Category Archives: Hindenburg

A Summer of Airships


A U.S. Navy airship, either USS Akron (ZRS-4) ...

A U.S. Navy airship, either USS Akron (ZRS-4) or USS Macon (ZRS-5), over Puget Sound, Washington (USA). (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

This summer, along with the normal mix of articles, I will being writing a series of articles on Airships. Airships have an “air” of romance and adventure, and have made appearances in many movies such as Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (where Indiana and his dad rode the Hindenburg). We will not be visiting movie sets, but we will have a chance to learn more about these glamorous airships.

N class blimp

N class blimp (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Among some of the airships we’ll discuss this summer are the Graf Zeppelin, sister ship to the Hindenburg. The Shenandoah, Macon, Akron, and L-8.

The U.S. Navy blimp L-8 over the aircraft carr...

The U.S. Navy blimp L-8 over the aircraft carrier USS Hornet (CV-8) at the beginning of the “Doolittle Raid” in April 1942. Note the USAAF North American B-25 Mitchell bomber on Hornet´s deck. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

L-8 is an interesting airship with a mysterious ending. Originally a commercial blimp built and operated by the Goodyear company. L-8 was taken over by the United States Navy during World War Two. The airship was assigned to perform anti-submarine patrols on the west coast of the United States and was stationed at Treasure Island in the center of San Francisco Bay.

August 16, 1942 was just another summer day in sunny California. The early morning fog left a covering of dew on the cloth skin of L-8, adding weight to the airship. Due to the extra weight the normal crew of three was cut to two, Machinists Mate Third Class James Hill was left behind.

Lt. Cody, the pilot, and Ensign Adams were both experience airship men. Ensign Adams had 20 years of experience with airships as an enlisted man before receiving his commission. The two men left Treasure Island  about six in the morning.

A little over an hour and a half later, Lt. Cody radioed in they had discovered an oil slick and were going to investigate. The men were never heard from again. Five hours after L-8 left Treasure Island, the blimp was spotted heading inland over a local beach. The blimp crashed in front of a house owned by volunteer firemen William Morris. Bill was the first man on the scene. When he arrived at the gondola to rescue the crew, he found the door tied open and no one onboard the airship. The mystery of what happened to the crew was never solved and one year later they were declared dead.

In the weeks to come I will tell you more about L-8 and a fleet of other airships.

An inside view of one of the massive blimp han...

An inside view of one of the massive blimp hangars at the former Marine Corps Air Station in Tustin, CA. Source: USMCAS Tustin archives.The structures appear in the National Register of Historic Places as #NPS-#75000451. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Oh, and there are engineers and businessmen hard at work on a comeback for airships. Nothing like the Hindenburg, but there are many useful purposes for airships today.

The gondola of an airship.

The gondola of an airship. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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The Hindenburg LZ-129


The Hindenburg LZ-129.

A look at the hidden struggles behind the Hindenburg, plus drawings of the ship, photographs, and a look at the Hindenburg disaster (with a brief of just 6 of the many theories).

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75 Years Ago Today: Lakehurst, New Jersey, 6 May 1937


75 Years Ago Today: Lakehurst, New Jersey, 6 May 1937.

We all know about the disaster, but do you know what made the Hindenburg a Legend? My topic this week is the Hindenburg, its history, beauty, the plans, the photos, and yes the disaster.

click here to read the article http://wp.me/P1MLkF-Dz

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75 Years Ago Today: Lakehurst, New Jersey, 6 May 1937


The Hindenburg, while docking at the Lakehurst Naval Air Station, erupted into flames. Of the 36 passengers and 61 crew aboard, 35 people died (plus one ground crew person). This disaster was broadcast live over radio as it happened.

It has been 75 years and the controversies surrounding this disaster continue. My Sunday (12 May 2012) article this week will be on the Hindenburg. Find out more about this amazing air ship, the disaster, and take a look at the plans for this beautiful ship.

click here to read article http://wp.me/P1MLkF-Dz

The Hindenburg, South Boston in background

The Hindenburg, South Boston in background (Photo credit: Boston Public Library)

The U.S. Coast Guard Douglas RD-4 Spica (s/n V...

The U.S. Coast Guard Douglas RD-4 Spica (s/n V-125) escorts the German Zeppelin LZ 129 Hindenburg on arrival at Lakehurst, New Jersey (USA), after its inaugural flight from Friedrichshafen, Germany, on the early morning of 9 May 1936. The decommissioned U.S. Navy airship USS Los Angeles (ZR-3) is visible in the background. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Hindenburg airship interior

Hindenburg airship interior (Photo credit: History In An Hour)

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