In this Picture Postcard view of the USS Macon, a member of the crew checks one of the ships many gasoline tanks prior to a test flight from the Goodyear-Zeppelin dock in Akron. This is the starboard lateral gangway. Narrow catwalks like this one stretched throughout the interior of the ships hull.
ZRS-5, The Macon, was a rigid airship built and operated by the United States Navy as a scouting platform for support of the fleet. As a part of the Macon’s design, she was equipped to carry five single-seat Curtiss F9C Sparrowhawks. These aircraft could be launched and recovered in flight.
ZRS-5 Takes Shape
Macon was built at the Goodyear-Zeppelin Airdock in Akron. Goodyears relationship with Zeppelin allowed them access to a team of experienced German airship engineers who instructed and supported the design and construction of both the U.S.S. Macon and the U.S.S. Akron. On June 24, 1933, the Macon left Goodyear’s air field for Naval Air Station (NAS) Lakehurst, N.J., where the new airship was based for the summer.
Crash of the Macon
The Macon was in service for less than two years before a 1935 storm caused her to crash off California’s Big Sur coast. Unlike the crew of the U.S.S. Akron which crashed in 1933, most of Macons crew survived the destruction of their airship.