Airships have not fared well in New Jersey. Of course, when one thinks of airship disasters, the fiery crash of the Hindenburg in Lakehurst, New Jersey in 1937 immediately comes to mind. We all have seen the frightening film and listened to the iconic “Oh, the humanity” live newscast.
By contrast, we never hear of the crash of the Airship U.S.S. Akron, which went down off the coast of New Jersey’s Barnegat Light, in 1933 killing 73 of the 76-man navy crew, making it the worst airship disaster in history.
Finally, after eighty years, the event and the crew have been officially remembered.
A ceremony commemorating the 80th anniversary of the deadliest airship crash was held in Manchester Township, Ocean County, in front of the Grand Army Memorial Park’s Civil War monument, which has a piece of a USS Akron girder affixed to it. The names of the 73 dead from the USS Akron — plus two more men who were killed on a Navy blimp that tried to rescue the Akron survivors — were read aloud before “Taps” was played.
More here, including photos of the incident in which three line handlers were pulled into the air when the Akron accidently climbed while attempting to land near San Diego in 1932. Two of the men fell to their death.
As some of you know, my backyard here in Southern Jersey abuts a really nifty golf course. People often ask whether I “play golf.” I tell them that I “own clubs” and that I take them onto the course on occasion. This video ought to give you some sense of why I don’t say more than that.
Thanks to my buddy, Brian, the Air Force Vet, for the link.
Among other things, they are told that we all have to sleep on the ground, or in tents, often surrounded by our dead friends in body bags. We drink coffee made from snow and are very grateful to receive it from our government. We live in cities where there are no birds on the trees, because we have eaten them, and that we are happy to receive a gift of cake from the Democratic Republic of North Korea.