Desert Peoples / Modern Legacy

M-1917 Doughboy Helmet

M-1917 "Doughboy" Helmet

ca. 1917

Discovered in the Pinto Basin area of the park, it is possible that this helmet was lost either by someone working at one of the area's mines or mill sites, or associated with the US Army training activities at the Desert Training Center/California-Arizona Maneuver Area (DTC) at the southern boundary of the park.

It would not have been unusual to have used WWI era surplus equipment in the early days of the war, as equipment was in short supply. The US Army did not have a standardized helmet design when the US entered WWI, quickly adopting the standard British design in 1917. The American version modified the helmet's metal content, increasing wearer protection by 10%. The park’s helmet interior is modified from the original design's cotton webbing and leather lining system with riveted aluminum straps, much like the straps of a modern hard hat.

Steel, aluminum, fabric. L 20.5, W 29.5, H 11 cm
Joshua Tree National Park, JOTR 11653