WW2 USN / OSS DESCO Browne Lung (B-Lung) Rebreather 3-1944 D-Day UDT, Special Operations, Office of Strategic Services (OSS Clandestine Warfare), and Frogmen – Nice & V RARE / Early Design with nose slot – This World War II United States Navy / OSS rebreather was designed early war by Jack Browne for Navy Underwater Demolition Teams / Frogmen / OSS Operatives who’s objectives included destroying underwater obstacles, sinking enemy craft, or general subversion and sabotage ahead of amphibious operations, airborne landings, and other secret missions. This particular unit is dated March 1944 and was last inspected in 1952. It could have seen action at D-Day Normandy, with clandestine OSS operatives or any of the other amphibious operations conducted throughout the remainder of the war. The rig remains in simply fantastic condition! The rubber is very supple and free of cracking which plagues most of these units… This is the finest condition original we have ever seen, it remains complete without the weight belt and only has a few minor condition issues. There is a small hole puncturing the rebreather cartridge housing which has also damaged the scrubber – this small hole leaks some granular material from time to time when moved. These pieces are getting nearly impossible to find – in any condition. You will not find a better example on the market today, great WWII date, and overall wonderful original condition. This piece would make an excellent addition to any advanced WWII UDT Collection, Antique Diving Collection, SCUBA Collection, or display well as a beyond interesting conversation starter for a library or study. Below you will find some further history about the storied inventor of the DESCO B-Lung Jack Browne. Jack Browne was also a survivor of tin can diving as a boy. His father was an executive with the Goodrich Transportation Company in Milwaukee. Jack became interested in diving while a freshman in high school. He would take on jobs for pay or just dive for fun. He also had a knack for invention and his first diving helmet was literally a tin can. In 1934 he was working with Max Nohl diving on local wrecks. A captioned photo appears in The Milwaukee Journal April 4, 1935 of Jack and his friends Paul Gallun, Fred Lange, and Bob Wescott testing a home made. Diving helmet in a Shorewood swimming pool. When Max Nohl and John Craig began work on the equipment for the Lusitania salvage Jack was ready to pitch in. The custom diving dress they needed was stitched together from canvas and taken to the N. L Kuehn Rubber Company to be made watertight. Norman Kuehn was to become a mentor to Jack and an angel to the new company. The Nohl, Browne, Craig collaboration in 1937 resulted in the. Forming of Diving Equipment and Salvage Company. Jack was to be president of the new firm but there was a problem. As a principal in the corporation. He needed to be 21 years old. DESCO would not be formally incorporated until May of 1938 when Jack became legal. Kuehn signed on as Vice President, and a local attorney Earl Wanacek as secretary/treasurer. DESCO was located in the Kuehn Rubber Co. Facility on north 4th street. Kuehn himself provided financial support and business advice. After the Lusitania project collapsed and Nohl and Craig had moved on to other things Jack determined to keep DESCO alive. Through 1938 to December of 1941 the small firm plodded along. Jack experimented with new designs for breathing tanks and lighter suits. With the outbreak of World War Two Mr. Kuehn urged Jack to go to Washington. Tell the Navy what you know about diving suits. Show the boys what you have done and can do. That first order led to others until DESCO was producing more diving equipment than anyone else in the world. Jack and DESCO were major contributors to the Navy war effort. DESCO/Navy collaborative efforts led to the development of the Browne Mask. Lightweight Diving Suit, and Buie Diving Helmet. Navy Doctor Albert Behnke worked with Browne and Dr. End on refinements in deep diving on Helium. Emerson Buie came to DESCO with his idea for a low volume diving helmet to deal with mine clearance in harbors. The US Office of Strategic Services asked Jack and DESCO to build them compact Oxygen rebreathers for covert operations. Along with special development projects was the day to day operation of a company supplying 80% of the countrys diving equipment needs. By 1945 DESCO had its own pressurized wet tank for research and development. On April 27, 1945, Jack used this tank to “dive” to still a new. Record depth of 550 feet of seawater. As in the case of Nohl’s earlier dive, he breathed a heliox mixture under the supervision of Dr. Both dives were milestones in the development of modern techniques of mixed-gas diving. Max Nohl was asked how he felt about Jack breaking his record. Max replied “records are made to be broken”. M Johnson and a group of investors. Jack moved on to help run the family automobile dealership Browne Motors Chrysler Plymouth on 20th Street & North Ave. In June 1949 he became president of the dealership after his father George passed away. Jack makes the local papers occasionally, most notably for a bridge on the Fox River in Green Bay having to open so he could land his seaplane. He also made the paper with a story on the spider monkey he keeps on his yacht. Not much more was heard from him until 1958 when he is flying guns to Fidel Castro’s Cuban rebels. He is forced down by the Batista Cuban Air Force and imprisoned. Browne managed to escape from prison and steal back his plane. On the flight to Florida he runs out of fuel over the Florida Keys. He was rescued by the Coast Guard. Jack retired to the Virgin Islands and passed away in 1998 from a heart attack. Please review all photos for details regarding the condition of the item listed – further condition information will be included in the listing as is relevant, if you need additional photographs or have questions regarding the condition please do not hesitate to ask. I describe all items to the best of my ability – please do not hesitate to ask any and all questions prior to the close of the listing. Mistakes very rarely occur – however if one does please rest assured that it will be corrected. International Buyers are Welcome! The item “WW2 USN OSS DESCO Browne Lung Rebreather 3-1944 D-Day UDT Frogmen Nice & V RARE” is in sale since Monday, November 11, 2019. This item is in the category “Collectibles\Militaria\WW II (1939-45)\Original Period Items\United States\Field Gear, Equipment”. The seller is “tortugaacquisitions” and is located in Avon, Colorado. This item can be shipped worldwide.
- Country/Region of Manufacture: United States