Winning Bid: $21,600
1943 US Navy Mark V Diving Helmet With History:
This helmet was found in a US Navy supply box. The box was taken off the USS ABSD-4 which was an auxiliary floating dry dock used in the Pacific during World War 2. The dock was used decades after WWII. The dry dock was abandoned in Seealer Harbor where it sank with section still visible above water today. The mask will come with a document attesting to its known history.Unlike a vast majority of diving helmets with no documentable history, this example was found with original US Navy paperwork! The USN form has the helmets location and description from where it was removed! This rare and vital document will accompany this beautiful USN Mark V helmet.
This diving helmet was discovered by Nations Attic recently in a US Navy equipment box. Originally used aboard the USS ABSD-4, which was a WWII floating dry dock in the Pacific theater. After the war the dry dock was used for decades. Eventually sections of the dock were abandoned in Seealer harbor, where it sank with sections still visible above water today.
Arguably the most desirable and collected diving helmet in the world, the United States Navy Mark V. This notable example was made in October 1943 by the A. Schraders Son Company, Division Of Scovill Mfg. Co. Schrader was one of the original two companies to manufacture the Mark V for the US Navy starting in 1916. Schrader would land numerous contracts during World War 2 to produce the Mark V. This example is relatively early WWII Mark V considering production had not increased dramatically until 1943 and 1944.
All USN Mark V diving helmets made for the US Government had the copper body coated in a tinning. This tinning helped prevent saltwater corrosion to the copper. From use, age and polishing this time wears off in many cases. This example still retains much of the original tinning as can be easily seen in the photos. While there is no doubt this helmet was used, it was also taken well care of.
Vitally crucial to Mark V helmets is the serial numbers. During 1943 Schrader would place the serial number on the ID plate and on the bottom side of all four brails. This helmet features the number 928B on the ID plate, bonnet communications cup, and all four brails!
This helmet does feature a US Navy inspection stamp. The inspector at the Schrader factory would place the symbol on the top edge of the communication cup. This helmet features the stamp in that spot and is proof the helmet was inspected and accepted into US Navy inventory! This helmet has the USN inspection stamp in 2 other locations as well.
The helmet has all four brails, 12 wing nuts, window guards, original glass in excellent condition, air & communications fittings, Schrader non-return valve with US Navy inspection stamp, communications fitting cap, spitcock, BTE exhaust valve, and dumbbell safety latch and chain. The latch is a WWII era replacement. Inside the bonnet, the internal air vents are all present, as well as the exhaust button. A communications speaker is still inside with a US Navy inspection stamp. Wire running to the communication fitting is intact. Lastly, vintage rope as shown in the photos will accompany the helmet.
The bonnet and breastplate thread together just as they should. The bonnet is free of any noticeable dents and only shows the slightest hints of age. With a fantastic patina, serial numbers matching status, US Navy inspection stamps, rare USN documents, this is your rare chance to own possibly the best example possible!
All diving helmets in this auction will be accompanied by a certificate of authenticity from Nations Attic. The certificate will have a unique number that will match the number on a tamperproof hologram decal placed inside the helmet. This information will be kept on permanent file at Nations Attic and help ensure the provenance of the helmet and authenticity. The display stand shown in the photos is not included. The option to purchase one after the auction will be provided.
All items will be shipped with a signature required upon delivery and full insurance either via FedEx or the USPS Priority Mail. Worldwide shipping is available; however, no ocean freight will be offered on large items. DHL express is an option for international shipments under 600 pounds via air. A shipping quote prior to the auction can be provided by emailing your postal code.