This Veterans Day Helena-West Helena received word that the Doughboy Statue at the intersection of Perry and Cherry streets in historic downtown Helena will be getting his bayonet back 40 years after it was stolen off the end of his rifle.

This Veterans Day Helena-West Helena received word that the Doughboy Statue at the intersection of Perry and Cherry streets in historic downtown Helena will be getting his bayonet back 40 years after it was stolen off the end of his rifle.

Riley Porter told the Helena World, "I think it was taken back in the 1970s." Porter brought with him the replacement bayonet that was fabricated by Dave Nunnley. Nunnley also completed the full-size bronze statue of Patrick R. Cleburne that now sits on the lawn of the Helena Museum on Pecan Street.

The bayonet will be affixed to the rifle barrel soon.

The statue bears a plaque that reads: "Erected in honor of the men and women of Phillips County who served in the World War 1917-1918." The bronze "Doughboy" was dedicated on July 10, 1927, whose acquisition was possible through a partnership between the Phillips County Memorial Association, the Seven Generals Chapter of the United Daughters of the Confederacy, and the City of Helena.

With the help of these three local organizations, it took nine years to raise the funds to erect the statue. In 1927, The Helena World noted, “There have been droughts and floods and boll weevils and cotton worms and financial deflations during the nine years in which the Memorial Association has sought its goal, and all these have helped to retard the movement.”

On the day it was dedicated, U.S. Senator Joe T. Robinson was the keynote speaker. Robinson became very involved in the interpretation and preservation of military assets in Helena, including an appropriation for $5,000 to stabilize and preserve Battery D on Military Road.

The statue was added to the National Registry of Historic Places on May 23, 1997.