Of course it depends on the definition of punk and if it’s British or American
New Rose definitely the first single by a British punk band.
Ramones were an inspiration to the British punk scene (as cited by the Clash and various others) but then they were part of the New York scene which was earlier still.
People like Johnny Thunder & the Heartbreakers (see above). Weren’t the New York Dolls also a ‘punk’ band – Probably?
You could also go back to Iggy and the Stooges – Raw Power (1973) is a great punk album. I’d even go back as far the MC5 and Kick Out The Jams
Any track that’s as raw as that and opens with the line “Kick out the Jams Motherfucker!” is alright with me
IMO the big difference between Punk in American and Britain was that British punk was about so much more than the music
I actually agree with everything you've said. True, British punk was more than the music, and for the most part was born as a reaction to the hopeless situation mid 70's Britain found itself in. Social commentary and politics were the order of the day for many of the bands, although ironically, the UK punk band responsible for the first single, the Damned, pretty much stayed clear of politics. The US scene, initially at least, was pretty much a politics free zone.
Defining who was punk, or even where it all started is pretty hard to nail down. I'd say the Dolls were probably more of a glam band than punk, admittedly with a lot more attitude than your average contemporary of the day, but a band that were hugely influential on both the UK and US scene nonetheless.
Obviously the usual suspects are the Stooges and MC5. Richard Hell certainly had the image and the attitude very early on, and I've even heard various claims that John Lennon and Elvis Presley were punks before punk was "invented".