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NavSource Online: Rigid Airships Photo Archive

USS SHENANDOAH   (ZR-1)

USS Shenandoah (ZR-1)
Contributed by Don McGrogan, BMCS, USN Ret.



Flag Hoist/Radio Call Sign: November - Echo - Romeo - Kilo
Tactical Voice Radio Call:


Shenandoah Class Long-range Reconnaissance and Bombardment Rigid Airship
Authorized First frame Completed Commissioned Decommissioned Stricken
11 July 1919 24 June 1922 20 Aug. 1923 10 Oct. 1923   5 Sept. 1925
Builder: Naval Aircraft Factory, Philadelphia, PA. Assembled at the Naval Air Station, Lakehurst, NJ

Fate: On 3 Sept. 1925, during the first leg of a publicity flight to the Midwest, USS Shenandoah encountered violent weather over southern Ohio, broke up in flight and was a total loss.

Fourteen of her complement (including her CO, CDR Zachary Lansdowne) lost their lives in this tragedy.


Specifications
(As built)
Air displacement: 2,289,861 ft³ (64,841.6 m³)
Dimensions: length (oa), 680' 2"; hull diameter, 78' 9"; total height, 93' 2"  /  207.3 x 24 x 28.4 meters
Gas volume: 2,115,174 ft³ (59,895.1 m³) of helium; 20 gas cells
Armament: Six single .30-cal Lewis machine guns; up to 4,000 lbs. of bombs carried internally
Power plant: Six Packard 1A-1551 water-cooled engines mounted in external cars (300 hp @ 1400 rpm, each), driving two-bladed fixed-pitch wooden propellers
Speed: ~60 knots (max) at sea level; 40+ knots (cruising)
Ceiling: 13,000 feet (~3,960 meters)
Cruising range: 2,770 nautical miles
Useful lift: 48,774 lbs. (22,170 kg)
Crew: 40 officers & enlisted men (flight crew)

Click on image
for full-size image
Size Image description Contributed
by and/or Copyright
Construction and Christening (1922–1923)
ZR-1 Shenandoah
NS02990131
268k

Official U.S. Navy photo of the future USS Shenandoah (ZR-1).

Lee Corbin comments: "[I believe this photo was] taken at the Naval Aircraft Factory in Philadelphia where the Shenandoah's structure was fabricated prior to shipment to Lakehurst for assembly."

Library of Congress photo, call number: LC-B2- 5968-8, record URL: http://www.loc.gov/pictures/item/ggb2006011146/. Bain Collection.

Mike Green
ZR-1 Shenandoah
NS02990101
229k

View of the interior of the future USS Shenandoah (ZR-1), while she was under construction inside the airship hangar at Naval Air Station Lakehurst, New Jersey, in 1922–1923.

View looks aft along Shenandoah's keel, showing her midships frames in place. Those at her bow and stern have not yet been erected, but supports for some of the missing frames are visible in the foreground.

Collection of Admiral Thomas C. Kinkaid, USN, 1973.

U.S. Naval History & Heritage Command photograph (# NH 82263).

Naval History & Heritage Command
ZR-1 Shenandoah
NS02990102
145k

The future USS Shenandoah (ZR-1) under construction inside the airship hangar at Naval Air Station Lakehurst, New Jersey, 1923. Note platforms at left used for erecting her horizontal tail fins.

Collection of Admiral Thomas C. Kinkaid, USN, 1973.

U.S. Naval History & Heritage Command photograph (# NH 82256).

Naval History & Heritage Command
ZR-1 Shenandoah
NS02990103
152k

The future USS Shenandoah (ZR-1) under construction inside the airship hangar at Naval Air Station Lakehurst, New Jersey, 1923. This view was taken from the hangar floor, looking forward and to port from off Shenandoah's starboard quarter. Note the wooden scaffolding used to support her hull and to provide working platforms.

Collection of Admiral Thomas C. Kinkaid, USN, 1973.

U.S. Naval History & Heritage Command photograph (# NH 98224).

Naval History & Heritage Command
ZR-1 Shenandoah
NS02990104
155k

View of the interior of the future USS Shenandoah (ZR-1), showing tanks for her gasoline fuel. Taken while she was under construction inside the airship hangar at Naval Air Station Lakehurst, New Jersey, 1923. Note weight and capacity (113 gallons) markings on the fuel tanks, details of her aluminum structure, and the narrow (10" wide) catwalk used for crew movement inside the airship's hull.

Collection of Admiral Thomas C. Kinkaid, USN, 1973.

U.S. Naval History & Heritage Command photograph (# NH 82264).

Naval History & Heritage Command
ZR-1 Shenandoah
NS02990133
206k

The future USS Shenandoah (ZR-1) newly completed, in a photo dated 25 August 1923.

Library of Congress photo, call number: LC-B2- 6052-2. Bain Collection.

Mike Green
ZR-1 Shenandoah
NS02990135
125k

Bow section of Shenandoah (ZR-1), showing engine cars.

Library of Congress photo, call number: LC-B2- 6052-4. Bain Collection.

Mike Green
ZR-1 Shenandoah
NS02990136
127k

Stern of Shenandoah (ZR-1), showing rudders.

Library of Congress photo, call number: LC-B2- 6052-5. Bain Collection.

Mike Green
ZR-1 Shenandoah
NS02990105
100k

Christening ceremonies for USS Shenandoah (ZR-1), held inside the airship hangar at Naval Air Station Lakehurst, New Jersey, 10 October 1923.

Collection of the Society of Sponsors of the United States Navy.

U.S. Naval History & Heritage Command photograph (# NH 98221).

Naval History & Heritage Command
ZR-1 Shenandoah
NS02990106
62k

Mrs. Edwin Denby, wife of the Secretary of the Navy and Sponsor of USS Shenandoah (ZR-1) on the Sponsor's platform during the dirigible's christening ceremonies, held inside the airship hangar at Naval Air Station Lakehurst, New Jersey, on 10 October 1923. Mrs. Denby is ready to pull the cord that will break the christening bottle.

Collection of the Society of Sponsors of the United States Navy.

U.S. Naval History & Heritage Command photograph (# NH 98220).

Naval History & Heritage Command
Service Life (1923–1925)
ZR-1 Shenandoah
NS02990137
39k

Undated picture of the USS Shenandoah (ZR-1), the first of the US Navy's rigid airships, in flight. National Archives photo # 80-CF-4136-8.

Photo and text from from United States Navy Aircraft since 1911, by Gordon Swanborough and Peter M. Bowers.

Robert Hurst
ZR-1 Shenandoah
NS02990138
133k

"ZR-1 [Shenandoah] leaving hangar." Date and location unknown.

Library of Congress photo, call number: LC-B2- 6060-17. Bain Collection.

Mike Green
ZR-1 Shenandoah
NS02990140
69k

USS Shenandoah (ZR-1) over Union Station at St. Louis, Missouri, date unknown.

National Naval Aviation Museum photo.

Mike Green
ZR-1 Shenandoah
NS02990141
41k

Overhead view of USS Shenandoah (ZR-1) at St. Louis, Missouri flying field.

National Naval Aviation Museum photo.

Mike Green
ZR-1 Shenandoah
NS02990114
110k

USS Shenandoah (ZR-1) flying in the vicinity of New York City, circa 1923.

U.S. Naval History & Heritage Command photograph (# NH 51492).

Naval History & Heritage Command
ZR-1 Shenandoah
NS02990142
115k

USS Shenandoah (ZR-1) tethered to a triangular-shaped mooring mast at Naval Air Station (NAS) Lakehurst, New Jersey circa 1923–1925. Note the individual walking a plank extending from the nose of the aircraft to the top of the mooring mast.

National Naval Aviation Museum photo (# 1999.060.074).

Mike Green
ZR-1 Shenandoah
NS02990143
130k

Side view of the rigid airship USS Shenandoah (ZR-1) at Naval Air Station (NAS) Lakehurst, New Jersey, circa 1923–1925. Photo by Clements.

National Naval Aviation Museum photo (# 1999.060.075).

Mike Green
ZR-1 Shenandoah
NS02990113
115k

Officers assigned to the airship USS Shenandoah (ZR-1), photographed at Naval Air Station Lakehurst, New Jersey, in 1923.

Those present are:

(Bottom row, left to right): Lieutenant Louis J. Roth; Commander Frank R. McCrary, Commanding Officer; Commander Ralph D. Weyerbacher, (CC); Lieutenant Commander Joseph M. Deem; Lieutenant Commander Joseph P. Norfleet; and Lieutenant Commander Maurice R. Pierce.

(Top row, left to right): Lieutenant (Junior Grade) Raymond F. Tyler; Lieutenant Telford B. Null; Lieutenant Earle H. Kincaid; Lieutenant Arthur R. Houghton; Lieutenant Charles E. Rosendahl; Lieutenant (Junior Grade) George V. Whittle, (CC); Ensign Charles E. Bauch; and Lieutenant Joseph C. Arnold.

U.S. Naval History & Heritage Command photograph (# NH 789).

Naval History & Heritage Command
ZR-1 Shenandoah
NS02990107
111k

USS Shenandoah (ZR-1) inside the airship hangar at Naval Air Station Lakehurst, New Jersey. The date of the photograph appears to be 8 November 1923.

U.S. Naval History & Heritage Command photograph (# NH 44092).

Naval History & Heritage Command
ZR-1 Shenandoah
NS02990108
57k

Montage of five photographs, showing the airship USS Shenandoah (ZR-1) leaving her mooring mast at Naval Air Station Lakehurst, New Jersey, circa November 1923–January 1924.

Photographed by Clements. Courtesy of Mrs. Barnes.

U.S. Naval History & Heritage Command photograph (# NH 92614).

Naval History & Heritage Command
ZR-1 Shenandoah
NS02990114
105k

USS Shenandoah (ZR-1) inside the airship hangar at Naval Air Station Lakehurst, New Jersey, showing damage to her nose received during the storm of 16 January 1924, when she was torn away from the station's mooring mast by a strong gust of wind.

Photographed by Clements. Courtesy of Mrs. Barnes.

U.S. Naval History & Heritage Command photograph (# NH 92612).

Naval History & Heritage Command
ZR-1 Shenandoah
NS02990115
112k

USS Shenandoah receives repairs to her damaged nose structure, inside the airship hangar at Naval Air Station Lakehurst, New Jersey, 1924. She had been damaged when a storm tore her from the station's mooring mast on 16 January 1924.

This photograph, taken by Clements, shows one of her gas cells, partially deflated.

Collection of Admiral Thomas C. Kinkaid, USN, 1973.

U.S. Naval History & Heritage Command photograph (# NH 82260).

Naval History & Heritage Command
ZR-1 Shenandoah
NS091900906
85k

USS Shenandoah (ZR-1) moored to USS Patoka (AO-9), circa 1924.

Courtesy of the Naval Historical Foundation.

U.S. Naval History & Heritage Command photograph (# NH 57994).

Naval History & Heritage Command
ZR-1 Shenandoah
NS091900905
94k

USS Patoka (AO-9) in a harbor, with the airship USS Shenandoah (ZR-1) overhead, circa 1924.

Courtesy of the Naval Historical Foundation. Collection of Harriet A. Harris, USN(NC)-Retired. Donated by Mrs. J.B. Redfield, 1961. US Naval History & Heritage Command (photo # NH 98162).

Naval History & Heritage Command
ZR-1 Shenandoah
NS091900907
103k

USS Shenandoah (ZR-1) moored to USS Patoka (AO-9), circa 1924.

Courtesy of the Naval Historical Foundation. Collection of Harriet A. Harris, USN(NC)-Retired. Donated by Mrs. J.B. Redfield, 1961. US Naval History & Heritage Command (photo # NH 98163).

Naval History & Heritage Command
ZR-1 Shenandoah
NS091900928
79k

USS Shenandoah (ZR-1) secured to USS Patoka (AO-9), circa 1924.

US Navy photo from Jane's All the World's Fighting Ships, 1924 issue.

Derick S. Hartshorn
ZR-1 Shenandoah
NS02990125
49k

USS Shenandoah (ZR-1) in flight during operations with the U.S. Fleet, circa 1924. Photographed from USS Tennessee (BB-43).

Courtesy of the Naval Historical Foundation. Collection of Captain Frank Brooks Upham.

U.S. Naval History & Heritage Command photograph (# NH 80546).

Naval History & Heritage Command
ZR-1 Shenandoah
NS091900940
91k

USS Shenandoah (ZR-1) moored to USS Patoka (AO-9), circa 1924.

Library of Congress photo (# LC-F8- 31898).

Mike Green
ZR-1 Shenandoah
NS02990132
96k

"The New 'Skipper' Inspects the Shenandoah:"

"Lt. Commander Zachary Landsdowne, U.S.N., recently appoint [sic] commander of the U.S. Navy dirigible Shenandoah, inspects the sandbags which hold down the big gas bag, in the hangar at Lakehurst, NJ." 17 February 1924.

Tommy Trampp
ZR-1 Shenandoah
NS02990132a
73k
ZR-1 Shenandoah
NS091900902
96k

USS Patoka (AO-9), with airship USS Shenandoah (ZR-1) secured to her mast, August 1924.

US Navy photo, now in the collections of the US National Archives (# 80-G-452975).

US National Archives
ZR-1 Shenandoah
NS091900903
58k

USS Patoka (AO-9), with airship USS Shenandoah (ZR-1) secured to her mast, August 1924–August 1925, location unknown.

Submitted by Elaine C. Witty Charpentier, photo from the collection of Gerald M. Charpentier
ZR-1 Shenandoah
NS02990112
111k

Night photograph of USS Shenandoah's control car, probably at the time of her arrival at Naval Air Station North Island, San Diego, California, on 10 October 1924, after a flight across the Continent.

Rear Admiral William A. Moffett, Chief of the Bureau of Aeronautics, is standing in the rightmost control car window. Captain Thomas T. Craven, Commanding Officer of NAS North Island, is on the ground, at right.

Photograph from the collection of Vice Admiral T.T. Craven. Courtesy of Lieutenant Rodman DeKay, Jr., USNR (Retired), 1979.

U.S. Naval History & Heritage Command photograph (# NH 90261).

Naval History & Heritage Command
ZR-1 Shenandoah
NS02990134
49k

"The Shenandoah at her moorings on North Island the morning after she made her first trip."

Maura van der Linden
ZR-1 Shenandoah
NS02990111
84k

USS Shenandoah (ZR-1) moored at Naval Air Station North Island, San Diego, California, in October 1924.

Courtesy of ESKC Joseph L. Aguillard, USNR, 1969.

U.S. Naval History & Heritage Command photograph (# NH 69451).

Naval History & Heritage Command
ZR-1 Shenandoah
NS02990130
71k

USS Shenandoah (ZR-1) at Camp Lewis, Sunday, 19 October 1924, Tacoma, Washington. Shenandoah is hovering over a field of cars and spectators.

Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division. Reproduction Number: LC-USZ62-24978.

Library of Congress, via Mike Green
ZR-1 Shenandoah
NS02990124
76k

USS Shenandoah (ZR-1) in flight near the Golden Gate, off San Francisco, California, in October 1924.

Photograph from the collection of Vice Admiral T.T. Craven. Courtesy of Lieutenant Rodman DeKay, Jr., USNR (Retired), 1979.

U.S. Naval History & Heritage Command photograph (# NH 90257).

Naval History & Heritage Command
ZR-1 Shenandoah
NS091900908
113k

USS Shenandoah (ZR-1) moored to USS Patoka (AO-9), circa 1924–1925.

Collection of the Society of Sponsors of the United States Navy.

US Navy photo from the collections of the US Naval History & Heritage Command (photo # NH 98222).

Naval History & Heritage Command
ZR-1 Shenandoah
NS091900922
73k

USS Patoka (AO-9) with USS Shenandoah (ZR-1) attached to her mooring mast, 1924–1925.

Robert Hurst
ZR-1 Shenandoah
NS02990127
173k

Airship USS Shenandoah (ZR-1) and USS Patoka (AO-9) off Newport, Rhode Island, 1924–25.

Photo by ©Leslie Jones, photographer (1886–1967).

These photos were most likely taken on 8–9 August 1924. The minesweeper in the middle distance appears to be USS Rail (AM-26). Rail was in the Pacific in 1925.

Courtesy of the Boston Public Library, Leslie Jones Collection.
ZR-1 Shenandoah
NS02990128
258k

Airship USS Shenandoah (ZR-1) and USS Patoka (AO-9) off Newport, Rhode Island, 1924–25.

Photo by ©Leslie Jones, photographer (1886–1967).

These photos were possibly taken on 8–9 August 1924.

Courtesy of the Boston Public Library, Leslie Jones Collection.
ZR-1 Shenandoah
NS02990129
209k

Airship USS Shenandoah (ZR-1) and USS Patoka (AO-9) off Newport, Rhode Island, 1924–25.

Photo by ©Leslie Jones, photographer (1886–1967).

These photos were possibly taken on 8–9 August 1924.

Courtesy of the Boston Public Library, Leslie Jones Collection.
ZR-1 Shenandoah
NS02990110
52k

USS Shenandoah (ZR-1) moored to a portable mast, circa 1924–1925.

Photograph from the Albert Chamberlain photo album, donated by Colonel Carl Mahakian, USMCR, 1975.

U.S. Naval History & Heritage Command photograph (# NH 98226).

Naval History & Heritage Command
ZR-1 Shenandoah
NS02990109
66k

USS Shenandoah (ZR-1) moored to the airship mast at Naval Air Station Lakehurst, New Jersey, circa 1924–1925.

Donation of Dr. & Mrs. William James Morgan, 1988.

U.S. Naval History & Heritage Command photograph (# NH 98228).

Naval History & Heritage Command
ZR-1 Shenandoah
NS091900930
345k

USS Patoka (AO-9) at Bar Harbor, Maine, circa 2 to 5 July 1925, with USS Shenandoah (ZR-1) moored to her mast. The two ships in the background are USCGC Patterson (CG-16) and USCGC Cummings (CG-3).

US Navy photo from the collection of Raymond Strout.

Jonathan Eno
ZR-1 Shenandoah
NS02990126
137k

USS Shenandoah (ZR-1) at Bar Harbor, Maine, 3–4 July 1925. Full-dressed ships at anchor are, left to right: USCGC Patterson (CG-16), USCGC McCall (CG-14) and USCGC Beale (CG-9).

US Navy photo from the collection of Raymond Strout.

Jonathan Eno
ZR-1 Shenandoah
NS02990126b
119k

USS Shenandoah (ZR-1) at Bar Harbor, Maine, 3–4 July 1925. Bow of USCGC Beale (CG-9) is visible on the lower left corner.

US Navy photo from the collection of Raymond Strout.

Jonathan Eno
ZR-1 Shenandoah
NS02990126c
93k

USS Shenandoah (ZR-1) at Bar Harbor, Maine, 3–4 July 1925.

US Navy photo from the collection of Raymond Strout.

Jonathan Eno
ZR-1 Shenandoah
NS091900931
383k

USS Patoka (AO-9) mooring USS Shenandoah (ZR-1) at Bar Harbor, Maine, circa 3 to 4 July 1925. In the foreground, at left, is the steam yacht Lyndonia, later Southern Seas, commissioned USS Southern Seas (PY-32) during World War II and sunk at Buckner Bay, Okinawa during Typhoon Louise in 1945.

US Navy photo from the collection of Raymond Strout.

Jonathan Eno
ZR-1 Shenandoah
NS02990126a
49k

USS Patoka (AO-9) mooring USS Shenandoah (ZR-1) at Bar Harbor, Maine, circa 3–4 July 1925. At left, the steam yacht Lyndonia, later Southern Seas, commissioned USS Southern Seas (PY-32) during World War II and sunk at Buckner Bay, Okinawa during Typhoon Louise in 1945.

US Navy photo from the collection of Raymond Strout.

Jonathan Eno
ZR-1 Shenandoah
NS02990126d
213k

USS Patoka (AO-9) mooring USS Shenandoah (ZR-1) at Bar Harbor, Maine, circa 3–4 July 1925. At left, the steam yacht Lyndonia, later Southern Seas, commissioned USS Southern Seas (PY-32) during World War II and sunk at Buckner Bay, Okinawa during Typhoon Louise in 1945.

US Navy photo from the collection of Raymond Strout.

Jonathan Eno
ZR-1 Shenandoah
NS02990126e
165k

USS Patoka (AO-9) mooring USS Shenandoah (ZR-1) at Bar Harbor, Maine, circa 3–4 July 1925.

US Navy photo from the collection of Raymond Strout.

Jonathan Eno
ZR-1 Shenandoah
NS02990126f
231k

USS Patoka (AO-9) mooring USS Shenandoah (ZR-1) at Bar Harbor, Maine, circa 3–4 July 1925. At left, the steam yacht Lyndonia, later Southern Seas, commissioned USS Southern Seas (PY-32) during World War II and sunk at Buckner Bay, Okinawa during Typhoon Louise in 1945.

US Navy photo from the collection of Henry W. Brown.

Jonathan Eno
Crash of USS Shenandoah (ZR-1), 3 Sept. 1925
ZR-1 Shenandoah
NS02990116
123k

Wreckage of USS Shenandoah's bow section on a southern Ohio farm soon after it crashed. Note sightseers and their automobiles.

U.S. Naval History & Heritage Command photograph (# NH 98998).

Naval History & Heritage Command
ZR-1 Shenandoah
NS02990117
108k

Wreckage of the airship's forward section, soon after it landed near Sharon, in southeastern Ohio. This view shows the forward section from off its port side.

Photographed by Dowling, Caldwell, Ohio.

Courtesy of Allan J. Drugan, 1967.

U.S. Naval History & Heritage Command photograph (# NH 42043).

Naval History & Heritage Command
ZR-1 Shenandoah
NS02990119
133k

Wreckage of Shenandoah's after section, surrounded by sightseers and their automobiles, soon after the airship crashed in southern Ohio.

U.S. Naval History & Heritage Command photograph (# NH 98997).

Naval History & Heritage Command
ZR-1 Shenandoah
NS02990120
136k

View of the wreckage of the airship's after section, soon after she crashed in southeastern Ohio. This view shows the after section's port side, forward of the tail fins.

U.S. Naval History & Heritage Command photograph (# NH 42026).

Naval History & Heritage Command
ZR-1 Shenandoah
NS02990121
92k

Wreckage of the airship's after section, soon after she crashed in southeastern Ohio. This view was taken from off the after section's starboard front end, with the tail at the left and the top national star marking at right.

Photographed by Dowling, Caldwell, Ohio. Courtesy of Allan J. Drugan, 1967.

U.S. Naval History & Heritage Command photograph (# NH 42042).

Naval History & Heritage Command
ZR-1 Shenandoah
NS02990122
90k

Wreckage of the airship's after section, soon after she crashed in southeastern Ohio. This view shows the entire after section, from off the starboard side, with the remains of the tail fins at the left. Note the many automobiles and sightseers.

Photographed by Dowling, Caldwell, Ohio. Courtesy of Allan J. Drugan, 1967.

U.S. Naval History & Heritage Command photograph (# NH 42040).

Naval History & Heritage Command
ZR-1 Shenandoah
NS02990118
150k

Men working on the airship's wreckage, possibly during salvage efforts some time after the crash.

U.S. Naval History & Heritage Command photograph (# NH 42027).

Naval History & Heritage Command

For more photos and information about this ship, see:

View the USS Shenandoah (ZR-1)
DANFS History entry located on the Naval History & Heritage Command Web Site.
Crew Contact and Reunion Information
Not applicable

Related Links of Interest
  AirshipHistory.com

  Naval Airship Association, Inc.

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Last update: 1 October 2016