The Lighter-Than-Air Society commemorated the 80th anniversary of the christening and first flight of the USS Macon and the tragic loss of the USS Akron and the J-3 training blimp with a special program at the Akron-Summit County Main Library.
On April 6, 2013 the L-T-A Society presented a program that consisted of a slideshow of pictures of the construction, christening (March11, 1933) and first flight (April 21, 1933) of the USS Macon (ZRS-5) and the crash of the USS Akron (ZRS-4) shortly after midnight on April 4, 1933 as well as the crash of the J-3 training blimp which had been dispatched to rescue possible survivors later that day.
The slideshow was followed by a series of film clips of both events from period newsreels and U.S. Navy films with the some radio broadcasts made from the USS Macon.
In addition to the audiovisual presentation there were displays of historic artifacts as well as photographs and some art relating to the airships. Also on display were several books from the Akron-Summit County Library’s Special Collection of Lighter-Than-Air Books.
The highlight of the displays was a piece of one of the girders from the salvaged USS Akron. This item, which was just recently donated to the Lighter-Than-Air Society’s by Richard Plummer, was shown to the public for the first time and drew a lot of attention.
The donation also included photographs taken by Lt. James A. Wallace USN who with his deep-sea diving team helped recover the wreckage of the USS Akron from the floor of the Atlantic Ocean.
On Thursday, April 4th, the Navy Lakehurst Historical Society held a ceremony to commemorate the loss of the USS Akron at the Grand Army Memorial Park’s Civil War monument in Manchester Township, Ocean County NJ. Click here to read more about this ceremony.