West Sea Company

10. Diving & Submarines

Prices in U.S. Dollars are in GREEN.

 




10.43  RARE HELI-OX DEEP WATER MARK V HELMET.   Truly the ultimate in hard hat diving, this extremely rare and very valuable relic of  deep water diving is embodied in the pioneering 1930’s American effort to send divers who were previously limited to the depths of 120 feet  to the unimaginable depths of nearly 1000 feet!  This Mark V has the typical hinged face plate and 3 light construction, with phone communicator box and exhaust valve in the standard positions.  The zinc anode mounting plate is in the usual position.  The breastplate is the Mark V type 12 bolt pattern with front eyelets.  The oblong maker’s tag cast in lead reads:


UNITED STATES NAVY
DIVING HELMET
MARK V   MOD-1
SERIAL NO.  XXXX*  DATE OF MFG 8/51
MORSE DIVING EQUIPMENT CO., INC.
BOSTON, MASS. U.S.A.

  But there the similarities end.  This helmet has no spitcock.  The dumb bell lock between the bonnet and breastplate is forward on the diver’s left.  The neck ring numbers, tag number, and all brale numbers match.  There are a total of 4 goosenecks leading into the bonnet.  Two huge connections attach the massive brass mixing canister at the rear of the helmet.  Mounted to the goose neck on the diver’s right is the helium inlet which connects to the airline whip.  The whip leads to the chest valve mounted to the front of the breastplate.  This combination Helium/Oxygen line, known as the “Heli-OX” is very rare in its own right.  Two more goose necks house the telephone communication system leading to the transducer which would have been mounted within the phone box receptacle.  A fifth fitting is the bubble diffuser extending up the right side (diver’s) of the helmet from the exhaust valve.  The crowning touch, quite literally is the heavy brass eyelet on the top of the bonnet.  This was used in conjunction with a crane to lower and retrieve the heavily burdened diver in the water!  The entire assembly measures 28 inches tall by 19 inches wide by 22 inches deep and weighs close to 100 pounds!  Overall condition is excellent with signs of obvious use but no abuse.  Traces of the original tinning exist on all surfaces.  The remainder bear a nice patinated copper appearance.  The interior air vents are all in place and the entire interior is tinned.  The chin button, exhaust valve and chest valve all function properly.  This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to acquire such an impressive representative of cutting edge American diving history! SOLD

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3.91/10.41  BRITISH SUBMARINE BINNACLE.    Quote, “Stunningly beautiful and extremely rare,” World War II era Royal Navy binnacle.  This classic heavy duty marine navigation device is constructed of solid teak and brass.  At its heart is the diminutive yet amazingly precise liquid-filled magnetic compass.  It is marked with the cardinal and intercardinal points of the compass rose, with north designated by the traditional fleur-de-lis surmounting a crown.  The periphery of the card is calibrated in single degrees forming 90 degree quadrants marked by tens with two sets of numbers -- one upright for direct reading, the other backwards for viewing through a prism or reflecting sight.  The brass rim of the compass is marked, “PATT.1881 No 2207.H.S.” and is suspended in its heavy bronze gimbal stamped “5Y0.”  This binnacle has 2 compartments.  The upper compartment houses the compass.  Just below it is an adjustable mechanical dimmer operated by a knurled knob on the front connected to a worm gear operating two shutters within.  The lower compartment contains the “healing bucket” or magnet compartment for adjusting the compass and is made of thick, solid teak, while the upper compartment is heavy rolled brass.  Mounted to it are the two “quadrantial correctors” (compensating balls) on stout bronze arms.  The front and back have brass degaussing coils.  The binnacle itself bears the plaque reading “PATT. 189N No 2902K.”  The wooden body has 2 round brass fittings.  The upper is a connection for electrical wire (present) while the lower holds the connection cover when not in use.  The top of the binnacle has a rounded brass hood with a stout handle and two glazed ports, each with folding covers.  There are several other unique features too numerous to describe here.  Seeing is believing!  This binnacle stands 18 ½ inches tall overall and is 8 ½ inches in diameter at the base.  It is 16 ½ inches wide on the arms, and weighs 29 pounds.  Excellent condition.  The compass is functional and very accurate.  3250 Special PackagingBack to Top

A newer, less substantial version of this binnacle was offered a few years ago by the military surplus catalog dealer “Deutsche Optik” for $6,559.   Our better, older example is half price (See the opening quote above).



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10.42  AUTHENTIC U.S.  NAVY MARK V.   A collector’s dream… the ultimate!  Offered here is an original very highly desired authentic World War II era U.S. Navy Mark V.   By far the most collected hard hat diving helmet ever.  Even more special, this early example was manufactured by the venerable Morse Diving Equipment Company of Boston, the first American diving equipment manufacturer.  This scarce example retains its highly prized original tin finish! The front of the helmet bears the embossed cast brass oval breastplate maker's tag reading:


U.S. NAVY DIVING HELMET
MARK V
MORSE DIVING EQUIPMENT CO. Inc.
No. XXX*
DATE 7/3/42

It is made of heavy spun copper with cast brass fittings and thick glass ports. The interior is tinned and the bonnet has air channels leading from the air intake goose neck over the three ports.  The phone communicator gooseneck contains its original components with cap and the original “Reproducer” phone box with original wiring.  The chin button and spit cock are in place and function properly.  On the exterior, all fittings are original and in tact.  The neck ring serial numbers on the bonnet and breastplate match and coincide with the numbers on  the brales.   Additionally the front two brales are marked "FRONT" and the rear two brales are marked "REAR."  The entire unit weighs over 55 pounds and is in excellent, totally original condition, noting the faceplate lug nut is a working replacement.  There are of course the minor dents, dings and mild wear expected of a working helmet 75 years old.  A good sign of age!   As an added bonus, which greatly increases its value, this helmet comes with its rarely found air supply whip hose and valve.  It also has the original in-line non-return valve.  Even beyond that, it comes complete with a very high quality custom-made hardwood stand with a perfect fit.  7995  Special Packaging

*For the privacy and security of the ultimate buyer, the serial number is being withheld.



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10.39  DIVING NOTES.  Original   “U.S. Naval School, Deep Sea Divers,” Revised October 1952, U.S. Naval Gun Factory, Washington, D.C.  Soft cover, 382 pages with removable binding.  This comprehensive publication deals with every aspect of deep sea diving from physiology to equipment and techniques.  Some of the topics include:  “Accidents, Air Supply, Decompression, Diver Dress, Explosives, Gauges, Physics, Qualifications Rescue Chamber, Salvage, Seamanship, Self-Contained Apparatus Submarine Rescue & Salvage, Diving Tenders, Welding” and a host of others.  Very well illustrated, particular with line drawings and detailed diagrams.  This was the primer for all candidates aspiring to be U.S. Navy divers.  Large format, 8 by 10 ½ inches and 1 inch thick.  One small loss to back cover (repaired), otherwise excellent original condition throughout.   Rare!  250



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10.40  U.S. NAVY DIVING MANUAL.  Original NavShips publication 250-538 containing Parts 1, 2 and 3 of the “U.S. Navy Diving Manual” September 1958, Navy Department, Washington, D.C.  Containing approximately 420 pages in semi-hard cover with binding.  Part I, 249 pages, is entitled the “General Principles of Diving” including Underwater Physics, Physiology, Basic Diving Procedures, Diving Tables, Diving Hazards, and Technical Information among others.  It is “loaded” with tables and illustrations. Part 2, 99 pages, is entitled “Surface-Supplied Diving” including Standard Equipment, Diving Communications, Air Supply, Boats and Floats, Diving Procedures, etc.”  Again profusely illustrated.  Part 3, 72 pages, is entitled “Self - Contained Diving.”  It deals with rebreathers and S.C.U.B.A., the equipment and procedures in use.  In short this book has it all.  Essentially the “Bible” of U.S. Navy diving at its time.   Large format, 8 ½ by 11 inches and 1 ¼ inches thick.  Excellent original condition.   Very scarce!  295


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10.38  HARD HAT DIVING PHOTOGRAPH.  Genuine World War II era black and white photograph (with the telltale greenish tinge) depicting a hard hat diver being readied for descent by his attendants.  This graphic image clearly portrays the difficulties of deep sea diving at that time.  This is an official U.S. Navy photograph, so it can rightfully identified as a diver in U.S. Navy Mark V dress.  A classic image, not a contemporary reprint, in prefect original condition measuring 8 ¾ by 11 ¼ sight.  Perfect original condition.  59


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10.36  MARK V DIVING HELMET.  This is it!  The most sought after hard hat diving helmet ever made -- the U.S. Navy Mark V.  Here is an especially nice original example with a thick cast brass maker’s tag affixed to the front of the breastplate.  It reads:

UNITED STATES NAVY
DIVING HELMET
MARK V No.             XXX*
MANUFACTURED BY
SCHRADER’S SON DIV.
MOD No 1    MARCH 1942
BROOKLYN NY.

The classic construction is of spun copper with cast brass fittings.  The round phone box is stamped with the U.S. Navy inspector’s mark, as is the non-return valve attached to the air inlet gooseneck.  The valve is also marked "SCHRADER.”  The phone box is stamped with the number XXXX* which matches the neck ring and brale numbers.  On the inside the phone box holds the original transducer which is signed ““REPRODUCER” Audio Equipment Co, Inc. Great Neck, N.Y.”  The phone gooseneck has its original cover with retaining chain.  The helmet interior contains the original channels which directed incoming air over the ports for anti-fogging.  The entire insides retain their original tinning.  The chin button and spit cock are functional.  Each brale is serial numbered on its underside and on their surface, the rear brales are marked “BACK” and the front brales “FRONT.”  The rear of the helmet has its original dumbbell lock with clip and cotter pin on a chain.  All lug nuts are original.  An exceptionally handsome original Mark V, which due to its early date in World War II, certainly saw wartime service. SOLD Back to Top  

* For the privacy and security of the ultimate purchaser this number is being withheld.


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10.20  NAVY DIVING HELMET.   Rare, highly sought after, World War II vintage American Navy hard hat diving helmet made by the Miller-Dunn Company of Miami, Florida.  The embossed rectangular brass maker’s tag reads, “DIVINHOOD STYLE  3  – NAVY STANDARD –  U.S. and Foreign Patents, MILLER-DUNN CO.,  MIAMI, FLA.”  This shallow water helmet is Miller-Dunn’s final model, representing the culmination of their shallow water helmet output since the very early 1900’s.  It consists of a hand-formed bonnet of pure copper with brass fittings.   This impressive pre-SCUBA diving relic is in superb original condition.  The glass ports are original and retain their original litharge and red lead seals.  Both the original front and rear lead weights are present, complete with their original brass wing nuts and fasteners.  As configured this presentation weighs nearly 56 pounds!  25 inches tall by 12 ¾ inches wide at the shoulder and 13 ¼ inches front to back.  Without a doubt one of the finest classic American hard hat diving helmets available anywhere. Our list price $4995. Special Packaging  MAKE OFFER



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10.35  MARK V DIVING HELMET.  Here is an original, highly sought after, and by far most collected hard hat diving helmet ever -- an authentic World War II era U.S. Navy Mark V.  This is an early example manufactured by A. Schrader’s Son of New York, the firm which went out of business at war’s end. The front breastplate of this unique looking helmet bears the bears the embossed cast brass oval breastplate maker's tag reading:

UNITED STATES NAVY
DIVING HELMET
MARK V NO. (XXX)*
MANUFACTURED BY
A. SCHRADERS SON, INC.
BROOKLYN, N.Y.

This helmet is made of heavy spun copper with cast brass fittings and thick glass ports. The interior is tinned and the bonnet has air channels leading from the air intake goose neck over the three ports. The phone communicator gooseneck contains its original components with cap and the transducer is present. The chin button and spit cock are in place and function properly.   The exhaust valve is impressed with the “BTE” logo indicating its desirable manufacture by the "Batteryless Manufacturing Company” which produced such components in the 30’s and early 40’s.  On the exterior, all fittings are original and in tact. The neck ring serial numbers of the bonnet and breastplate match, coinciding with the numbers stamped on the underside of each brale. The front two brales bear markings "FRONT" and the rear two brales are marked "BACK" and on the underside each bears the same bonnet and breastplate number.   The entire unit, weighing 55 pounds, is in totally original condition! This old veteran of the sea was obviously well used.  It has several small dents in the bonnet.  The entire surface bears small pock marks from exposure to salt water, and portions of the helmet are covered with a heavy bluish green verdigris.  All of this combines to make this hard hat provide a very unusual and extremely appealing old look. SOLD

*  For the personal privacy of the ultimate buyer, the serial number of this helmet is being withheld.

 

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10.34 DIVING POST CARDS. Set of 3 first half of the 1900's postcards extolling the hard hat diving industry in southern Florida during that period. All 3 are pristine, unmarked and in perfect original condition, preserved in plastic sleeves. 19

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10.30  EARLY DIVING LITHOGRAPH.  Charming mid-1800’s stone lithograph depicting two hard hat divers with their attendants in a lapstrake dory preparing to dive.  This colorful depiction shows a total of eight French sailors in their small boat moored to a barrel with a large man-o-war in the background.  The colors and contrast of this original chromolithograph are as clear and bright as the day it was printed well over 1oo years ago!  Mounted on foam core measuring 4 ½ by 7 inches.  Perfect.  49

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10.11   SOVIET SUBMARINES PHOTO.  Original mid-1900’s or earlier photograph of a Soviet submarine tender at berth alongside a pier with 7 diesel submarines nested on its outboard side.  This original black and white photo shows in good detail shipping and dockside activity, including 3 ship’s boats on deck and one in the water next to the starboard bow.  3 ¼ by 5 inches.  This photo exhibits a “serrated” edge popular in such post card size photos from the 1930’s into the 1950’s.  Excellent condition.  Rare subject matter.  10

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10.85 HARD HAT DIVING PUMP. Authentic first half of the 1900's American diving pump made by "MORSE DIVING EQUIPMENT CO., INC. BOSTON, MASS. U.S.A." as cast in relief on the body of the pump. On the reverse side is cast the model number "No. 15." This twin cylinder shallow water pump is made of solid bronze mounted to an oak platform. The one-man reciprocating pump is operated by a steel handle with a perpendicular oak grip. As configured it measures 31 1/2 inches long on the oak base and stands approximately 46 1/4 inches high. The pump itself measures 20 1/2 inches long by 8 inches wide on the base. The entire unit weighs 54 pounds! Matching serial numbers on the pump and rocker arm. The genuine quality handle is a faithful replacement. 995 Special Packaging

In the catalog of Andrew J. Morse & Son, Inc. Edition 5M, copyrighted in 1937, page 15 through 17 are devoted to this pump and the shallow water diving helmet associated with it. It is described as, "The No. 15 Pump has two cylinders which are single action, and as shown by the illustration, are made in one bronze casting. The discharge valves and the hose outlet are connected by brass pipe, so arranged that the cylinder heads may be easily removed. The results of tests made show that our Shallow Water Outfit is entirely satisfactory provided the depth of the water does not exceed 36 feet." The price of the pump in 1937 exclusive of additional equipment or fittings was listed at $100.

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10.19 MARK V DIVING HELMET. This is it! The ultimate! Offered here is an original, very sought after, and by far most collected hard hat diving helmet ever -- an authentic World War II era U.S. Navy Mark V. Even more special, this is an early example manufactured by the venerable Morse Diving Equipment Company of Boston, bearing much of its original tin finish! The front of this handsome helmet bears the embossed cast brass oval breastplate maker's tag reading:

UNITED STATES NAVY DIVING HELMET
MARK V
MORSE DIVING EQUIPMENT CO. INC.
No. XXX*
DATE 8-25-41

This helmet is made of heavy spun copper with cast brass fittings and thick glass ports. The interior is tinned and the bonnet has air channels leading from the air intake goose neck over the three ports. The phone communicator gooseneck contains its original components with cap and the fittings for holding the transducer are present. The chin button and spit cock are in place and function properly. On the exterior, all fittings are original and in tact. The neck ring serial numbers of the bonnet and breastplate match, coinciding with the number stamped on the left rear brale. The front two brales bear markings "FRONT" and the rear two brales are marked "MORSE BOSTON / MADE IN U.S.A." respectively. The entire unit, weighing 55 pounds, is in excellent totally original condition! There are of course the expected minor dents, dings and mild surface corrosion expected of a working helmet! SOLD

In 1837 the partnership of Fletcher and Morse was formed to manufacturer brass goods at the corner of Water and Congress Street in Boston. When Mr. Fletcher retired in 1864, the firm name changed to Andrew J. Morse & Son as makers of "submarine diving apparatus." In 1881 Andrew Morse died and his son, William F. Morse, continued the business under the same name. In 1905 when William retired, ownership of the business was transferred to William's daughter, Elizabeth, and the firm name was changed to Andrew J. Morse & Son, Inc. In 1940 the company name changed yet again to Morse Diving Equipment Co., Inc. of Boston. In 1970, rights to the company were purchased privately and the new firm was moved to Rockland, Massachusetts. In 1998 the company was sold once more with the resultant name of Morse Diving, Inc. at 199 Weymouth Street in Rockland.

Morse was best known for its development of the Mark 5 helmet system for the United States Navy in 1914. Ultimately, 3 other companies: A. Shrader's Son, Diving Equipment & Salvage Company (later "DESCO") and finally Miller-Dunn, also produced Mark V helmets for the Navy throughout World War II. But Morse was the originator.
Morse founder, A.J. Morse, also discovered the carbon dioxide absorbing qualities of soda ash which he developed and marketed under the name "Sodasorb," used both in the diving and the soft drink industries. Besides diving helmets, the Morse company manufactured dive pumps, knives, boots, dresses, fire hoses and a wide range of other hard hat diving apparatus.

* For the privacy and security of the ultimate purchaser, the serial number of this helmet is being withheld.


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10.94

 

10.94 MARK V DIVING HELMET. This is it! The ultimate! Offered here is the very sought after, and by far most collected hard hat diving helmet ever -- an authentic World War II era U.S. Navy Mark V. But even more special, this is a scarce example by the Miller Dunn Company of Miami, was not polished and is in its as "last used" finish! The front of this handsome helmet bears the embossed lead breastplate maker's tag reading:

UNITED STATES NAVY
DIVING HELMET
MARK V MOD. 1
SERIAL NO. XXX* DATE OF MFG.
MILLER-DUNN CO.
MIAMI, FLORIDA

 

 This helmet is made of heavy spun copper with cast brass fittings and thick glass ports. The interior is tinned and the bonnet has air channels leading from the air intake goose neck over the three ports. The phone communicator gooseneck contains its original components with cap and the fittings for holding the transducer are present. The chin button is in place and functions properly. On the exterior, all fittings are original and in tact. Each of the four brales bear serial numbers matching that of the breastplate tag. The entire unit, weighing 50 pounds, is in excellent totally original condition! There are of course the expected minor dents and dings in the top of the bonnet from actual diving!  SOLD

*  For the privacy and security of the ultimate purchaser, the serial number of this helmet is being withheld.
The now legendary Miller-Dunn Company of Miami is shrouded in a good deal of mystery, even though it is documented that the company produced hard hat diving helmets over the course of more than 30 years. Begun in 1915 as a partnership between a plumber and machinist the company was best known for its shallow water "Divinhood" designs which were patented in the United States and abroad. In his monumental reference book "Helmets of the Deep" by Leon Lyons, 1988, Leon Lyons, Hollywood, Florida, Mr. Lyons writes on page 133, "The number two and 3 styles are most popular among collectors of nautical antiques. They have such a strange look about them. One should also mention the Mark V as a much sought-after helmet."
Of the 4 major producers of the Mark V helmet, before and during World War II, Miller-Dunn's output was the smallest. Added to the fact that only a handful of this little known company's helmets now survive, the example offered here is made all the more desirable.

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10.95  EARLY HARD HAT DIVER’s BOOTS.   Very scarce, early 1900’s diver’s boot with leather uppers and brass fittings.  This original old matched pair has bronze toes with wooden insoles and lead bottoms.  The leather ia in a remarkable state of original preservation.  Of great significance is the fact that the right boot is marked on the bronze toe “ARS 33.”  It is also stamped “R” designating the right boot.  In total this set weighs more that 40 pounds!   In Leon Lyons’ground breaking work, “Helmets of the Deep,” 1988, Leon Lyons, Hollywood, Florida, an identical pair of boots are depicted on page 330 described as “2. American – A. Schraders Son.”  SOLD

USS CLAMP (ARS-33) was a Diver class rescue and salvage ship acquired by the U.S. Navy soon after America entered World War II.  CLAMP was launched October 24, 1942 by the Basalt Rock Co., Napa, California, under a U.S. Maritime Commission contract and was commissioned as a U.S. Navy vessel on  August 23, 1943.

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Ordered:

as HMS Atlantic Salvor (BARS-3)

Laid down:

3 February 1942

Launched:

24 October 1942

Commissioned:

23 August 1943

Decommissioned:

6 May 1947

Struck:

1 July 1973

Fate:

as of September 2010 in storage at MARAD Suisan Bay RRF.

General characteristics

Displacement:

1,630 tons

Length:

213 ft 6 in (65.07 m)

Beam:

39 ft (12 m)

Draft:

14 ft 4 in (4.37 m)

Propulsion:

diesel-electric, twin screws, 2,780 hp

Speed:

15 knots (28 km/h)

Complement:

120

Armament:

four 40 mm guns, four .50 calmachine guns

Charged with the task of aiding stricken vessels, CLAMP sailed from San Pedro on September 30, 1943.  After a brief period at Pearl Harbor, CLAMP arrived in the Ellice Islands on November 8th. From this base she conducted combat salvage operations supporting the invasion of the Gilbert Islands.

On November 10th CLAMP came under Japanese air attack five different times, but sustained no damage.  She performed salvage operations on LST-34 off Tinian and assisted USS HOEL (DD-533) off of Betio Point on December 2nd.  At Midway CLAMPconducted salvage operations on USS MACAW (ASR-11) from January through February 17, 1944.

Thereafter CLAMP began working in the Marshall Islands into April. She investigated sunken Japanese vessels for salvage value off Saipan in July and in the process captured 10 prisoners. She returned to Pearl Harbor for overhaul in November 1944.

CLAMP arrived at Iwo Jima on February 19, 1945.  She engaged in salvage work during the invasion and capture of that island.  In early March she sailed to Leyte via Saipan, Guam and Ulithi, joining the salvage and repair group which cleared for the March 21st invasion of Okinawa.  From March 31st through April 5th 1944 CLAMP provided emergency assistance to the famous heavy cruiser USS INDIANAPOLIS (CA-35), which had suffered a brutal Kamikaze attack.  Upon completion of that duty,CLAMP steamed to Ie Shima on May 12th to inspect two damaged destroyers.

From late 1944 well into1945 CLAMP underwent overhaul on the West Coast.  On November 5, 1945 she sailed for Pearl Harbor, remaining there until March 6, 1946 when she put out for Bikini Atoll to provide towing, diving, and demolition services in connection with the auspicious Operation Crossroads atomic tests.  CLAMP returned to San Francisco via Pearl Harbor on October 22nd.

On May 6, 1947 USS CLAMP was placed out of commission in reserve at San Pedro, California, and was struck from the Naval Registry on July 1, 1973.  As of February 2008, CLAMP, a heroic war veteran, is now laid up in the National Defense Reserve Fleet in Suisan Bay, Benicia, California.

USS CLAMP received four battle stars for World War II service.


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10.21 Authentic U.S Navy hard hat Mark V diving helmets for sale in quantity from salvage.



ANSWERS TO AUTHENTICATION QUIZ
IN "FEATURES" ARTICLE

"The U. S. Navy MARK V,
Diving Deep Into Authentication"

The genuine Mark V helmet is on the right.

1. Center and left helmets have been chemically darkened, including all exterior fittings. The copper "bonnets" (shells) of original Mark V's were coated with tin, but ususally the fittings were not tinned.

2. The faceplate wing nut does not seat "within" the grooved faceplate prong of the center and left helmets, as it does on the genuine Mark V.

3. Brale lug nuts are the same on the center and left helmets. On the genuine Mark V, the lug nuts at the 12, 3, 6, and 9 o'clock positions have an enlarged flange to prevent the suit from pinching at the joints.

4. No mounting plate for sacrificial zinc in between the faceplate and left (diver's) port on the center and left helmets.

5. The genuine Mark V has breastplate eyelets, whereas the center and left helmets have breastplate lugs or nipples.

6. The shape of the genuine Mark V breastplate describes a deep arch. The breastplates of the center and left helmets are squared off and not as deep.

7. The breastplate studs on the reproduction Mark V's are riveted to the breastplate. The eyelets on a real Mark V protrude through the breastplate and are soldered on inside, NOT with rivets.

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