Worn by Navy Cross Winner Willard Darling Pearl Harbor!
Original USN Mk V Deep Sea Diving Helmet & Suit - No Reserve Worn by Navy Cross Winner Willard Darling at Pearl Harbor This is an absolutely outstanding collector find. It's an original US Navy Deep Sea Diving Suit and Mark V Helmet, dated August, 1941. What makes it truly spectacular is that it came from the estate of Marine Corps Gunnery Sergeant Charles "Chuck" Love, who got it from his friend, USMC Navy Cross Winner Willard D. Darling, in 1953. Darling wore this suit while engaged in rescue and salvage operations after the bombing of Pearl Harbor! He received the Navy Cross for rescuing an officer on December 7th. The helmet is in original, untouched condition, complete with many years of storage dust. The glass is quite dirty, but intact. Everything should clean up fine, and the helmet should look great with a light cleaning and waxing. The wing nut clamp that holds the face mask down is broken off, but I have the part (see last two pictures) and a skilled welder should be able to make the repair. The suit is supple and intact, except for the left glove, which is stiff and deteriorating. What's interesting about the suit is that it shows such nice legitimate wear. You can clearly see where the weighted shoes have rubbed against the soles of the feet, the wear in the knee pads, wear at the crotch from heavy strapping, and some dark markings at the waist from the weight belt. A really nice and truly historical piece. Even reproductions of the Mark V Diving Helmet require a small bank loan to buy, and this is the whole deal. "The President of the United States of America takes pleasure in presenting the Navy Cross to Private First Class Willard D. Darling (MCSN: 284552), United States Marine Corps, for exceptional courage, presence of mind, and devotion to duty and disregard for his personal safety while serving on board the U.S.S. OKLAHOMA (BB-37) during the Japanese attack on the United States Pacific Fleet in Pearl Harbor, Territory of Hawaii, on 7 December 1941. While being evacuated from the U.S.S. OKLAHOMA in a motor launch, upon seeing an officer in the water too weak to swim and apparently drowning, Corporal Darling dove from the motor launch, swam to the officer and kept him afloat until another motor launch which he hailed picked them up. Upon being left alone in the motor launch with this officer, in the vicinity of a dredge pipe line in the harbor, where the crew abandoned the motor launch, he jumped into the water and directed the officer to follow him, which he (the officer) did. However, the officer was too exhausted to swim and was brought ashore by Corporal Darling. The action of Corporal Darling, in the face of the severe enemy bombing and strafing which continued throughout the time he was effecting this rescue, is considered most praiseworthy and in accordance with the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service." General Orders: Approved by the Secretary of the Navy on April 30, 1942 Action Date: 7-Dec-41 Service: Marine Corps Rank: Private First Class Division: U.S.S. Oklahoma (BB-37) Shipping Weight: Approx. 75 Pounds, shipping in a 25"x25"x25" box. Shipping Options: U.S.: FedEx (other options possible) Shipping Costs: FedEx online calculator estimates $110 to ship to San Francisco, as an example. Contact me if you need more information. Combine Shipping?:Yes Original/Reproduction:Original Vintage Item Refund Policy: Return within 7 days of receipt in good condition for refund of Winning Bid (Shipping/Insurance not included). Like my Auctions?:Let Soldier's Museum sell your antiques and collectibles for you FC-L94-01-deep-sea-diving-suit USN U.S.N. United States Navy Naval torpedo submarine USMC, U.S.M.C. United States Marine Corps commando raider pathfinder devil dogs leathernecks Japanese attack on Pearl HarborOn Nov-25-10 at 19:24:15 PST, seller added the following information: checkit Store