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WWI PAINTED HELMETS


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The letter is dated "November 19, 1918" From "Gifford Ernest, Chaplain 5th sanitation train"

 

Wow, that is an awesome 78th helmet. The letter from the Chaplain is incredible, is there a date on the Chaplain's letter?

Chris

 

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I collect Chaplain helmets, and I know this helmet is not a Chaplain's helmet, But having a letter form the Chaplain and the helmet; that's icing on the cake.

As the letter reads this dear hero who gave his life was a believer in the one true God and trusted in the Lord, I myself find a great peace in knowing that.

Marty

Therefore everyone who hears these words of Mine and acts on them, may be compared to a wise man who built his house on the rock

Mathew 19:16

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Gotcha! sorry, I misread. Share some photos of yours?

-Michael

I know I stated that in my post, but liked the fact that the chaplain sent the letter and helmet home. Great find!!
Marty

 

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So update: I typed in the Chaplains name Ernest Gifford, and found right here on the forums under the Medals and Decorations forum in 2014 a member posted a bunch of Chaplain Giffords items! Okay so that's an amazing connection to have these cross paths. I also did some looking and found photos of PFC Young. I purchased the helmet in 2004, so it has been 13 years, the photos weren't posted until 2014. And member Kanemono posted in 2014 as well. Some additional photos.. Gifford was a part of the 5th Division 5th Sanitation Train. What I am thinking... The 28 of September the day PFC Young was KIA the 79th was engaged at montfaucon, and would later move north as the battle advanced (the 30th of September the 79th was pulled off the front). In October-November the 5th Division including the 5th Sanitation had moved thru montfaucon further east with montfaucon in the rear area of operations. I am assuming this is when the 5th Sanitation train had recovered/buried PFC Young. The Letter sent home by the Chaplain was dated 19 November matches up with the area of operations. Here is a full picture of the letter (picture is a picture of a copy) a Picture of the effects list recovered by Gifford, and a Picture of Young.

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Retired US Army Officer, OEF Vet, Collector, Owner Renewhistory

 

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Thank you for sharing the interesting papers. I did want to comment though, that the image appears to show a soldier wearing a Canadian or Commonwealth uniform. Had PFC Young previously served in another Allied army before the US entered the war in April 1917? The bandoleer appears to be a British Pattern-1903 for the Enfield rifles.

"It is a capital mistake to theorize before one has data. Insensibly one begins to twist facts to suit theories, instead of theories to suit facts."

*Sherlock Holmes in "A Scandal in Bohemia"*

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Thank you for sharing the interesting papers. I did want to comment though, that the image appears to show a soldier wearing a Canadian or Commonwealth uniform. Had PFC Young previously served in another Allied army before the US entered the war in April 1917? The bandoleer appears to be a British Pattern-1903 for the Enfield rifles.

Hey Rusty,

 

So two thoughts. I pulled the photo from findgrave.com 4 photos are shown. Tombstone, 2 pictures and a newspaper clipping. So what is interesting Young was born in 1895 so he was 22/23 un 1918. The picture shows him wearing what appears to be spurs holding a riding crop. So I dont know whats going on there. Nor is WWI my area of knowledge on uniforms. Could he have been in another maybe? Its an interesting photo. I need to contact the guys who posted these photos. This photo is alao posted. So not sure what to make of the 2... good eyes and thoughts.

 

-P6

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The 2nd photo is a photo of him. not sure about the first photo.

 

This photo comes from the Soldiers of The Great World War VOL II printed 1920 Soldiers Record Publishing Association Washington DC. Page 396.

 

Hey Rusty,

So two thoughts. I pulled the photo from findgrave.com 4 photos are shown. Tombstone, 2 pictures and a newspaper clipping. So what is interesting Young was born in 1895 so he was 22/23 un 1918. The picture shows him wearing what appears to be spurs holding a riding crop. So I dont know whats going on there. Nor is WWI my area of knowledge on uniforms. Could he have been in another maybe? Its an interesting photo. I need to contact the guys who posted these photos. This photo is alao posted. So not sure what to make of the 2... good eyes and thoughts.

-P6

 

Retired US Army Officer, OEF Vet, Collector, Owner Renewhistory

 

https://www.renewhistoryrh.com/

 

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  • 3 weeks later...

Hi all. I found two helmets today. The first is this British made 104th Reg marked helmet named to a E.O Crocosh (?). The 104th was one of the first US units to engage the Germans in the spring of 1918. It has a crude torch painted on the front.

 

 

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  • 2 weeks later...

The 2nd photo is a photo of him. not sure about the first photo.

 

This photo comes from the Soldiers of The Great World War VOL II printed 1920 Soldiers Record Publishing Association Washington DC. Page 396.

 

 

 

That is a great 79th Div helmet and history to go with it. If that is him in the first picture, I had a thought on the questionable details. It appears to be some sort of studio photo and it wouldn't be unheard of for him to grab prop items laying around to dress himself up a bit more for the photo. Kind of like many old "Cowboy studio Pictures" back in the day. Those guys threw on all kinds of studio props for their pictures to send back home.

 

Another question I have about the helmet itself, Myself and several others I know who have WWI 79th unit marked helmets have found the insignias to be painted on the helmet but off center a few inches. Is your insignia done the same?

 

Here is an example of mine showing the off center application.

 

Thanks

Troy

 

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That is a great 79th Div helmet and history to go with it. If that is him in the first picture, I had a thought on the questionable details. It appears to be some sort of studio photo and it wouldn't be unheard of for him to grab prop items laying around to dress himself up a bit more for the photo. Kind of like many old "Cowboy studio Pictures" back in the day. Those guys threw on all kinds of studio props for their pictures to send back home.

 

Another question I have about the helmet itself, Myself and several others I know who have WWI 79th unit marked helmets have found the insignias to be painted on the helmet but off center a few inches. Is your insignia done the same?

 

Here is an example of mine showing the off center application.

 

Thanks

Troy

 

Troy,

 

Nice looking one. Yea I was just so excited I found pictures. Had the helmet for 15 years, but when I first purchased the set none of those files existed on the internet. Regards the alignment. This one has it centered, as well as the 312 MG BN on the back centered as well. I wonder if that was certain Battalions that off centered? I know that would not surprise me if that was the reason why a certain proportion of them found are like that... Us Army folks as units are always trying to show our own "" colors in a way to set ourselves/units apart.

 

-Peg6

Retired US Army Officer, OEF Vet, Collector, Owner Renewhistory

 

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