1931 Airship Uss Akron Leaves Lakehurst Nj Signed C.e. Rosendahl Airship Comandr
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1931 Airship Uss Akron Leaves Lakehurst Nj Signed C.e. Rosendahl Airship Comandr:
Charles E. Rosendahl was the leading figure in America’s rigid airship program. He was one of the most experienced airship aviators in the United States, and was a tireless proponent of lighter-than-air aviation, but is perhaps best remembered as the commander of NAS Lakehurst at the time of the Hindenburg disaster.
Charles Emery Rosendahl was born in Chicago, Illinois on May 15, 1892. He entered the United States Naval Academyin 1910 and was graduated in 1914. After serving in the surface fleet in numerous cruisers, destroyers, and the battleship Oregon, he was given command of the destroyer USS Claxton in 1921, before being assigned to the Naval Academy later that year as an engineering instructor.
Rosendahl’s distinguished career in the Navy’s lighter-than-air program began when he answered a call for airship volunteers in January, 1923. He reported to Naval Air Station Lakehurst for training in April, 1923, and by October he was assigned as a navigator and mooring officer aboard USS Shenandoah.
Lieutenant Commander Rosendahl was aboard USS Shenandoah when the ship was caught in a storm over Ohio on September 3, 1925. Rosendahl and six other men were in the bow section when the ship broke apart; without the weight of the control car, which had fallen from the ship, the bow was highly bouyant and climbed rapidly.
Under Rosendahl’s leadership, the men in the bow released helium from the cells and free-ballooned to a relatively gentle landing, which they all survived. Fourteen other members of the crew were killed in the crash, however, including the ship’s captain, Lieutenant Commander Zachary Lansdowne.
In March, 1926, Rosendahl was assigned as Executive Officer of USS Los Angeles, and was given command of the ship two months later. Rosendahl was a dynamic and energetic commander who was filled with enthusiasm for his ship and its mission. During the next three years, under Rosendahl’s leadership, USS Los Angeles logged over 1,400 flight hours during more than 100 flights, including an almost 40-hour nonstop flight to the Panama Canal Zone and a 52-hour nonstop return, and multiple moorings to the support ship Patoka.
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