New Jersey May 04, 2016
The Story Of This Cursed New Jersey Airship Is Unbelievable
Do you believe in curses? You might after you read this story. The U.S.S. Akron was a Naval Airship based out of Lakehurst, New Jersey that seems to have been doomed from day one. One accident followed another, resulting in tragedy.
The U.S.S. Akron being built.
The U.S.S. Akron was constructed in the Goodyear Airdock in Akron, Ohio between 1929-1931. Her intended purpose was to be utilized as a flying aircraft carrier. At 785 feet long, the U.S.S. Akron was one of the largest helium-filled airships ever built. After completion, she was stationed in Naval Air Engineering Station Lakehurst.
VIDEO Issues arose just several months after her official maiden voyage. While several congressmen and other notable figures were waiting to board the ship, she broke free from her moorings, scraping the ground. No one was injured and the damage was minor. Repairs were made and she continued on her ill-fated journey.
The U.S.S. Akron in flight.
The second disaster occurred on May 11, 1932 when the U.S.S. Akron was attempting to moor in San Diego. Weather conditions and a reduced weight after a cross country flight made the airship nearly uncontrollable. The mooring line had to be cut, but several crew members were still holding on to the line.
VIDEO The first man fell from a height of 15 feet and suffered a broken arm; the next two men tragically plunged to their deaths. Miraculously a fourth man survived, holding on to the line for nearly two hours while still in the air.
The U.S.S. Akron mooring in May, 1932.
Following this horrific incident, the U.S.S. Akron headed back to New Jersey in dangerous weather. It completed the journey but required repairs. A third issue arose in Lakehurst's Hangar No. 1, when the tail got caught on a beam. Despite the damage, the ship was repaired and made several more trips until it met its demise during stormy weather on April 3, 1933.
While the ship should have been grounded due to severe wind, it went out to help calibrate radio signals. Weather conditions caused a portion of the ship to dip into the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of New Jersey. This destroyed essential equipment rendering the ship rogue. Unable to gain control, the ship plummeted into the sea. Many prominent passengers and high ranking naval officers were on the U.S.S. Akron at the time - 73 out of 76 passengers perished. A rescue airship was sent in, but it crashed as well, killing two more men.
This series of tragedies is almost unbelievable, leading many to call the ship cursed. Its crash over the Jersey coast (near Barnegat Light) was the largest airship disaster in history, resulting in nearly double the deaths of the
Hindenburg’s fire, which also occurred in New Jersey. President Roosevelt declared the event a national tragedy. Had you ever heard of the U.S.S. Akron? Do you believe the ship was cursed?