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US Navy Zeppelin ZR-1 USS SHENANDOAH Named Lot

This is an incredible collection of photographs, documents, plans, logs, newspaper clippings, books, newsletters, skin material, and other memorabilia from one of the surviving crewmen of the USS SHENANDOAH (ZR-1) rigid airships.

Corporal Edward F. Douglass was a US Army aviator (one of a total of 14) assigned to the US Navy rigid airship USS SHENANDOAH. He had experience on a number of both US Army and US Navy airships from the early to late 1920s. He was one of the 20 survivors of the crash of the SHENANDOAH on the evening of 16 January, 1924.

These items are being offered as a SINGLE lot. It is priced at $2,999.99 and includes all of the items listed on this page (with the exception of the ruler used to show scale that is not related to this lot).

If you need some history of the SHENANDOAH or LOS ANGELES, you can find some great images and descriptions here at the Navy Lakehurst Historical Society pages: http://www.nlhs.com/

Shown below are several of the more significant items.  They are not the entire lot, but representative of the rest of it. 

Thumbnail (Click to Enlarge) Description, Size, Condition

This is Edward Douglass's Aviator's Flight Log Book.

This logbook includes entries of some of the preliminary flights of the ZR-1. This includes a number of test flights of several balloons, including the Christening Flight of the US Navy Zeppelin ZR-3 (later the USS LOS ANGELES) on 25 November 1924 and several flights in January, 1925; K.B.s #6105, #6103, #6104, and 2799; and several flights of the ZR-1 (later the USS SHENANDOAH). The pages showing the record of the christening flight of the USS LOS ANGELES are shown here.

Many of the 18 completed pages have signatures and stamps from the certifying officers and pilots.

This is representative of a number of newspaper clippings detailing the service of Edward Douglass on the SHENANDOAH, and his actions on the night of the gale and crash of the Zeppelin in January 1924.

Here is a photograph of the surviving crew the night of the gale. Note that Edward Douglas, one of four Army aviators in the group, at the far left in coveralls. He was on the gangplank when the ship broke loose and barely managed to pull himself into the ship before it went aloft. The names of the crew members are listed on the back in Douglas's handwriting. 19 of the men are shown. The 20th, a Bureau of Standards tech rep, is not shown.

This is a very full photograph album with a number of unpublished snapshots, a few commercial postal photographs, some early colorized photographs, and similar content. There are over 220 photographs, ranging in size from 1 by 2 inches to 8 by 10 inches, The majority of the photographs are 4 by 6 or larger.

There are a number of different airships shown, as well as aerial photographs of the USS PATOKA (AV-6, formerly AO-9), a converted oiler made into an at-sea docking ship.

There are a number of photographs of the mast and docking mechanisms, as well as construction and repairs of the SHENANDOAH.

There is a very clearly captioned photograph of the entire crew (including Corporal Douglass) taken the day of the ill-fated storm.  It measures 6 by 8 inches.  The front and back are shown in close-up.

Here are several pages, representative of the 67 total pages in the album.

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This is a series of ammonia and blueprints, mostly of the docking mechanisms of the USS SHENDANDOAH. There are about 10 drawings in the set.

This is a small parachute used in a number of tests of air to ground communications. It measures about 12 inches long, and the canopy is made of paper.

This is a large sheet of the material used on the USS SHENANDOAH, with the dope applied to it, but not the silver reflective paint. It measures about 4 feet on a side (more than 16 square feet) and it is folded a number of times. It is fragile and a bit brittle from years of storage folded as shown. The 12 inch ruler is shown for scale only, it is not a part of this offering.

These are two smaller squares of different airship material, including a rubberized material square and a stiffer cloth material.

This is one of several newspapers documenting the crashes of the USS SHENANDOAH. The one at the left is the final crash of the airship in Ohio.

There is another newspaper documenting the damage and crash when the SHENANDOAH was torn loose from her mooring in January, 1924. There are a number of period newspaper clippings of these events in this lot (approximately 15-20 articles)

There are an additional 25 articles of the other events involving the SHENANDOAH as well.

This is the 1931 (Seventh Annual Edition) of The Story of the Airship, published yearly since 1925. It was written by Hugh Allen and published by the Goodyear Company.

The contents and title page is shown here.

This is a set of two issues of AERIAL FLASHES: The Magazine of Naval Aviation from January and February 1924 (Volume Numbers 4 and 5)

This is a set of loose snapshot photographs of the SHENANDOAH, and other airships and aircraft, all unpublished. There are 36 photographs in this set, most measuring 2 by 3 inches. Here are the rest.

There are also a number of chromo postcards, and other photographs, including some large photographs of the reconstruction of the nose after the gale, and an issue of the booklet Shenandoah and ZR-3: America's Rigid Airships.

Also included in this lot is a letter from the Ender's Sales Company, presenting Edward Douglass an Ender's Safety Razor for his "close shave" in the gale accident. Another letter documents the remailing of two crash covers that fell to Earth during the flight and were forwarded by US Mail by the person finding them.

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US Navy Zeppelin ZR-1 USS SHENANDOAH Items

USS SHENANDOAH (ZR-1) Individually Priced Items

Thumbnail (Click to Enlarge) Item Number
Item Name
Description, Size, Condition Price Status

U.S.S. SHENANDOAH Booklet of Information Crash History

This is a booklet detailing the early history of this US Navy Zeppelin.  It contains a complete account of the fatal crash, including a full roster of all those present on the ship at the time of the crash to include those killed, injured and uninjured. This is a view of the first inside page.  There are a total of 17 pages of content.

The booklet was written by Rell S. Clements, the US Navy Station photographer at NAS Lakehurst, New Jersey.

There is a minor crease from a fold. The cover is signed by H. R. Engel.

It measures 2-7/8 by 3-3/8 inches.

The condition is near excellent.

$99.99 Available

U.S.S. SHENANDOAH Crash Metal Model

This is a hollow metal model made from metal salvaged from the fatal crash of the SHENANDOAH.

It measures 1 inch in diameter (not including outboard portions) by 8 inches long.  It is a hollow cast metal tube with pre-1926 (1925) style gondola and five engines.  After the crash that ripped off the suspended gondola, the control room was proposed to be attached as an integral part of the frame to the hull, and the engines were reduced from a total of six (five outboard engines, the sixth was attached to the rear of the gondola) to three.  A very clear set of illustrations showing the differences between the 1925 original pre-crash design and the 1926-1927 post-crash proposed modifications is shown here.

This airship was destroyed in a crash in Ohio on 3 September, 1925.

These are views of the model from the top and bottom.

This is a rare artifact, especially with the attached engine pods and gondola intact and complete original condition.

The condition is near excellent, with some oxidation from age and darkness from handling over the years.

$999.99 Available