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Notorious USN Mark V Helium Widow Maker Diving Helmet

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Notorious USN Mark V Helium Widow Maker Diving Helmet
Item Details
Description

Not only is this a legendary United States Navy Mark V diving helmet, it is a rarely found helium example, aka mixed gas helmet. This variation of the standard Mark V helmet was designed for extreme deep diving missions. The large brass tank on the back contained an absorbent for the Co2 the diver produced. This absorbent, if exposed to water, would turn into a dangerous gas that was potentially lethal, hence the ominous nick name Navy divers gave this helmet, The Widow Maker!

The photos show just how incredibly nice and original this example is. The helmet was made by Diving Equipment & Supply company in March 1972. The customer was the United State Navy, who sent this helmet to the newly constructed USS Brunswick ATS-3. The USS Brunswick was a rescue and salvage Edenton-Class ship. She was stationed out of Pearl Harbor and Japan. The ship was struck from the US Navy list in 1996 and sold to South Korea.

Vitally important to Mark V helmets are the serial numbers, especially a helium example. Interestingly this helmet features the serial #120 on the identification plate, Co2 canister, inside of the breastplate neck ring and #119 on the inside neck ring of the bonnet. With assistance from DESCO we discovered helmets #120 and #119 were both originally sent to the USS Brunswick! With both being on the same ship undoubtedly, the bonnets were likely accidently mixed up. The helmets certificate of authenticity will include the USS Brunswick provenance.

The helmet does have all four brails, 12 wing nuts, window guards, original glass, air, heat, gas and communications fittings, communications and heat fitting caps, unique helium helmet exhaust valve, dumbbell safety latch with original chain and cotter pin, and all brass hardware screws. Inside the bonnet, the internal air vents are all present as well as the exhaust valve chin button. Rear Co2 absorbent tank is also in excellent condition. Lastly, the original neck ring gasket is present.

All Mark V helmets made for the US Navy were tinned. This gray or silver colored material coated the copper body of the helmet preventing saltwater corrosion. This helmet features essentially 100% original tinning.

Helium Mark V helmets weigh approximately 101 pounds. Developed back in the 1930s, this model still manages to impress everyone! Having such a helmet in your collection or on display by itself is an impressive sight. In addition, the United States Navy and USS Brunswick provenance really propels this example as a special historical piece of US Navy and diving history!

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.

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Notorious USN Mark V Helium Widow Maker Diving Helmet

Estimate $15,000 - $20,000
Dec 04, 2021
See Sold Price
Starting Price $7,500
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Nation's Attic Inc.

Nation's Attic Inc.

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Wichita, KS, United States
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Auction Curated By
Don Creekmore
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item

0182: Notorious USN Mark V Helium Widow Maker Diving Helmet

Sold for $13,000
11 Bids
Est. $15,000 - $20,000Starting Price $7,500
Diving Into History December 2021 Auction
Dec 04, 2021 11:00 AM EST
Buyer's Premium 20%

Lot 0182 Details

Description
...

Not only is this a legendary United States Navy Mark V diving helmet, it is a rarely found helium example, aka mixed gas helmet. This variation of the standard Mark V helmet was designed for extreme deep diving missions. The large brass tank on the back contained an absorbent for the Co2 the diver produced. This absorbent, if exposed to water, would turn into a dangerous gas that was potentially lethal, hence the ominous nick name Navy divers gave this helmet, The Widow Maker!

The photos show just how incredibly nice and original this example is. The helmet was made by Diving Equipment & Supply company in March 1972. The customer was the United State Navy, who sent this helmet to the newly constructed USS Brunswick ATS-3. The USS Brunswick was a rescue and salvage Edenton-Class ship. She was stationed out of Pearl Harbor and Japan. The ship was struck from the US Navy list in 1996 and sold to South Korea.

Vitally important to Mark V helmets are the serial numbers, especially a helium example. Interestingly this helmet features the serial #120 on the identification plate, Co2 canister, inside of the breastplate neck ring and #119 on the inside neck ring of the bonnet. With assistance from DESCO we discovered helmets #120 and #119 were both originally sent to the USS Brunswick! With both being on the same ship undoubtedly, the bonnets were likely accidently mixed up. The helmets certificate of authenticity will include the USS Brunswick provenance.

The helmet does have all four brails, 12 wing nuts, window guards, original glass, air, heat, gas and communications fittings, communications and heat fitting caps, unique helium helmet exhaust valve, dumbbell safety latch with original chain and cotter pin, and all brass hardware screws. Inside the bonnet, the internal air vents are all present as well as the exhaust valve chin button. Rear Co2 absorbent tank is also in excellent condition. Lastly, the original neck ring gasket is present.

All Mark V helmets made for the US Navy were tinned. This gray or silver colored material coated the copper body of the helmet preventing saltwater corrosion. This helmet features essentially 100% original tinning.

Helium Mark V helmets weigh approximately 101 pounds. Developed back in the 1930s, this model still manages to impress everyone! Having such a helmet in your collection or on display by itself is an impressive sight. In addition, the United States Navy and USS Brunswick provenance really propels this example as a special historical piece of US Navy and diving history!

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.

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