1944 NAVY MK V TINNED DIVING BONNET
With Navy Inspector's
DIMENSIONS OF HELMET: 13.5” H x 14” W
WEIGHT 56.0 lbs
Copyright 2005 by Land And Sea Collection,
All Rights Reserved.
Stand Not Included
Presented is an authentic 12 bolt, 4 light Navy
MK V diving helmet dated 1944. It is in its state of last being dived and has a silver color which contrasts
nicely with the brownish patina of its brales, and window frames. The helmet comes from a single collection where it
was for the last fifty plus years until purchased from the estate of its former owner.
HISTORY OF MORSE DIVING: In the arena of deep
sea diving, there are few companies with the longevity and history of Morse Diving. The company was founded in
1837 as a Boston maker of brassware, three years before Englishman Augustus Siebe manufactured its first closed air dive helmet.
During the Civil War, the firm commenced building maritime fittings and began experimenting with early underwater hardhat
designs from Siebe-Gorman and other pioneering makers. In 1864, Andrew Morse bought out his partner, introduced his sons into
the business, and began to focus on creating new products for underwater salvage expeditions. As their expertise and experience
grew over the years, they developed a worldwide reputation as a major supplier of hardhat diving apparatus. During
the onslaught of World War Two only Morse and Schrader were making dive helmets for the navy. Desco and Miller-Dunn went into
production around 1942 or 1943. In total only about 5,000 MK V helmets were produced by all four companies during the war
CONDITION and MARKINGS: This
helmet is in essentially the condition it was used in its last dive in order to preserve its character and history.
It is being offered as a display item only, and should not be used for any other purpose unless certified by a competant diving
The number 4799 appears on the top of each braile (strap),
and on the outer ring of the breastplate. There is no discernable number on the helmet itself. All the air passages inside
are intact.The right side chin relief valve depresses, the spit cock handle moves and the front port opens
The oval shaped brass name plate has serial number 027
and 3-44 stamped on. Contrary to some belief Morse used three different shaped tags during the war years made out of both
lead and brass. They were the rectangular tag made in both metals and the oval shaped made in brass. The chest plate weighs
25.5 pounds, the helmet 30.5 pounds, for a total of 56.0 pounds.
BRIEF HISTORY of NAVY MK V DEEP SEA DIVING DRESS:
By 1905, the Bureau of Construction and Repair had designed the MK V Diving Helmet
which seemed to address many of the problems encountered in diving. This deep-sea outfit was designed for extensive, rugged
diving work and provided the diver maximum physical protection and some maneuverability.
The 1905 MK V Diving Helmet had an elbow inlet with a safety valve that allowed
air to enter the helmet, but not to escape back up the umbilical if the air supply were interrupted. Air was expelled
from the helmet through an exhaust valve on the right side, below the port. The exhaust valve was vented toward the rear
of the helmet to prevent escaping bubbles from interfering with the diver’s field of vision.
By 1916, several improvements had been made to the helmet, including a rudimentary
communications system via a telephone cable and a regulating valve operated by an interior push button. The regulating
valve allowed some control of the atmospheric pressure. A supplementary relief valve, known as the spitcock, was added to
the left side of the helmet. A safety catch was also incorporated to keep the helmet attached to the breast plate. The
exhaust valve and the communications system were improved
by 1927, and the weight of the helmet was decreased to
be more comfortable for the diver.
After 1927, the MK V changed very little. It remained basically the same
helmet used in salvage operations of the USS S-51 and USS S-4 in the mid-1920s. With its associated deep-sea dress and umbilical,
the MK V was used for all submarine rescue and salvage work undertaken in peacetime and practically all salvage work undertaken
during World War II. The MK V Diving Helmet was the standard U.S. Navy diving equipment until succeeded by the MK 12 Surface-Supplied
Diving. In February 1980 the MK 12 was replaced by the MK 21 in December 1993.
OUR GUARANTEE OF SATISFACTION:
If not completely satisfied with your purchase it may be returned, if without damage, within three days of receipt in
its original condition and packaging. Return items must be insured for their full value. A prior email authorization by us
for the return is required. Unfortunately, no refund can be made for the cost of shipping, packaging and handling.
INTERNATIONAL BUYERS WELCOME, but contact us first. We have customers in Australia, Austria, Belgium, Bermuda,
Canada, Chile, Denmark, England, France, Germany, Holland, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Kuwait, Mexico, New Zealand, Norway,
Nova Scotia, Saudi Arabia, Scotland, Singapore, Spain, Sweden, Thailand, USVI and the Eastern Caribbean.
ACCEPTED FORMS OF PAYMENT are Bank wire transfer,
cashier's check, money order, Western Union wire transfer, or personal check in which case the item will be held until cleared.
No credit cards or PayPal accepted.
Copyright 2005 by Land And Sea Collection, All Rights Reserved.