RARE 1942 Historical SCHRADER Navy MK V Dive Helmet
RARE 1942 SCHRADER U.S. NAVY MK V DIVING HELMET – NAVY DIVER’S
US Navy Inspection Stamps
Schrader was one of the original makers of Navy MK V’s
during WW II.
Owned for the last 38 years by a Navy Certified Diver.TOTAL WEIGHT: 53 lbs BONNET:31 lbs
BREAST PLATE: 22 lbs
SERIAL NUMBER: 443A
DATE: AUG 1942
STAND NOT INCLUDED</
Presented is a Historic MK V helmet made for the U.S. Navy. It is one of a
few whose history can be traced to the present time making it an exceptional find for the serious collector of Navy gear.
HELMET & MARKINGS: Authentic 12 bolt, 4 light Schrader Navy MK V dated AUG 1942 with serial
number 443 A on the maker’s tag. All the brails are marked 451. It is reported that the helmet was shellacked
over its original tinning to cut down on corrosion and maintenance. This makes it look GOLD when viewed in person.
In the same fashion, the brass port guards, spit cock and Star wheel were nickel plated to provide better visibility between
the two man dive team in the murky Puget Sound waters in which they worked.
The result is an unusual and very dramatic appearance which makes
it an exceptional work of diving and industrial art
PROVENANCE:It was made in 1942 and
presumably sent to Pear Harbor for salvage work eight months after the attack. Sometime in the 1950’s the Navy issued
an order for all MK V Diving Systems in the Pacific Area to be sent to the Bremerton Navy Ship Yard in Washington
state which was designated the primary repair facility for the West Coast. The date it was received in Bremerton is unknown,
but it saw service in the regular ship yard repair activities until the early 1980’s when an order came down to
destroy all the 200 -250 MK V helmets at the yard. The Superintendent of Diving allowed each of his divers to take one helmet,
and it became the property a Navy certified Class 2 Diver. It has remained in his possession for the last 38 years until
Diver suited up. The welding shield is included
CERTIFICATION & DOCUMENTATION:A notarized certification
of all the facts concerning this helmet signed by the prior owner will be included with the purchase of the helmet, and a
complete archive of the diver’s career including:Notorized certification of facts<
Type of work in which this specific helmet was used
Life saving commendation
News paper articles
Commanding officer’s personal farewell letter
And other memorabilia be will includedThere also is a Navy Diving Manual personalized with his name which may be purchased separately.
Navy Diver Second Class Certificate In
the full rig
Considering its 68 years age and use, it is in remarkably fine condition overall. There are very few dents or abrasions, the
largest of which is on the back left The air vents are all intact.The right side chin relief valve, spit cock handle, front door wing
nut, all turn easily. A very unusual telephone receiver is fitted.The dumb bell lock and fittings are in place. The
telephone cup carries a Naval Inspection stamp of “U anchor S” and so does one of the brails. A
check valve is fitted which also carries Schrader USA’s mark.
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.
Maker’s tag Navy
inspector’s mark on cupNote unusual transceiver
Inspector’s mark also
on one brail
WE ALSO HAVE A 1919 MORSE NAVY MK V HELMET FOR SALE. CLICK
This helmet and our 1919 Morse
Navy MK V. Note the bonnets’ sizes
HISTORY OF SCHRADER DIVING Schrader is one of the oldest names in U.S.
diving, second only to Morse. The founder, August Schrader was a creative and inventive German immigrant who originally set
up a shop dealing in rubber products in New York City, NY in 1839, only a few years after A.J. Morse set up shop in Boston.
In 1845 he began supplying fittings and valves for rubber products made by the Goodyear Brothers. Schrader was
also a maker of daguerreotype apparatus. His original shop was at
Street in Manhattan, NY.
Shortly thereafter he went into partnership with Christian Baecher. Christian was a brass turner and finisher which provided
a foundation for what followed.
The two partners, having watched divers at work at a nearby New York Harbor jetty, decided to improve
the diving helmets in use at the time. In 1849, with the help of Baecher, he created a new copper helmet. Later his interest
in diving led to him to design an air pump.Around 1890, August Schrader saw the need for a bicycle tire valve. By 1891, he produced the Schrader valve.
The Schrader valve was his most popular invention, and is still used today.In 1917, the United States Bureau of Construction & Repair introduced the MK V helmet and dress, which then
became the standard for US Navy diving until the introduction of the MK 12 in the late nineteen seventies. Schrader and Morse
Diving were the two original suppliers. 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 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 scarcity of the latter two are
the reason they command a higher price in the market.
BRIEF HISTORY of NAVY MK V DEEP SEA DIVING DRESS:By 1915, 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 1915 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 helmet
in February 1980, which in turn was replaced by the MK 21 in December 1993.