DESCO US Navy Mark V - 1943 - #s Matching, Navy Stamp & Small Volume!
Without a doubt the Mark V is the most popular helmet we handle. While difficult to find authentic examples, these were made in sizeable quantities during World War 2. While many were used up, destroyed or simply lost, a precious few do still exist. Of those few, only a small percentage retain their original hardware and matching serial # components. This Mark V made by Diving Equipment & Salvage Co (DESCO) is just one of those rare examples! DESCO would in late 1945 change their name to Diving Equipment & Supply Co and are still in business today.
This Mark V is dated May 21st, 1943. It does have a US Navy inspection stamp on the neck ring. This stamp proves without a doubt the helmet was part of the Navy inventory. In addition, the neck rings on the inside have the matching # as well. This also proves the top and bottom are original & match from the factory.
A very important detail about this helmet as noted in the title above is it is a "small volume" example. When DESCO first started making the Mark V in late 1942 the bonnets were slightly smaller than Navy specifications & others made by Morse, Schrader and Miller Dunn. This only occurred with early DESCO Mark V's in late 1942 and early 1943. These early examples do command a slight premium and are rare finds.
The helmet has been professionally polished with a clear wax applied to prevent tarnishing. The work done on this helmet is beautiful and allows it to be displayed with pride in any location. The helmet is also complete - all original hardware is intact - the window guards, 4 brails, 12 wing nuts, 4 brail shims, air vents, exhaust valve, air fitting, communications fitting, dumbbell safety latch with chain, communications & air fitting caps.
The helmet does have a few very shallow and hardly noticeable dents on the bonnet. Undoubtedly the helmet was in Navy inventory and likely received use during or after the war. This is a fantastic example of a World War 2 Mark V with all the correct stamps, #'s and parts all present!