Unknown Photographer, The USS Akron Under Construction, (1930)

The above Photographs show the USS Akron under construction at the Goodyear-Zeppelin Corporation “air dock” hangar in Akron, Ohio on Nov. 5, 1930. Because she was the biggest airship ever to be built in America up to that point, a special hangar was constructed and a team of experienced German airship engineers, led by Chief Designer Karl Arnstein instructed and supported design and construction of the ship. Unfortunately, The USS Akron had a relatively short lifespan. Shortly after midnight, in the early minutes of April 4,1933, the ship was hit by a series of strong updrafts and downdrafts off the New Jersey coast.  Akron rose and fell in the strong winds, and while attempting to climb, the ship’s tail struck the water.  With its control surfaces destroyed, Akron was lost, and the ship crashed into the ocean, killing 73 of her 76 crewmen and passengers.