Program Directory

Remarkable Ohio - The Wreck of the Shenandoah
The first of four United States Navy Airships built in 1923, and the first rigid airship to fly across North America in 1924, the USS Shenandoah made 57 flights before being torn apart by a squall line over rural Ohio.
The Shenandoah was one of the first airships that utilized helium to fly. A step away from the dangerous hydrogen gas used in other airships.
Almost two years to the day of it's first flight, the daughter of the stars began it fatal final voyage despite many protests by the ships commanded Zachary Lansdowne, a Ohio Native. Landsdowne warned of the violent weather patterns that were common in Ohio in late summer.
However, the flight was only postponed to a September 2, departure from Lakehurst, New Jersey. The voyage to fly over 40 cites and visit many state fairs was an attempt to showcase airship technology.
On the morning of september 3rd, 1925 an up-drift tossed Shenandoah around violently eventually breaking it in two. Two of the engine car broke away from the Shenadoah and fell to the ground below. Killing the mechanics trapped inside. The control car with six men aboard including Landsdowne also detected from the ship crashing at this site in noble county. Navigator Charles Rosendahl and the remaining crew members manage to take the ballon of the ship down for a rough landing half a mile away from the control car. Shortly after landing souvenir hunters stripped the wreckage.
Some survivors of the crash would continue to server with the navy after the wreck of the Shenadoah. Sadly six of those survivors would parish in the wreck of the USS Akron in 1933. Two others would survive the wreck of the USS Macon in 1935.
Rosendahl would also continue to server the navy as the commanding officer of naval air engining station Lakehurst. He would lead fire fighting and rescues efforts during the Hindenburg airship disaster that occurred there in 1937. Fourteen members of the Shenadoah crew including Landsdowe lost their lives during this tragedy commemorated here in noble county.
October 15, 2013