Funeral services for the 28 Germans who lost their lives in the Hindenburg disaster, 1937

In New York City, funeral services for the 28 Germans who lost their lives in the Hindenburg disaster are held at the Hamburg-American Wharf on May 11, 1937. About 10,000 members of German organizations stood at the pier. It appears to be a mixture of Nazi Germany, American and German-American Bund flags.

The Hindenburg, a massive German airship caught fire while attempting to land near Lakehurst, New Jersey, killing 35 people, as well as a ground crew member. Of the 97 passengers and crew on board, 62 survived.

The horrific incident was captured by journalists and photographers and replayed on radio broadcasts, newsprint and newsreels. News of the disaster caused an era of lost public confidence in airship travel, ending an era.

The 245 m (803 ft) Hindenburg used flammable hydrogen for lift, which consumed the airship in a massive fireball, but the actual cause of the initial fire is unknown.


Minutes after the landing lines were shot down, RH Ward, in charge of the Port Bow landing party, observed what he described as a wave-like flap of the outer shell on the port side, between frames 62 and 77, which contained gas cell numbers. 5.

He testified in a Commerce Department investigation that it appeared to him as if the gas was pushing against the cover, the gas had escaped from the cell. Ground crew member RW Antrim, who was on top of the mooring mast, also testified that he noticed the rear cover of the rear port engine flapping.

At 7:25 p.m., outer flames appeared for the first time. Reports vary, but most witnesses see the first flames either vertically on the top of the hull ahead of the fin (near the ventilation shaft between cells 4 and 5) or between the rear port engine and the port fin (in the gas area). Saw it. Cells 4 and 5, where Ward and Antrim saw the flutter).

For example, Lakehurst Commander Rosendahl described a "mushroom-shaped flower" of bursts of flame in front of the upper wing. Navy Lieutenant Benjamin May, the assistant mooring officer atop the mooring mast, testified that an area just behind the rear port engine (where Ward and Antrim had reported flapping) "began to collapse," after which he Saw streaks of flame. This was followed by an explosion, and then the entire tail was engulfed in flames. Navy Ground Crew Member William Bishop said the flames were visible slightly above the "inside" of the ship and behind the rear port engine car.

Several witnesses inside the ship also witnessed the beginning of the fire. Helmsman Helmut Lau, who was stationed at the auxiliary control stand in the lower wing, "heard a muffled explosion and looked up and saw a bright reflection on the bulkhead in front of cell number 4 from the starboard side inside the gas cell."

Lau described the flames he saw in cell 4 during the interrogation: "The cell had a bright reflection inside. I saw it through the cell. It was red and yellow at first and there was smoke in it. The cell didn't burst at the bottom. Heat. The cell suddenly disappeared from…. The fire went further down and then it got air.

The flame became very strong and the fire rose upwards, and to the starboard side, as I remember seeing it, and I saw the aluminum parts and cloth parts thrown up along with the flame.

At the same moment, the forward cell and back cell of cell 4 also caught fire [cell 3 and cell 5]. At that time the parts of the girders, the molten aluminum and the fabric parts started falling from the top down. The whole thing only lasted a fraction of a second. ,

The fire spread rapidly and soon engulfed the tail of the ship, but the ship remained flat for a few more seconds, before the tail began to sink and the nose was pointed upwards, fire from the bow. The flames were going out, where were the twelve crew. Members were deployed, including six who were sent forward to keep the ship in trim.

In port and starboard promenade on the passenger deck, where many passengers and some crew gathered to watch the landing, the ship's rapidly increasing angle caused passengers and crew to fall against walls, furniture and each. other; Passenger Margaret Mather recalled being thrown 15-20 feet against the back wall of the dining room and pinned against a bench by several others.


Before the Hindenburg disaster, the public was remarkably forgiving of accident-prone Zeppelins, and the glamorous and fast Hindenburg was still greeted with public enthusiasm, despite the long list of past air accidents.

But when airships such as the British R-101, which killed 48, or the USS Akron, which killed 73, crashed at sea or in the dark of night, away from witnesses or cameras, the Hindenburg's crash was captured. It was shot on film, and millions of people around the world watched the dramatic explosion that devoured the ship and its passengers.

And despite its romance and grandeur, the Hindenburg was technically obsolete before it took flight. On November 22, 1935 — three months before the Hindenburg first took the air — Pan American Airways' M-130 China Clipper made the first scheduled flight over the Pacific.

The longest leg, 2,400 miles from San Francisco to Honolulu, was longer than the distance needed to cross the North Atlantic. In fact, Pan Am's M-130 was not designed for the Pacific, but for the Atlantic; Only political (not technical) considerations prevented Pan Am from inaugurating transatlantic airline service in 1935; The British refused to grant Pan Am landing rights until Britain had an aircraft that could fly similarly, but Britain was far behind the US in the development of long-range aircraft.

No comments:

Powered by Blogger.