Arriving at the Lakehurst Naval Air Station
you were directed to the parking lot. From there it was a short
walk to Hanger #1.
Hanger #1 was constructed in 1921. It was 966 feet long, 350 feet
wide and 200 feet high. It's floor area measured 211,434 square
feet and when it was completed it was the largest building with
enclosed space. It was so large that it sometimes rained in the
building even though it was dry and clear outside. The hanger doors
each weighed 1350 pounds and were 136 ft wide, 177 ft high and were
operated by 2-20 Horsepower motors.
We were fortunate to be there when the USS Los Angeles ZR-3 landed.
As it neared touchdown a group of sailors took hold of lines dropped
from the ship. They gently guided it to the mooring mast and coupled
the airship to it. The mast ran on a track that positioned the lighter
than air ship so that it could be backed into Hanger #1 next to
a much larger dirigible the USS Akron ZRS 4.
Another day at Belmar we were treated to the sight of the USS Akron
ZRS 4 slowly making its way up the coast in a northerly direction.
Surprise, surprise, suddenly from out of the airships belly dropped
a fighter plane followed by four others. In simulation of repelling
an enemy airplane attack the pursuits performed acrobatics,climbing
, zooming, all intricate maneuvers to thwart damage to their mother
After about twenty minutes of this action they suddenly formed
a long line and descended to about 300 ft and about one half mile
off shore in a simulated strafing attack to the cheers and applause
of the beach goers. That ended and they returned to more fancy flying,
then it was time to catch the trapeze and return to the mother ship
all five were retrieved and the Akron slowly turned and heads back
to it's base at the Lakehurst Naval Air Station.