1945 Diving Equipment & Salvage Co., (DESCO) Brown Sponge Diving Helmet

divisor line


Front view of 1945 DESCO Navy MK V diving helmet imageSTAND

Presented is a Browne Sponge Diver Helmet. This helmet, constructed by the Diving Equipment & Supply Co., Inc., (later known as DESCO in 1945), was specifically made for Pete Berdzar. The date on the helmet is actually Pete’s Birth date. The other numbers appear to have been significant to Pete as well, but we don’t know what they represent.

Dimensions:18″ Ht x 16″ L x 11 ½” W                         Weight: 31.5 Lbs.

Maker's MK V tag & Naval Inspector's stamp mageClose up of the maker’s tag

CONDITION: It is in like new condition overall. We surmise that it might not have been put in use, but we don’t know that for sure. Before use, it needs to be thoroughly inspected by a certified dive shop. Visually it makes a striking appearance and will be an excellent addition to any dive helmet collection.

Viewing the 1945 DESCO MK V from the left oblique image
Viewing the 1945 DESCO MK V from the right oblique image
Viewing the 1945 DESCO MK V from the right oblique image          Viewing
the helmet’s front from the left and right oblique

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

Three quarter left side view of back of DESCO MK V dive helmet image
Three quarter right side view DESCO MK V dive helmet image
Three quarter views of both the back sides
of the 1945 DESCO  helmet


The previous owner of these fine helmets was Pete Berdzar, a Navy diver who worked much of his career out of Point Loma and the Marshall Islands where the Navy was mothballing and disposing of ships and performing salvage operations. After active duty, he continued to be involved in Naval operations. It appears that most of his career was with the 7th Fleet in the Pacific. At one point, he was involved with a program training sealions and dolphins to retrieve ordinance and perform other duties. He also worked out of the Naval Air Weapons station at China Lake, CA, and did some flight training at Miramar. His collection of over 40 dive helmets included a number of Mark Vs, along with the ones we are offering.

Inside of 1945 DESCO MK V dive helmet image

Underside of breast plate imageInside of 1945  bonnet showing underside of breast plate
Back view of 1945 DESCO MK V dive helmet image


BRIEF HISTORY of DESCO: Desco has an extensive history within the commercial diving community. Diving Equipment & Supply Company (DESCO) was formed in 1937 as the manufacturer of the newly designed diving equipment by Max Nohl and Jack Browne. World War II shifted the focus of the company to standard diving equipment production. The war effort brought large Navy contracts for diving equipment to DESCO. The company quickly became the largest diving equipment manufacturer in the world. Four diving equipment firms produced the bulk of equipment during the war. DESCO made over 3000 Mark V and Navy Helium Helmets during this period. In 1997,DESCO was purchased from Mr. Fifield by Richard Koellner. Under Mr. Koellner, the company has expanded its representation of other firm’s products that complement DESCO’s product line. Here is the link to read the full history of this fine company: https://www.divedesco.com/divingequipment/CompanyHistory

divisor line
Shipping & Packaging

The cost of shipping, packing, handling, and insurance to your destination, will be calculated point to point and is an additional charge. You may email us to get these costs. We price our shipping honestly, but we expect to be reimbursed for the nominal cost of packaging materials and handling.

Our Unconditional 'No Nonsense' Guarantee

If not completely satisfied with your purchase it may be returned, if without damage, within three days of receipt in its original packaging. Return items must be insured for their full value. Only a prior email authorization by us for the return is required. Shipping charges are refundable if due to our error within the continental United States.

International buyers welcome, but inquire first. We have satisfied customers worldwide.

Standard Forms of Payment

Bank wire transfer, cashier’s check, money order, or personal check in which case the item will be held until cleared. Our prices are quoted net to us so that the use of credit cards or PayPal incur extra charges. Terms on overseas sales are different.

Established in 2003

Celebrating 18 Years of Exellence in Nautical Antiques

Join Our Mailing List

By submitting this form, you are consenting to receive marketing emails from: Land and Sea Collection. You can revoke your consent to receive emails at any time by using the SafeUnsubscribe® link, found at the bottom of every email. Emails are serviced by Constant Contact