Rare Miller-Dunn
Navy MK V Dive Bonnet

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RARE MILLER-DUNN 1943 NAVY
MK V DIVE BONNET

 

Miller Dunn Navy MK V Style Bonnet image

 

DIMENSIONS OF BONNET:
12” H x 13 1/4” W x  14″ D  WEIGHT 30 lbs

Presented is a very rare Miller-Dunn MK V Navy Diving
Bonnet. It is without its breast plate which has been lost to the Sands of Time. This model MK V is the rarest of all
MK V helmets made by the three makers during WW II. The bonnet was last owned by a Pasadena, California, family and is
new to the market. It is in its state of last being dived and has dark blueish patina. There is no serial number on this bonnet. We have seen this before in MK V helmets that come from this
maker, the most notable of which is that of Murray Black’s MK V which we sold three years ago. See
http://landandseacollection.com/id799.html

The proof that Miller-Dunn was
the maker of the bonnet is the special signature elbows with a cast gusset on their bottom, that were only used by them
during 1943 as shown directly below.
 

Back of the bonnet showing some of the dents image
This picture shows the gussets on both elbows used only in 1943. Note dents on the crown.

Like all
used diving gear, this is being sold for DISPLAY ONLY. It should not be dived without having passed inspection by a certified
dive shop.

"Right
Left side of Miller Dunn MK V bonnet image
Right & Left side of Miller Dunn 1943 Navy MK V Bonnet

CONDITION:  The
wing nut on the front door is frozen. The exhaust valve Star wheel turns the threaded shaft of its mount. The spit
cock handle is frozen. There is no microphone fitted. The chin button is in place and functions. There are some
fairly deep dents on the crown. Otherwise, the bonnet is in very good condition.

Like all used diving
gear, this is being sold for DISPLAY ONLY. It should not be dived without having passed inspection by a certified dive
shop.

Inside of 1943vMiller Dunn Navy MK V bonnet image
Inside of 1943 Miller Dunn Navy MK V bonnet.

BRIEF HISTORY OF MILLER DUNN DIVING HELMETS: The Miami, FL. company was founded
by William S. Dunn and William F. Miller around 1914 with a focus on shallow water diving
using helmets and simple equipment that did not require special training. Its first helmet of consequence was the No 1 Divinhood
introduced around 1914, which was quickly adopted for use in all forms of light duty shallow water work. After 18 months in
process, in
August ,1916, they were issued U.S. patent 1195793.
 

It was followed by the
Style 2 Divinhood which became the U.S. Navy’s first official shallow water diving apparatus, and was part of the ship’s
gear on many naval vessels prior to World War II. With the outbreak of WW II, the company built the ubiquitous Style 3 to
U.S. Navy specifications in large numbers taking most of their production capacity. For this reason, very few of the Miller
Dunn Navy Mk V helmets were made and fewer yet survived. They are eagerly sought after by serious collectors. 
 

After the war, the need for helmets decreased dramatically due in part to
the large surplus of helmets finding there way to the salvage equipment market. The business of Miller-Dunn was adversely
affected and the company ceased operations sometime in the 1960’s. 
 

Schrader
and Morse Diving were the two original suppliers.During
the onslaught of World War II only Morse and Schrader were making dive helmets for the navy. DESCO and Miller-Dunn went into
production around 1943. In total only about 7,000 MK V helmets were produced by all four companies during the war years with
DESCO producing the most, then Morse, Schrader and Miller-Dunn the least at 1200 helmets. The scarcity of the latter is the
reason they are so much in demand and command a higher price in the market.

WE ALSO HAVE A 1945 MORSE “CONTINENTAL” BONNET FOR SALE http://landandseacollection.com/id1087.html

The bonnet's topshows very many dents image
This picture shows numerous dents on this bonnet

 

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Established in 2003

Celebrating 18 Years of Exellence in Nautical Antiques