April 4, 2013

New Jersey and Airships.

Filed under: Uncategorized — Jim @ 8:25 pm

Akron Airship2

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.

Check out the article, video and slideshow here.

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.


  1. Living in Toms River, A stone throw away from Lakehurst Naval base sometimes we still see a US Navy Airship flying over head, a awesome sight.

    Comment by chef of da future — April 5, 2013 @ 9:06 am

  2. I used to see a blimp over Route 70 near the intersections of Route 70 & Route 530 /539. Haven’t seen it for about a month & a half now. I was able to get some pictures of it flying near the Pinewald Pioneer firehouse in Berkeley last fall.

    Comment by Jim Britton — April 5, 2013 @ 7:47 pm

  3. Can’t we write Air Force One on a rocket and send the Obamas to colonize Mars ?

    Comment by john — April 6, 2013 @ 12:19 am

  4. In the mid ’80s I worked at a sand and gravel operation next to the Turnpike (South Brunswick, next to the Operating Engineers Heavy Equipment School). The lake must have been a navigation point for blimps. About twice a month we’d be treated to a slooow fly by. Pretty much everyone stopped to watch for a bit, quite a treat.

    Comment by Mark Reardon — April 8, 2013 @ 5:02 pm

  5. A lot of cool things are still in place on Lakehurst if you know where to look.
    One of the coolest is the cement locks for the mooring mast are still in place. Pine trees grow around them now but if you know where to look they are still there.

    Comment by RobbieRob — April 30, 2013 @ 3:42 pm

  6. In 1937 I was in the second grade at Glenwood Elementary School, Springfield, Massachusetts. Everybody in the school was taken outdoors to see the Hindenburg fly over. A few hours later it burned and crashed.

    Comment by Stan Solin — September 11, 2015 @ 12:42 pm

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