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World's Worst Airship Disaster Wasn't the Hindenburg: Remembering the USS Akron

Saturday, April 06, 2013 - 03:41 AM

The USS Akron over Manhattan circa 1931 - 1933 (Photo U.S. Naval Archives - http://wny.cc/Y3c5Bk)

When we think of the future of transportation now, it's cars that talk to each other, bullet trains and BRT. But 80 years ago, it was blimps. The centerpiece of New York City, the Empire State Building, even explored the idea of docking dirigibles atop it's soaring spire.

But then came the crashes. WABE in Atlanta took the 80th anniversary of the worst airship disaster in history to recall the fiery tragedy that helped end the dreams of blimps as mass transport. And as Jim Buress points out:

"The Hindenburg is easily the most recognized airship disaster.  But it’s far from the worst. The USS Akron, seen here, crashed on April 4, 2013 off the coast of New Jersey. It's considered the world's worst airship disaster. That unfortunate distinction goes to the USS Akron, a navy airship... Seventy-three of the 76 crew members died."

WABE’s Jim Burress interviewed airship historian Dan Grossman of Airships.net.

Give a listen. The conversation starts with Grossman explaining what caused the crash off the coast of New Jersey.

Listen to the interview here.

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