Starting in the late 1970's the US Navy started the process of fazing out the Mark V diving helmet. The Mark V had been in continuous use since 1916 and was finally starting to fall behind technological advances in diving helmet design. The result of years of testing was the US Navy Mark XII helmet featuring a fiberglass body with brass and stainless steel hardware. The Morse Diving Equipment company was the sole manufacturer of Mark XII.
When the Mark XII was replaced at the end of the 20th Century, the US Navy sold their remaining units as surplus. Before the Navy would let these pieces of history go, they made the unfortunate decision to decommission the helmets by bending the neck ring. That is why a majority of Mark XII helmets in collections feature the bent neck.
Despite the Navy decommissioning these helmets, they are still an interesting piece of military and diving history. We are currently in the unique position to have a limited number of these helmets in stock. These Mark 12's have been sitting for decades hidden away in a crate - until now! Each helmet is stamped clearly with the Morse Diving Equipment helmet information such as a serial # and date of manufacturer. The example photos shown above is what a typical helmet will look like.
These helmets once cleaned up will make a great display piece. Typically all of them will have the neck ring bent to varying degrees, the yellow fiberglass body cracked and the acrylic window featuring scratches from use and age. The original neoprene from the 1980s is present, but fragile. Brass external hardware will be complete and most of, if not all internal helmet hardware will be intact. The helmets will date to the early 1980's.
Why are we selling these at such a reasonable price? While we would love to inventory these helmets for 20 years and watch their prices climb, we need the space they are taking up! This is your opportunity to own an authentic US Navy helmet at an amazing price. Each helmet will come with a COA from Nation's Attic attesting to its authenticity and provenance. This is your chance to buy a Navy helmet and years from now tell people how cheap they were - like guys did in the 1950's with the Mark V!