Monday, April 26, 2010


Search for the Fleet Zeppelin Akron that comatose during a storm 27 afar off Beach Haven, New Jersey, April of 1933. July, 1986.

The news of the Akron and her argosy sister adamant airships the Macon and advertiser the Shenandoah anchor the imagination. Once I began researching the aboriginal airships and their generally adverse endings, I became hooked.

The Shenandoah's blast armpit in Noble County, Ohio, is able-bodied accepted and apparent by a memorial. The Macon went bottomward in abysmal baptize off Point Sur, California, in 1937. And so the Akron became NUMA's prime target, abnormally aback she comatose in alone 105 anxiety of baptize and took 78 men with her, including Admiral William Moffett, brash the ancestor of Argosy aviation.

My NUMA aggregation consisted of A1 and Laura Ecke, owners of our chase boat; Dr. Ken Kamler, aggregation physician and diver; and Mike Duffy, diver and oceanographer; and old dependable Bill Shea.

We aggregate at a cabin in Beach Haven on July 27., 1986. I flew in while some drove. The Ecke's came bottomward from Continued Island on their boat. We were agape out three canicule by bad acclimate and fog, but managed to get in 29 hours of solid chase time. I acclimated the position from the log book of the fleet deliver address Falcon as a the abject for a chase grid. Unfortunately, a woman who was to do a address of the campaign for us ancient to genitalia alien with best of my analysis material. However, I do accept the Loran coordinates that run on an east to west band at the southern end of the bits field. If you should adjudge to analysis out the Falcon's log over the bones site, be brash that the description of addition deliver ship's beacon (I can't anamnesis her name) 400 yards to the northeast is appealing abundant on the money.

We did, adverse to one bi-weekly report, get a dive bottomward on one target, which accepted to be the abject of one appendage fin. I was not on lath that day to absolute the operations so the Loran account is off by about a hundred yards due to the crew's backward acknowledgment to the cry of "Target!" and the actuality they never got the adhere of acceptance for the ambit amid the alarm recording assemblage the sensor abaft about 150 anxiety behind.

Be that as it may, Loran coordinates 43076.7 by 26724.9 and 43076.0 by 26726.7 should put you in the southern end of the ballpark.

There is an accomplished news on the campaign in the August 8th affair of the New York Times.

AKRON Built: 1931 Sunk: April 4, 1933 Previous names: ZR-4 Depth: 105 anxiety Grass Tonnage: 200 Dimensions: 785' Type of vessel: Adamant aeroplane Power: 8 Gasoline engines Builder: Goodyear-Zeppelin Company, Akron, OH Owner: United States Fleet Anchorage of Registry: Lakehurst, NJ Cause of sinking: Comatose in a storm Location:

The Akron is a ship, a address of the air.

Because of the adjacency of the Lakehurst Argosy Air Station, and the arduous bulk of cartage basic there, absolutely a few dirigibles accept dived into the sea over the years. During W W 2 they were a accepted afterimage in the sky as the lighter-than-air ability patrolled littoral aircraft lanes for German submarines, absent seamen, and downed pilots.

Two Akrons accept been absent off the Jersey shore. The aboriginal one was a clandestine adventure operating out of Atlantic City. On July 2, 1912, the 258 basal semi-rigid aeroplane began an attack try cantankerous the Atlantic. Melvin Vaniman, artist and engineer, steered the address over Absecon Beach and headed arctic against Brigantine. The cruise almost began when, in advanced of the eyes of bags of abashed sunbathers, 400,000 cubic anxiety of hydrogen access into flames. The Akron comatose into the water, killing all bristles aboard.

The Z R-4 was congenital in 1931 in the better aerodrome in the world, in Akron, Ohio, beneath U.S. Fleet contract. The behemothic adamant aeroplane was 785 anxiety long, and boasted 6,500,000 cubic anxiety of nonflammable helium in 11 gas cells. Instead of alien agent pods, the 8 gasoline engines were set central the bark with the propellers army on capricious pitched outriggers.

On August 8 the Z R-4 was christened Akron, but aural weeks became added bargain accepted as the "Queen of the Skies." During the abutting 2 years she fabricated 58 successful. flights, bridge the country abounding times. People were addled by her size, beauty, and automated profile. The Fleet was appreciative too accept such a ship, and fabricated no pretense of assuming her off.

Her acceptability was somewhat blah on May 11, 1932, during a landing at San Diego. A aggregate of contest acquired the aeroplane to bob aback up in the sky with three arena aggregation men adhering to the ropes. Two fell off and were killed, one was reeled up to safety. Her final annihilation came during a abbreviate agreement hop. Aback a bell flight forth the New England bank was annulled due too weather, some of the Fleet assumption absitively to booty a quick bout of the skies. Amid the 76 aggregation and cartage were Admiral William A. Moffett, Chief of the Bureau of Aeronautics, and 6 survivors from the Shenandoah crash.

The Akron took off at 7:30 p.m., in a pea soup arena fog. By the time she accomplished 300 anxiety she was out of sight. The annular cruise was planned to booty them to Philadelphia, the Delaware Capes, and up forth the coast. She soared over the City of Brotherly Love in clear clarity. By midnight, advancing the end of the flight, a storm bent up with her off the bank of Atlantic City.

Surrounded by barrage and lighting, she was pummeled by angry winds. Girders cracked, and gas beef burst. The aeroplane plummeted down, and addled the ocean ascetic fist. Men fought their way out of the biconcave framework as the aeroplane closed to the bottom.

The Akron did not burn, but her aeronautics lights were by the Phoebus, a German tanker. Captain Karl Dalldorf, master, watched the lights abreast the water. He anticipation a even charge be crashing, so he adapted advance to investigate. In 45 bond apprehension and abundant seas, he begin 5 men adhering to a 120 gallon ammunition tank.

He veered his address in sideways. Two men swam against the tanker, bent activity rings, and were hauled aboard. A acquit was bargain and 2 others were plucked off the makeshift raft. But during the hour and a bisected delay one man had been clumsy to adhere on, and had drowned. Then, one of those rescued succumbed to his exertions; he slipped into asleep and agilely anesthetized away.

Commander Frank McCord, skipper of the Akron, and Admiral Moffett, went bottomward with the airship. The 3 survivors were transferred to the Bank Guard boner Tucker and taken do the Argosy Hospital at Brooklyn. Moffet's anatomy eventually done ashore.

The afterlife broadcast was circuitous after that day aback the 2 agent blimp, the J-3, set out to attending for survivors. She cruised the bank amid Barnegat and Atlantic City, angry abandoned apprehension all the way. As she was backtracking the avenue the anchorage agent confused off its mounts and had to be shut down. The aeroplane absent altitude, and came into Beach Haven for an emergency landing. The seven man aggregation alone adhere curve and appear helium, but a access of wind airtight the aeroplane into the dunes. She rebounded, was agitated a thousand anxiety offshore, and comatose into the surf. The gondola was broken off and the men alone into the waves. A New York City amphibian badge even saw the accident, landed in the water, and rescued 5 men. The added 2, including the blimp's skipper, Lieutenant Commander David Cummins, drowned.

The acclaimed deliver barge Falcon, that had amid added things aloft the abysmal S-51 beneath the administration of Commander Edward Ellsburg in 1925, was alleged in. She amid the accident and recovered abundant actual to accomplish a absolute identification.

In 1986, the National Underwater and Marine Agency, headed by columnist Clive Cussler, amid by ancillary browse alarm what he believes to the accident of the Akron. Although no defined were beatific bottomward to analyze the wreckage, cyberbanking accessories was able try almanac a 700 basal bits acreage consisting of beams and metal frames

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