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Catalog Number WF 2271
Caption Dirigible Blimp: AKRON - May 1932
Description WF 2267-2271 are views of the blimp AKRON flying over Anacortes. These photos were taken from the second story of the Vendome Hotel as the blimp passed over the Shannon Building at the southwest corner of 6th and Commercial. The blimp, "the largest airship afloat" was owned by the U. S. Navy and passed over Anacortes on a tour of western Washington cities. Wallie Funk recalled seeing this event as a child when the blimp passed over Anacortes as it traveled north from Everett, continued on to Bellingham, and then passed over Anacortes again as it headed south. A newspaper clipping from the 5-26-1932 ANACORTES AMERICAN is in the folder, along with other information taken from the Internet.

The AKRON, and its sister ship MACON, were built by the U. S. Navy by the Goodyear Company at Akron, Ohio, in 1931. They were the only airships that could "launch and retrieve planes in midair." The AKRON held five planes and was 785 feet long, 133 feet in diameter at the widest point, and carried 6,500,000 cubic feet of helium gas. It was powered by eight 560 horsepower engines and could travel 80 miles per hour. "They were the most expensive aircraft built by the U. S. until after World War II." The AKRON cost $4.5 million to build and first flew on 9-2-1931. She wrecked off the New Jersey coast during a storm on 4-4-1933, and only three of the 76-man crew survived. The AKRON spent "virtually all of its short career on technical and operational development tasks and exploring the potential of a rigid airship as a Naval weapons system." The AKRON flew over Annapolis, Maryland, on 11-2-1941, at the same time the U. S. S. CONSTITUTION was visiting that city, making the event a meeting of "the oldest and the most modern fighting craft of the U. S. Navy." A little more than a year after the AKRON's May 1932 flyover of Anacortes, the U. S. S. CONSTITUTION visited Anacortes as well. By that time, however, the AKRON had already crashed in the Atlantic ocean.
Date 1932 May
Photographer BRADY, Ferd
Collection Wallie Funk Collection
Subjects Place - Anacortes
Transportation - Air
Structure - Business
Credit line Donated by Wallie Funk, Wallie Funk Collection
Place Anacortes, WA
Search Terms AKRON
Shannon Building
Vendome Hotel
Object Name Negative