On March 15 Aaron Keirns gave a talk about the crash of the USS Shenandoah, the US Navy’s first rigid airship. The dirigible crashed in Noble County, Ohio on September 3, 1925. Fourteen crew members lost their lives, including the commanding officer, Lt. Cdr. Zachary Lansdowne.
The talk was given at the Garst Museum in Greenville, Ohio, hometown of Lt. Cdr. Lansdowne. Mr. Keirns, author of America’s Forgotten Airship Disaster: The Crash of the USS Shenandoah, spoke about the events of the fateful day as well as the history of the airship.
The Lighter-Than-Air Society had a display of items from its collection pertaining to the USS Shenandoah and the crash. The items displayed featured a section of a girder (internal structure) of the airship, samples of the fabric from the outer skin and goldbeater (a material made from the outer membrane of cow intestines) used to make the cells that held the helium. The display also included a large splinter of wood that is believed to have been a railing inside the airship and some publications from the era.
After his talk, the author autographed copies of his book.
Later in the afternoon the members of The Lighter-Than-Air Society that had traveled to Greenville drove by the home where Lt. Cdr. Lansdowne was born and lived. The house, which is on the National Registry of Historic Places, is being restored to its condition at the beginning of the 20th century.
Click here to view an article in the Daily Advocate covering the event.