Today is Video Thursday and we’ll take a look at the Navy’s airship history and the aircraft that accompanied them. This first clip shows rare footage of the Vought UO-1 observation airplane hooking onto the USS Los Angeles, ZR-3. You may notice that some of the naval personnel here are actors, not real Navy, and some of the actions may or may not have been standard navy operating procedures, but made for great movie shots! This is from a Frank Capra production, Dirigible, with the storyline being a competition between the Navy’s airships and aircraft on who could reach the South Pole first. Great publicity for the Navy who cooperated fully, part of Rear Admiral Moffetts plan to gain the attention of the nation and support from her politicians.
Next we’ll look at silent footage on the USS Shenandoah from the early-mid 1920’s.
Here’s a look at the sad end of the Navy’s great airship program with the crash of USS Macon, ZRS-5 and USS Akron, ZRS-4 and their champion, Rear Admiral William Adger Moffett, the architect and father of Naval Aviation.