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Archives at The Museum of Flight

Akron (Airship)


Historical Note

USS Akron (ZRS-4) was a helium-filled rigid airship of the U.S. Navy, which operated between November 1931 and April 1933. She was the world's first purpose-built flying aircraft carrier, carrying F9C Sparrowhawk fighter planes, which could be launched and recovered while she was in flight.

The airship's construction began on October 31, 1929 in Akron, Ohio by the Goodyear-Zeppelin Corporation. The airship's maiden voyage was completed on November 2, 1931. It was destroyed in a sudden thunderstorm off the coast of New Jersey on the morning of April 4, 1933, killing 73 of the 76 crewmen and passengers. There were no life jackets onboard and the suddenness of the storm precluded the crew from using the single lifeboat. The loss of the Akron was the largest loss of life in any airship crash and led to all other airships being issued life jackets to avoid a fatal repeat.

Found in 2 Collections and/or Records:

Emile Chourré and Chourré Family Papers

Identifier: 2015-06-17
Abstract The Emile Chourré and Chourré Family Papers is comprised of documents and scrapbooks, photographic prints and photograph albums, and assorted ephemera primarily pertaining to the life and military career of Lieutenant Commander Emile Chourré (1894-1938). Major topics include Chourré's military service, especially while stationed in Coco Solo, Panama; his service as a U.S. Naval announcer for the 1929-1931 and 1933-1934 National Air Races; and family (immediate and extended) photographs.

Margaret Keyser Early Aviation Photograph Collection

 Collection — Multiple Containers
Identifier: 1991-07-26
Contents of the Collection The Margaret Keyser Early Aviation Photograph Collection includes approximately 70 black-and-white photographs of assorted aircraft, 1918-1940 (bulk dates 1920s-1930s). Sizes range from 3x5" to 16x20" and many images include brief captions that provide contextual information, such as aircraft model, location, or date. A sample of identified aircraft includes the Boeing P-12E, Curtiss O-1 Falcon, Douglas B-23, Keystone Bomber, and Thomas-Morse O-19. There are also several shots of...

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