Veterans’ Day Brunch Features Airship History

On November 9th the NOUS Northwest Commandery met at the Everett Naval Station to commemorate and celebrate Veteran’s day.

Floyd Kershner (l) introduces guest speaker Lee Corbin

Our guest speaker was Lee Corbin who presented “Daughter Of Stars; The ZR-1 comes to the Pacific Northwest”. (USS Shenandoah was designated as ZR-1 as the first of four U. S. Navy rigid airships.)

The presentation began with some background discussion of the Germans flying dirigibles for several years before WWI. The first commercial airline was the DELAG using Zeppelins. The first use of Zeppelins for bombing was in August 1914 and the first bombing of England was on 31 May 1915.

On a flight back from an English bombing raid a German dirigible crashed in France and was torn apart; the detailed French drawings were distributed to the US Navy, which accelerated their own construction. The United States launched its efforts for a first air ship in September 1919 and the final design was approved in October 1921.

The USS Shenandoah was completed in 1923 and it flew from Houston to San Diego to Seattle. The airship arrived at Camp Lewis on 19 October 1924. It crashed in Shannon, Ohio in September 1925.

USS Shenandoah (ZR-1) flying off the entrance to San Diego harbor, California, 16 October 1924. U.S. Naval History and Heritage Command Photograph. Catalog #: NH 705

Several historic pictures were shown during the presentation and a short black and white movie from the Shenandoah was presented.

The All American Restaurant at Naval Station Everett: A great venue for a Saturday brunch and historical discussion!

Many thanks from the commandery to Lee for a great presentation!


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