The National Air and Space Museum Archives have donated several books to the Lighter-Than-Air Society Special Collection which is housed at the Akron Summit County Public Library in downtown Akron. The books are from the collection of Captain Garland Fulton.
Captain Fulton was born in Mississippi on May 6, 1890. He was one of the U.S. Navy’s leading proponents of lighter-than-air (LTA) flight. After graduating from the U.S. Naval Academy in 1912, Fulton served with the Navy and then attended the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) where he received a master’s degree in 1916. He had studied naval architecture and aeronautical engineering.
Fulton began service at the Bureau of Aeronautics when that organization was founded in 1921. In 1922, Lieutenant Commander Fulton was sent to Europe to assist in negotiations for the purchase of the “Reparations Airship” to replace the German rigid airships that had been awarded to the United States by the Versailles Treaty but were destroyed by their crews before transfer to the U.S. As the head of the Bureau’s Lighter-Than-Air Design Section, Fulton oversaw the design and construction of the USS Akron (ZRS-4) and the USS Macon (ZRS-5). He was instrumental in furthering the acceptance of large airships in both the Navy and in commerce. Under his guidance, expansion of the Navy’s non-rigid airship (blimp) program was initiated in the years prior to the United States’ entry into World War II.
Garland Fulton retired from the Navy with the rank of captain in 1940. In later years he was an unofficial consultant to the Navy and industry on LTA issues.
He died on October 24, 1974 and is buried in Arlington National Cemetery.
Click here to view the complete list of books donated to LTAS