have the WWII history book on the 204th - figured out she was from Tennessee. This is from Find a grave:

 

#ALBANY -- Jessie Willis Rivers, 93 of Leesburg, GA, died Saturday October 1, 2011 at Lee County Health Care. Funeral services will be held Tuesday, October 4, 2011 at 11:00 A.M. at Mathews Funeral Home. The Reverend Freeman G. Cross will officiate. Interment will follow at Leesburg Cemetery.

#A native of Sherwood, TN, Mrs. Rivers had resided in the Leesburg, Albany area since 1964 moving from Burlingame, CA. She graduated from Franklin County High School in 1937, she enrolled at Baroness Erlanger School of Nursing in Chattanooga School of Nursing, and received her degree in 1940. After some private duty nursing, she enlisted in the Army Nurse Corps in May 15, 1941 as an officer and served until August 1944. She married Lt. (JG) William Jacocks Rivers of Pearl Harbor, T.H. on March 13, 1944 and her subsequent pregnancy ended her stint in the US Army.

#Mrs. Rivers was a 53 year member and past Regent, Vice Regent, and served several terms as Treasurer of the Thronateeska Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution, honorary member of the Daffodil Garden Club, Golden Key Club, Albany Audubon Society, The Flint River Power Squadron Auxiliary and the Holy Spirit Episcopal Church in Dawson, GA. She was preceded in death by a son, William Jacocks Rivers, Jr., a daughter, Mary Elisabeth Rivers, her parents James Wood and Laura Garner Willis and a sister Annie Laura Willis Prince.

#Survivors include her husband Ret. Commander William J. Rivers, Sr., USN of Leesburg, GA, two sons William James Rivers of Arnold, CA and Wilfred Wilson Rivers of Burleson, TX, a daughter, Suzanne Rivers Purvis of Leesburg, GA, seven grandchildren and fourteen great- grandchildren.

 

https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/77523330/jessie-rivers

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29Navy,

 

Thank you very much for the added information... I will add this to my packet of information to remember this Veteran..

 

Best Regards on this Veterans Day and Thank you (and all members) for your Service..

 

Leigh

"Pain is only Weakness Leaving the Body"

MSG Leigh E Smith Jr
US Army (Retired)

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Thank you again..

 

Greatful for all your assistance...

 

Putting a face with the helmet as well as her records is an added bonus..

 

Leigh

"Pain is only Weakness Leaving the Body"

MSG Leigh E Smith Jr
US Army (Retired)

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  • 3 weeks later...

I agree it's wonderful to see Lt. Jessie's face!

Also touching how she was married to Commander Bill for 67 years.

 

Fantastic early lid.

In memory of Honored Uncle William Comstock of Saybrook Connecticut, age 16, murdered by the traitor Benedict Arnold at Fort Trumbull CT, Sept. 6, 1781. Son of Pvt. Samuel Comstock III, brother of Pvt. Samuel Comstock IV, 6th Regiment, Connecticut Line. Your sacrifice is not forgotten. God Bless America. - Kurt C.

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Thank you Sgt Stubby and all who have let a comment..

 

Still sorting through the paper work..

 

Hope to have something posted in the next few weeks

 

Leigh

"Pain is only Weakness Leaving the Body"

MSG Leigh E Smith Jr
US Army (Retired)

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