While the American "Dough Boys" headed to France with mostly British pattern and some French helmets, there was actually a serious effort to develop a truly American helmet -- and it was led by a curator of the New York Metropolitan Museum of Art.
Dr. Bashford Dean, who had founded the museum's Arms and Armor gallery, was called into service and given the rank of Major, where he was tasked with developing a steel helmet. "He made a study of the ballistics being used at the time as well as the severity of the wounds, and he took this knowledge of medieval and renaissance armor as well as armor being used in the modern day and considered it for possible use," said Don LaRocca, the current curator of the arms and armor department at the Met. "For Dean it made absolute sense to look to the past."Two particular patterns still stand out: the Model 2, which was based on the "standard" helmets of classical Greece and Italy in the 15th century; and the Model 5, which improved upon the Model 2 and offered far more protection to the wearer than the British-designed MkI/Model 1917. However, both were reportedly rejected because they too closely resembled the German pattern. "It was probably a mistake not to adopt these helmets," said LaRocca. "The argument was these were too similar to the German helmets, and that must have been very frustrating for Dean, because the Model 2 and Model 5 were very good designs."
Funny how we eventually ended up with the PASGT, more affectionately known as the "K-Pot" or "Kraut Helmet."