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Record 462/678
Model 1917 Steel Helmet: stamped steel helmet with dome and visor around edges; leather chin strap with steel adjustment buckle; leather liner covered with black oil cloth with white cotton netting adjustable for size; helmet is painted olive drab with painted 89th Division insignia on left side: black circle with letter "W" in center, with the center of the letter painted red, designating the 164th Artillery Brigade. The 89th "Middle West" division was composed of draftees from the states of Colorado, Missouri, and Kansas. They trained at Camp Funston, Kansas and spent twenty-eight days in active sectors in France and suffered 1,433 battle deaths and 5,858 wounded. Used by Major Clarendon James Combs. Clarendon James Combs was born in Macon County, MO on November 10, 1874, the son of James R. and Nellie A. Phillips Combs. He worked in a sawmill and taught in rural schools to raise money for his college education. He graduated from medical school at the University of Michigan in 1898. He was practicing medicine in Oshkosh by 1900. He married Jessie Gertrude Clark in Oshkosh on October 24, 1904. He was in the United States Army Reserves and was activated in August 1917. He entered World War I as a 1st Lieutenant and rose to the rank of Major and Surgeon. He served in the 89th "Middle West" Division in the 164th Artillery Brigade, and was surgeon for the 340th Field Artillery Regiment. He remained in the Army Reserve as commanding officer of the 370th Medical Detachment until November 30, 1938. He died following surgery for gall bladder and pancreatitis on July 19, 1939.
Helmet -WORLD WAR I -Copyright Oshkosh Public Museum

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Last modified on: December 12, 2009