U.S.S. Akron


A view of the USS Akron as it was under construction, circa 1931.  Bettman/Corbis
A view of the USS Akron as it was under construction, circa 1931. Bettman/Corbis

The loss of the U.S.S. Akron was the biggest single tragedy in aviation history at the time that it happened. But unless you’re an aviation or U.S. Navy history buff, you may not know much about this airborne aircraft carrier.

Holly's Research:

  • VIDEO: N2Y Bi-plane hooks onto the aircraft trapeze of USS Akron (ZRS-4): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1FIm5qt5JrQ
  • VIDEO: USS Akron Crash - Described by Herbert V. Wiley: https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=61&v=VRfoJKfCVco
  • VIDEO: Scenes of the construction of the Goodyear Air Dock and an airship frame, 1929-1930: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mzEo5jvCWdw
  • VIDEO: U.S.S. Akron Part 1: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1AxdJwWnkdQ
  • VIDEO: U.S.S. Akron, Part 2: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZjPqK8dYD1A
  • “Pennant of the U.S.S. Akron, ca. 1931.” Franklin D. Roosevelt Presidential Library and Museum. https://fdrlibrary.tumblr.com/post/81685436807/pennant-of-the-uss-akron-ca-1931-uss
  • Farkas, Karen. “The USS Akron, a rigid airship that crashed in 1933, killing 76, will be preserved on film.” Cleveland.com. August 12, 2014. http://www.cleveland.com/metro/index.ssf/2014/08/the_uss_akron_a_rigid_airship.html
  • Crawford, Richard. “Airship’s 1932 visit to S.D. brought tragedy.” San Diego Union Tribune. December 5, 2009. http://www.sandiegouniontribune.com/sdut-airships-1932-visit-sd-brought-tragedy-2009dec05-story.html
  • Rahman, Rema. “ Forgotten US airship crash recalled 80 years later.” San Diego Union Tribune. March 31, 2013. http://www.sandiegouniontribune.com/sdut-forgotten-us-airship-crash-recalled-80-years-later-2013mar31-story.html
  • “Search Officially Ordered as Yacht With Six Aboard Not Heard From in Fortnight.” San Bernardino Sun. Volume 38. July 6, 1932. https://cdnc.ucr.edu/cgi-bin/cdnc?a=d&d=SBS19320706.1.3
  • Cressman, Robert J. “Akron (ZRS-4).” Naval History and Heritage Command. May 4, 2017. https://www.history.navy.mil/research/histories/ship-histories/danfs/a/akron.html
  • “USS Akron (ZRS-4).” Navy Lakehurst Historical Society. http://www.nlhs.com/uss-akron-zrs-4.html

Topics in this Podcast: aviation history, military history, 20th century, U.S. history