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Lot 0037


The US Navy Mark V is arguably the most iconic helmet design ever made. Its style and history have made it one of the most popular helmets among collectors worldwide. The model was made for the US Navy from 1916 till the mid-1980s. After the US Navy adopted the Mark 12 helmet for use, there were still two makers of the Mark V helmet for commercial and recreational use – Morse & DESCO (Diving Equipment and Supply Co). In the 21st Century these two companies still produce the Mark V helmet.

This helmet was made by one of those famed and iconic manufacturers of the 20th and 21th Centuries, the Diving Equipment & Supply Company (DESCO). Located in Milwaukee, WI this company would start making diving helmets and related equipment in the late 1930Â’s. Starting in 1943 they become a supplier to the US Navy, including the Mark V helmet. DESCO is still in business today making the highest quality helmets and offering repair services.

The helmet was made on May 5th, 2007 and is the very same configuration as ones made decades before. The helmet was purchased to be used on a limited basis for historical diving events. After a few dives the helmet was kept on display until the owner decided to let it be enjoyed by someone else. The helmet can be considered dive ready however we are selling it as a display piece only. The helmet should be inspected and certified by DESCO before using.

As can be seen in the photos, the helmet is virtually brand new in appearance. Many people do not realize that Mark Vs made for the US Navy required that they have a tinning covering the entire copper body. This tinning prevented saltwater corrosion. This tinning gives the helmet the semi-matt silver finish you see. The tinning is not applied to the brass hardware, such as the brails and window guards. This helmet is what a DESCO Mark V from World War 2 would have looked like new before being sent to the Navy!

This helmet is set-up with modern communications inside as well as the comms wire externally. This allows for use of the helmet while using modern and available communications equipment. In addition the helmet comes with a new DESCO non-return valve. All other components are present such as the four brails, 12 wing nuts, valves, safety latch, air vents, etc.

The helmet is serial numbers matching as one would expect of a helmet from this vintage. The spun copper body of the helmet is in wonderful condition as well as other components. If you have considering participating in historical diving events or would like a Mark V in like new condition, here is your chance to own a wonderful example!

All helmets sold & auctioned by Nations Attic Inc. will come with a certificate of authenticity (COA). This COA will have a serial # on it that will match the # on a tamperproof holographic decal placed on the inside of the helmet. This level of security and long term assurance of the helmets authenticity is un-matched in the industry and very important to us.

The display stand shown in the photos is not included. The option to purchase one after the auction will be provided. All helmets will be shipped in two double boxed boxes via FedEx. Worldwide shipping available. A shipping quote prior to the auction can be provided by emailing your postal code.

Buyer's Premium

  • 15%

DESCO US Navy Mark V Diving Helmet – Like New Condition

Estimate $5,000 - $7,000Dec 07, 2019
Starting Bid $2,500
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Buyer Arranges Shipping
Ships fromWichita, KS, US
Pick-Up Not Available
Wichita, KS, USA
Auction Curated By:
Don Creekmore
Auction Curator