Photos courtesy of David Cater unless otherwise noted.


U.S.S. Shenandoah

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The Shenandoah early in her career (ZR-1 on the nose section) at Lakehurst (NJ) Naval Air Station. Ground handling crews are working with spider lines coming from the ship's bow. A crew member can be seen on the observation platform on the top of the ship, which was 93 feet above the control car. (Lighter-Than-Air-Society)

National Archives 80-G-434730

The U.S.S. Shenandoah was built for the U.S. Navy as a weapons system, flying laboratory, and as a scouting vessel. When completed, the majestic airship was 680 ft. 2 in. long and 93 ft. 2 in. high. To this day, jet liners are fascinating to watch as they land and take off. Can you imagine what it must have been like to watch this huge, helium filled ship break the horizon of Noble County back on September 3, 1925, when even an airplane was rare to see? What about when two relatives were watching from their yard and seeing the ship elevate a little and then back down? One, not believing her eyes said, “It looks like it’s breaking in Two!” The other then said, “My God, it is!” Tragically, 14 men lost their lives shortly thereafter.

Suggested Activity- Review a special tribute to the U.S.S. Shenandoah on Then arrange a self-guided tour by contacting one of our local Shenandoah experts:
John Powell: PH. (740) 732-2341

With their help research the last days of the ship and her crew by examining old photos and artifacts of a small museum in Ava. Visit three crash sites to compare the terrain now with that of September 3, 1925. Discover what happened, why it happened, and exactly where it happened. Find out why the crash is still of interest to people all over the world!